Librarian & Entrepreneurship

Leadership at Work

Gaining trust and building influence at work are important leadership skills and for the success of your library team. You will manage conflict better and be respected when hard decisions come down. During meetings, you are more likely to be heard and acknowledged when you’ve established a solid reputation with results based on integrity. Gaining influence is a skill and it takes experience. Continue reading to set the foundation for being an effective leader and influencer in your organization.

Start by Building Trust

Trust is a critical component of influence within your team and organization. When trust is the standard in the work culture, employees will listen to you and respect your opinion. Staff will know that changes or tasks are necessary without pushing back when trust exists. You cultivate trust by having open and honest conversations with your co-workers and leaders. Asking questions of your team and walking the library floor are good ways to connect. Honesty and open communication is the cornerstone to a healthy work team.

Be Consistent

You will build influence when you are consistent. People want their leaders to be predictable and follow through with tasks. You should be consistent with staff meetings, team feedback, and act upon the feedback provided. You should also be consistent in what you expect from others at work. This builds trust within the team, which helps build your reputation as a leader. Consistency in communication displays your work ethic, integrity, and the value of the library’s organization. It also shows commitment to your team and their personal and professional goals.

Be Flexible

It is important to be flexible on so many levels as an effective leader. During the day with regular tasks priorities will change, even major projects might morph into something different.  Things happen, and you need to be able to switch directions, when necessary, in a positive manner. Listening to constructive feedback from your supervisor or following recommendations from other departments, is vital to collaboration and building flexibility. When you are flexible and solution-oriented, it builds your leadership skills and influence within the organization.

Be a Good Listener

Finally, it’s important to listen to employees, your supervisor, and mentors. Consider your library partners and their goals, your organization’s goals and the new ideas that come from listening. When you are presented with the facts in a truthful manner, anything can be accomplished with listening and feedback.  Active listening enables people to feel valued and respected. Encourage people to speak their minds and take the time to make sure they feel heard. This creates an environment of trust and respect that is mutual and leads to an improved teamwork.

By Kathy Husser (Tempe)

Kathy Husser is a Tempe librarian and educator who enjoys travel and learning about our global cultures. With post pandemic traveling open up more and more, Kathy wants to share resources for family friendly getaways and fun trips to meet your vacation needs. She enjoys gardening, the outdoors and cooking too!