A leader’s goal is to create the best working environment for their employees to produce the best product. Companies have begun investing more into their employee’s professional growth and recognize the benefits of personal connections to keep their employees working at their best. Sometimes, as leaders, we don’t realize that some of the friction we experience in the workplace can come from how we talk to our employees and not what we ask of them. Here are three tips on how we can better communicate with our employees and be a better leader.
1. Never Raise Your Voice
People naturally match our tone, body language, and expressions, which is known in psychology as “mirroring.” Employees who mirror your tone will naturally raise their voice when you do and can possibly create a confrontational or tense situation, which is not healthy for the work environment. Leaders who keep calm and confident when they speak and maintain respectful speech often receive the best results and a loyal team. If you ever feel the need to pull rank, recognize that it reflects insecurity and calls your credibility as a leader into question. Confidence and temperament is key to leading a productive team.
2. Give Every Member of Your Team the Same Level of Respect
From the janitor to the CEO, treat all members of your team the same. Special treatment often creates resentment and that kind of negativity can interfere with workflow. Your main goal as a leader is to influence your team to maintain the highest level of productivity as possible, which means you have to give respect as well as get it. When you treat the entire team with respect and appreciation, they will reciprocate and work harder for you because they want to maintain that mutual level of respect.
3. Use Small Gestures to Show Appreciation
Many leaders demonstrate their appreciation with small gestures, like buying their team lunch or giving them a gift card after completing a big project. Employees don’t work for these rewards, but for the recognition. Whether you show them appreciation by giving them a gift, publically lauding them, or just saying “thank you” is enough to boost morale and keep your team working hard.
As a leader, your team relies on you to create a successful environment. We often focus on the big picture to accomplish our goals, but paying attention to your basic interaction with your team can build strong individual and group relationships. It all starts from the top. With these tips, you will help contribute to a work culture people want to be in because you recognize hard work and demonstrate mutual respect. Build a team and culture that people want to work for.