The term “leader” does not just apply to managers, directors or bosses. At any company, big or small, employees should always strive to be leaders. Not only will being a leader get you noticed by the right people and help to advance your career, it’ll help you build relationships with your peers, bring you a newfound confidence, and allow you to excel in your chosen industry.
If you’re not a natural-born leader, that’s OK. There are still some techniques that you can regularly use in the workplace to begin exuding the qualities of leadership, says Colorado State University in a recent blog on the topic, including like confidence, integrity and good work ethic. Here are some things you can put into practice the next time you’re presented with an opportunity. And remember, all employees – whether you’re an entry-level worker or a manager – have the capacity and responsibility to be leaders in the workplace.
Have you ever heard the expression, “The squeaky wheel gets oiled”? Well, we don’t suggest that you become a squeaky wheel, but make sure your questions are heard, says the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. It can be intimidating to speak up in a meeting, or even in a casual conversation with a number of colleagues if you’re not too sure what you’re talking about, but remember this: if you are confused and have a question, other people around you probably do, too. A person with leadership qualities will take the first step and ask the question to get the conversation started.
Have Regular Progress Meetings
It’s important to touch base with your manager or supervisor on a regular basis to check in about your progress and performance at the company. If you don’t have regular progress meetings planned with your supervisor, ask if you can set these up on a recurring basis. The first meeting can be to discuss your goals and what you hope to accomplish over the next few months. The next meeting can be a check-in to follow up on that list of goals.
Progress meetings will give you a concrete set of goals that you can work towards in the coming months that can help to keep you focused and moving forward. Plus, these meetings are a great chance for you to have more face time with your supervisor, which will allow you both an opportunity to get to know each other. It’s important for you and your supervisor to feel comfortable with each other, especially if you work together closely.
Be Open to Criticism
With these progress meetings will come feedback – both good and bad. We’re all human, and it can be hard to hear negative feedback or criticisms. A leader in the workplace, though, knows that performance evaluations and criticisms can only serve to make you a better employee. When a supervisor or manager at work critiques you, be open to hearing what they are saying. You should always keep in mind that any feedback is not personal, but is most often intended to help you work more efficiently, effectively or smartly. Work to understand what your supervisor is saying and apply his or her advice to your work moving forward.
Once you’re comfortable asking lots of questions and are having regular progress meetings with your manager or supervisor, it might be a good time to ask for more responsibility, suggests Forbes. It will show your superiors that you are invested in your job and your career, and lets them know that you’re capable of handling more than what is already on your plate.
But remember, this method is only effective if you follow through with what you ask. If you’re swamped on a regular basis and don’t have the time to take on more work, don’t ask for it yet. Wait until things settle down for you or become a little easier to manage.
Don’t second-guess yourself, says The Muse: you were hired for a reason, and if your boss trusts you to do your job, you should trust yourself, too. Don’t shy away from stepping up with your ideas or concerns at the office. If you have ideas, share them. If you have questions, ask them. You will get noticed for being confident in yourself and your work, and if your ideas result in new initiatives or offers or your questions prevent serious problems from occurring further down the workflow, you can point to those achievements in your further conversations with management.
Ask for a Promotion
With your new confidence, when the time is right, ask for a promotion. Forbes says that you should ask for an open conversation with your supervisor or manager, letting him or her know that you’re interested in a promotion. Don’t be too forceful, but make sure that your intentions are clear. You also don’t necessarily need to wait until your review meeting to have this conversation. If you feel that you are ready and deserving of a promotion, bring it to your boss’s attention.
If you want to succeed in your chosen industry, leadership skills are a must. Leaders have confidence, integrity, a good work ethic and excellent communication skills – all of which are traits that any employer wants to have in their employees. Even if you’re only an entry-level employee right now, someday you may be managing other people, and it’s important to show your boss that you’re capable of doing so. Apply these methods to your workday routine, and before you know it, you’ll be developing the right kind of leadership skills – and your boss will definitely notice.
While these tips are a great way to help clear the path toward success in the office, actually clearing the office is what Environmental Cleaning Services excels at. With more than 40 years of experience providing janitorial services to clients throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we’re the trusted name in clean throughout the region. To learn more or to discuss your needs and receive a free quote, call us today at 214-526-6814.