How do your employees see you?
Leading without knowing how your employees perceive you is kind of like walking around with spinach in wedged in your teeth — and no-one telling you it’s there.
It can be — kind of — embarrassing.
If you want your team and business to grow, learning how you come across as a leader is 100% necessary.
Before we dive into this topic, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I know what my employees think of me?
- Do I have a way of gaining honest feedback from my employees?
- Do I host regular conversations that give me insight on how I come across as a leader?
- Am I aware of my strengths as a leader?
- Am I aware of my weaknesses as a leader?
- Am I building true engagement through my leadership style?
- Where do my employees think I need to improve?
- Do my employees perceive me how I want them to?
If you answered “no” or “I don’t know” to these questions, you need to learn how to gain key information on how you come off as a leader.
4 ways to learn about your leadership style—from your employees’ perspective
1. Ask employees during their performance evaluations (or another appropriate time)
While performance reviews focus on each individual employee, they also offer prime opportunity to gain your employee’s insights and opinions.
Asking them how you’re doing as their leader builds trust and demonstrates that you value their perspective.
In your next performance conversations or reviews, engage your employees with one of the following questions:
- What can I do better as your leader?
- How can I better support you in your work?
- What can I do to make your job easier?
By directly seeking this input, you’ll gain valuable insights from the very people who you lead.
2. Create an anonymous survey
If you’d rather not ask your employees directly—or you think they’d be too timid to share in-person—send out a survey asking for your employees’ input.
You can make the survey anonymous, so answers can’t be linked back to particular individuals.
Use a system like SurveyMonkey.com that allows you to build a simple survey in a matter of minutes.
Consider including questions about areas of improvement for leadership along with understanding what is being done well.
3. Have a team discussion
No need to make leadership feedback a formal process.
Open up questions at a team meeting that allow people to share their honest opinions.
Good questions for a group setting include:
- How could leadership better support this team?
- What are things leadership should continue to do (i.e. what things that have been really helpful to you)?
- If there’s one thing I could do to be a more effective leader, what would it be?
By having this open dialogue, it shows your employees you are approachable and human.
It allows them to see that you’re open to having a conversation and that you don’t see yourself as perfect.
This is crucial to building trust and two-way lines of communication.
4. Talk with other leaders
How do other leaders perceive your style? Have they heard anything from your employees about your leadership—good or bad?
By discussing your leadership style with trusted colleagues, you’re open to hearing new insights.
You never know, you may learn something completely new about yourself just from being open to having a conversation.
After all, great leaders are open to feedback and look for ways to seek it out.
If you want to continue optimising your leadership style, and improving the results you see day-in and day-out, download this month’s Leadership Compass Worksheet.
By learning more about yourself, you’re giving you and your team a chance to have a truly exceptional bond.
If you have questions on this topic or any others, feel free to reach me by email or set up a free one-on-one consultation session, or drop me a comment below.
Thanks for sharing!