Did you know that you could be unconsciously killing your leadership credibility?
Whether you answered “yes” or “no” to the above question does not matter.
What -DOES- matter however is that you become aware that there are 5 deadly character traits that a leader may exhibit that can damage their reputation.
If you’re serious about becoming a great leader, you’ll have everything you need to overcome these small challenges so that you can make BIG changes right away!
On that note, check your ego at the door, and let’s get started…
These 5 Deadly Mistakes Can Damage Your Reputation As A Leader
Unconscious Leadership Error #1: Lacking Accountability For Your Actions
If you’re going to become a leader that your team respects, and follows then you are going to have to make a commitment to being congruent with your actions and words.
If you see yourself making this error, don’t beat yourself up.
Instead, understand that EVERYONE makes mistakes, and set the example by learning from yours!
On that note, here are some simple to implement success tips that you can utilize to become a more accountable leader:
Tip #1: Think before you speak. People can not hold you accountable if you don’t open your mouth. In our technological age, this also grandfathers in text, chat, and email as well. Say less and do MORE!
Tip #2: When you do speak, and it concerns something that you will be accountable for, make a notation, set a personal deadline, and stay in communication with your team throughout the process.
Tip #3: Under-promise and Over-deliver.
Unconscious Leadership Error #2: Allowing External Circumstances To Dictate The Way You Communicate With Your Team
As a leader, communication is an extremely valuable tool that can position you as a trusted authority, or weaken your credibility depending on how you deliver your desired message to your team.
When handling difficult times, utilize these measures to keep a positive image:
Tip #1: Remember that you cannot control external situations. If things get out of hand, take a deep breathe, focus on the solution that you need to communicate, and deliver it in a poised fashion.
Tip #2: If for some reason you do lose your cool and get out of character with someone, make a personal commitment to admit that you were wrong in that instance, then offer a sincere apology along with the action steps that you are doing on a personal note to avoid the same behavior in the future.
Tip #3: Understand that poise takes time and if you stay humble, you’ll not only gain poise, but the wisdom you need to communicate when times get tough.
Unconscious Leadership Error #3: Listening Is Not In Your Vocabulary
Ever notice that you were created with two ears and one mouth? I believe that is so that you’ll listen more then you speak. As a leader this is extremely important because you truthfully don’t know EVERYTHING, and people on your team have valuable information to share with you.
If this sounds discouraging to you, or you feel that this error hit you right between the eyes, then you need to relax and realize that it’s simply part of the humbling process that you must undergo to be the best leader you can be!
Here are some quick tips to help you become a better listener:
Tip #1: Eliminate external distractions while you’re communicating so that you can truthfully give your team/teammate the full attention that they need to get their message across clearly to you.
Tip #2: Wait till your teammate/the group is done speaking before you actually interject.
Tip #3: If you’re not sure how to respond, thank them for the advice, make a note of it, and let them know a definitive time that you’ll get back to them on it… Then actually do what you said you would do and give them your thoughts at a later time.
Tip #4: Remember to take the tone, context, and any other cues into account of what they are trying to communicate to you. If you don’t understand, humble yourself and tell them so they can help you better understand their point/frustration. If that frustrates them, it’s their issue, NOT YOURS! 🙂
Unconscious Leadership Error #4: You Lack Empathy
One of the worst errors a leader can make is emphasizing his/her ego more than their ability to empathize with their team.
Why does this happen? Every situation is different, however the following tips can help you minimize your ego and maximize your empathy:
Tip #1: Always keep in mind the point of view of the person/group you are communicating with.
Tip #2: Use the tips outlined in error #3 to become a well-trained listener.
Tip #3: Develop a keen awareness to see if the team member just needs to be heard, or if they need some encouragement. To be truly empathetic give them what they think they need, not what YOU think they need from the conversation and use this as a way to build trust with them.
Tip #4: Make an effort to show them that you care by making the environment comfortable for your team member.
Unconscious Leadership Error #5: You Lack Transparency With Your Vision
One of the biggest errors that causes leaders to lose credibility is the lack of transparency in their vision.
Communicate your vision with a passion as often as possible so that you can create a wave of momentum with your team daily of course!
If you’re not sure how to accomplish that, simply implement these tips:
Tip #1: Every Monday and Friday set apart some “team time” to communicate your vision with your team. This can be done via Slack, Skype, or even via Email.
Tip #2: On Monday highlight what the vision is going to be for the week. On Friday, focus on what EVERYONE did well.
Tip #3: Feel free to share additional highlights/encouragement daily. Remember this – the more you communicate with them, the more they will feel your passion!
Your Days Of Mediocre Leadership Are OVER!
From this point forward, I want you to re-affirm that:
“My days of mediocre leadership are over!”
This way, you’re planting the seed of success, and staying accountable to address the areas that need improvement.
This my friend is positive growth… and exactly the kind of growth that your team needs to see to take you seriously!
On that note, keep stepping up your leadership game and I’ll see YOU at the pinnacle of your leadership success!