Leadership can sometimes conjure up images of someone sitting on a cloud, whilst their team is below them sweating away, but a true leader will be with their team. They will not be distant. They will not be barking out orders from an office. They will not be micro-managing them. They will be coaching them to the best of their ability in order to bring out their strengths.

It can be easy to fall into negative patterns, and isolate your team through ill-thought practices, but here are 5 tips to keep your team on your side.

  1. Praise publically
Your team are your greatest asset. Without them, you will not have a business. People like praise. And telling someone that they are doing a good job will motivate them to do more. Now, I’m not saying praise for the sake of it. But it’s important to make your team feel appreciated, and to say thank you when they have done a piece of work well. Take the time to tell them why you appreciate what they did. It could be because of the way that they handled a client, or a project that they managed well. Praise in public.
  1. Correct in private
There is nothing worse than a team member feeling humiliated in front of others. It can knock their self-esteem, and it can make other team members think about them in a negative light. Everyone needs correction, but often it’s not what we say, it’s how we say it. Correcting in public will scare people. It will isolate your team, it will isolate the person that is being corrected and it will not promote harmony. Always correct in private.
  1. Speak their language
No, I don’t mean become a wise cracking, thigh slapping and jovial leader. I mean come down to their level. Some of the greatest leaders in history have led with compassion, and they have met people where they are. A true leader does not need to exert their authority all the time. They should be secure enough in their role. Let your team feel that they can relate to you, but let there be that unseen line where they know and respect your headship.
  1. Have a solid vision
As a leader, you need to create a vision for your business or department and your team needs to be signed up to it. You can never take people where they don’t want to go. If your vision is not clear, your business will have no direction. Create a solid vision and mission statement, and hire people that have the fire, passion and determination to make the vision happen. It becomes easier to lead when people believe in where you want to go.
  1. Have away days
My team and I have regular away days. I plan at least 2 a year. Away days are essential for motivation, and strategising. Coming out of your environment and going in to an environment where there are facilitators and activities can promote team work. It will revitalise your team for the next phrase.

If you feel that your team are not performing as well as they could be, your leadership style might be scaring them. The tips above should help you to coach them to success.

By Mavis Amankwah, award-winning entrepreneur, founder of Rich Visions