“A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them.” -M.D. Arnold

Whether you’re leading a team at work, coaching a group of people in extracurricular activities, or you’re supervising an event, there are times when others look to you for example. Being “in charge” of something does not come without its tedious tasks and significant responsibilities.

How do you ensure that you’re doing a good job being a leader, a coworker or friend? It’s almost impossible to really know how you’re doing with your responsibilities unless you ask. A strong work team or good friendship thrives on transparency and honesty. Asking for their opinions (and really meaning it) is the only way to evaluate how well you’re doing as a friend or as a leader.. Asking questions like these can be difficult, especially when you know you may have to deal with some constructive criticism— but it is crucial to have this communication with your team, your partnerships, or other relationships in order to foster a foundation of trust and understanding.

The more you understand your team, the more power you have to help guide them and create lasting success in your work and relationships.

“True leadership lies in guiding others to success–in ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are pledged to do and doing it well.” -Bill Owens

Here are some great tips to help ensure you’re doing the best you can in your relationships, personal and professional:

  1. Have an anonymous suggestion jar. You can always carve out time in weekly or monthly meetings to go over suggestions that the team gives you in this jar. This is a great way to dial in on some team issues, or issues with situations at work without casting blame.
  2. Make one-on-one time with team members to ask them how things are going. Transparency about why you’re asking is a must. For example, you could start a conversation with, “Hi, firstname, how are things? I wanted to take a minute and talk about suchandsuch. Do you have any suggestions for me on how I could help our team do better?”
  3. Participate in team-building activities. These may seem outdated, but they really do work to help the team come together to solve issues or build stronger work relationships. You can even create some really great virtual team-building activities if needed. These are a few ideas we’ve found and thought were interesting: https://www.workamajig.com/blog/team-building-activities
  4. Ask people for advice who are in a similar position as you. There’s no shame in asking someone for some pointers, but there are do’s and don’ts in regards to this as well, which we may cover in a different blog post.

“Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good.”
– Joanne Ciulla

Again, The more you understand the people in your life, the more power you have to create lasting success in your work and relationships.