10 Ways to Build Effective Leadership Behaviors

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated June 1, 2022 | Published December 12, 2019

Updated June 1, 2022

Published December 12, 2019

Related: Top 8 Leadership Styles - Definitions & Examples

In this video, Jenn, an Indeed Career Coach, explains the top leadership styles in management and how to identify the one that's right for you and your team.

Adopting positive leadership behavior can motivate your team to be more effective and increase its ability to reach goals. It also helps you to retain top talent within your department, as team members will value the opportunity to work alongside you. Learning how to behave like a leader can take practice and a strong sense of self-awareness as you monitor your own actions. In this article, we discuss why leadership behaviors are so important within an organization and share some simple steps you can take to start to develop your own effective leadership behavior.

Related: 15 Leadership Qualifies that Make a Great Leader

What is leadership behavior?

Leadership behavior is the traits and actions that make an individual effective as a leader. This behavior is the process by which a person can guide, direct and influence the work of others to meet specific goals. These actions and strategies can be learned to increase the effectiveness of those around them. Individuals use these behaviors to motivate people into action when they have a vision for an organization, a product or a group of people.

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

Why are effective leadership behaviors important?

Good leadership behaviors are crucial to become someone who inspires and leads people to maximize efficiency and to achieve the goals of the organization. Leadership behaviors are essential to:

  • Increase the productivity of a team: Consistent leadership can motivate a team to greater performance.

  • Retain people: Employees are less likely to leave if they receive great leadership and mentorship in their current roles.

  • Nurture future leaders: Leadership behaviors are integral to develop and nurture future leaders within an organization.

How to demonstrate effective leadership behaviors:

Here is a list of ways you can behave like a leader:

  1. Be honest.

  2. Be confident in your decisions.

  3. Be approachable.

  4. Provide objective feedback.

  5. Lead by example.

  6. Create a reward program for staff members.

  7. Change how you approach your work.

  8. Address potential issues before they become problems.

  9. Pay attention to the needs of individual employees and try to meet them.

  10. Encourage creativity by keeping lines of communication open.

Related: 7 Ways to Improve Your Leadership Strengths

1. Be honest

Honesty helps to create a work environment that feels fair and open. Employees will be more likely to trust your decisions and trust you with their problems if they feel that you are honest with them. Doing what you have said you will do can show your team that you are trustworthy.

2. Be confident in your decisions

Making decisions swiftly and confidently is one of your primary duties as a leader. Your team should have faith that you are capable of making a decision. When you confidently commit to a decision, your employees will have confidence in your abilities as a leader.

3. Be approachable

Work to keep lines of communication open so that your team feels like they can talk to you. Display active listening skills to encourage communication, such as asking open-ended questions and being attentive while the employee speaks. Keep your employees informed by communicating with them regularly about decisions and what is happening within the team and organization.

4. Provide objective feedback

Your team should know what you expect of them and how they can improve. This should be done positively with a focus on educating employees rather than punishing them. Corrections should be done privately so as not to embarrass team members. Create a positive, trusting relationship by identifying what the employee is doing correctly and suggesting ways they could do better.

5. Lead by example

Hold yourself to the same standards as employees. If your team is required to stay late, stay late with them. If your team must reach a particular goal, it should be something you can also attain. While delegating is an essential skill that leaders must possess, your team will appreciate it when you can work alongside them toward a common objective.

Related: How to Demonstrate Leadership Skills at Work

6. Create a reward program for staff members

Publicly recognize the achievements and milestones of each team member. When employees feel as though their accomplishments are appreciated, they are more likely to work towards new goals and achievements. Having a reward program in place helps motivate employees towards reaching individual and team objectives. Even a simple thank you to staff members for their efforts is a way to show appreciation and encourage employees to continue to do their best.

7. Change how you approach your work

Becoming an effective leader is a skill that needs to be practiced daily. One way to start the process of becoming a leader and being recognized as someone with strong leadership behavior is to change the way you think. People who wish to become leaders should redefine their job duties. Consider what you could do in addition to your typical tasks to help your team, department or organization. The goal is to be proactive with your work and find a way to contribute meaningfully.

Broaden your connections by networking with employees outside of your group, peers outside of your organization or people in different industries. Give yourself a bigger perspective to stimulate creative and strategic solutions. This can strengthen your problem-solving skills and the ability to come up with innovative new methods.

To begin to implement these new behaviors, start with just two actions you can do that will display leadership. For example, you could notice and recognize the achievements of your peers or any staff members that you supervise and provide positive and objective feedback on how to improve. Actively focus on two leadership behaviors until they come naturally to you. Then identify two more leadership behaviors and incorporate them into your daily routine until they become a natural part of your leadership style.

8. Address potential issues before they become problems

By closely monitoring your staff, you will be able to notice areas that have the potential to develop into a problem. If there is a lag in productivity, for example, you will recognize the issue and be able to take corrective action before it becomes a larger problem.

9. Pay attention to the needs of individual employees and try to meet them

In addition to monitoring your team members for potential issues, you can also note what their individual needs are. Some people may work better with minimal supervision, while others may find they work best when presented with a challenging variety of tasks. When you know what each individual needs, you can try to meet those needs and gain the respect of your team. This can improve motivation and job satisfaction.

10. Encourage creativity by keeping lines of communication open

Allow and encourage people to approach you with their ideas. When your team knows they can talk to you about potential changes and ways to improve the work environment, you are more likely to hear creative solutions from them. For example, someone may have a suggestion on how to make a task more efficient.

Browse more articles