What are your personal needs? Do you want to be liked, do you like to focus on getting the job done, do you like working with others, do you need constant praise, do you need objectives set for you or do you like to work autonomously?
Whatever your preferred style is as a leader you need to engage people and bring out their best.
Leadership has been described as “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task” For example, some understand a leader simply as somebody whom people follow, or as somebody who guides or directs others, while others define leadership as “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal”.
We must build relationships with people based on trust, respect and understanding. People want to trust a leader, engage with them and respect them. Most people who understand you, trust you and respect you, will like you.
You don’t need to be actively pushing to be liked or trying too hard to be liked. Just be yourself and people will respect, trust and understand you.
Over the years, I have seen many QA professionals wanting to be liked. Wanting everyone to respect and like them compromising standards so they can be liked.
For me personally, a great quality leader is a professional that can draw the line in the sand, know when to enforce compliance, know when to be understanding and how to be approachable. If you focus on doing your job well and if you do it with passion you will be respected and admired by most.
We all love to form relationships and no business will survive without relationships. We need to keep working on building relationships with all that we do and especially with our associates and customers.
The 7 key points to build solid lasting relationships:
1) Use first names: do you always remember everyone you meet and address them by their first name. Do you show them instant respect and show them you are empathetic?
2) Be reliable: do you show up on time respecting others and their busy schedule? Do you keep your word do you stick to your guns? Do you have a reputation of respecting others and getting back to them or do people shrug you off as they don’t feel you are reliable.
3) Be responsive: how easy are you to contact? How quickly do you respond to phone messages and email? Are you courteous at all times? Do you make random calls to say to say G’day and ask how your associate or customer are travelling? Do you follow up and close out promises and committed actions?
4) Be supportive: do you ask your associate or customer if they need your assistance, is there anything you can assist them with, follow up on a previosu discussion or phone call. Follow up about a very important or exciting event that your associate or customer were looking forward to.
5) Be understanding: do you listen and emphasise? Do you share your similar experiences and make others feel comfortable around you. Do you give compliments or praise others? Do you encourage others and offer advice or ongoing support?
6) Be Engaging: do you always look people in the eyes, do you turn your phone off during meetings, do you offer to meet again, do you offer to take associates and customers to lunch or dinner or have a coffee off site together. Do you open up with others and let them know what is important to you, do you share photo’s, do you socialise online and acknowledge what others are doing, do you like posts on Linked In and post comments. How are you on facebook? It is very easy to be 100% engaging using social media.
7) Always Smile: do you frown, do you have lots of wrinkles from too much frowning (hope you are smiling nowJ), do you smile often, do you always shake hands and smile when doing so? The smile on your face can make a significant difference when meeting someone for the first time and which can leave a long lasting impression.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the key points mentioned above please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in friendship, Dijana Green – Founder and CEO Elevating Food Safety Pty Ltd