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"How you can be a more present leader" with Rosa Ponce de Leon, Leadership Strategist

How you can be a more present leader

“Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company.” – Zig Ziglar

Being a present leader doesn’t equate to giving your team all the answers. While it’s tempting to solve problems for them, by doing so, you take away their satisfaction of solving the problem. And you could miss out on a really great solution…

How to be more present for your employees

Resist the urge to fix everything. Instead help your team work through the problem. Not only will everyone understand the problem better, your employees will be able to come to a better solution since they are more intimately acquainted with the problem.

Patience is key here. If you don’t slow down, you remain in crisis mode. You’re stressed out and irritable, and so is your team. Be known as the person that lets people slow down to catch their breath. This shows that you’re sensitive to their needs and creates a better solution. 

Remember, your employee is the best person to give the solution since they are involved in the day-to-day details. Sometimes they need you as the leader to come in with an outside point of view to help them sort through it.

Do you really need to have all the answers? No. And employees don’t want you to either…

Humility in leadership is huge. Imagine how stressful it would be if you were expected to know everything. You hired a team of people with complementary skills because knowing every facet of your business is impossible. You are not expected to have all of the answers.

Let your team come up with the solution. People need to feel needed and appreciated. So go ahead, give them the satisfaction of being the hero. Not only will this improve morale, it frees you up to focus on the bigger picture of running your business.

It’s more important to ask the right questions to encourage understanding and creativity in problem solving.

As the leader, it’s your job to remain objective. Ask questions to understand, but be careful not to strip your employees of their decisions.

Start by being a good sounding board. Really listen and again, resist the urge to fix the problem yourself. Instead give them the discretion to solve the problem. Ask them what THEY think is needed. 

Your employee might come up with their own course of action that could be very different than yours. Their solution does not need to mirror what you as the leader would do. Newsflash, the leader does not know more than the employee! 

Your employees are the ones best suited to solve the problem. Remind them that they know better than you. Let go and give them autonomy. They shouldn’t come to you for approval, but to share their solution. Even if you disagree, it’s important to respect their decision. Overruling them should be the exception.

In conclusion, being a present leader doesn’t mean you are micromanaging every aspect of your team. It’s giving them permission to do what you hired them to do. You hired them for a reason. So step back and give them a chance to shine. Chances are you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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