One of the most used concepts in business life these days is the need to be a leader rather than a manager. Very well, what is the difference between being a manager and being a leader? What is a leader, and how should a leader’s communication be with the team? Actually the most important difference between the classic concept of a manager and a leader is the mode of communications. The leader is the person who does not only manage the process, but participates in it and can motivate people. Leaders can be separated into two groups, as work oriented leaders and worker oriented leaders. The best leader is one who can adapt his/her behavior to the conditions, the group and personality traits. In communications, the important thing is being able to listen before talking. The leader who can manage to listen will succeed in getting to know and understand the opponent. The next step after listening is expressing one’s own wishes and expectations correctly. If you have listened to the other person, then you know how and what you need to tell him/her. If you use that information to convey your expectations in clear, proper sentences, the communications will be healthy. The easiest way to test the effectiveness of communications is to see the results. Correct communications will transform into correct actions, and the desired result will be achieved. Feedback shows whether the given message was correct and whether it was correctly understood. The first thing that comes to mind in negative feedback should not be that the message has not been correctly understood, but whether the leader was able to give the message correctly and properly
For a person to be a leader, apart from his/her personal characteristics, there have to be people to follow him/her. In order to achieve this, people have to know and understand him/her, know what he/she can do, and trust him/her. The leader can make him/herself and his ideas known and accepted by those around him/her by establishing communications with them. Moreover, knowing the characteristics and abilities of those around him/her sets the leader apart from the classic manager. In order for a leader to do this, he/she needs to be in contact with his/her followers, supporting and giving them opportunities. What makes a leader a great leader is having enthusiastic, ambitious followers who believe in him/her. Many administrators are reluctant to establish contact with such people, they stay away and think that by doing so, they are protecting themselves. In actual fact, communicating and supporting them would make the administrator a trusted, respected leader. Communications cannot be established unilaterally. Therefore a leader is not a person who only expresses his/her opinions and demands to co-workers, but someone who also listens to them and shares their feelings and desires.
The person who wants to be a leader must be able to establish these relationships, and must observe some rules in order to establish healthy communications. Especially during the identification of mistakes and criticism, the language used is important. Emphasizing that mistakes can be corrected while pointing them out encourages people. Instead of directly pointing out a mistake, doing it in a less obvious way and mentioning his/her own mistakes will make the leader stronger. Furthermore, following up and praising what is done will cause people to take suggestions into consideration, and to do what needs to be done happily. Instead of presenting your knowledge in the form of commands, listening to the knowledge of others is important for teamwork and communications.
Being empathic is an important attribute for a leader. Being able to envision yourself in the other’s shoes, being able to imagine what he/she feels or thinks gains superiority for the leader. The ability to empathize enables connections. A connection makes it possible to understand the feelings, interests, thoughts of the other person, and to give the proper responses. Those who can empathize are good team players. And the leader who can empathize is a good team captain.
For a leader to be accepted, he/she needs to be him/herself and to have self confidence. A positive impression and an air of self confidence will create a natural protection and cause others to be inspired by the leader. A leader’s role at the work place should be an extension of his/her natural personality. If his/her role at the work place does not reflect his personality, he/she is either no leader, but someone acting a role thrust upon him/her, or he/she is working in a system contrary to him/her. Real leaders cannot act against their personalities or basic principles. They execute their communications and actions while protecting their personalities. If they do not do this, if their communications and actions are based on doctrines that do not reflect their personalities, the moment a problem crops up, the game will be over and a crisis will arise.
The leader needs to know the upper and lower administrative levels of the company well. Knowing well entails research and well carried out communications. When he/she has achieved this, working with people and establishing the correct policies is easier. One of the important conditions of being a leader and not just a manager is being able to organize. Organizing requires communications, not only with everybody in the game, but also with all relevant persons and places outside the game, or outside the company. Apart from all this, following visual and written communications materials, evaluating them and choosing the appropriate ones is an indication of the leader’s ability to utilize communications and to organize.
There is nothing more important than the word of a leader – it is absolutely essential that he/she keeps the promises given. He/she must evaluate situations and clarify his/her position. Nobody respects an untrustworthy leader, and nobody takes risks for him/her. This does not mean that he/she can never change his/her mind. But when he/she does, it must be very well though out, and he/she must inform those around him/her so that they are not caught by surprise and understand the decision. A leader is a person who considers your values important, and does not doubt his/her opinions.
One of the things a leader must never forget, is that his/her followers have a life outside work. Getting to know them, knowing their needs and values will give the leader strength. In order to develop the business, it is essential to know the strengths and weaknesses of the employees, and to give them the opportunity to improve themselves. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to have some knowledge of their life outside working hours. And the secret of succeeding in this lies in interacting, not because they are employees, but because they are individuals, and making them feel this.
Now, let us turn to ourselves and let us see how many of these attributes as a manager we ourselves have. At the end of this assessment, there is as much chance of saying, “Yes, I am a good leader,” as there is of saying, “Oh, my God! I’ve been a dictator!” Of course, no matter how hard it is to accept, we must not forget the possibility of coming up with, “I’ve been inefficient and unsuccessful. I haven’t been a leader, I’ve just been trying to do a job!”
WOMEN AS MANAGERS
Although male executives are not of the same opinion, female executives do their jobs just as well as their male counterparts. Lower echelons even prefer to work with women leaders. Assessments show that in comparison to more authoritative and commanding male managers, women managers are more democratic and open to collaboration and solidarity. This difference arises from the different functioning of the male and female brains. Let us leave discussing the differences of the male and female brains to another article, and point out that women managers that are authoritative and commanding like the men are not accepted.
WORKERS DON’T LEAVE THEIR JOBS, THEY LEAVE THEIR BOSSES
Research has shown that relationships with the boss are as important as relationships with the spouse. Even good workmates and a good position come after relationship with the boss in importance. The relationship with the employer can even affect one’s physical health. Bad relationships with the boss are one of the main reasons for leaving a job. When the boss is unhappy, negative feelings and mistrust prevail in the work place. On the other hand, those working with a happy and productive boss are happy and productive in their own lives, too. Therefore, employees should observe the emotional condition of their bosses closely. Knowing what the boss values, his/her dreams and expectations about the business, what he/she likes, will help in understanding him/her better, and aid in establishing communications. If, after all this effort, it is not possible to establish communications, research results are clear: “It is not worth it for a bad boss!”