One of the things that you will discover upon becoming a leader is that you will likely become responsible for other people. This may include both their successes and failures. Keep in mind that when those who are under use succeed we do as well. As such, you want to be able to motivate and inspire others as effectively as possible. There are two main ways that you can accomplish this – by getting to know your subordinates well and by developing a strong understanding of their strengths and their perspectives.
Getting to know your people well includes both as individuals and as the position holders that they are. If you don’t know those who are working for you how can you know what to expect out of them? Sure, you might have various policies and procedures in place to help set the bar, but those are impersonal at best. You need that level of understanding to know whether or not those policies and procedures are realistic or effective.
As a leader you must be prepared to educate and train your people helping them to develop talents. To do so you must understand their motivations, capabilities, important issues, and aspirations just to name a few areas of importance. Leading people doesn’t mean bossing them around. It does mean that you act as a teacher, helper, demonstrator, developer, and builder. You make sure that people know how to do what is expected, help them to reach their potential, and build relationships based on understanding and respect.
You must be the best leader – and person – possible so that you will be able to help those around you achieve the same. After you get to know your people well, you can then begin working on two very important aspects: perspective and competence. An individual’s perspective is how they evaluate a situation or message given their own personality, experience, wants or needs. Everyone has a unique perspective each of which can be shaped by an almost limitless list of variables. One’s culture, familial norms, beliefs, values, age and more can all play a huge role in how they perceive events et al that are going on in their professional and personal lives.
Competence quite simply means the individual’s ability to succeed at tasks given them in their current role. When you add an individual’s past experiences, training, education, abilities and other such attributes you will get an idea of their level of competence. Competence should play a huge role in your decision making process. The only way to truly understand one’s competence however is to have a good working relationship with them. You have to know them well. When you don’t know your people you may be prone to making bad judgment calls when deciding where to utilize them.
People tend to work best when they know what they must accomplish, how it is expected to be done and just what they are doing. They need proper leadership. By understanding people you will be better prepared to adapt your personal leadership style to suit their needs and thereby offer the guidance that they need.