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Employees are an essential part of any team. (In fact, they are the team!) When they reach their full potential, the workplace becomes a more collaborative, productive environment where business goals are more easily met. Helping your team members reach their potential involves a blend of management and leadership skills.

Managing is largely about operations—keeping projects on track, staying aware of key dates, and helping everyone move toward shared objectives. Managing a team draws on skills like organization, attention to detail, and effective communication.

Leading is more about people—supporting them in their daily tasks, helping them develop their natural strengths, and motivating them as they work toward individual and team goals.

Leading a team calls for an entirely different set of skills. We’ve outlined six essential habits for leaders and how you can start practicing them regularly to boost your team’s performance while creating a culture shift.

6 Essential Habits for Leaders

1. Transparency

Just like in your personal relationships, open and honest communication are essential to long-term success in business. Transparency can be utilized in several ways while managing a team: 

  • how you talk with each employee about their performance
  • how you strategize with the team about operations
  • how you share about the overall vision

An office environment with lots of closed-door meetings and swirling rumors would not be nearly as supportive as one where team members are in the know and their daily work life is as free as possible of speculation and surprises.

Author Warren Bennis once said, “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” This starts with making the vision known to your team—after all, these are the people who will help turn it into a reality!

2. Encouragement and Celebration

Sharing positive feedback when your employees do well is one of the best ways to boost engagement and motivation.

Encouraging your team and celebrating wins can be a part of pre-scheduled reviews as well as everyday work life. Make praise for a job well done a cornerstone of your culture and don’t be afraid to broadcast that praise to the team as a whole (assuming the employee being recognized is comfortable with the public acknowledgement).

Rewards, whether financial or otherwise, can also go a long way toward helping team members feel seen and supported en route to their full potential.

3. Embracing Learning Opportunities

Errors and missed goals happen to everyone so use them as an opportunity to help your employee (or yourself!) learn and grow in the coming weeks and months.

Keep in mind that constructive feedback will be more openly received—and therefore more helpful for the employee’s and team’s growth—when it’s fair, consciously expressed, and focused on specific actions your team members can work on. Then listen to what your employee has to say, giving them space to express what would help them move forward.

These methods will help employees feel heard and validated. Then they’ll be empowered to find a clear path toward growing in their roles, while also establishing confidence in you as a leader they can trust.

4. Delegation

Build trust and confidence with your team members by empowering them with tasks critical to the growth of the organization. Entrusting them with important responsibilities, then stepping back and letting them do their thing, can help them feel both valued and trusted. This also frees up time for you to focus on other high-priority, big-picture tasks.

If an employee is in need of training to carry out a task, be sure to provide that so they’re set up for success and check in with them along the way to see what else might help.

5. Flexibility

Modern leaders need to be flexible, especially in today’s working world. The days of being in-office from 9–5 are firmly in the rearview and employees today are expecting remote or hybrid options. Many even require it to thrive in their positions.

But flexibility doesn’t just mean allowing team members to work remotely or to adjust hours when needed. Flexibility also shows up in how you approach everyday situations with your team. Be willing to reallocate resources and rethink priorities to ensure goals are being met in a way that supports both the organization and your employees.

6. Ongoing Growth

Provide your team with the time and resources they need to continue developing in their desired directions:

  • hold monthly internal training sessions
  • provide time and budget support for webinars and coursework
  • show a visible interest in the career goals of your employees

And the same goes for you! Your growth is just as important, and when you make continued learning a visible part of your work, you both inspire and encourage your employees to do the same.

Incorporate Coaching

Becoming a Executive Coach can be a very supportive way to strengthen your leadership skills and become an agent of change within your workplace. From helping your team members overcome challenges to increasing business performance and maximizing employee impact, you have the power to affect meaningful change through formalized coach training—and iPEC is here to help you get there.

In becoming a Certified Professional Coach (CPC), you’ll be able to help both yourself and others become the most confident, self-reliant, and fulfilled version of themselves. Through expert training and support in mastering Core Energy Coaching™, you will open limitless opportunities for career growth and fulfillment—both in your own life and in the lives of those you work with every day.


Get the free guide to How to Lead a Team, and discover new ways to empower your team and boost morale.

Inside you'll learn solutions to common challenges we hear from executives, managers, and leaders that'll help you improve team performance, discover your leadership style, and practice effective leadership through coaching.

Download 'How to Lead a Team'

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