A common question that we hear from our clients is “how do I establish myself as a leader in a new company or role?” Establishing leadership and credibility takes dedication and time, but done correctly, it can result in a better work environment for you and your colleagues. Here are a few tips to get you started.
It is better to be fair, than to be liked.
If you’ve moved into a management position, you’ve probably built strong relationships during your tenure and you don't want to damage those relationships now. Yet it's more important to be fair than to be liked. We suggest you consider each person's competencies and supervise accordingly. You should be more involved when someone is learning a new skill, and begin to let go as they become more proficient. The more flexible your management style, the more you will connect with your former peers.
Find your voice and have more impact.
Finding the right tone when speaking to your colleagues and subordinates is crucial to build credibility and respect. If you speak in a monotone voice, others may tune you out or worse, see it as lack of passion and not respect you as a leader. Use your voice. Show your passion. And have more impact.
Provide useful feedback.
Feedback is an important part of both leadership and relationship building within a company. If someone is working on a project, you should offer feedback at the midpoint and end of the project. Praise the person's successes and efforts, and address areas of disappointment or concern. Keep your discussion of the issues specific and objective. For less experienced people offer more feedback to build their confidence.
Apologize when you’ve made a mistake.
You may find that at some point in your career, you’ll need to apologize for some sort of miscommunication. The ability to deliver a well-executed apology is essential to your career and life. It establishes your credibility and helps others trust you.
Establishing leadership and credibility doesn’t happen overnight, so take the time to perfect these four tips and be patient as you build your relationships. Do you have additional tips for establishing leadership and credibility? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author
Karen Rodriguez is a passionate marketer, designer, and communicator. With over 15 years of experience, Karen manages Exec|Comm’s global brand including their online presence, web-based learning center, advertising, PR, classroom materials, and live special events. She manages the firm’s blog, The Chat, and lunch & learn series, The Learning Exchange as well as the delivery and expansion of Exec|Comm’s open-enrollment seminars in Chicago, Dallas, New York, San Francisco, and San Jose. Karen holds a BFA from Parsons, The New School for Design in New York City. She lives in Aberdeen, NJ, with her husband and three sons.