To light a fire under employees – and keep it burning – be an inspiration.
Employees with inspirational bosses are engaged, productive, reliable and loyal, a Gallup poll found.
Almost all of those who don’t have an encouraging boss are actively disengaged.
How can you inspire employees? Here’s what inspirational bosses have in common:
1) Bring people together
Employees must work together. However, inspirational leaders bring them together to build a successful team.
Tip: Help employees strengthen relationships and expand connections by getting to know them individually, and then connecting people with common interests.
2) Make connections that last
The best bosses make it a point to remember people they’ve met and worked with, plus details about them. Then they periodically check in.
Tip: Maintain connections with current and past colleagues and employees – by something as little as re-tweeting their post or as big as suggesting lunch – to show you’re interested in their lives and success.
3) Believe people are good
Inspirational bosses come into most situations believing those they deal with are good and are working to be better. With a positive approach, they have more successes.
Tip: Start negotiations and other difficult conversations with that in mind.
4) Invite disagreement
Because inspirational bosses believe people are good, they invite and consider different points of view. They listen to understand and don’t spend the bulk of their time trying to convince others that they’re right.
Tip: Recognize that the best outcomes start with discussions, not arguments.
5) Act fearlessly
The best leaders move forward even-keeled, even when they’re scared of unknown outcomes and failure. Having a plan – even when it must be concocted quickly – helps them be the calm in a storm.
Tip: When faced with complications, identify the goal, take small steps, evaluate the outcome of each, adjust if necessary and move on.
6) Dedicate yourself
Inspirational leaders aren’t deterred by popular opinions. They stay confident in their beliefs, explain why those are important and act in ways that reflect those beliefs.
Tip: Regularly remind your team and yourself of the current and long-term goals, why they’re important and how you’ll achieve them.
7) Show gratitude
The best bosses don’t brag about their achievements, nor do they wallow in their losses. They’re grateful for what they were able to achieve and happy to celebrate what others have done.
Tip: Share praise and thanks with everyone who was involved when you met a goal or received recognition.
8) Tell a good story
Inspirational leaders work at being good storytellers.
Tip: Take true stories from your life – experienced or witnessed – and turn them into motivational messages.
Sources: Gallup, and “10 Strategies of Highly Inspirational People,” by Barry Moltz.
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