Four Ways to Measure Your Own Leadership Style
Date: July 17th, 2012
Blog Post by Scott Seroka
Being a leader places you in this precarious position where you don’t receive much feedback on your management modus operandi unless you specifically ask for it. And even in those instances, the feedback you receive may be rather diluted, as some employees are naturally apprehensive about giving their boss constructive criticism.
The good news is that there is a rather creative way to measure the effectiveness of your leadership simply by asking yourself a number of questions:
1. Do my employees go the other way when they see me coming? If your employees generally don’t speak to you or with you unless spoken to, you’re likely viewed as either unfriendly or someone with a short fuse, and that’s a problem. When people are apprehensive about speaking with their managers, they are more likely to cover up mistakes, lie by omission, point fingers, and oh yes, look for a new job instead of doing their job.
2. Do my employees share their ideas with me? Ideas fuel growth, challenge the status quo, and may lead to new selling or value propositions. If people don’t share ideas with you, it’s not because they don’t have any. It may be because they do not feel fresh ideas are appreciated, or your environment is not conducive to creativity. In other words, your people don’t like you.
3. How often do I hear laughter in the office? This one is significant. If you never hear a “he,” a “ha” or any sort of chuckle, your employees are miserable. And miserable employees are how productive?
4. Do people bring me their headaches? In the beginning, it may seem flattering when people seek your counsel to help solve a problem. However, consider this: the first time you solve someone else’s problem, it serves as an invitation for them to bring you more problems. And once you develop the reputation of being the office problem-solver, other people will start dropping their problems off on your shoulders. Question: As a leader, is it your role to solve everyone’s problems?
Or is it your role to see to it that problems get solved? Several things happen once you assume someone else’s problem or force through unsolicited advice: a) You immediately take responsibility for the outcome of the problem which could come back to bite you. b) You’re indirectly telling people that they don’t have the intelligence to solve their own problems, which most people will find offensive. c) For every minute you waste on someone else’s issue, it’s one less minute you have to spend getting your work done. d) You immediately add more stress to your life.
There are quite a few other ways to gauge your leadership effectiveness, but asking yourself these questions may be a good start. Your objective is to create and nurture a mutually respectful relationship with everyone on your work team as each employee’s performance can be directly correlated to the quality of the relationship he or she has with his or her immediate boss.
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