How Flexible Should a Leader be in Implementing Rules and Policies?

Flexible Leader

You want to be flexible as a leader since you don’t want your employees to be under pressure. If they feel like they need to do too many things at once, and you don’t offer sufficient time, it could be too much for them. On the flip side, you also don’t want your employees to feel like you’re too lenient, and they can do whatever they want. You have to walk that fine line to ensure that results are delivered on time, without making everyone feel pressured. 

Set clear rules 

You need to have clear rules for everyone to follow. It would be easier to implement changes or force people to meet deadlines if everything is clear. No one will complain that you’re too strict, or you punish everyone in your team. Remind your employees about these rules and allow them to ask questions or make suggestions for improvement. The point is that you can’t enforce something that’s unclear to everyone. 

Talk to employees in private

Talk to employees in private

If your employees ask for a favor, you have to listen first. Entertain them on a case to case basis. Sometimes, there are clear reasons for the delays in the submission of tasks or failure to respond to emails. Don’t scold your employees since you don’t know what they’re going through. It’s even more important at this time. Some people have recently lost a loved one, and are still recovering. Others have financial issues to deal with due to their partners losing a job. You can’t be firm and punish employees for things beyond their control. Sure, professionalism is necessary, but you have to provide a leeway depending on the situation. 

Don’t allow someone to abuse your kindness 

There are times when you have to excuse someone for failing to provide the results on time. You want to show kindness and understanding. However, you can’t allow your employees to abuse your flexibility. They might think that you’re okay that they always delay results. If it becomes a habit, it would be terrible for the team. Other employees will think you’re unfair. It tells them to do the same. They will also keep asking for favors and make up reasons for you to believe them.

You might show biases

The last thing you want is for your employees to accuse you of being biased. They might think that you prefer some employees over the others. It’s even worse if some of them are your friends or family members. It’s already quite controversial that you have friends in your team. Giving them favors since you know them better would make things even worse.

There’s nothing wrong in being kind and flexible. Every leader needs to possess that attitude. It’s only an issue if you can no longer do your job well. If everyone requires you to be flexible, rules won’t be followed. There will be hurt feelings, and it’s not good for the team.

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