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WHETHER you’re managing a large commercial feedlot with 30 livestock and mill staff, or a lamb or wool enterprise with a crew of only one or two, your employees’ success depends on your leadership.
Thankfully, the solution for motivating team-members and squashing any issues is right at the tip of your tongue. It all starts with communication – the skill experts point to as the make-or-break factor for successful leadership.
Here are eight things that exceptional bosses tell their employees frequently. Start using these tools (or begin looking for a boss who does), and watch your success rates skyrocket:
“I have total confidence in you.”
There’s nothing more discouraging than a boss who doesn’t believe in a person’s abilities and tries to micro-manage them at every turn. Even ultra-confident individuals will see their self-belief plummet if they’re treated like a white-collar toddler.
The late US President Theodore Roosevelt said, “The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”
It might be tough to let go of the reins at first, but if you give your team opportunities to rise to the occasion, a happier and more motivated workplace environment will result.
“This is what I want us to accomplish…”
Great leaders motivate and inspire people with why they’re doing it.
What separates exceptional leaders from mediocre ones is their ability to communicate their plans and tie the ‘daily drudgery’ that many jobs include, into the big-picture goals. Charting a clear course for your team fosters a sense of job stability and drive at work – so always take the time to explain “why” instead of merely doling out orders.
“What can we do better next time?”
Mistakes, while best avoided, can often be are the best teachers. We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, and occasional ‘screwing up’ is part of the learning experience.
It helps to understand that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.
Everybody has messed-up at his or her job at least once. Mistakes happen, especially when trying something new. As long as it’s not reckless or careless, turn that error into a learning experience.
Teaching someone what to do next time to avoid a blunder is much more productive than reprimanding them.
“I want you to play to your strengths.”
Too many businesses believe people are interchangeable. Truly gifted people rarely are. Such people cannot be forced into roles they are not suited for, nor should they be. Effective leaders allow great people to do the work they were born to do.
Every person on your team has particular skills, and its worth embracing that in the workplace. This speaks to the idea of treating people as individuals in a world where employees are too often seen as expendable.
“What is your opinion?”
Top-notch bosses don’t let ego get in the way of innovation – they seek advice from everyone, regardless of where they are on the totem pole.
Asking employees what they think of an idea or strategy is another great way to show that you have faith in them and value their input. Plus, the best insights often come from the most unexpected places.
“How can I better support you?”
An excellent way of reducing employee turnover is a preventative approach. Take the time to check in with your team. Ask them what’s on their plate and what you can do to help them manage their workload, and succeed.
“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence, and making sure that impact lasts in your absence,” Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg says.
If you serve and enable your team, they’ll want to do the same for you and your company, too.
“Let me know if you have any questions.”
Many people have had at least one intimidating boss whom they didn’t feel they could go to for help. Having an open-door policy shows that you’re available to your team and care about open communication and their productivity. The faster their questions are answered, the faster they can get back to accomplishing the task at hand.
No matter how much employees are paid or how cushy their perks might be, they’ll want to know that someone cares about their work. Give recognition; take a few minutes to invest in well-deserved praise, and your team will always appreciate it.