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3 Ways to Influence Your Staff Through Leadership in 2016

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If you were to take a step back and look at yourself from the eyes of your staff, how many of them would consider you as someone that inspires them to dream more? Do more? Learn more? Or to become more? A quote from John Quincy Adams states that if you can do all four, "you are a leader".

If you are a local government supervisor that doesn't feel like you are influencing your staff in this way or if you are a young professional learning the best practices of leadership, it's important to not only focus on improving your leadership capacity in 2016, but to also focus on the three primary sources of influence: role, reputation, and behavior.

3 Ways to Influence Your Staff Through Leadership in 2016

1. Role

The power and authority that comes with your role as a supervisor provides one source of influence. Leaders who use power to intimidate their employees rarely achieve highest levels of productivity.

Example: When you draw primarily on your authority as the boss to get the job done, employees may feel that you are constantly looking over their shoulders.

Result: Little work may get done unless you are constantly hovering over employees. At that point, you are coercing more than leading, and employee motivation is reduced in the long term.

How to work on this in 2016: Avoid relying on the power and authority associated with your position to lead and motivate.

2. Reputation

Reputation is the story that peers, subordinates, and others tell about you. Effective leaders earn a positive reputation by building trust with those they lead.

Example: Comments like "she's always looking out for her employees," rather than "you can't trust her," say something about you as a leader.

Result: Over time, these statements create an image that either adds or detracts from your ability to exert positive influence. 

How to work on this in 2016: Reputation can be changed because you control the most important aspect of the story -- your behavior as a supervisor. Effective leaders earn a positive reputation by building trust with those they lead.

3. Behavior

While a position gives you the authority to get the job done, your behavior earns the respect of colleagues. The key to influential leadership is in your behavior as a leader.

How to work on this in 2016: 

  • Making sure the work group has reliable information to achieve its goals
  • Treating subordinates as equals
  • Allowing, encouraging, and seeking employee input
  • Giving employees control over their own work
  • Frequently giving credit for a job well done

want to learn more on the sources of influence and leadership?

Check out the six-part webinar series offered by ICMA, Effective Supervisory Practices, and learn to lead change, improve customer service, and strengthen communication between supervisors and staff.

 

Edited by Michelle Poché Flaherty (2013) “Supervisory Leadership.” Effective Supervisory Practices: better results through teamwork: pp. 20-22. ICMA: Washington, D.C. 

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