As an operations manager, building and honing your leadership skills is a critical part of your job responsibilities. The better your leadership skills, the better the workers under your command will respond to you–and the better the working environment you will create.
In fact, by using these key tips, you'll demonstrate strong leadership skills as an operations manager that will benefit yourself, your team, and the overall organization.
1. Lead By Example
Workers prefer managers who are willing to get their hands dirty–especially in the mining and construction industries. If you're spending your days behind a desk, it won't take long for you to lose touch with your workers.
Not only that, being out in the field with your workers and doing the same tasks they're doing will create an atmosphere of collaboration and hard work in your crew. It's one of the best ways to build trust and gain the respect of your team.
2. Evaluate Your Team
The most effective leaders know their teams well and are able to evaluate the talents and skills of their subordinates. It's how managers become leaders: by understanding the value of what each team member brings and putting them in an environment where they can excel.
For example, knowing that a worker is particularly skilled in a certain area can lead you to place them in charge of that specific responsibility, while understanding your workers' weaknesses will enable you to place them in positions within their comfort zones and give them responsibilities that they're able to handle.
3. Respect Your Team
When you treat the members of your team with respect, they're more likely to treat you with respect in turn. Listen to their opinions. Ask questions that encourage them to talk more about themselves. These are just small yet profound tips to fostering trust with your team.
It can also be helpful to consider your workers the same way you consider your clients: what tone of voice should you use to speak to them? How should you convey difficult concepts, including critiques of their performance?
Make sure to embrace every generation of employee within your team equally, appreciating them for the experience they're able to bring to the table. By treating your team with respect, you'll develop a deeper relationship with each member of the team that will encourage them to respond more respectfully to you in turn.
4. Demonstrate Discipline
There will be times when you must demonstrate discipline--both for yourself and for the members of your team. In order to be an effective leader, you must know where to draw the line.
That means not only drawing the line for your employees, from insisting that they show up on time for a job to indicating how they're expected to treat company equipment, but also drawing the line for yourself.
Effective leaders end meetings on time, uphold their job responsibilities, and do their part to make sure that the project moves smoothly. Unfortunately, only about 1/3 of projects end both on time and on budget--which means that demonstrating the discipline necessary to reach those goals will set you apart from your peers and also earn you greater respect from your workers.
One of the key leadership skills for operations managers is standing as a buffer between your clients and your team members. Fulfilling these duties sets a better example for your team members and encourages them to respond by fulfilling their own tasks.
5. Watch the Big Picture
As an operations manager, one of the key leadership skills you must develop is a strong ability to see and respond to the bigger picture. What problems are looming on the horizon? What steps might you take in order to more effectively manage your team to help prevent those problems?
This might include knowing that your team is in danger of missing a project deadline or understanding that a specific team member is starting to have problems delivering on their work responsibilities.
On a larger scale, mentoring younger employees can substantially improve their performance on the team in the future.
Your Skills as an Operations Manager Impacts Your Influence
As you develop the leadership skills of an operations manager, you'll discover that you're better able to influence the way your team performs more effectively. Over time, your leadership will shape a stronger, more effective team that is better able to meet your job responsibilities and accomplish your duties.
Looking for an operations manager position that will help you use those critical skills? Contact us today to learn more about how we can find the right employer for you.