Adjusting Your Management Style to Be a Better Leader

Adjusting your management style can take both you and your team into uncharted waters. Your team may be skeptical of the changes, and you may feel uncertain and or even defensive about the change.  With a clear goal in mind and willingness to communicate with and accept feedback from your team, however, you can adjust your management style to improve your leadership.

Management vs. Leadership: What’s the Difference?

Managers are responsible for keeping a team on-task. They assess the overall goal and methods, assign work to specific team members, supervise the process and ensure the results meet the company’s standards. Forecasting, budgeting, planning and controlling are all part of a manager’s workload.

Leaders may also manage, or they may not. A leader’s job is to provide vision. Leaders ensure their team understands and shares a core mission. They elicit team members’ expertise to ensure the team heads in the right direction to fulfill its mission, and they encourage creativity and flexibility as key tools in achieving the “big picture.”

How to Become a Better Leader by Changing Your Management Style

  1. Practice good listening skills. Managers do a great deal of talking: giving instructions, explaining details, providing feedback. Leaders try to balance talking with listening: taking the opportunity to let team members express their “on the ground” view of a task, the biggest challenges they perceive and their questions about how to get the work done. When you treat team members as the “resident experts” at their own jobs, you empower them to find more effective ways to get the work done.
  2. Communicate more, not less. Communication fosters transparency, confidence and trust on your team. By making it possible for team members to communicate with one another and with you – and by setting a standard that expects communication – you clarify what you expect from the team, what resources they have available to get the job done and what success looks like.
  3. Ask for help when you need it. Alerting your team to your goals and efforts prepares them for uncertainties and equips them to help you by providing constructive feedback. For added support from an experienced professional, don’t hesitate to turn to a mentor – or to pick up the phone and talk to your staffing partner.

At FootBridge Energy Services, our recruiters specialize in connecting our clients to the best available talent in the oil and gas industries. To learn more, contact us today.

How to Talk About Weaknesses in a Job Interview

“What’s your greatest weakness?”

This classic job interview question is on most interviewers’ lists for a reason: How you talk about your weaknesses and failures reveals a great deal about who you are, how you view the world and what you’ll do when faced with a challenge or setback on the job. Here’s how to talk about your weaknesses in a job interview.

Choose a weakness you’ve worked to overcome.

If you’re like most professionals in the energy industry, your weaknesses aren’t areas that are central to your profession, which you’ve worked hard to be good at. Instead, they’re things you’ve managed to compensate for, work around or simply avoid.

When preparing for your interview, think about weaknesses you are currently working to overcome.  This way, when you mention your weakness, you can also talk about what you’re doing to address it.  For example, you might say, “I occasionally procrastinate on my paperwork because I’m more interested in the details of a problem itself. Because I know this can be tough on my team and supervisor, I make it a point to schedule two hours each Friday to finish it. This way I’m never more than a week behind.”

Avoid blame.

Blaming others for your weaknesses is interview suicide. It communicates to the interviewer you don’t have the inner strength to own your own faults, to assess them honestly or to work to overcome them.  But blaming yourself doesn’t help your case either. It indicates you’re more interested in faulting someone than you are in fixing the problem.

Instead of assigning blame, take responsibility in one sentence or less, then talk immediately about solutions. Avoid using words that sound judgmental, like “lazy,” “foolish” or “terrible,” to describe your weakness. Instead, state it for what it is: “When I don’t immediately know how to answer a question, I’ll let it fall to the bottom of my priority list.” Then, talk about how you address this weakness: “Now, I put a note on my computer monitor, so I remember to look up the answer and address it by the end of the day.”

At FootBridge Energy Services, our experienced recruiters specialize in helping you connect with the best job openings in the oil and gas industry and in helping you present yourself and your skills in the best possible light. Contact us today to learn more about our employment opportunities in the energy sector.