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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

5 ways to be a good follower at work

To be a good leader in future, it's important to demonstrate oneself as a good follower, a key factor in a person's professional development. ET finds out a few skills that can make a professional a good follower and hence a better leader. 

Frequent Communication 

Maintaining frequent communication with the manager is one of the foremost needs to being a good follower at work. 

"Leaders count on followers who will be self-starters in their work, but who keep them informed about what they are doing, and any challenges they may be experiencing," says Sudhir Dhar, senior VP and head - HR, Motilal Oswal Financial Services. Most leaders have preferred methods of communication. It could be useful to know that. 

High Commitment 

A good follower at work is one who is trustworthy and fully accountable and has high commitment. They should be able to give their 100% in completing the jobs without looking for excuses on their part, says Prof Daisy Chauhan, associate professor, organizational behaviour, MDI, Gurgaon. 

"If you aren't going to complete it, or if you find out along the way you may not, let him/her know in plenty of time to offer help or find someone who can," he says. 

Trust Matters 

Good followers need to have trust in their leaders or managers and their ability to lead the team. "Great leaders can be undermined by followers who criticise decisions. Good followers need to be trustworthy and transparent in actions," says Dhar. 

Adds Chauhan: "Followers find it easy to trust their supervisor when they (supervisors) are not only competent, but also have concern for their followers and consider them to be trustworthy." 

High Motivation 

To be a good follower at workplace, one should have a high level of motivation to work, says Chauhan. "This quality will help them overcome difficulties in the process of achieving difficult goals," she adds. 

Also, to be a good follower one should take initiative in taking up tasks and responsibilities. "They should be proactive in their approach by moving away from "role taking" to "role making". Thus, they should facilitate the work of their bosses," she says. 

Critical Thinking 

To be a good follower, you need to be able to think for yourself. The best followers support and aid the leader when he or she is doing the right thing, and stand up to the leader when he or she is headed in the wrong direction. 

"Many of the same qualities that we admire in leaders — competence, motivation, intelligence — are the same qualities we want in followers," says Dhar.

Source:-The Economic Times

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