Successful leaders have the ability to transform their organizations by inspiring teams, increasing engagement, and driving productivity. Leaders account for 70% of the variance in team engagement levels, which is a powerful incentive to swot up on the best leadership techniques!
Ultimately, great leaders are the keys that unlock high performing teams. And becoming a great leader starts with building an understanding of the techniques of those at the top of their game.
Think Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, or either of the Obamas. What leadership techniques are they all using to be so influential and inspiring?
This blog explores the techniques that successful leaders use to engage their teams, create a more positive work environment and accelerate their careers.
Let’s get started.
What Are Leadership Techniques?
Leadership techniques are approaches and ways of working that effective leaders use to inspire, empower and motivate their teams. Regardless of their preferred style of leadership, there are certain techniques that many successful leaders have in common.
10 Most Effective Leadership Techniques
- Adopt A Growth Mindset
- Embrace Flexibility and Adaptability
- Communicate Clearly and Regularly
- Actively Listen
- Delegate Effectively
- Trust Your Team
- Be Accountable
- Recognize Success
- Ensure Strategic Alignment
- Build Your Team
Let’s jump into 10 of the best leadership techniques to practice and master!!
1. Adopt A Growth Mindset
“The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have” - Sheryl Sandberg
A growth mindset is one of the most powerful leadership techniques. In her book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”, psychologist Carol Dweck introduced ‘growth’ and ‘fixed’ mindsets. She suggested that those with a growth mindset believe they can develop their talents and build strengths through hard work and consistent effort.
The best leaders get to the top by continuously learning, developing, and evolving. They learn from mistakes, encourage team members to grow, and embrace challenges.
2. Embrace Flexibility and Adaptability
"Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change. A company that stands still will soon be forgotten.” - Richard Branson
Along with having a growth mindset, the ability to embrace flexibility and adaptability is a technique that successful leaders have mastered.
Change is constant and inevitable, so leaders need to be able to swifty adapt and steer their teams in different directions in response to business needs.
3. Communicate Clearly and Regularly
Effective communication is an essential foundation of engagement, and communicating clearly and regularly is a technique that impactful leaders use.
When a leader communicates well, their team members feel informed, connected, and valued.
Practicing a style of communication that is honest, clear, and consistent will build team-wide trust and increase performance. Leaders must clearly articulate their vision, share honest updates, and clarify expectations.
4. Actively Listen
“Most of the successful people I've known are the ones who do more listening than talking” - Bernard Baruch
Great communication can only be achieved when leaders actively listen to team members. Active listening is one of the most valuable leadership techniques, but is often overlooked.
Employees who feel they are being listened to by their leader are 5 times more likely to perform at their best. Leaders who practice active listening build more positive relationships with their teams, and have a good understanding of team members’ challenges and strengths.
5. Delegate Effectively
“The best leaders are the ones who know how to delegate” - Bill Gates
Effective delegation is an essential technique for leaders who want to build high-performing teams. A key difference between a manager and a leader is the ability to empower team members to handle day-to-day tasks, enabling them to move from ‘operating’ to ‘leading’.
Empowering members of your team to complete important tasks also presents an opportunity for them to develop new skills and build confidence.
But stepping back is not easy!
It’s crucial to set clear expectations for the outcomes of the delegated task, including deadlines and deliverable format.. Agreeing these requirements up-front will help you avoid micromanaging, which is a sure-fire road to disengaged and unhappy employees.
6. Trust Your Team
You will only be able to delegate effectively if you trust your team. And if you do not trust your team, you need to ask yourself why.
Is it because you’ve not given a thorough-enough handover? Or because you haven’t given a team member constructive feedback on something they need to improve on? Or are you just uncomfortable letting go of control?
Research from PwC found that the stronger the culture of trust within an organization, the stronger the corporate performance. When an employee does not feel trusted by their leader, they quickly become disengaged and demotivated.
7. Be Accountable
“To be an effective leader, you must be able to hold yourself accountable for your actions and decisions, as well as the actions and decisions of those who report to you.” James Brogan, CEO of PepTalk
When a leader takes personal accountability, they encourage their team members to follow suit.
The way in which a leader works sets the bar for their teams. Employees interpret the actions of their leaders as expressions of what is expected from them, so taking accountability for behaviors and actions is an important technique.
8. Recognize Success
Recognizing success is a proven strategy to increase team engagement and motivation. It’s widely acknowledged that a culture of recognition is essential for retaining top talent by increasing job satisfaction.
So how can we adopt recognition as a leadership technique?
Recognizing success is about more than just formal recognition platforms and incentives. A simple ‘thank you’ from a leader to an employee can be surprisingly powerful.
Regularly thanking team members for their contribution and putting success in the spotlight builds motivation and connection. Almost 90% of employees who felt recognized have higher levels of trust in their leader than those who do not.
9. Ensure Strategic Alignment
“You cannot unify everyone’s thoughts, but you can unify everyone through a common goal” - Jack Ma
The best leaders stand behind their company’s vision. They get on board with the objectives of the organization, and regularly highlight how their team’s efforts contribute to the bigger picture.
Building strategic alignment is an incredibly powerful leadership technique. It involves intentionally connecting the strategic outputs of your team with the organization’s overarching goals and objectives.
Alignment with the company’s strategy is vital for enabling teams to find purpose and see the connection between their day-to-day work and the organization’s outcomes.
10. Build Your Team
The final technique used by successful leaders is intentionally building their teams. This technique is all about cultivating a dynamic where team members work well together, are expert collaborators, and have each other’s backs.
Encouraging team members to work collaboratively increases employee satisfaction, psychological safety and reduces workplace conflict.
Because teamwork makes the dream work, after all!
Building a team can be tricky, and you definitely don’t need to spend a huge chunk of budget on a duck-herding challenge (it’s a thing, really) or a cross-country scavenger hunt.
Instead, bring your team together for regular team meetings and check-ins. Encourage team members to get to know the people behind the job titles with the support of our TeamTalks, and proactively encourage them to support each other and collaborate on projects and tasks..
Stay Ahead of The Game With PepTalk
PepTalk is a purpose-built Team Experience (TX) Platform that enables teams to perform at the best. Features such as our Team Check-In and TeamTalks have been specifically designed to help leaders supercharge their team engagement.
Book a demo to find out how we can help!