If I could do 5 things……….improving your leadership style

At the core of every successful business is a unified team. Whether they work toward furthering a cause or generating revenue, effective team members come together in order to reach a common goal. Bringing a team together is a leader’s key responsibility. Strong leadership can have a positive impact across a wide spectrum of industries.

In order to inspire employees to accomplish business goals and achieve growth, many argue that keeping it simple is the best way forward.  Leaders wouldn’t go far wrong by exhibiting five fundamental qualities: effective communication, passion, decisiveness, treating people as individuals, and a commitment to team development.

Effective Communication

Managers and leaders communicate in a variety of ways with their employees but being clear, concise and professional is the key. It’s important to remember that nonverbal communication can be just as impactful as verbal and written communication when leaders convey their thoughts, ideas and directions. Good leaders also understand that communication flows both ways – listening to your teams is essential!


Showing you care in a project or goal is another key leadership quality. If leaders model passion for their work, their teams likely to follow suit.  Teams who believe in what they do tend to be happier and work better than those who don’t.


Successful leadership relies on decisiveness and strong problem-solving and decision-making skills. When leaders act decisively and support their decision-making with facts and logic, they demonstrate credibility. Teams respect leaders who are able to resolve situations quickly and effectively.

Treating people as individuals

A commitment to connecting with team members individually can determine whether leaders are effective at their jobs. Most people don’t want to feel like faceless cogs in their companies, and they perform better when they have a personal connection with their colleagues and managers. Relationship and trust building can inspire and motivate employees to work toward, and ultimately achieve, specific goals.

Team Development

Strong leaders invest in the development of their teams by embracing training initiatives such as; classroom based workshops, coaching, team building, self-learning opportunities and upskilling opportunities.  While working toward further enhancing team members’ work ethics, skill sets, and knowledge, leaders can cultivate an environment for personal growth and increase commitment to achieve key business goals.

Here at Futureproof, we know what it takes to lead a team effectively, come and talk to us about how we can help lead your teams – People Management & Leadership.

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever questioned whether you’re good enough? Afraid people will find out you’re not capable? Felt like a fraud? You’re not alone.  Imposter Syndrome affects 70% of people at some point in their lives.

Impostor syndrome is a sense of self-doubt related to work accomplishments. It is a feeling that you don’t deserve your job, despite all your achievements and hard work in the workplace. It’s the idea that you’ve only succeeded due to luck, and not because of your talent or qualifications. People who suffer from this feel like frauds, despite being qualified, smart, skilled professionals who do deserve their job and successes. But they worry that they have somehow tricked people into thinking they’re good enough, and as a result, they live in fear of being “exposed”.

Feeling like an imposter or fraud can have very negative effects on your career. It can decrease your drive, motivation, productivity, and effectiveness at work. It can lead to stressed work relationships, burnout, anxiety, and emotional exhaustion.  These practices might help you overcome and eliminate imposter syndrome:

Know you’re not alone – No one wants to feel like a fraud or an imposter at work. But imposter syndrome is a real thing that many people suffer from. If you’ve ever felt you don’t deserve your job or your accomplishments, know that you are not alone.

Be kind to yourself – Negative self-talk messages that come with imposter syndrome like “you’re a fraud” or “you’re not good enough” can heavily influence our stress and anxiety levels.  Be kind to yourself by practicing positive self-talk. Not only can it help you become less stressed and anxious, but it can also help you build the courage to do things that’ll bring you greater rewards.

Don’t be a perfectionist – No one can do everything perfectly, and holding yourself to that standard can be counterproductive and will only make you feel more like a fraud. Nothing is more diminishing or disappointing than setting unrealistic goals – so set yourself realistic standards and expectations.

Find a mentor – Finding and confiding in a mentor in your field is a great way to gain insights and added confidence. They can offer support, encouragement, strategic insights, and constructive criticism from their own experience, while also acting as a sounding board. Having a mentor means you will have someone to go to when you need some career advice or guidance, and they can help you believe in yourself and navigate the challenges you’re facing. Chances are they also felt the same way when they started their career, so they know how it feels.

Embrace new opportunities – Many people who suffer from imposter syndrome turn down career-making opportunities because they don’t think they’d be able to do a good job. But it’s vital to remember that taking on challenging new opportunities, roles, and projects can open a lot of doors for you.

At Futureproof, we know how important a topic this is, come and talk to us to find out how we can help you and your business or click on this link to view our range of wellbeing workshops – Personal Development & Well-being.

Spring Clean your teams Mental Health

Since we spend the majority of our adult lives at work, it is vital that employers provide sufficient employee mental health & well-being support and create a work environment that is conducive to happy, healthy employees.

According to a recent study by the mental health charity Mind, 60% of workers think that if their employer made steps to support their health and well-being at work, it would increase their motivation and the likelihood that they would recommend their company as a great place to work.  And if you like stats, according to further, poor mental health costs UK employers between £33 billion and £42 billion a year.  Considering these significant costs, it would seem beneficial to invest in the well-being of your employees.

So, what can managers and leaders do?  There’s no magic answer, implementing some simple steps will go a long way, here’s a few ideas.

Encourage continuous learning

This not only increases skills and knowledge, but also boosts employee engagement and collaboration.

