We all have them, leadership shortcomings that quietly -- and sometimes not-so-quietly -- chip away at our success. Fortunately, with a little self-awareness, they’re easy to identify and fix. Here are three bad habits to break to take your home services business to the next level.
Fix These 3 Bad Leadership Habits
1. Not Listening
You’re hearing your employees, but are you really listening? Can you recall a single thing they said when the meeting is over? Poor listeners devalue their employees, aren't open to good ideas, and they’re generally not very proactive.
Here’s the thing: Listening is hard. As a business leader, you have a million things competing for your attention. The temptation is to plow through a conversation as quickly as possible so that we can get back to more urgent matters. But, when someone is talking, take a moment to set distractions aside.
- Be more curious: Don’t listen to be polite; listen to learn. In other words, ask more questions.
- Talk less: As leaders, we tend to talk more than we listen. But nothing productive comes from a conversation in which we’re only listening for opportunities to demonstrate our expertise.
- Repeat back what you heard: Active listening does two things: 1.) It helps you better process information, and 2.) assures that the person speaking is being listened to.
2. Not Taking Time For Reflection
You can’t go forward unless you take a moment to review the past. As a leader, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind. You might be making crucial leadership mistakes and not even realizing it. This is how businesses plateau.
- Take 10 to 15 minutes at the beginning or end of the day to journal: Keeping a private journal is a great way to acknowledge failures and successes. You don’t need to be a writer to jot down a few thoughts. Simple bullet points will do the trick. The idea is simply to have a written record outlining where you’ve been and where you want to go.
Micromanaging is the mother of leadership sins, and, unfortunately, it’s pervasive in the home services industry. Our industry attracts people who like to work with their hands. They’re generally not ones to sit idly in an office. They’d rather be in the field. So, what happens when they suddenly find themselves in a leadership role? Well, many of them have a hard time adjusting. They don’t trust their technicians to do the job as well as they can. If they could join every tech on every service call, they would! Leaders who have a micromanaging mentality lose their best talent to their competition.
- Develop stronger EQ skills: EQ is emotional intelligence, and it consists of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. People with high EQ lead by example, are better listeners, empathetic, and are more open-minded.
- Delegate: If you know you’re a micromanager, consider hiring a manager. This is someone who can train and interact directly with your technicians and so that you can focus on the big picture.
Want to Lead Better? Surround Yourself With Better Leaders
As leaders, we all have our blind spots, the things holding us back from reaching our true potential. Part of the problem is that very few of us have people to hold us accountable or cheer for our successes. When this is the case, it’s easy to fall into the same tired routines that lead nowhere. Sound familiar? If so, consider joining a home services mastermind group. This unique, peer-to-peer mentoring group consists of business leaders like yourself who are well familiar with the opportunities and challenges of growing a successful HVAC, plumbing, or electrical business. Interested? Call (800) 789-4486 to learn how we can put you in touch with a community of industry experts who can share in your growth journey.