What are the traits you need to be an effective leader? Find out how Google answers that question through a feedback process.
Google understands that many people who take on leadership positions flounder in the role. This has led the search engine giant to create a feedback process due to which leaders can understand how they’re performing.
During the process, workers answer a questionnaire about how their manager is doing. The contents of the questionnaire show what traits you need to be an effective leader, according to Google’s research.
Here are a few behaviors you need to be an effective leader:
Provide actionable feedback that boosts performance.
Making feedback immediate is the most effective approach to make it actionable. Former Google executive, Kim Scott, says that providing meaningful feedback requires only two components: demonstrating personal concern and directly challenging the other person.
Deliver a critique without sugarcoating it, yet with compassion. You’ll veer into aggressive terrain if you don’t have the correct fuel–air mixture of empathy and directness.
Consider team members as human beings.
There are numerous approaches to this, so let’s concentrate on the top three. First and foremost, be a good listener. Shut down your laptop as much as possible during meetings, don’t check your phone when a team member is standing at your desk, summarise what they’ve said to ensure you’ve understood correctly… all of those active listening things.
Second, rejoice in minor victories. A team lunch after achieving a significant goal indicates that you care and allows team members to establish personal connections. Even a simple public acknowledgement when someone does exceptional work goes a long way.
Finally, strive to be open to flexible working arrangements. Allow them to work from home when they are not well or need to care for a sick child.
They will reward you with dedication and loyalty if you are willing to consider reasonable requests.
Refrain from micromanaging.
You’ve enlisted the services of talented individuals. Now, move out of the way of their path so they can stretch their wings.
According to Daniel Pink, author of the book, Drive, one of the three elements of motivation is autonomy. Few things sap people’s spirit more than being told exactly what to do. Work with your organisation to create high-level goals and decide how to measure performance. The OKRs structure, which stands for Objectives and Key Results, is a good place to start.
Maintain the team’s focus on results.
It’s reassuring to think about things to do. When a task is completed, you get the (deep, deep) gratification of shifting it to the “done” column and moving on to the next one. But the business isn’t concerned with your to-do list; it’s concerned with what you were able to do.
Great leaders set a measurable goal for their followers and give them the freedom to pursue it. That means keeping their plates light so they may keep iterating until they obtain the desired result. It also entails delegating as much decision-making authority as possible to them.
Share key information with your employees
Leaders who are honest when it is practical (and sometimes when it is not) contribute to the development of trust inside their organisation.
Furthermore, when your team sees how their work fits into the bigger picture, they will do more—more of the right things.
We discovered a large positive association between performance and a shared sense of purpose in our own research: 66 percent of high-achieving teams understand how their work benefits consumers and the business, whereas only 25 percent of low-achieving teams do.
Engage in meaningful conversations that will guide team members’ professional development.
For many executives, career advice and mentorship is an important element of their work. The secret is to be willing to steer people away from your team (or organisation!) if it is in their best interests. In your one-on-ones, have career-related discussions twice a year, and feed them with open-ended questions.
So you have seen what Google thinks are the traits you need to be an effective leader. Imbibe these qualities in yourself for your company’s employees to be proud to have you as their manager. These traits will also help you win their loyalty and dedication.