Bad boss / Pexels

Nobody wants to be known as a “bad boss”.

However, despite many business leaders’ desire not to fall under this category, there tends to be significantly more bad bosses than good ones.

Whatever the situation outside the business, whether a global pandemic, a natural disaster, a recession, or other causes for concern, employees ultimately trust their business leaders to be the ones to steer them out of the storm to safety, having their best interests at heart. In spite of this, many leaders seem to fall short, prompting employees to leave the company and look for pastures new.

This can be avoided by developing some key skills to help business leaders transform their leadership from good to outstanding.

As a result, here are five vital techniques that business leaders need to keep in mind and work on to lead more effectively, efficiently, and responsibly.

1) Self-reflection is vital

Many business leaders believe that their personal lives are totally separate from their professional one.

However, this cannot be further from the truth.

As the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance becomes even more prominent in the business world, the influences and motivations from personal experiences become even more pertinent.

Business leaders must dedicate some time to self-reflect, meditate, and connected with themselves in order to be more centred. When it comes to more serious issues, therapy may be required to resolve past experiences.

Allocating some time for personal reflection can enable business leaders to be more positive and caring with their employees.

2) Create psychological safety

A healthy workplace environment is one that is characterised by steady input from all channels of the business.

One element of this is psychological safety, the shared belief amongst a team that the space is safe for interpersonal risk-taking, and so, there will be no repercussions for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.

Business leaders have to ask themselves: What happens if an employee makes a mistake?

A healthy approach is one that focuses on asking employees what they learnt from their mistake or thinking, and how they can improve the situation in the future.

Instead of threatening remarks, business leaders must give employees room to propose and try new things which may offer a competitive advantage in today’s fast-paced business world, and hence people need to feel safe enough to experiment.

3) Encourage feedback and listen to employees

Tied to the previous point, business leaders must encourage two-way communication between them and employees, and when feedback is presented, they need to give their full attention to what an employee has to say.

Business leaders have to be fully present and avoid thinking about how they will respond while the employee is still speaking.

Whenever employees feel heard and validated, and when the leader takes action on what was shared, a greater sense of trust and loyalty is built.

4) Develop strengths

Business leaders need to properly examine the strengths and weaknesses of their respective teams and analyse which qualities need work, and others which do not.

They can provide coaching, either by themselves or other colleagues, or through an external trainer, to help develop the said skills on both an individual and a team level.

Coaching can lead to the development of individual attributes, as well as improved performance and a sense of fulfilment for the team.

5) Pursue a growth mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that one is still a work in progress and therefore not the finished article. It is all about the attitude with which one tackles challenges, how they process failures, and how they adapt and evolve.

Business leaders need to prioritise this and make it fit in with their company culture, as it will prove integral to strengthening the willingness and determination of their teams in wanting success.

However, this has to start from the business leader, who must assess whether they are truly focusing on pursuing a growth mindset, and whether they are effectively implementing this at the workplace.

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