How to be a Leader When You Have Less Experience

by | Jul 28, 2021 | Video

This video is an excerpt from a live Q&A session with Chrissy Scivicque, Career Coach & Corporate Trainer. The full video is available in the Career Success Library.

A participant in our recent Q&A session asked:

“What are some strategies to be an effective leader when there are colleagues in your team who are more experienced and also have been at the company longer than you?”

Watch the video to hear Chrissy’s answer. The article below summarizes the video content.

I like this because the person is basically acknowledging that, hey, you can be a leader at any level. I’m not sure if this person is specifically asking about formal leadership or informal leadership; if they are in a role and have a title of managing people who perhaps are more experienced or at the company longer, or if they’re talking about being an informal leader within the team. So, I’m going to talk broadly about some general strategies for leading at any level, when you are perhaps newer to the team, you don’t bring as much experience and you don’t necessarily know the company as well.

What can you do to be a strong leader? I have a couple of recommendations.

The first one is that I believe the best leaders are master listeners, they are able to ask great questions. They recognize that they don’t know everything. And by asking really powerful questions, you can really create some dynamic conversations; it can be a helpful tool for the team to ask thoughtful and thought-provoking questions.

And then, of course, to be a great listener… to be that person that people go to, to have a conversation, because you truly are listening and devoting attention to them. So that’s the number one thing I would say is to learn how to be a great listener, learn how to engage with people by asking thoughtful and thought provoking questions.

I also believe that the best leaders are the best supporters. They’re the people who are trying to provide encouragement, provide resources, help people overcome obstacles that they’re facing. Even if you don’t have the most experience on the team, even if you haven’t been at the company the longest, you still have valuable experience from other places where you’ve worked and other life experiences. So you can still be that cheerleader for the team, that person who tries to help when people are struggling. When people are feeling overwhelmed, jump in there, be that teammate who wants to help other people to achieve success.

I think it’s always fantastic when people ask, you know, what are your goals? And how can I help support you and being successful in your goals? That’s a great way to demonstrate leadership. And anyone at any level can do that.

You can always role model what it looks like to be a leader within a team, to be a great team player who is empathetic and compassionate and really, really cares about the team, acknowledges teammates when they’ve done a great job, provides that peer-to-peer recognition. Providing positive feedback is not reserved solely for managers. You can do that for anyone on your team. You can tell somebody, “Wow, you did a really great job with that presentation. I can tell you worked really hard on and that.” It’s a wonderful way to show that you are a leader, and you can do that on your very first day at the job!

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About the Author

Chrissy Scivicque is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and certified Professional Career Manager (PCM). She is an author, in-demand presenter and international speaker known for engaging, entertaining, educating and empowering audiences of all sizes and backgrounds. Learn more here.

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