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Common Leadership MistakesBeing a leader is challenging enough without having to deal with the potential negative fallout associated with the 10 common leadership mistakes listed below. Take a moment and ask yourself if you might fall prey to one or more of these mistakes. If so, identify some action steps that will help you avoid these potential pitfalls in the future.

1. Making yourself scarce

Workers appreciate a visible leader – someone who takes a personal interest in the work that’s being done by making it a priority to get to know those who are doing it. Make sure you always have an open door policy that is more than just talk or a print you hang on the wall.

2. Allowing the vision to fade

Good leaders are able to keep the vision of the organization fresh and focused. The consistent presence of a well-defined vision provides motivation, enthusiasm and purpose for those responsible for carrying it out. Live your vision, don’t just talk about it.

3. Creating a moving target

Change happens, but leaders who constantly modify or change key objectives fail to maintain their team’s trust, respect and confidence. The best advice is to make wise decisions and stick to them, only adjusting when absolutely necessary.

4. Correcting without affirming

Correction is most effective when preceded by affirmation. Employees who know that their positive qualities and accomplishments are appreciated are more open to corrective feedback when it’s needed.

5. Assigning responsibility without authority

When giving someone the responsibility to produce specific results, make sure they also have the freedom and authority to make the decisions that will get the job done. If you are stuck micromanaging them, you’ll waste your time and theirs.

6. Demonstrating “Do as I say, not as I do.”

When it comes to achieving results,

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Workplace RelationshipsFinding the right position is only one piece of the puzzle that leads to job satisfaction. Have you ever heard someone say, “I’d like my work if it weren’t for the people I work with”? One of the greatest challenges in the workplace is getting along with other people. It hardly matters if someone is the best and brightest at what he does if he creates dissension in the office. Regardless of whether we’re hired to lead or be led, it is the ability to establish functional and healthy workplace relationships that can make or break our success and job satisfaction.

Supervisors have a particular responsibility to create a satisfying and productive atmosphere that encourages others to reach their full potential. To inspire confidence and loyalty from others, a supervisor must lead by example. If he values punctuality, he should be punctual. If he insists on respectful behavior, he should demonstrate it in his treatment of others. If he wants to create a spirit of teamwork, he should do his best to keep workers informed of developments that could affect their departments. In other words, a supervisor should practice the Golden Rule in order to create an environment where he himself would want to work.

Relationships among peers can be some of the most competitive and challenging in the workplace. Balance and discretion should be exercised in these associations. Some individuals feel that the only important relationships are with their supervisors. This attitude overlooks both the importance of teamwork and the obvious benefit of building friendships, which in some cases last a lifetime. Peers can constitute a valuable network of shared information and can generate an atmosphere of cooperation. When we build goodwill among our coworkers, we contribute to our own feelings of well-being on the job and the well-being

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Employee EngagementHave you ever observed an employee on the job who was obviously just putting in their time for a pay check and nothing more?  How about someone who worked so hard, enthusiastically and consistently you thought they owned the company?  What is the primary difference between these two employees?  In a word, it’s engagement.

What is employee engagement? Full engagement goes beyond basic job satisfaction; it’s the degree to which workers are fully committed, involved and enthusiastic about their jobs.  Engaged employees carry out their work for the higher purpose of ensuring that the company’s best interests are served.  Strong employee engagement is what fuels the level of productivity and performance necessary to achieve optimal efficiency and profitability.  An engaged employee will often use the term “we” instead of “they” when talking about company matters.

Employee engagement results in multiple benefits to a company.  Some of them are:

Greater employee retention
Improved customer service and loyalty
Increased cooperation and collaboration
More individual initiative and creativity
Increased productivity and performance
A strong competitive advantage in the marketplace
More likely to attract top talent
Improved employee morale
More satisfying personal life for leadership and team members

So, now you understand how beneficial it is to have engaged employees.  What can you do to create an environment at your company to help your employees stay motivated, loyal, and committed to excellence? How do you help them care enough to do their best?

10 Proven Strategies for Greater Employee Engagement

1. Don’t skimp on strategic recognition. Say “thank you” for achieved benchmarks or extra effort.  Tell your employees through intentional words and phrases that they are noticed, appreciated and valued.  Tangible forms of recognition can be very rewarding, like Certificates of Appreciation for specific accomplishments, public acknowledgements or awards.  But never underestimate the value