If you’ve been struggling to become a better manager, you aren’t alone. Many supervisors worry they’re not strong leaders. Unfortunately, stressing about your performance won’t necessarily make you a better leader. In fact, stress can make your performance worse. Instead of worrying whether or not you’re doing a good job leading your team, it’s important to take the steps necessary to improve your leadership skills.

Keep in mind that while many bosses have natural leadership skills, others have to work hard to develop their ability to lead. The good news is that even if you never expected to become a supervisor, it’s possible to become someone your team respects and admires. While developing your leadership skills might take time, you’ll find that it is well worth the effort.

Communicate regularly
Strong teams communicate well. More importantly, they communicate often. Whether you’re leading a small, close-knit group of colleagues or a large team who barely knows each other, it’s important that you communicate with your team. Talking openly about your expectations for your team will let your staff know exactly what you need them to do. Communicating will also help you, as a supervisor, to know when something is amiss or when there’s a problem that requires your attention. Depending on the size of your team, you may find that holding staff meetings is a good way to communicate, but you can also do this through group emails.

Actively listen
As a leader, you can’t just boss your team around and tell them what to do. You also need to listen to their questions and concerns. Even if you feel like a team member has an unimportant concern, you need to listen. Taking the time to pay attention to each team member will give you insight into what’s going on in your workplace, but it will also earn you the respect of your team. If your staff members know they can come to you with their concerns, they’ll become better employees since they can trust you’ll help them when they’re struggling.

Be respectful
Never talk down to your team. This probably seems like common sense, but many supervisors let the power of leadership go to their heads. Instead of simply giving orders to your team, try to respectfully communicate your requests to each team member. While you might be the one in charge, it takes your entire team to successfully complete projects. Try to remember this when you’re leading your group. Your team consists of people who have individual needs, desires, fears and concerns. When you pay attention to each member as an individual, you’ll show them that you truly care about them and their continued success at your company.

Stand your ground
Although you should pay attention to what your staff says and thinks, you can’t let your team walk all over you. Part of being a boss means making tough decisions. If someone wants to take a week of vacation during the busiest time of the year, for example, it’s your job to say “no.” Even if your team thinks you’re being unreasonable or mean, you have stand up for the company and make sure that your group gets your projects completed correctly and on time.

No matter how much experience you had before becoming a supervisor, it’s possible to become a quality boss your team can count on. While learning to guide your staff members may take time, remember that everyone has to start somewhere. As you continue to work toward your goal of becoming a good boss, your team will benefit from your efforts and they’ll respect you even more for it.

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