Successful leaders know how to get the most out of their team. They aren’t afraid to be seen as “tough” as long as it means they get the job done right!
Tough love leadership is about building trust with your team and really getting to know them. It’s also about being reasonably flexible and open to change. Here are some ways you can practice tough love leadership with your team.
Really Get To Know Your Team
Getting to know your team is one of the most important steps you can take toward being a tough love leader.
“What are his personal career goals in the short term? What does she hope to learn? Where does he need to grow? How much more would she like to take on? How’s life at home?
By taking a true interest into each person’s standing (both personally and within the company), your employees will feel more inclined to work toward the goals they laid out, rather than a project you outlined in a team huddle.” – Forbes
Saying something like “I understand that details really matter to you, so I think you’d be better off going over this report again” is far more effective than saying “because I said so”.
In order to really motivate your team, you have to give them a sense of purpose. That’s because getting your team to stand behind you on projects is rarely about the job itself. It’s about using their personal goals as a type of leverage to motivate them to do their best work.
Set The “What” & “Why” But Be Flexible About The “How”
It’s important to set clear goals with your team. However, it’s equally as important to make sure employees have the autonomy to complete tasks on their own.
“Make sure you understand and have fully explained, the logic behind a task so that all team members involved have a buy-in to its importance. If they don’t, it will never be completed to the level you desire.” – Forbes
Once they buy into the “what” and accept your “why” logic, let them complete the task as they see fit. When you’re generous with your team and flexible about how they can get something done, they are more likely to work hard to achieve it.
Build Trusting Relationships
It’s no surprise the tough love approach requires that you be tough. However, before you can make demands on your team, you have to build trust with them.
Being tough but flexible builds trust and makes it easier to call employees out when they’ve done something wrong. When you’re understanding of others they’re understanding of you. They will work harder to make you happy.
Trusting relationships hold up better under the weight of tough love. When your team trusts you, they will find it easier to support your decisions even when they don’t agree with them since they will really believe that it’s for the best.
Be Open To Feedback & Change
Tough love leadership is about bringing out the best in you as well as your team. In this way, you have to be open to feedback and be humble enough to admit when you’re wrong.
Having open communication will ensure that your team always feels like they can come to you when things aren’t working. Tough love leadership is effective because it makes everyone feel really “seen” while simultaneously bringing out their best.
“The challenge is to set high demands while still being supportive.” – Inc.com
When you approach your relationships in a tough but loving way, everyone is stronger for it. Your team will be eager to take on more responsibility and help you achieve your vision!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!