Some of us are natural born leaders...some of us aren't so lucky. For most of us, being a great leader isn’t something you just start doing. Like any other skill, you have to work at it to become better. Here are eight management skills we suggest learning in order to lead a successful team.
1. The Importance of Team Bonding
Team work makes the dream work, and a great way to make your staff feel like a team is through team bonding exercises. Team outings can sometimes feel forced, but after a short warming-up period, you will all be having a great time!
Recently, escape rooms have been popping up all over the United States. Participating in these tasks where you have to work together to succeed is not only fun, but also contributes to using each individual's strengths to accomplish a common goal.
2. You Create A Safe Work Environment
Part of earning your team's trust involves creating a safe work environment. If you look at great leaders throughout history, they are willing to protect their people (sometimes at the cost of their own comfort and interests). Now, your chiropractic practice isn't exactly the same as marching into a battlefield. But regardless of a person's profession, most want to feel safe at work. Your employees will take comfort in the fact that they won't lose their job or get reamed out in front of their coworkers if they fail. Your employees aren't perfect, and they may fail at some task or another. It's important that you help them to grow from their failures, which will result in a higher level of cooperation and trust.
3. You Challenge Your Team.
It's incredibly important that your team trusts you, and it is also important that you provide them with the opportunity to excel. You might employ the best of the best in the chiropractic industry, but everyone has room for improvement. To help enhance their skill set and work ethic, push your employees to reach their potential and (once properly trained) let them manage their own projects. They will be grateful for your guidance, and you will be able to delegate more responsibilities, creating a more efficient practice.
4. You Are Allowed To Change Your Mind!
Even the most successful business owners sometimes make mistakes. What separates a good leader from a great one is the ability to admit when a mistake is made and to work towards improvement. We've met some managers who knew they had made the wrong call, but wouldn't change their minds because they didn't want to seem weak. Others allow their pride to get in the way.
In actuality, by admitting your mistake, more often than not your employees will appreciate your honesty and that they can relate to you.
5. Practice Empathy.
Despite holding a higher-level position than your team, you've got to stay on their level. Consider a management technique called perspective-taking. If a staff member says something that frustrates you, take a beat and ask yourself why it affected you. How is it that they feel? Where is this point of view coming from? If you were previously in the same position as them (like before you started your own practice), try to remember what it felt like to be in that role. Think back to your biggest challenges and fears. What is it that made you feel insecure or threatened? Perspective-taking allows you to understand the root of your team's problems and how to help solve those issues.
6. Don't Let Your Emotions Take Over.
Empathy is important, but don't let emotions take hold. Even if it causes pain, great leaders will do what is right for their team. Let's say you have an employee that you personally like, yet they continue to behave in a way that is toxic to the practice. No matter how many conversations, write-ups, or counseling sessions you've had, they continue to create issues in the workplace. Despite liking who they are as a person, they are negatively impacting your practice and it is time to let them go. It might not make you feel good, but your practice will function better. When an employee needs to have a behavior corrected, you don't want to hurt their feelings, but a constructive counseling session will help them improve. Running from the issue won't pay off, and as a great leader, it is your responsibility to move past the anxiety and discomfort the situation might cause and do what is best for your team.
7. Be Transparent.
As a great leader, you have displayed behavior leading your team to trust you and it's important that you have trust in your team, too. Keeping things hidden from your team will only make them feel anxious and unsafe. If your staff knows something is wrong in the practice, and they know their leader hasn't shared that information, a negative atmosphere is being created. That sort of environment will scare your team and make them lose trust in you. Clear communication will prevent this sort of feeling from taking hold of your practice.
8. Show Your Appreciation.
Everyone likes to feel appreciated for their hard work. As a leader, you have to know how to make your team feel valued. If not, your team will feel unhappy at work, which means they won't be motivated to work hard or perform well. To make your team feel important and happy at work, incentivize them to keep improving and recognize and reward employees for specific accomplishments. This can be done on an individual basis, in front of their peers, or even on your internal messaging system. This will also inspire other team members to improve so they can earn recognition too!
By mastering these management skills, you will be well on your way to becoming a great leader!