Signs you need to boost your leadership skills

No-one likes to work under the leadership of an incompetent boss, no matter how good they are at their work. Even if you’re achieving the targeted goals of your organisation, it doesn’t mean that you are a good leader

CREDIT: This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on About Leaders

A leader can leave a positive or negative impact on the performance of their team members based on their attitude, communication skills and team management. To be successful, you need to master certain leadership skills – here are some behaviours which good leaders will avoid.

Putting staff under excessive stress

A good leader needs to remain motivated and ambitious to meet the goals and objectives of their organisation – but some team leaders tend to pressure, or keep their staff under excessive stress, to do so.

This creates feelings of anxiety and dissatisfaction among the team which, ultimately, affects their performance and productivity levels. Many employees are unable to handle stress from excessive amounts of work; it negatively affects their health.

A good leader needs to give enough time for completion of each project and allow everyone to relax and rejuvenate before starting the next one.

Delay in making decisions

A big sign of a weak leader is their negligence or delay in making necessary decisions. Such an attitude may result from feelings of uncertainty or a lack of confidence in decision-making ability. 

A weak leader tends to keep delaying the decision until the last moment – and they then blame the adverse effects of such poor decisions on other things, such as lack of time, resources or information.

Lack of effective communication skills

Having poor communication skills is another example of a weak leader. Such leaders are so concerned about meeting deadlines that they tend to neglect to  give appropriate training and support to team members. This creates confusion and uncertainty among the team because they are given poor or incomplete guidelines.

At times, employees hesitate to ask for clearer details and tend to work based on their own interpretation of the given task or assignment. This may lead to further confusion regarding achieving organisational goals.

Needless and disrespectful criticism of team members

Pointing out an employee’s poor performance, or professional weaknesses, in front of other people, or during a group meeting, is a significant trait of a weak leader. It showcases such a leader’s inability to think before acting.

Weak leaders hide their professional negligence by criticising others. Even if an employee or a team member is genuinely at fault, or not performing well, a good leader should avoid criticising in public; do it privately instead. 

Moreover, such an attitude will not be tolerated by competent employees for very long – they will ‘vote with their feet’ leaving this leader with team members who aren’t confident enough to report, or take action against ,such unfair behaviour.

Assigning tasks selectively

Secretly assigning many workers on a special project is not as effective as it seems, especially when your employees will later find out about it. You will you’ll be able to pick one assignment from all those sent to you by the different people you’ve asked to work on it and this will create an unpleasant feeling of dissatisfaction and rejection among those employees whose work was not selected. Assigning the same project to many employees also wastes their time – time which could have been invested in a other necessary work.

Inability to give constructive feedback

Providing constructive and honest feedback is crucial but, in order to keep all employees happy, a weak team leader will avoid giving necessary feedback.

By refraining from giving honest feedback, a team leader can cause feelings of uncertainty in an employee, particularly if they’re looking forward to a promotion and aren’t likely to get it due to poor performance which they aren’t even aware of!

A strong leader should be skilled enough to give constructive and honest feedback to their employees because it will help them upgrade their skills and knowledge and benefit the organisation.

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