3 Fundamental Ways to have Respect as a Leader

3 Fundamental Ways to have Respect as a Leader

When you think of a stereotypical ‘boss’, what comes to mind is a demonic, tyrannical, hard-nosed behemoth of a man, sat in a lavish office on the top floor dressed in a £2,000 suit, whilst barking demands that are probably just as unreasonable as this stereotype I’m describing now.

Of course in reality, many bosses are hard but fair, seldom warranting complaints. It’s a difficult job, having to lead and manage people. I suppose that’s why it’s not for everyone.

Leading people is one of the most crucial aspects of management, and a deciding factor in how well people will work for you is how much they respect you.

Often, it’s a delicate balance, and that’s what we’re going to look at in this post.

 

it’s a delicate balance

  • Be strong

It goes without saying that if you’re a pushover, your staff will begin to take advantage of you and won’t respect your authority. While you don’t want to be a dictator, you do have to show that you are the boss, and ultimately you make the decisions. Stick with them even if they aren’t the popular choice, after all – you’re the one in charge.

  • But be human too

As stated above, you don’t want to come across as a ruler in a totalitarian regime. It’s important to assert authority but showing a human side goes a long way to your staff respecting you as a person. Be available to them for anything they might have to say, and don’t be afraid of sometimes doing work assigned to them. Certainly in my experience, I often helped with tasks that I gave to my staff, to show them that what I was asking wasn’t unreasonable. Which leads me onto…

  • Team ethic

Instilling a team mentality is crucial to gaining your staff’s respect. While you may be above them in terms of hierarchy, you’re still one part of a much bigger chain. Making your staff aware of this makes them feel valued and improves respect all around the team. It also helps eliminate the outdated ‘us and them’ mentality towards management and staff.

The importance of respect cannot be understated; it is often the difference between an efficient team and a not so efficient one, and therefore your effectiveness as a leader. Implementing these characteristics in your work life is the start to having better respect in the workplace.

What tactics do you employ to gain respect from your staff? Do you have any stories about workplace respect that you’d like to share? If so, let us know in the comments below!

The Importance of Communication

The Importance of Communication

I recently worked for six months as a trainee manager in a high street retail store. Without naming the organisation, it was real busy – it continues to thrive in a recession-hit market, and the job was demanding in many ways. After all, it is retail.

I saw a lot during my six months (some good – some bad), and learned a lot too. One of the most important things that became apparent (and should really be more obvious than it is) is how important communication is, as this was one area that I felt was sorely lacking amongst my management colleagues.

Whether you are only one small cog in a large organisation like I was, or you’re leading a team of just two or three in your new business ventures, communication is absolutely vital in your business.

  • Everyone is on the same page.

A fundamental of communication in the work place is to get everyone aboard the same boat. Is your goal to achieve X amount of sales numbers in the coming month? Communicate this to your staff and make sure they know to push sales. Perhaps you feel you need to bring more clients to your business, your staff won’t know unless you tell them. It ensures you attain your goals, and helps keep your staff feeling involved in the larger picture which is a good morale booster for them. They’ll feel valued as opposed to being just another employee. Talk to your staff. And often.

  • Key information gets relayed.

One thing that really shocked me during my six months as a trainee was how often one of my colleagues didn’t know about a key task, or one of their staff earning promotion and thus being able to get some kind of cover for the now vacant role left behind. In a place where there were 16 members on the management team, how information like this got left out was beyond me. There were weekly management meetings, but in an organisation as fast paced as the one I was in, you can’t always rely on them. It comes back to the importance of keeping your peers and staff ‘in the loop’. Keep everyone on the same path and communicate key pieces of information to avoid conflicts.

  • Opportunity to instil correct work ethic.

Part of your job as a business owner or manager will be motivating your staff. We all hate Monday mornings, but how are you going to reinvigorate that enthusiasm tosuit_and_tie work? One way you can do this is by being enthusiastic yourself, and getting it to ‘rub off’ onto your work force. I say this from one of my more pleasant experiences. Before I was on management, my direct superior for around two years was extremely driven, never sat still and communicated well with us. Did this have an effect? Of course! Tasks were completed well ahead of schedule and generally team morale was at a high. Safe to say that when he went on to bigger and better things, standards dropped on my department and it was no coincidence. You as a leader have more power and control than what your job title suggests. Your actions and words heavily influence the productivity of your team, so use this wisely and set the standard for your staff to follow.

