Southern Cross University

With over 20 years of accredited experience, Southern Cross University Online is one of Australia’s pioneers in online postgraduate education, with over 5,000 enrolled students.

How positive leaders influence organisations

Management styles are shifting. No longer do people see an effective leader as someone who can ‘crack the whip’, using domination or fear tactics to spur employees into action. There’s a rising understanding in business that a positive approach to leadership can make a tangible difference within organisations.

This article explores how positive leadership styles can boost productivity, and what skills leaders need to make an impact.

Positivity boosts productivity

It’s no secret that by increasing productivity, organisations can function more effectively and generate greater profits. Finding ways to make employees work harder and more efficiently can be a challenge. It’s important to keep in mind that low productivity and poor performance may be a sign that something is ‘off’ in your organisation’s culture.

By fostering an environment that focuses on employee happiness, collaboration, and creativity, positive leaders can make a world of difference.

Employee happiness

Happy employees are productive employees. If your team members are experiencing dissatisfaction with their work or workplace culture, they’ll be less likely to go above and beyond in their roles. They’ll do the bare minimum that’s required of them, rather than striving for excellence and working towards achieving organisational goals.

Leaders can effectively influence employee happiness by regularly checking in with their team and genuinely seeking to learn about what they need. Offering professional development opportunities can make employees happier in their jobs, helping them grow their skills and expertise. In addition, leaders can assist by establishing a clear company vision, which goes a long way towards boosting employee morale.

Happy employees are more likely to stay around for longer. By engaging your team, your organisation won’t need to waste time continuously hiring and training new people.

Collaboration

We spend almost a third of our lives at work, so it’s important that employees know and like the people they work with. Encouraging your team to work collaboratively can go a long way in increasing productivity. Collaborative teams are likely to communicate effectively and work together to solve problems. With every individual bringing their unique skills and perspective to the table, your organisation can find new ways of doing things and achieve goals faster.

Positive leaders will encourage team collaboration and find opportunities for skill-sharing and mentoring so that employees can operate more effectively.

Creativity

A key aspect of productivity is continually innovating and finding new, better ways to do things; with positive leaders influencing their teams to think differently. This is where creativity can work wonders within an organisation. Employees that feel comfortable sharing their ideas and being creative are more likely to be engaged at work. While this can be challenging in organisations with a rigid hierarchy, it’s important for leaders to create an environment where employees – at all levels – feel their opinion is valued.

The top skills of positive leaders

Leadership styles vary from leader to leader, however, there are some universal skills that successful leaders possess. They are:

Communication

Leaders are constantly communicating with people inside and outside of organisations. The ability to communicate clearly, respectfully and positively is crucial in order to deliver the best results. Listening is just as important as speaking, so be sure to remember that communication is a two-way street.

Conflict resolution

Conflicts occur at any organisation. Whether it’s employees feeling mistreated, difficult clients raising issues or team members in dispute, your ability to take an unbiased stance and turn difficult situations into positive outcomes is crucial.

An ability to inspire

Effective leadership goes beyond just telling people what to do, giving feedback and delivering outcomes. Positivity needs to flow from the top down, so employees are inspired to do their best work and drive organisational success. This involves modelling ideal behaviours, living and breathing the organisation’s values, and recognising and rewarding excellent work.

Compassion

Positive leaders need to respond to mistakes or mishaps in a nurturing and compassionate way, rather than condemning employees when they trip up. Effective leaders put themselves in the shoes of their employees and demonstrate kindness and concern for their wellbeing.

The language of positive leadership

Positive leadership is driven by positive language. Leaders best influence their organisation by keeping in mind the three key areas of language: logos, ethos, and pathos.

Logos

The Greek word for ‘word’ – it refers to the logic and reasoning behind things. For positive leaders, communicating with logos involves being open-minded and willing to listen to and gain insights from your team.

Ethos

The Greek word for ‘ethic’ – it refers to leading with character. This means forging new paths and not resisting change or new ideas.

Pathos

The Greek word relating to passion and feeling – it’s about leading with an open heart and feel compassion and empathy towards your team.

Leaders need to use words that foster certainty, openness to change and a positive culture while using effective storytelling techniques to engage teams. As a leader, you must understand that everything you say has an impact. Choose to use language that inspires, uplifts and enhances employee action.

Learning how to be a positive leader can greatly improve your organisation’s productivity and overall success. This is why this MBA dedicates an entire unit to grow the positive leadership skills needed to be successful. Learn how to become a positive leader today!

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