Manage Your Business
3 simple changes that will improve your leadership style
Mel Robbins is a motivational speaker and CEO of The Confidence Project, a media and digital learning company working with Fortune 500 brands, and the author of "The 5 Second Rule," the No. 1 audiobook of 2017. An expert on change, human behavior, and mindset, her social media platform reaches 20 million people a month. Robbins has provided this content exclusively for Chase.
Leading a team is an art and a science.
Luckily, researchers at Google and Facebook have conducted extensive studies to determine the most effective leadership strategies, allowing us to tap into their data and discover the three simple changes that will improve the effectiveness and the performance of the teams you manage.
1. Support your team, don't lead them
Recently, leaders at Facebook shared some really fascinating strategies that they use. It all starts with a critical mentality shift.
Managers don't "lead" teams at Facebook, they "support" them. Here's one thing you can do to immediately increase your effectiveness with your team:
Stop saying you "lead" a team.
Instead, teach yourself to say you support a team. This one-word shift, from lead to support, alters how you view your role as a leader and changes everything.
Try it for one week. Whenever you are about to say "the team I lead," catch yourself and shift your attention. Never doubt that it's the smallest changes that make the biggest impact—even something as simple as changing one word.
2. Encourage and welcome escalation
A study found that 85 percent of employees are withholding critical feedback from their bosses.
We only do what we feel like. And if people at work feel like they'll get in trouble if they come to you with an issue, or that it's futile, they won't come.
Without open and transparent communication, there is little room for innovation, collaboration, and engagement with your employees.
A few years ago, Google embarked on an initiative to study hundreds of internal teams and figure out why some teams rock and others fail.
As Google crunched the data, a concept called "psychological safety" emerged and it is one of the most important things their leaders now focus on creating. It means you operate in a manner that people feel safe coming to you with problems, challenges, and improvements.
There are two simple things you can do that create psychological safety. First, encourage and welcome escalation and concerns by showing appreciation when it happens. Second, ensure that everyone talks in meetings.
3. Everyone's opinion matters
Remember, your job isn't to lead the team, but rather to support them. And that means removing the obstacles that are in your team's way. One of the biggest obstacles you can remove is the fact that many of your team members are holding themselves back.
You are going to make sure that everyone talks and contributes in meetings.
Whenever you hold a meeting, try this:
- Make a list of everyone attending.
- Place a check mark next to people's names when they talk.
- As the same extroverts start to speak again, engage the "quiet people" by asking them for their input.
By giving someone a push to become more visible and showing interest in their inputs, you are making them know that they matter. Through this experiment, meetings will spur collaboration and open communication.
As a leader, if you pay attention to these few things, you'll not only increase your effectiveness—you'll be changing the way your team works together.
Mel Robbins is a motivational speaker and CEO of The Confidence Project.