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Posts tagged with "mentorship program"

Can Introverts Be Great Leaders?

We tend to think of leaders as people who are naturally gregarious, charismatic, and outgoing. In reality, you don’t have to be an extrovert to be an inspiring and effective leader. In fact, people of all personality types can exhibit good leadership qualities.

If you’re someone who tends to be quiet and inward-focused, you are not precluded from becoming an engaged leader. Here are some guidelines we recommend for transforming your introversion into savvy leadership.

How Introverts Can Become Effective Leaders

  1. Focus on relationships. Extroverts tend to do well in big groups, but introverts can be comfortable and successful facilitating one-on-one relationships. Get to know the people you’re working with as individuals. Spend time with them, getting to know their goals and challenges. Foster trust in these one-on-one relationships.
  2. Be a good listener. You might be surprised by how powerful this can be. Your team members want to feel like their ideas are really heard—and if you can practice active listening, that goes a long way toward building trust and earning buy-in from your employees.
  3. Ask lots of questions. Introverts don’t always like to do the talking—and the good news is, you really don’t have to. Often, asking some open-ended questions to get other people talking is all you need to do. Allow your team members to do the heavy lifting, weighing in with their own ideas and perspectives.
  4. Take it offline. In many team settings, brainstorming happens all together, in a big group—but if you’re an introvert, that can be overwhelming. Encourage “offline” brainstorming with individuals or small groups. Have everyone work on ideas before the big meeting to make things more manageable, and to ensure contributions from people of all personality types.
  5. Set boundaries for yourself. Introverted leaders can often be overwhelmed by the needs of their employees, so create some boundaries around your time. Encourage people to email you or make an appointment, rather than showing up unannounced. And schedule some time when you can be alone in your office for some quiet work time. Just make sure to also schedule some open office hours, ensuring you’re accessible to your team members.
  6. Know how to recharge. Finally, make sure you know what recharges your batteries—whether that’s half an hour at the gym or simply 15 minutes of mindfulness meditation in your office—and take advantage of it. It’s okay to need a little time for personal replenishment!

With these tips, you can be an able leader even if you tend toward introversion. To learn more about perfecting your leadership approach, contact us at Loeb Leadership Development Group today.

An Executive’s Approach to Building an Effective Leadership Team

One of the hallmarks of a great leader is to identify the leadership potential in those around them, nurturing their people management skills and positioning them for continued success and development.  To effectively grow a firm or business, leadership is one of the most important driving forces, as it can inspire and motivate a workforce, and conversely, poor leadership can demoralize employees and encourage them to seek other opportunities.

Whether you’re hiring from the inside or casting a wider net, it is important to show care in your recruitment efforts. In this post, we have highlighted five skills you should be looking for as you build out your leadership team.

The Characteristics of Effective Leaders

Trust. The first trait you should look for in potential leaders is their ability to establish trust. Leaders do this by modeling the behavior they expect of others and holding themselves accountable to nurture a high trust culture.  Successful leaders establish trust by individually engaging members of their team, to build relationships both personally and professionally.

Vision. Seek out a candidate who can communicate the vision of your company—condensing it into a clear and succinct message, and getting other people excited about it. In order to achieve an effective message, communication needs to be authentic and sincere. It should also include input from the shareholders and stakeholders of the organization to solidify buy-in.

Commitment. There is a saying — Commitment is the glue that bonds you to your goals. Leaders who are driven by achieving goals tend to play a role in motivating and inspiring those around them.  Look for leaders who view their role as being part of something greater than themselves and demonstrate follow through.

Organization. Any department leader or division chair you hire is going to provide employees with a roadmap, showing both short-term and long-term goals and clarifying key processes. That’s going to require a high level of organization. Look for leaders who can take complex concepts, ideas, and methodologies and break them down into digestible and easily understood processes or actions.

Communication. This is arguably the most important skill a leader can have, so make sure you emphasize this for any leadership position. A good leader excels in both written and verbal communication and can deliver a message with key takeaways and no confusion. Additionally, leaders in a high trust culture encourage the sharing of constructive feedback – so it is important to identify a leader that has the capacity to foster that environment.

These are some of the touchstones to keep in mind as you look for employees with the potential to lead—and remember: Those who show potential may still need development. To learn more about nurturing new and effective leadership in your company, contact Loeb Leadership Development Group today.

Getting the Most Out of a Mentorship Program

Starting a formal mentorship program can be a real boon to your employee engagement. Among other benefits, it shows your team members that you have a serious investment in their professional development; you’re eager for them to grow in skill and in confidence.

Yet not every workplace mentorship program achieves this end. As you design a formal mentoring structure, it’s important to do so thoughtfully and strategically. Here are some ways to do that.

Tips for Designing an Effective Mentorship Program

Look at the big picture. What are you actually trying to achieve through your mentorship program? And, what metrics will you use to evaluate your success? If you don’t answer these questions from the outset, it can be hard to maintain enthusiasm for your mentorship program—or to see it as a success. Some good, bottom-line business goals you might pursue: Increase employee engagement numbers; improve retention; or see an uptick in women and people of color advancing into leadership roles.

Focus on relationships. You’ll need positive mentor/mentee matches for your program to get results; that’s because having a trust-based relationship is central to the mentoring process. So how will you determine these matches? There are different schools of thought here, including self-matching (employees choose these relationships) and administrative matching (a manager or HR leader picks the groupings). There is no one right answer. It’s simply about picking the model that best fits your business. For instance, if your employees show a real interest in the program but want mentors who align with certain career goals, you’ll likely want to give them a say in the matching.

Provide training. Your mentors will need direction—some practical tools they can use to ensure they’re imparting value and knowledge. And, mentees will benefit from training, too, ensuring they know how to get the most out of the process. Make training one of the bedrocks of your mentorship program.

Market it. You can’t assume that people will line up for your mentorship program just because it’s there. You’ve got to pitch it to them. Market the program internally, clarifying what the program is and what you hope to achieve through it. Really play up the benefits of being a mentor or a mentee.  Additionally, the mentorship program can be used as a recruiting tool to attract high caliber candidates.

Set Yourself Up for Successful Mentoring

There’s a lot to think about—but taking a strategic approach can ultimately be rewarding. And it’s not something you have to do alone; at Loeb Leadership Development Group, we’re advocates for mentorship programs, and would love to talk with you more about your program’s design needs. Reach out to us today to set up a consultation.