It used to be that managers and leaders were expected to be intimidating, to lead with an iron fist and to take no prisoners. But times have changed, and these days employees want to be led by someone that inspires them, someone who is approachable and that they can learn valuable skills from. Particularly in this uncertain climate, employees need to look to their leader for assurance, as well as inspiration.

Show humility
A recent study by the US National Institute of Health, revealed that leaders that displayed humility led to higher levels of information sharing among a team. “Information sharing in important for promoting problem solving,” said the authors. Showing humility also encourages team members to come to their leader with any concerns, problems or grievances.

Behave the way you want your team to
Want to create an environment of hostility and tension? Then behave that way. But, on the flipside, being open, encouraging and aware of your team’s strengths and assisting them on developing the skills of overcome their weaknesses, will ensure that your team reacts in a positive manner. “Even with a clear idea of your company’s winning behavioral signature, leaders need to develop new ways of operating,” says Eric Garton of the Harvard Business review. “We found that leaders who both inspire people and generate results find ways to constructively disrupt established behaviors to help employees break out of culture-weakening routines.”

That means listening as well as giving instructions. “Inspirational leaders truly listen to what is said to them and respond appropriately, instead of letting it go in one ear and out the other,” says business consultant Murray Newstaadt. “Practice an open door policy to receive your team’s feedback and encourage them to contribute to the common goal. This imbues the company with a shared sense of value because everyone participates and everyone is important.”


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