Friday, July 01, 2011

Motivational Speaker and Leadership Researcher

Top 5 Mistakes Leaders Make in the Workplace

by Kevin Hogan

1) Not giving enough feedback.

Constructive...not destructive criticism that intends to improve your team's performance will make your team go further. Regular evaluations of your team's strengths and weaknesses will keep them on top of their game-and you on top of yours. Make yourself available and approachable. Make sure your team knows your expectations. Listen to them.

2) Lack of adaptability.

The world, including your business, is constantly changing. Humans are made to adapt to new situations and ideas. Be open to new things and new ideas. Nothing is set in stone. Be flexible. Encourage new ideas, innovation, effort, collaboration as a TEAM.

3) Setting goals that are out of reach.

When goals are practically impossible to reach, people experience high levels of stress, lose motivation and performance declines. If your employees are afraid of making a mistake-this is a red flag! Fear is crippling. When we are afraid to make a mistake or fail, we usually will. We essentially shut down. It's okay to take a risk. Your team will make mistakes-but dwelling on them is a barrier to moving past and learning from that mistake.Be empathetic to your team's limits. When moderately challenging goals are set, people experience an amount of stress (good stress) that allows them to operate efficiently (otherwise known as 'flow') and competently.

4) Lack of self awareness.

Are people intimidated by you? Is your ego overinflated? Do you truly respect your employees? Do you have any bad habits in the workplace? Are you aware of your own body language? Not only should you dish out feedback to your employees, but ask for feedback about your performance as well as ways you can improve. Self-monitor your actions and how people react to you on a daily basis. Excellent leaders are always looking for ways to better themselves as leaders and team members. They are in touch with their strengths and weaknesses, thus being able to manage them. Admitting you may not be right in every situation and addressing your mistakes are crucial steps to effective leadership. Facilitating a better environment for everyone to work in will ultimately generate more output.

5) Workaholism

If you are consistently running on empty, feeling fatigued, and overall just plain burnt out- you need to take a step back. Breathe. It's time to reevaluate your work habits. You will not be an effective leader if you are finding yourself sleeping in your office and stashing spare sets of clothes at work. Great leaders find a sense of balance and sensible integration between work and their personal lives. If you are taking time for yourself and giving your body regular breaks from stress you will find yourself happier in the workplace and more output at your fingertips.