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8 things you should immediately stop doing when you’re a leader

Posted by Neha De

March 10, 2022    |     4-minute read (653 words)

Most of the time, high-powered leaders focus on what they should do. They pay too much attention to things such as coming up with new ideas, developing new strategies, figuring out how to implement new ideas or achieve set targets, and so on. While these are essentials for running a successful business, it is also essential for them to take the time to reflect on what they should not do. 

So, what should leaders stop doing to help further the growth of their employees and themselves?

Take a look at the top eight things every leader should immediately commit to stop doing: 

1. Not taking time to connect with team members – A leader cannot be effective if they are not interested in employees on a human level or is interested in them but does not make an effort to bond with them.

Bonding creates deep emotional connections, and to bond, leaders need to make an effort to get to know their employees and understand what makes them tick.

2. Not being accessible and available – While leaders should delegate, this should not lead to emotional detachment. Leaders who have a completely hands-off approach after assigning tasks might make their staff members feel abandoned.

Continued accessibility and connection are the keys to successful delegation. Leaders need to perpetuate a sense of connection by letting their employees know that they are available. This means creating channels for employees to reach out when needed.

3. Not prioritizing employee development – Many a time, leaders are too focused on achieving business goals and may end up ignoring their workers’ desire to learn and grow.

Humans have an inherent need to learn and to expand their competencies and skill sets while doing their jobs. Leaders need to realize that learning is an intrinsic part of achieving results, and prioritizing learning and development allows them to become great leaders that people want to work with.

4. Avoiding giving regular performance feedback – Employees can perform well only if they know how effective they are at their workplace. Since providing negative feedback can be challenging, leaders may choose not to do it. However, learning to communicate complex truths about performance can help them unlock the doors of higher performance.

5. Expecting workers to approach them first – Many leaders rely on only open-door policies and expect their team members to come up to them when needed. This style of communication may make leaders less accessible to their employees.

Instead, if needed, leaders should bend the rules of communication according to the needs of their staff members. They should make an effort to go up to where the employees are instead of always expecting them to engage with them.

6. Not displaying empathy – Empathy is a highly crucial leadership skill and some leaders do not give empathy its due. Research shows that empathy drives employee outcomes such as innovation, engagement and inclusion. Empathetic leaders are able to understand the needs of their employees and be aware of their thoughts and feelings.

7. Micromanaging – Employees hate it when they are micromanaged. Yet, some leaders believe that managing workers means planning, administering and controlling activities and, hence, people.

On the other hand, in order to lead effectively, one must inspire, encourage and challenge people to perform at their best by building a sense of trust and presenting positive risks.

8. Wasting one-on-one meetings – Often, one-on-one sessions are spent on status updates, which is a complete waste of time and opportunity to engage and align employees. Leaders should use this time to deal with significant challenges and issues a team member may be facing. They should also use this opportunity to align personal and professional goals and targets, and identify development opportunities. 

Bottom line

Leaders need to let go of the behaviors and routines that smother innovation and creativity. Instead, they should try to inject the days with actions that inform, captivate and stimulate the people around them.

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