How to Be an Effective Leader in Your Small Business

Multiethnic group of happy young business people holding tablet

The thought of being a leader can seem quite daunting to many people. After all, positions of leadership typically mean heavier responsibilities. With everyone looking to you for direction and guidance, the responsibility to make sure that you steer them in the right direction can be nerve-wracking. 

Although it is true that not everyone is a natural born leader, taking on a leadership role doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. There are some skills that anyone can develop in order to become an effective leader in the workplace.

#1 Communicate with everyone in the workplace 

Communication, by definition, is the relaying of messages by interacting ideas, pieces of information, signs, and letters to another person. Now, in order for a small business to run properly, communication must happen not only from the leader to the people, but also from the people to the leader. Leaders can only make sound, educated decisions when they can grasp the full context of a situation, which means they need input from everyone.

One way to do this is to reach out to the people you’re working with. Check their progress with the work they have been given and get feedback from them. In order to establish rapport, it’s also important that you let them know how well they are doing as you fill them in on what’s going on with the company.

Speaking from a personal experience, this is a great way to get to know who leads the company you are working for. You get a closer look on how things are, how well you are performing with the job assigned to you and even, know the points for improvement. With that level of communication, not only are you helping yourself to develop and be a better employee but also honing the top management to become better leaders of the company.

Not all interactions need to be face to face, though that is the most ideal form of communication. Small businesses could also make use of communication apps like Hangouts, Skype and Hipchat. These are quick, effective resources for ideas to be shared with the whole team. You may also consider reaching out to a third-party for help in this area. At Tuxedo Impressions LLC™ we strengthen teams by establishing business processes that will empower your employees to control internal communication. This helps to minimize the gap of communication.

#2 Recognize your flaws

Nobody’s perfect.

This is a saying that almost everybody in this world knows to be true. In regards to running a small business, no successful person is perfect. Almost every success comes with struggles, failures, and mistakes. What matters most is how you bounce back from those mistakes. Every failure can serve to become a teachable moment that will make you a better person, let alone a better leader, if you are open to learning from them.

When we recognize our flaws and accept the constructive criticism of others, it is a way of being human. Why is this important? Because most employees actually need to know that the person they’re following is not a machine or a robot. They need to know that you understand what it’s like to make mistakes so that when they make mistakes of their own, you can empathize with them instead of berating them.

Accepting your shortcomings as a leader can also open you up to new possibilities in partnerships. When you know that you are weak in a particular area, you should seek out the help of someone who is stronger in that area. Chances are, that as that person is helping you, you may discover areas where you can be of service to them as well.

#3 Attend workshops

Attending workshops, conferences or trainings can not only boost your leadership skills, but they can allow you to get to know the experts in your field. It is never a bad idea to find people who have already gone where you want to go and then follow in their footsteps. Workshops contain an abundance of such people, both on stage and off. There are ideas that these fellow leaders may share that may be beneficial to your small business, so attend these gatherings with the intention to grow!

As honest as I can be, I love joining workshops. Not only that I could learn something new every time I attend one but I also get to meet people who may have the same struggles as I did. It’s a place where we could learn from each other and even meet new people. My favorite thing about workshops is that it’s a place where no titles exist. You are there to learn, it’s a plus if you have gained friends along the way.

These are just three of many skills that you can begin to implement in your workplace. They may not seem like much, but being a leader doesn’t actually require much more than this. As long as you practice good communication with your employees, utilize your weaknesses to your advantage, and seek advice from other professionals, you’re well on your way to have this leadership thing down!

So, have you been doing some of these already? Let us know in the comments.

~ Maria Kristine, Team Tuxedo Impressions LLC™