INC.com wrote an article that contains 20 ways you can be a better leader at work today. Here are my top 3 favorites:
Ask personal questions & Start Your Meetings by Sharing Something Personal
One of my greatest challenges as a leader had to do with my introverted personality. I didn’t share enough about myself, my family life, and my aspirations for the team. (I’ve since realized how being hyper-focused and analytical by nature also helped me get promoted and were probably my greatest strengths.) I wish I had tried to understand my team’s personal motivations more and relate on a personal level. It’s okay to get personal–just not too personal. There’s no need to explain how the dog is sick or how your car is on the fritz. That’s not what I mean. In a meeting, it’s okay to quickly share a few personal tidbits about your kids or a recent vacation. Don’t just jump right into the budget report or the customer wins. Let your employees know more about you and that you exist as a person outside of work. They will know you are human.
Analyze first, then act
It takes time to collect information, and there’s a sense in leadership that you need to move quickly. We are paid to respond and act, not to sit back and wait for someone else to solve problems. Yet I made the mistake of acting before analyzing. In a few cases, I even approved projects, new hires, and direction before getting 100% of the data.
Apologize without hesitation
It took many years for me to realize how saying “I’m sorry” can help. For years, I thought leadership meant insulating myself from my subordinates and hiding any weaknesses. If I made a mistake, I’d pretend it was just a misunderstanding or someone else’s fault. If you fess up quickly, people working for you will respect you more and follow directions.