  • Efficiency of work tasks

This is a kind of blend or end result of the above three points. Regular communication ensures a much higher efficiency of work. There is less ambiguity between you and your staff, they become clear on what they need to do, and they also get an idea of the what standard you require from them. All of this adds up to a much more efficient workplace which is good for you and your business.

  • Higher quality end product

A key part of communication is the delegation of tasks. You can’t do everything yourself, neither can you entrust the bulk of your workload to your one or two most able staff. Spreading the load of work means a longer amount of time spent per task. No doubt this will lead to a higher quality end product for you, whether it means more sales or a happy client. Trust in your staff plays a part here too, and one way to build that is – you guessed it – communication!file_documents

  • Essential for learning and development

As a business owner or manager, you’re going to have people coming and going, how often will depend on the size of your operations. Sometimes you will have new staff and other times you might even have new members of the management team like I was. In this situation there is always going to be a learning process involved. As a senior/experienced member, it will be your job to provide adequate training – your new starter won’t learn quickly enough unless you communicate the relevant info to them. Leaving them to their own devices is bad for their development and counter productive to the efficiency of your work. Growing your team is vital for your business to thrive, so this learning process will be integral to your success.

These points are but a few of the key reasons why communication is such a basic yet fundamental part of the workplace. Your voice is more than just the words that come out of your mouth, so remember this and use it wisely – your business will benefit from it.

How has communication helped you in your own ventures or career? Got any stories to share where communication served a key part? Perhaps you have some more reasons why it is so important? Leave your comments below – we’d love to hear your stories here at Biz Gazette!

Are you looking after your work machines?

Are you looking after your work machines?

Whether you are a start up, or have been in business for decades, modern enterprises require the use of computers. Email is an invaluable communication tool, and basic office software makes completing day-to-day business tasks an ease.

Computers have become essential to our everyday lives, but are you looking after your equipment?

Most businesses will opt for Windows powered hardware due to their lower prices and accessibility. Did you know you have a number of basic inbuilt programs to help maintain your machine?

Pointing your mouse towards the start button and navigating your way to All Programs, then to Accessories, and finally System Tools, you have access to a plethora of utilities to keep your machine fresh.

  • Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup works by highlighting excess and unnecessary data from your hard drive. It scans junk files dumped by programs, cached Internet pages, your recycle bin etc, and gives you the option to delete from any, or all, of the areas scanned.

  • Navigate your way to the Disk cleanup using the directory above.
  • Let the program calculate how much space it can recover.
  • Tick the boxes from wherever you want to delete the excess.
  • Click ‘OK’ to start the deleting process.

The whole process takes less than a couple of minutes and is a really easy way of gaining back a lot of disk space.

  • Disk Defragmenter

Defragmenting your disk takes slightly longer but helps drastically improve performance. This process involves taking all the data on your disk and storing it in one big chunk. Think of it as if you were baking a cake and you stored all your ingredients in one place rather than scattered all over your kitchen; it’ll make for a much quicker process! Depending on how much data is on your hard drive it can take a few hours, but the benefits are worth it.

  • Open up the disk defragmenter.
  • Click on Defragment disk, it will start analysing disk space and work out what it can and can’t move.
  • Wait until it’s done!
  • Task Manager

The task manager is often a get out of jail card for non-responsive programs that have crashed. You can also use it to speed up your machine though be warned, fiddling with processes you aren’t familiar with can cause system errors so proceed with caution.

Each task carried out by your machine is listed in the task manager. From here you can choose to close any given process depending if you need it or if it using too much processing power and is causing slowdown.

  • Open Task Manager by either right clicking on an empty part of your taskbar and clicking ‘Task manager’, or by pressing ‘Ctrl+Alt+Del’ and clicking it from there.
  • Click the tab labelled ‘Processes’.
  • Find any processes that you are absolutely sure as to what they are (I cannot stress this enough), and click end process with them highlighted to close them.

An example would be say ‘chrome.exe’ which is of course Google Chrome. You might not need this open but it has a habit of staying open in the background.

Regularly performing these scans can help preserve the life of your machine, and increase productivity in the work place. Keeping on top of maintenance for your Windows machine is a simple affair as these tools come preinstalled on every copy of Windows 7, they’re included in later editions of Windows too but most businesses still use the 7th iteration of Windows.

Got any more tips to help with PC performance? Perhaps you have a story about a computer problem you encountered? We’d love to hear about it! Leave them in the comments below!