3 Ways to Optimize Leadership Qualities in Management and Hiring

BY Kathy Crosett
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How often have you scratched your head over a squabble between two employees, wondering how their professional relationship became so toxic? Or maybe you’re trying to figure out how you hired an employee who’s alienated their co-​workers and your customers. There’s nothing fun about dealing with employees’ interpersonal issues or a nonperformance problem. Managers are only human, and we make mistakes like everyone else. The worst thing you can do is ignore the problem and hope it will go away. And instead of beating yourself up about what you’ve done wrong in the past, set your intention to develop good leadership qualities in management and hiring.

Apply Strong Leadership Qualities in Management to Hiring

Yes, the employment market poses huge challenges right now. It’s difficult enough to get someone to apply for your position, to say nothing of convincing them to accept your offer. While some managers are happy to hire anyone they can get, other supervisors allow themselves to be easily swayed by a candidate’s physical appearance. In other cases, they fail to properly vet the candidate a friend highly recommends. They assume that if the candidate is good enough for their friend, they will be good enough for them. Luis Vega, a faculty member at California State University, points out in an H. Dennis Beaver, Esq. Kiplinger article that, “We look at all the things that do not provide insight into who this person really is.” And this failure to pay attention to who the person is leads to trouble.

There is no substitute for conducting a proper background check on your top candidate. In addition to verifying their educational credentials and previous employment, don’t fail to give them a psychometric assessment. The results of this assessment will expand your knowledge of the person’s motivational tendencies and work habits. In addition, you’ll understand how your management style meshes with the way the person likes to work. 

Managing for Best Outcomes

Once you’ve onboarded your new hire, you can display your leadership qualities in management by guiding them on how to work effectively with the existing team. Any changes to an existing team can cause stress. When a valued member leaves, the remaining employees may try to adjust their roles and positions on the team. Pair that challenge with the stress the new employee feels in trying to find their place, and your management neurons are likely screaming.

It’s easy to fall back on instinct and do what you’ve always done but that strategy means losing a good opportunity. Caroline Webb explains that we can employ “small practical tweaks—to the way we run meetings, make decisions, and manage our time—that make it easier for humans to function at their cognitive and emotional best.” Her example of how to manage team disagreements shows what you can do to change outcomes. When your team engages in a heated discussion about an important topic such as how to retain an unhappy customer, you’ll want to steer them in a productive direction. Interjecting a statement like, “Let’s step back and summarize the different points of view. They’re both valid, so let’s address that first.” By doing this, you assure each employee that their opinions are worthy and that you value your input. You can then guide the conversation by asking people how to retain the unhappy customer based on the truths the disagreeing employees brought up.

Using Psychometric Data

As you engage with your team members, be mindful of their psychometric assessment results. Some team members need more reassurance than others. And your new employee member might appreciate daily coaching for several weeks before they find their place on the team. These are the situations that require you to display your leadership qualities in management.

Image by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.