Create a mentor scheme

Mentoring schemes not only encourage employees to learn from each other, they also promote healthy collaboration and cross function working.

Encourage innovation

Providing a safe space for innovation and creativity can often give a shot in the arm for some.  Harness this eagerness and don’t be afraid to fail.

Limit multitasking

Taking on too much at once can actually hinder progress.  Encourage your teams to switch off the emails and divert the phones when they need to focus on an important task or project.

Promote a work/life balance

Put the smart phone down!  If you can’t put it down, then limit the notifications in the evening and at weekends.  Promote a positive way of working and don’t expect people to answer your emails out of hours.  Also, look at ways to encourage a better balance, offer flexible working hours / hybrid working models, encouraging regular breaks, reviewing employee’s workloads and have managers and leaders focus on employee’s productivity and output rather than the number of hours they work.

Provide an EAP

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) provide employees with a platform where they can seek help regarding personal or work-related issues that may be negatively affecting their work performance.

Make recognition the norm

Probably the simplest but the one often overlooked.  Showing appreciation and recognising employee effort is one of the easiest ways to increase engagement.  They’ve done a good, tell them!

Ask and question

If you don’t ask, you don’t know.  Ask your teams about their mental health and how best to improve their wellbeing.  Showing an interest goes a long way.

Talk to us about our extensive range of courses and workshops to help improve employee mental health and wellbeing at work or click here to learn more – Personal Development & Employees Well-Being.

The Power of Empowerment

The management definition of empowerment is the concept that if employees are given information, resources, and opportunity at the same time as being held responsible for their job outcomes, then they will be more productive and have higher job satisfaction.

That’s all well and good but, it is important to understand that a company cannot implement empowerment itself – instead, those in managerial positions have to create the right environment so that empowerment can take place.

So how does a manager set up this kind of environment where employees feel empowered?

Communicate the vision.

Ask yourself, have I communicated what I want to my employees and have I linked it back to the overall business goals?  Once this has been done, stick to the plan!  When staff have the necessary information of where they’re going, they are more likely to carry out that task.

Involve your team in business decisions.

When people have a say in decisions, they are more invested in the outcome.  This is not always easy when decisions are made higher up the chain, but perseverance and managing upwards effectively can push the agenda to those deciding.  Remember, those doing the bulk of the leg work will feel better about doing it when they know why they’re doing it.

Trust your team.

It is vital to trust your team to get on with the job you recruited them to do and to resist the temptation to over manage them. Trust will instil a sense of pride in their work, they will want to be proactive and as a result will be empowered.

Recognition goes a long way.

Recognition plays an important part in creating an empowering environment and it’s easy to see why. If you fail to recognise your employee’s hard work and initiative then your employees will soon lose the motivation, however, if you reward positive behaviours staff will be more motivated and empowered to keep up the good work.  Recognising employees doesn’t have to be complicated, a simple ‘thanks for doing a great job’ goes a long way but is often overlooked.

Loosen your grip.

Let employees take some control, as a manager, you’ll be busy and sometimes chasing your team can put unnecessary strain on you and your relationship with them. So, loosen your grip, let the team run and stop monitoring them so closely.

Learning how to empower your team is a key topic covered in our management development programmes so come and talk to us about our pathways that could help develop you as a manager.

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The Art of Delegation

Delegation can be one of the most important techniques in a manager’s toolkit. It can fast track productivity and empower those around you to grow, allowing for better performance and a boost in morale. Simply put, if frees up time, gives others the opportunity to develop and step up and provides much needed head-space for you to focus on other things. However, it can be a struggle for some managers and done poorly can lead to trouble down the line.

Many managers who delegate well often follow these logical steps:

Make a plan – what’s your overall aim and why are you asking someone else to perform the task. Try to think about the why, what, when, who and where.

Before you can start delegating, take the time to develop a plan that outlines exactly what you’re expecting. Unless employees get clear direction, they won’t be able to deliver the results that you want. This is only possible when you’ve thought about the tasks and your expectations regarding its completion.

Describe & assign the task – be clear about what needs to be done and provide sufficient detail so they can be clear on the result required.

Create a list of tasks that your employees are currently working on and assess the strengths of the employees carrying out the tasks. This will help you delegate tasks based on individual skills and attributes.

Set the timeline – when does the task need to be done by and what contingency do you have if the timeframe shifts

While providing information about the tasks, including specific information on timing, budget and context is really important. Set expectations for updates and other communications, including frequency, content and format.

Who’s involved – talk through who else might input in what needs to be worked on or need consulting with and what their involvement might be.

Make your checks – is everything clear, do they understand what’s required and do they know where to come for help and support?

Regular check-ins and status reports about the progress ensures timely delivery and can avoid last-minute surprises. The check-ins should outline the tasks completed, provide a plan for next steps and highlight potential issues.

Ownership, responsibility & accountability – your employees should be completely responsible and committed to getting the expected results. A key part of delegating is an open line of communication and accountability. Employees must communicate the status of the deliverables and its timings regularly. You should also be available for clarification on certain points.

Finally, don’t ignore the power of praise and a thank you – your team will appreciate it massively and be more likely to take on more in the future.

At Futureproof, we know how difficult effective communication & delegation can be which is why we build the topic into our management development programmes, talk to us or click this link to find out more about our Structured Development Pathways.