What Makes a Good Leader in Small Business?
When it really comes down to it, what makes a good leader in any kind of organization is your self management and people management skills. People may respect your technical abilities and intellect, but it's social and emotional skills that influence other people to be loyal to you and your business.
Some of these skills include being able to control your own emotions, knowing how to respond and relate well to others, coping well with stress, being calm and measured in your responses etc.
Obviously business owners must be smart in terms of practical business skills but the more employees you have the more important these soft skills become.
Consequently, the larger a business is the more likely it is that business coaching covers personal effectiveness and leadership rather than the nuts and bolts of running a business.
Strong leadership skills will enable you to develop a strong productive team that makes more money.
5 ways to increase your social and emotional skills as a leader
- Self reflect
The first step towards becoming a more emotionally mature business leader is to start becoming aware of your thoughts, emotions and behavior.
The other key factor is also to notice how you react to other people – Do you feel the urge to be defensive? Do you find yourself fishing for compliments?
- Ask for ‘honest’ feedback
It may feel very confronting asking other people to evaluate your leadership capabilities but realistically this is the best way to learn.
None of us is perfect, we all have different strengths and weaknesses, so the sooner you can accept this fact the easier it will be to grow into an effective leader.
If it makes you feel any better, the more you ask for feedback from others, the easier it becomes to really listen and resist the urge to defend or justify yourself.
- Put your ego aside
Whilst there are many examples of big egotistical business leaders, the research Jim Collins undertook for his book ‘Good to Great’ proved that these kinds of leaders rarely created sustained business success.
What makes a good leader is focusing on the team and the business and not needing to ‘hog the limelight’. Businesses that revolve around one big leader are setting themselves up for future failure.
- Put others first
The easiest way to start making an impact as a leader is to start consciously putting more attention on the team around you.
You can never give your employees too much encouragement, recognition and appreciation. It's not just about making people like you - if they are made to feel recognized, they will perform better and help you make more money.
- Start listening
The secret to better relationships is always to start listening. When you consciously start to listen to people and really hear what they’re saying, instead of second-guessing, you will be amazed at what you discover!
This is especially important if you’re the kind of person who has a tendency to rush in and quickly judge or blame other people.
Business Coaching Questions:
- In your opinion, what makes a good leader?
- Within your circle or network, who could you ask for a personal evaluation of your leadership skills?
- What are you weaknesses as a leader?
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