How Human Resources Can Lead by Example

Human resource managers wear many hats and have to keep tabs on a lot of different things. With all of this going on, it is easy to overlook their leadership role in a company, says management expert Nor Franco.

To regain that leadership role, Franco offers five tips for leading by example.

The first is to have a positive, can-do attitude. You want employees in the company to have this kind of attitude, so you have to model the behavior. It has been shown that attitudes are contagious, which makes this leading by example even more important. If you find it hard to show this attitude, you should examine your own work environment to see what is getting in the way.

Another important area of leading by example is the area of communication. Franco says that this means listening. It means encouraging employees to be open and honest with what is going on, and having an open-door policy to allow them access. Monitor your own communication with employees – are you being honest with them, or just telling them what you think they want to hear, or kicking the can down the road?

Setting an example also means being able to make the tough decisions, Franco says. You should be the one to take the reins of a situation, evaluate the problem, and then make a decision. You need to take responsibility and not dump the problem into someone else’s lap.

Are you marketing the brand? It’s not just something for the marketing or communications department to do, it’s everyone’s job. You need to take the lead here, too.

Setting an example means going the extra mile, going above and beyond. It isn’t always just putting in the hours — it’s not just quantity but quality. When someone is talking to you about a problem, are you really listening, or are you already thinking about the next thing on your to do list? Are you dealing with people as quickly as possible, just to get things out of the way, or are you taking the time to really understand their problems?

And finally, leading means starting it all right now, not waiting for the “right” moment. A leader works in the present, Franco says, and uses the time well.

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