Many people look forward to rising through the ranks in the mining industry. However, there comes a point when promotion means taking on a leadership role. It is not easy to be an effective leader, especially if you have been thrown in at the deep end.
If you have only recently taken on the mantle of leadership, you might be struggling to find your feet in your new mining role. However, the good news is that leadership skills can be learned and developed over time and being the boss does get more comfortable in time providing you establish a solid foundation for your work. Here are ten tips to help you develop into an effective mining leader.
Lead by Example
The best mining leaders do not merely tell their followers what to do. The best leaders show people what to do by setting an example. If you want your team members to be safe and punctual, it would be best to demonstrate safe behaviors and be sure you meet timelines that you commit to. Or, even better, get to work early. If professionalism is a priority, make sure that you are dressed for success and demonstrate courtesy and professionalism in everything you do. If you set the bar high, your employees will strive to achieve the same standards.
Show Your Passion
People will not respect the leadership and guidance of someone who doesn’t care about the teams’s goals. People want a leader who is focused on getting team members to finish tasks and having a real passion and enthusiasm for the projects on which the team works. So, consider how you can demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm to your mining team. And show your team members that you value their contribution. When everyone is pulling together and enthusiastic about doing a great job, you will have a great team on your hands.
Listen Attentively and Communicate Effectively
Another essential characteristic of a good mining leader is the ability to provide motivational one-on-one communication with group members. Influential leaders can convey their vision to their followers and motivate people to be inspired by that vision. Keep the lines of communication open and ensure that team members are comfortable making contributions. And remember to recognize and reward individual’s accomplishments. In other words, to be a good leader, your door must always be open.
Encourage Team Creativity
Successful mining leaders encourage creativity and offer new challenges to team members. So, it would be unwise to discount any ideas that come from your team immediately. People are more productive when they know there are opportunities for growth within a group. So, don’t stifle creative ideas and novel solutions. Give new ideas due consideration, discuss them with the team, and when appropriate, allow team members to experiment.
Focus on Goals
Everyone needs to have something to aim for, so set individuals and the team as whole achievable targets. Target-setting in both safety and productivity provides a benchmark for assessing team and individual performance. Goals also give you an excuse for a celebration when they are achieved. It will improve your team leadership skills if you focus more on the team goals than on the problems. Of course, good leaders must be good problem solvers. However, a problem is merely something that stands in the way of your team achieving their goals. Rather than complaining about the issues you face, focus instead on motivating the team to achieve the goals.
Maintain a Positive Outlook
Effective mining leaders generally have an upbeat attitude to work that inspires their employees. No one will want to follow a leader who is always pessimistic and discouraged about the chances of the team’s or company’s success. When things look bleak and your followers start to feel disheartened, try to stay positive. A leader must not ignore reality and pretend everything is rosy when it is not. However, you will find it challenging to motivate a team if you come across as the eternal pessimist.
Share the Glory
An effective mining leader does not take all the credit for their team’s hard work and success. Successful leaders are 100% team-oriented and more than pleased to share the praise and glory for a job well done. Good leaders acknowledge that achievements are the result of the team’s concerted efforts. Remember, a great leader is only as great as the group behind them. So, share the glory for team achievements, and you will win the admiration and respect of the team and their gratitude.
Be Assertive and Courageous
You do not need to be an old-style autocratic boss to get things done. Even so, modern leaders do still need to be assertive and stand their ground when necessary. There will be some rules and regulations, for example, that must be followed, and there may be times when team members need to be brought to task. However, effective leaders are also assertive and courageous when it comes to fighting for their team. Be prepared to speak out on behalf of your team and be bold about what you want for your team members.
Learn from Mistakes
Developing a management style takes time, and you will make some mistakes along the way. However, mistakes are only a significant issue if you fail to learn from them. Be prepared to accept criticism of your team and others. Be self-critical, too, and regularly review your performance to improve your management skills as you go. Even the most seasoned leaders know that there is something new to be learned every day.
Be Trustworthy and Authentic
Trust and authenticity are essential qualities of a good leader. Some people have problems giving their trust to others in the workplace. To earn this trust from others, you must be fair, transparent, and always be true to your word. It is also best to remain true to yourself. If you try to play-act the role of leader, your team member will see right through you. People will be more inclined to offer their help if you are honest and are prepared to admit what you do not know.
Despite what you may have read in books, there is no one effective leadership style particularly that applies to the mining industry. It would be better to find your take on the above strategies rather than emulate another person.
If you lead from the front, focus of safety, encourage creativity and recognize your team’s achievements, you will be on your way to becoming an effective mining leader.
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