How To Develop Your Management Team Into Effective Leaders

Being a senior leader in today’s ever-evolving modern world of work can come hand-in-hand with various leadership challenges, one being the active development of your management team into effective leaders.

Below Sally Henderson, an Executive Change Mentor, discusses the important and adaptive role of leadership in any organization, pointing towards the key relationship between leader and team member.

Having worked with a wealth of c-suite clients across various industries, I know there’s a linear relationship between skilled leadership and sustained business growth. This view is supported by Atif Sheikh, CEO and Founder of businessthreezero who agrees that by allowing employees to take on more responsibility and having more senior conversations, the better the work will be and the greater the chances of continued business success.

How to achieve this?

It’s important to connect each individual team-member with what authentic leadership means to them, rather than purely imposing your opinion on what effective leadership should entail. Creating a culture of psychological safety is vital, as when a manager knows they have permission to experiment to find a leadership style which fits with their way of work, it allows them to become more effective, rather than feeling like an imposter in their role. This trust will in turn give them the confidence to not second guess their leadership decisions.

Encourage the manager to become a leader who isn’t afraid to show vulnerability. There’s a common myth that a leader should be the fountain of all knowledge, however, a leader doesn’t know all the answers, all of the time. A strong leader who is not afraid to ask for help when required is able to create a greater rapport with their team through creating a much more authentic connection. This “human connection” is far harder to achieve when there is a wall between the image the leader wishes to portray and who they really are.

Facilitate and invest in cohort learning experiences via group training exercises, this group learning enables individuals to share in the experience, builds closer bonds at work and can fast-track growth through peer-to-peer learning and insight. Equally, you are never going to get the real “naked truth” from leaders who are developing in their roles in a group setting which is why it’s also key to help your managers grow into successful leaders though bespoke individual leadership development which works for them and is delivered in a “safe space” by a trusted expert.

With the rapid pace of change at work and the rate in which roles are evolving, it has never been more crucial to be able to give honest, helpful and motivating feedback as a leader.

With the rapid pace of change at work and the rate in which roles are evolving, it has never been more crucial to be able to give honest, helpful and motivating feedback as a leader. An effective leader needs to ensure each party comes away with the same understanding of the feedback, why it was given and the expectations derived as a result.

Finally, reflection on leadership helps ensure the leader continues to evolve. Encourage each leader to create a box with four squares included, writing down what has gone brilliantly, what has been good, what could have been better and what hasn’t yet worked. Ask them to work out their ideal for the following 12 months and then compare the two sets. With this information, work out a plan to help the leader move away from negativity and achieve success.

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