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Things a Good Leader Would Never Do

Three Things a Good Leader Would Never Do

Whether you have direct or indirect reports, it takes a variety of skills to lead a team well. An effective leader should be both goal-driven and empathetic. They need to have the technical skills required to ensure work is done well and strong people skills that will empower the team doing the work to feel a sense of pride and ownership in their collective success.

Lack of experience, self-awareness, and constructive feedback can allow a leader to practice poor management techniques without realizing it. The following traits have the potential to severely impact your team’s morale and adversely affect performance.

Create a space where your team can’t survive without you

Micromanagement is a common issue that comes up in the workplace. Employees don’t feel trusted when their manager is constantly looking over their shoulders and nitpicking at every little thing. However, this isn’t the only problem micromanaging a team can have.

Over time, a team may become dependent on your guidance, so much so that they may struggle to function in your absence. A strong leader is able to delegate tasks and provide opportunities for their team to grow. This is helpful not only for your employees’ professional development but also prepares them to step in if an emergency arises or you are taking much-deserved time off.

Be the loudest voice in the room

One of the reasons people are placed in leadership positions is because they have proven to be highly knowledgeable in their department. Because of this, it’s often expected for them to have all the answers and be the expert in every setting. Additionally, many people believe the best leaders are extroverts, who are more inclined to take over at times when they shouldn’t.

Reflect on your role in a meeting. Are you the organizer? If not, think carefully about how you show up. Your intention may be to help or show that you are engaged in the conversation, but your efforts may come off as disrespectful and arrogant.

The higher up you go in your company, the more tone-deaf you can become to pain points entry- and mid-level employees experience. This can make you seem insensitive and unapproachable. Take some time to strengthen your listening skills. A good leader knows when it’s time to lead and time to learn from others.

Forget to be human

Sometimes leaders make mistakes. They may have misunderstood a policy or made a decision prematurely without knowing all the facts. These errors are usually overlooked as most corporate feedback is one-directional.

Individual contributors receive feedback constantly: at one-on-one meetings, during quarterly assessments, and after each project. However, it is rare for managers to allow their team to provide feedback on their performance. A simple solution could be 360-degree feedback, where employees can share their thoughts on their manager’s performance as a people leader.

When I led teams in the past, I would establish an exchange of expectations, outlining not only what I expected from my employees but what they should expect from me in return. I’d give them some points to start then encourage them to add their own.

Some leaders place more focus on what they do correctly and gloss over their errors, thinking that their team won’t notice. However, doing this can destroy your credibility as a reliable resource. True leadership isn’t about how much you do right, it’s about being able to figure out where you went wrong and fix it.