A recent article published in the New York Times dissected the concept of “hustle culture” made popular by millennial workers. Indeed, the idea of the “rat race” has been replaced by the more user-friendly, rise-and-grind mentality that fits better on an Instagram post. But in this modern day culture of grind and hustle, how can leaders modernize their efforts? How does one lead a generation of hard-working (but more than a little burned out) young adults? A great leader must be willing to adapt to change. In any work culture, the leader must be perceived as approachable and willing to listen. Otherwise, there is a risk of losing employee trust (or failure to gain it in the first place), which is an uphill battle to regain. After all, studies show that many employees do not quit jobs, they quit bosses.
Respect is a Two-Way Street
Respect is perhaps the most important element of a leadership relationship. Without respect, the person in charge will likely have to make up too much ground to be effective. So how does one go about improving their ability to gain trust and respect? When feedback is received, the manner in which it is handled can determine how successful the exchange is. Of course, not all feedback or suggestions will be implemented, but making an effort to show that feedback is being used to determine future decisions will bolster respect for a leader.
Additionally, a leader who keeps his or her promises will gain much more respect than one who over promises and under delivers. Those in positions of leadership should bear in mind the importance of honoring their word, rather than making empty overtures that only sound good in theory. Showing integrity gains respect, and it’s something that’s simple enough to do as long as the leader has some humility and a realistic outlook.
Communication for Improving Leadership Skills
Communication is a vital element of showing and gaining respect. If a leader steps into a company in which they are an unknown, it can show respect to open the floor to allow employees to share their thoughts on the current state of affairs within the company.
Even an established leader can make strides to improve the dialogue of communication between the employees. Offer an informal survey to determine how employees prefer to communicate. Perhaps they’d prefer an open-floor meeting each month, or maybe they’d rather have the opportunity for one-on-one communication. Take the time to show respect for their communication preferences.
Respect and communication are large areas that often go overlooked or undervalued by leaders and management. This is a huge mistake, particularly when it comes to the millennial worker who may be more likely to quit a boss than a job.
In reality, both respect and communication are two core values that each leader must have a strong understanding of in order to be successful. When seeking to improve leadership and management skills, these two values should be at the forefront. Once a leader has a firm grasp on these concepts, becoming an admired leader will be that much more attainable.