A company’s success depends on leaders who work willingly with others and inspire openness and teamwork. To keep their companies operating smoothly, top leaders must develop a company culture of collaboration and innovation. There are several strategies and tools they can use, such as the following.

Create an Environment of Trust

Leaders are responsible for encouraging an environment of trust throughout the company. They must lead by example, both in trusting and being trustworthy. Honesty, consistency, and openness are three ways to create trustworthiness.

A leader must be honest about both achievements and difficulties. They must follow words with actions and take responsibility. When people can trust what you say, they are willing to contribute to the team effort. Moreover, trust involves letting competent people manage their own areas of expertise.  

Stay Organized

Good organization is crucial at all levels of a business, and that means all decision-makers need the most up-to-date information necessary. However, most companies are separated by departments, and department leaders may not have the chance to share facts, ideas, and concerns. To help, an Obeya room helps you speed up communication and the decision-making process. “Obeya” is Japanese for “large room,” and it can be either physical or digital. The Obeya serves as a central hub for all the company’s top leaders to meet together and collaborate on goals and solutions to problems. Visualizing information is a key component to Obeya, so the room may include graphs, charts, and whiteboards.

Communicate

Communication is a two-way process involving both talking and listening. In our digital age, people in business often depend on email memos, but these are one-way communications that don’t allow easy responses. Face-to-face communication sends the message that you are available and welcome any input others may have.

Active listening is also important because it makes others feel valued and trusted. Practicing active listening means focusing on the individual and trying to fully understand the other’s viewpoint and ideas. You should also ask questions to clarify meaning and details before responding to any ideas or suggestions. Always acknowledge the value of the input and show appreciation for comments, whether they seem positive or negative.

A business’s top leaders make decisions and plans that help the company reach its goals. But to keep operations running smoothly, leaders must set a tone of trust and sharing. To do that, they should get all team members involved.

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