The Top 7 Leadership Challenges in the Workplace Today
Business leaders guide team members to meet objectives and fulfill missions. They set the standards for an organization’s culture and motivate their employees to achieve success. In a very real, tangible way, effective leaders bring direct value to an organization.
However, even the most effective leader will face challenges along the way. These challenges are important. They help leaders grow, both personally and professionally, while boosting self-confidence and management skills.
As a leader, you should constantly be looking to better yourself, and there is no better way to do so than by facing your biggest challenges head-on. So, let’s discuss seven common challenges that almost all leaders will face – and tactics for successfully overcoming them.
1. Building Self Confidence
Self-confidence is essential to effective leadership. Confident leaders are easier to trust, more willing to accept feedback, and ready to take on risks when they’re worth it.
However, almost everyone struggles to build true self-confidence. Feelings of self-doubt and fear plague even the most driven leaders, but you can’t allow these challenges to dictate the decisions you make.
Up to 82 percent of people experience imposter syndrome at some point, especially when starting a new role. If you are feeling unprepared or undeserving of your leadership position, know that you’re not alone. You’ll need to learn to train your brain to fight feelings of self-doubt.
To overcome imposter syndrome and a lack of confidence, look for evidence that you belong in your role. Trust us – it’s there. You just need to know where to find it. Ask for feedback from your peers. Talk to other managers and leaders. Observe how others turn to you for help, advice, and guidance. If necessary, work with a leadership coach.
2. Staying Humble
Although it’s necessary and healthy to have self-confidence in your role as a leader, humility is an essential element of true leadership.
Taking too much responsibility and credit for your business’s achievements will put you on a bad footing with your team members. Instead, you need to acknowledge other people’s contributions and hard work. Note any feelings of arrogance you begin to develop, and continually work on staying humble – no matter how high you climb.
Humble leaders reap the benefits of collaborative business success. They make others in their organization feel understood, valued, and appreciated. Taking the time to recognize outstanding performances doesn’t just make people feel good – it increases job satisfaction and promotes higher standards throughout the organization.
3. Keeping Everyone Motivated – Including Yourself
Keeping your team motivated and inspired is crucial, but it’s often easier said than done.
As a leader, your team looks to you for inspiration and a sense of purpose in their work. Therefore, leaders must lay out a clear vision to ensure that all employees feel connected to their work and inspired to do more.
Strive to understand your team members’ goals for the future and find new ways to challenge them. Create formal and informal opportunities to help them progress in their careers and give them a sense of meaning.
According to a recent report from Salesforce, employees who feel engaged in their work are 4.6 times more likely to feel motivated to perform their best work. People want to feel driven at their place of employment, and you can help with that by imbuing a sense of motivation throughout the organization.
Inspiring your employees isn’t always simple, especially when you are not motivated or inspired in your work. Still, great leaders find ways to move forward and display enthusiastic attitudes, even on their bad days.
Remember that your team is always watching you. Work to find your sources of inspiration and ambition, then translate those emotions into your leadership tactics going forward.
4. Clearly Communicating
To effectively lead a team, you’ll need excellent communication skills. Unfortunately, many leaders struggle to develop practical communication skills within their organization.
There are two simple ways that you can develop clear and practical communication.
The first is to be transparent. Clear communication from a business leader minimizes confusion within an organization. When you master transparency as a leader, company goals, responsibilities, and expectations will be well-defined.
A transparent leader isn’t secretive. They share important news with their team members. You don’t ever want your employees to feel that you are hiding valuable information from them, even when you’re doing so for their protection or the company’s reputation.
Secondly, focus on staying calm when you communicate. Your team is looking to you for guidance, so you need to be level-headed and calm when communicating organizational challenges to your team. Yelling or behaving in a stressed manner can create a sense of panic and uncertainty and will typically lower productivity.
When communicating with your team, mastering a calm demeanor will help keep them motivated, even through uncertain or difficult times.
5. Dealing with Conflict
A workplace can quickly become toxic when a leader allows conflict to fester rather than stepping in to resolve it head-on.
Here’s how you can effectively deal with conflict resolution:
When you embrace conflict as a business leader, you need to understand all sides of the issue and set aside your assumptions and beliefs.
Practice active listening and try to learn where each team member is coming from. Acknowledge that you understand, and when you don’t, ask for clarification. Identify where both parties agree and disagree and ensure that everyone involved feels heard.
Find a Solution
Next, your goal should be to find a solution that fits the organization’s best interest and placates those affected. Finally, establish an action plan that both parties are willing to implement, including specific action items that you can check back on later.
When necessary, take disciplinary action. Of course, you want to be a kind and understanding leader, but at the same time, you cannot allow conflict to ruin the organization you are proud to lead.
6.Managing Stress and Anxiety
Business leadership positions come with plenty of hardships, from delivering bad news to your team to meeting strenuous deadlines. With so many responsibilities to tackle, it’s only natural to feel stressed out at times.
Unchecked stress and anxiety may jeopardize your ability to lead effectively. Over time, anxious feelings can turn into self-doubt, fear, and poor communication skills.
Times of stress can also make leaders behave differently than they usually would. For example, if you don’t know how to cope with stress, you may become less patient with your employees and lash out unfairly. This can lower morale within your organization and lead to high employee turnover.
Feelings of stress and anxiety are unavoidable for most leaders, but it’s critical to develop an effective strategy to manage these behaviors. For some leaders, physical activity keeps the stress to a minimum. Others lower their anxiety levels with meditation, yoga, or other forms of relaxation. Many find working with an executive coach is an effective partnership to assist. Find the strategy that works for you and stick to it.
7. Facilitating Change
Lastly, remember that you will face big changes, and your methods of approaching these transitions are important. Leaders must be ready to embrace the challenges that come along with growth and transformation.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an excellent example of how stressful it can be to manage during transitional periods. Many leaders had to shift their organization from operating in an office setting to functioning remotely, and that was a big burden.
As a leader, you’ll need to master your ability to embrace change rather than fear it. Be optimistic and find ways to learn and grow, rather than shrinking away. Communicate with your team members to understand how transitions affect them and the business, and be there for them throughout the process.
Furthermore, it’s up to you to engage your team members in active communication. First, ask about their concerns and uncertainties. -Then, check-in with each employee individually to make sure they all feel comfortable and are handling the change well.
The more you’re present and positive during a change, the easier it will be for everyone to handle the transition period. This is one of the most important skills you can sharpen as a leader.
Hopefully, this post gave you a better understanding of how to conquer some of the most common leadership challenges.
If you are struggling to embrace and overcome leadership challenges like the ones we just discussed, Strategy People Culture can help.
We are an executive coaching service that specializes in helping business leaders develop new skill sets and improve themselves. We will work with you to identify your most significant challenges and find actionable solutions to face them.
If you want to improve your leadership skills, contact us today. You can call 833-ROCK-SPC or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here for leaders when no one else is, and you can trust us to privately challenge and support you with evolving the way you guide your organization.