Business Executives: Leading your team after the lockdown

Rob Gonye
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As a leader, after every turning situation or event, your team members will always look towards you for guidance and inspiration.

It’s no reason why the attitude of the team leader can drive team members to either resign or lose interest in their jobs.

So what really then drives people to resign?

The usual are salary, benefits, or workload. However when your team leader is  bad at giving feedback, not helpful, or just plain mean it drives people to feeling unmotivated, too nervous to offer ideas, or fearing that you’d lose your job with the slightest miss-step?

Once you let those memories sink in, you probably won’t second guess the statement: People quit their managers, not their jobs.

Study after study has emphasized that companies need good managers to retain good employees. Nothing is more important for employee retention than good people management. However being a ‘good manager’ is much easier said than done.

To get to the bottom of what makes a people manager effective, regardless of whether you’re interested in managing a team, or just want to know if a prospective boss is actually a good manager, here are a few crucial qualities of a great team leader.

  1. Great managers work for their employees, not above them.

A manager, like an employee, is more effective when they’re an active team player.

While an employee’s job is to fulfil tasks within a job description, a manager’s job is to make his or her team successful. To do this, a manager shouldn’t be afraid to clang in during meetings, assist on projects, or help their team grow or succeed in other ways.

Business leadership teamwork power and confidence concept

At some companies, new employees rarely ever see, let alone speak to the people manager that manages their own boss.

The ability to get to know and work with leadership helps employees feel like they can confidently talk to someone in a much higher role.

It also makes them feel confident that these managers care about their hard work.

  1. They are always aiming to improve their emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence isn’t just a sought after soft skill in general employees it’s vital for any role that involves leading people. Emotional intelligence is the foundation of being able to work well with other people.

It helps to self-regulate so one can give clear directions and then it allows one to be empathetic to the needs of others.

By definition, emotional intelligence is exactly what it sounds like. The skill requires you to understand your own emotions, learn how to manage them, and navigate how to respond to the emotions of others on your team. Traits of someone who’s emotionally intelligent include curiosity, self-awareness, self-motivation, likability, and empathetic.

So, why is emotional intelligence, or EQ, so important? Well, in a high-stress or unexpected situation, emotional intelligence will allow you to stay calm while keeping your team from panicking on deadlines.

It will also prevent you from making rash decisions as a leader or responding to a slight inconvenience in a non-productive emotional way.

  1. They can establish and promote psychologically safe environments.

As mentioned above, many not so good bosses can have an over-aggressive or intense management style that causes employees to be scared of missing goals or even offering new ideas.

Meanwhile, great managers focus want employees to grow from mistakes and offer new insights that they might not have thought of. Supporting employees so that they can succeed at their job, confidently take initiative, and feel safe in their workplace cultivates a sense of mental safety.

Improving mental or emotional safety in your workplace or on your team requires emotional intelligence and empathy.

While empathic leaders can identify with and recognize unspoken employee emotions, concerns, and fears, emotionally intelligent managers will also be able to respond to situations in a way that won’t make teams feel threatened.

The ability to cultivate emotional safety is a critical asset for leadership.

An environment of feeling supported, heard, and understood is the foundation one needs to be able to come to work every day with the right mind-set to do good work.

Genuine empathy and emotional safety are hard to fake, and it’s something that I think everyone should master before they consider the people management path.

Mental safety and empathy are necessary for team success and employee growth, nonetheless mastering them isn’t always easy or straightforward.

If you are a manager or hoping to be a better leader, take time to identify aspects of your management style or overall office culture that could benefit from mental-emotional safety.

Robert Gonye is a Business Growth Expert and Influencer. He writes in his personal capacity. Comments and views:

The views given herein are solely for information purposes; they are guidelines and suggestions and are not guaranteed to work in any particular way.