A long time ago I heard someone say leaders are born not taught. Overtime I have tried to figure out if this is true using a very unscientific method… gut feeling. I even put people into categories to see if they possess the natural ability to lead or if it is the position they hold that makes them leaders.
My extensive research has been conducted in the work environment as I have been fortunate enough to work for several organisation through the year.
What I found is that there are indeed some leaders we do as they ask not because we want to but because we have to. These people are usually our bosses and we either follow their instructions or look for another job. The bosses I refer to here are the ones who run the company.
There are some individuals I would consider working for again and some I would not. It isn’t a case of the grass is always greener, but rather realising they had a way of taking everyone on the same journey at the same speed.
How do leaders do this? Is there some special trick they use or are they following a set of rules they have been taught.
I think it is a combination of natural ability, skills they have learnt and having a genuine interest in people. Added to all of this, they have the respect of those who work for them.
Here are some things that can be help your position as a leader.
Walk around the office
Whenever you are in the office, make a conscious effort to walk round the office and have brief chats to people. Not everyone, but a couple of people. Chat to different people each time.
The conversation does not have to be long and can last for a couple of minutes. The important thing is whatever is discussed revolves around the other persons interests and life.
As time goes on, you’ll get to know more about the individuals around you and can ask more specific questions.
It’s hard to do, but it is worthwhile referring to people by their names, I always get the floor plan of the office and insert peoples names so I know who sits where. Before I walk around, I look to see who is in and I haven’t spoken to in a while, check their name if I can’t remember and go speak to them.
Make it a routine
Have a set time to walk around the office, not too early when not many people are in the office and not too late so as not to distract anyone.
Use a route
Use a route around the office every day, that takes you on a circuit that gets you back to your office. You can walk fast along this route as if you are power walking with a hydrolysed top whey protein isolate in hand, so long as you slow down as you approach the people you intend to talk to.
Finally, remember the brief conversations you have with people. It is okay if you don’t though, so long as you are open and honest about it.
Doing these things would not turn you into a leader immediately, but it would breakdown perceived barriers of you being inaccessible and people would feel they can approach and talk to you about things that are bothering them. Which makes for a much happier work environment.