Quick Tips! 3 Things Leaders Should Avoid Doing

Videos June 16, 2020

When it comes to advice on what leaders can do to better serve their employees and staff, there are more than enough resources out there. So, rather than addressing what you could be doing as a leader, in this Quick Tips! video, Interact’s President Cheryl Broom has advice on what three things you should AVOID doing to help inspire your team members to do their best work.

Hi, I’m Cheryl Broom, president of Interact Communications, and today I’m coming to you from Phoenix, Arizona, where I’m meeting with a group of agency owners from across the United States and we’re talking about ways that we can better serve our clients and better serve our employees. One of the conversations that always comes up is how each of us can be better leaders and managers within our organization. And there are so many books and articles and podcasts around leadership, so I didn’t think I wanted to really talk about what you should be doing to be a better manager, a better leader. I really thought I could focus on three things that you should avoid doing if you want to provide the type of leadership to your team that really inspires them to do their best work. These are three things that I’ve learned throughout my career, both supervising 150 senior citizens as one of my first jobs, later out of college with a full staff, and now at Interact Communications where I work with a fantastic team of people.

Three things, three recommendations that I think that you should stop doing in order to be a better leader. First, don’t trap yourself in meetings all day. I know, especially at a college campus, you’re serving on committees. You’re constantly in meetings, but the one thing that we hear from employees and staff more than anything is they want more time from you. They want to see you more. They want to talk to you more. They want your strategic insights and your thinking. If you’re trapped in meetings or on email all day, you’re not going to be available to your staff, so try to get some time on the calendar where your door is open, where you wander the hallways, where you pop in, where you talk to people. Let them see you more and be around you more so that they know you better and can get the type of feedback that they’re seeking.

Secondly, don’t overlook their career and their aspirations. Yeah, you might have some people on your staff where there is no career trajectory for them. There’s no promotion they’re going to get, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have goals and that they don’t need your support in reaching them. One of the things I really like to do with my staff is to schedule monthly one-on-one meetings. These are just a half an hour. We have a brief agenda. They set a quarterly goal and they come in, they talk to me about their quarterly goal, the progress they’ve made, any hiccups they’ve had, support they need. It’s a time where we just focus on them and their aspirations so we can help develop their growth as a professional. Don’t forget that they have aspirations and goals too.

And finally, and for me, this is the most important, don’t forget that your staff are people too. I’ve worked for a boss before who really only cared about the work that I did, had no, didn’t care about who I was as a person. And that actually ended up making me want to leave the organization. Our staff are people. Get to know them. You don’t have to go party with them on Friday night, but celebrate their birthdays or congratulate them. Show gratitude for who they are as human beings, not just at work, but for the accomplishments that they’ve made outside of work too.

Three things that I’ve learned on how to become a better leader or better manager in your organization is to make yourself available to your team, to remember that they have their own aspirations and goals and really to celebrate them and get to know them as people. And I think if you do those three things then you’re on your way to becoming the best leader that you can be as well. That’s my quick tips for the day. I hope you enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing you next time. Bye.