As a team leader, you need to be able to motivate your team members consistently. While this is an important task at all times, it’s particularly vital during challenging periods.
Quite simply, no team always thrives. Due to a variety of factors, many of which may be out of your team members’ control (as well as your own), there will likely be times when your employees feel discouraged. You need to be able to spark their sense of motivation and engagement when this happens.
You’ll do so more successfully if you’re charismatic. The problem is, not everyone possesses natural charisma.
That’s not a character flaw. Even if you’re an otherwise strong leader who works hard, treats employees with respect, and achieves major objectives consistently, you simply might not have a traditionally charismatic personality.
Fortunately, there are ways you can change that. The following are a few noteworthy examples. They’ll help you motivate your team to an even greater degree than you already do.
Assume Confident Body Language
When your team isn’t thriving, team members look to you for motivation and encouragement. An easy way to show them that you remain confident and competent despite the challenges ahead is through your body language.
Research has shown that assuming and maintaining confident body language can actually make you feel more confident. The brain associates different types of postures and gestures with different emotional states. For instance, confident body language involves standing tall, maintaining eye contact when speaking, and moving deliberately.
Interestingly, if you assume this type of body language even when you’re not feeling particularly confident, you can seemingly “trick” your brain into thinking you are. That’s a simple but effective way to become more charismatic.
If assuming confident body language does not come naturally to you, it may take some conscious practice before it becomes second nature.
Get to Know Your Team Members
As you may know, it’s important to maintain some degree of authority over your team members; if they come to think of you as just another coworker, or even just a friend, they may not take you seriously enough to act accordingly when you give them directives.
However, you can still meet with your team members regularly. Meeting with each team member every week or every other week gives you more opportunities to offer feedback. Surveys indicate most employees want to receive more feedback from their supervisors than they currently do. Meeting regularly is a simple but effective way to engage with your team members.
It also gives you the chance to get to know your employees. As long as you maintain your authority and professionalism, your team will respect you more if they feel they have a real connection with you. Additionally, if you know about your team members’ interests, tastes, sense of humor, and other traits, you can incorporate that knowledge into your motivational speeches and pep-talks. This added degree of personalization will make you come across as much more charismatic.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that being charismatic always involves giving speeches to your employees. While that will be necessary at times, such as when you need to motivate them in meetings, it’s not the only way to demonstrate charisma.
The most charismatic leaders are also those who listen to their employees. Surveys and research consistently reveal that listening to employee feedback and allowing them to contribute their ideas always leads to higher levels of engagement, particularly among ambitious A-players who have the potential to deliver the greatest value.
While listening and showing you are receptive to input allows you to engage with your team members, listening alone isn’t enough. You have to listen actively. You can’t give the impression that you’re distracted or in a hurry when an employee is sharing an idea or feedback. They need to see that you are listening carefully and closely.
Also, when you hear an idea you want to implement, you need to act on it and demonstrate to your employees that you have done so. This makes it clear to your employees that you have the same degree of respect for them that you want them to have for you. Over time, this consistent behavior will make you appear naturally charismatic to your team members.
Remember, lacking charisma isn’t a character flaw. In fact, plenty of naturally charismatic people have actually had very flawed characters. Charisma is a crucial trait to have if you wish to be an effective leader.