The leaders in your organization have probably had a certain way of doing things for quite some time. They (and perhaps you) are set in their ways, which you’ve always seen as fine, because the work gets done.
But leadership is a muscle that requires stretching and training. If you simply accept your leadership practices as they are, you might unknowingly be costing your business significant amounts of lost revenue every year.
In fact, a study done by Eastern Kentucky University found that workplace stress costs US companies $300 billion annually in health care costs and missed days of work. And what’s one of the main creators of workplace stress? The boss.
Managers who aren’t strong communicators can create confusion by not being clear about their expectations. This puts workers in a constant state of panic about whether what they are doing is right. It’s impossible to find joy in your work if you’re always afraid you’re doing the wrong thing.
Otherwise good managers can also give off the wrong impression in conversations, which can creates undue stress. For example, if a male manager asks about the personal lives of his male colleagues but fails to engage with the women he works with, that could create a hostile work environment.
Another common problem is simply failing to express gratitude. Bosses who demand the world and then don’t take the time to acknowledge a job well done can seriously dampen the motivation of their employees. This leads to turnover and disengaged teams.
Through effective leadership development, every manager can become a more effective communicator. Good professional development starts with effective assessment. By gaining an objective perspective of your unique talents, strengths and potential vulnerabilities, you can create a platform from which for enhancing your leadership effectiveness. Without a good starting point, you might strengthen skills that are already well developed and overlook weaknesses that you aren’t even aware of.
As I like to say, you can never be perfect, but you can always be better. By building on your strengths and identifying any weaknesses, you can boost morale, reduce stress, and improve your company’s bottom line.