How to Be a Leader at Work

5 minute read

written by Cápita Works

May 27, 2022

What can you do to be heard, respected, and well-liked?

It may be true that some people are born leaders. There’s something about them that makes a group of people want to follow them – their charm or charisma. But even if you were born without this, you can learn how to be an effective leader! 

Leaders commonly share some qualities and skills that have helped them get to a leadership position. The unique combination of these skills is what separates them from the rest. So, whether you’re a natural-born leader or not, there are some behaviors you can practice and develop to become a leader that will make people want to listen to you, respect you, and like you.   

First of all, if you would like to become a leader, but feel like you may not have had the chance at work to do so, don’t be afraid to ask for an opportunity. An important characteristic for many leaders is that they have initiative. So demonstrate this to your boss and show them you can be a leader. It also takes courage and confidence in your skill to ask for an opportunity, so take it as a sign of inner strength.

We all need leaders to guide, inspire, and encourage us. A good leader can leave us feeling inspired and uplifted. But how can you become positive leaders? 

Simply put, leaders help their employees feel good about themselves. 

  • Leaders ensure that staff feels appreciated for the hard work they do day in and day out. You can do this by getting actively involved with your colleagues. After all, it’s difficult for you to make someone feel good about themselves if you have no idea what exactly they do, so pay attention! 

To make a team feel appreciated you can also correct in private and praise in public. Congratulate them for their successes when others are present, but make sure you correct only when in private to avoid publicly humiliating someone. 

An important part of being a leader is helping others develop as well. If you notice a team member is having a difficult time meeting their goals, try asking them about their strengths and weaknesses and provide more opportunities to learn based on this.

  • You also need to learn how to communicate effectively with others. Let others know that they can freely voice their opinions and ideas to you. If you actively listen to each person, they’ll all feel like valuable players on your team. 

In order to reach effective communication, it’s important to build trust with your team members and amongst the team. Spend some time getting to know your team members in order to do this. When trust is present in a team, there is more respect present when ideas differ, and communication is clear; this leads to an opportunity to create synergy amongst a team.

  • Be professional but personable. When you’re introducing employees to visitors or senior managers, always introduce them by their first name. Refer to them as your team members, colleagues, or associates. Never refer to them as your subordinates or by their job titles. 

Leadership Involves Being a Positive Role Model

Good leaders do more than talk the talk; they walk the walk. 

By setting a good example and understanding the needs and pressures of the team, a leader can help others see the big picture and help them understand why their roles are so important to the team’s success.

Here are a couple of ways to lead by example: 

  • If you’re trying to get your employees to be more involved in their jobs and help others when they need it, what are you doing to set a good example? Good leaders roll up their sleeves and get down to business with the people that are working for them. 
  • ● Good leaders fight for the rights of their teams at all levels. If you show your team how much you respect their needs, you’ll gain their respect, too. For example, if a pay raise is stalled, actively investigate why it’s stalled and keep your team updated.

Taking an Individual Approach

To be a good leader you also need to understand that different people are motivated in different ways. People naturally like to see a positive outcome for the work they do and the key is to find out what motivates the people you work with. Try different leadership styles with your team and see what works better for who. 

Is the motivation to get a pay increase? Is it recognition for a job well done? Or is it being named employee of the month?

Motivation can be very individualized. Take the time to get to know the people working with you so you can figure out the best way to motivate them.

Even if you own a small business and can’t afford expensive employee rewards, sometimes a nice dinner or a thoughtful gift is enough to show your employees your appreciation.

Good leaders know that each person is essential to the success of the team. Don’t take the people working for you for granted. Remember that getting the respect you desire first starts with respecting others.

Want to apply for a new role that involves a leadership position? Check our job openings


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