During my 39 years in the business world, one thing I have learned is that not all leaders are created equal. Some leaders are stuck in the old way of thinking about leadership with a command-and-control structure and rigid rules. In this mindset, the role of the leader is to get every ounce of productivity out of the team, regardless of how it affects the employees. In the early years of my career, this is how I was taught to lead. While I could drive results using this style, the results were always challenging to sustain as people would become burned out, feel unvalued, and eventually leave. Later in my career, I was introduced to more people-centric leadership philosophies.
At Etech we have embraced a leadership philosophy with a focus on people and progress instead of rules and protocols. This style of leadership is quite a bit different than command and control and fosters a positive and productive work environment.
How to become a People-Focused Leader?
1. Act Like a Coach
Coaches believe in lifting employees, removing obstacles from their paths, and helping them become more successful. Great leaders find happiness in their team’s success and want their people to succeed and do whatever they can, to make things happen.
2. Understanding Other’s Weaknesses and Focusing on Their Strengths
People-focused leaders understand the strengths of their team members and put efforts into enhancing those strengths. They understand that no employee is perfect and emphasize focusing on the positive instead of highlighting the negatives.
3. Be Empathetic
Being empathetic involves understanding, connecting with, and genuinely caring for your team members’ emotions, requirements, and perspectives. Put yourself in your team member’s shoes to understand their challenges as well as motivations. Share empathy by recognizing and validating the emotions your team members express and offer support when needed.
4. Value Other’s Experiences
People-focused leaders value other people’s experiences and put effort into getting to know them as a person. They look at people beyond someone who is just filling a role on a team and instead value unique backgrounds, struggles, successes, and different points of view. Being open to listening to your team members’ stories and experiences builds their trust in you.
5. Recognize and Appreciate Team Members
Great leaders understand the value of recognition and appreciation. They regularly recognize and appreciate team members’ efforts, hard work, and achievements. People-focused leaders understand the importance of a simple “thank you” and acknowledgment in boosting morale as well as motivation.
6. Embrace Vulnerability and Emotional Intelligence
Great leaders know that there is nothing more human than being vulnerable. Develop emotional intelligence by being aware of your own emotions and how they may impact your interactions with others. This self-awareness can be a significant help when it comes to understanding your own and your team’s emotions.
7. Challenge Convention
People-focused leaders do not stick to conventional ways of getting things done. They can challenge conventions and drive positive change in numerous ways. Moreover, great leaders welcome experimentation and challenge the status quo with their courageous leadership and visionary thinking.
Becoming a people-focused leader requires consistent efforts and self-awareness. By consistently practicing the above-mentioned tips, you can create a positive and thriving work environment for your team.
At Etech, we foster a culture centered around people, where individuals prioritize the needs of others and embody empathy. Are you ready to become a part of the extraordinary Etech culture? Join our team!