3 Ways to Be a Demanding Yet Supportive Leader


Leadership is like parenting! You need to challenge your people to become responsible and to support them all throughout their progress. So, instead of telling them how disappointed you are, you need to guide and support them to become better. Approach your people with encouragement and positivity. The key here is to let them know that failure is inevitable and they can do better the next time. To build engagement within your team, you need to provide support. But, when you need to be demanding, you need to make your demands clear.  

3 Ways to Become Supportive and Demanding 

Here are three ways to do it: 

#1: Remember That TIME is essential 

You need to take note that your people who spend six hours a week following leadership tasks are more motivated and engaged. Time is a great balancing act for everyone. So, you have to know your team members professionally and personally. Engage with your people and let them know that you see them more than just your employees.  

In my experience, when you connect with your people, they will most likely support and trust you. You need to build constant rapport publicly and privately. Then, save constructive criticisms and feedback later on during private talks.  

#2: Try Moving Your Employees Up or Out 

This may be an old school approach but this can shape your leadership. Your people may always move in one of those two pathways: they are working themselves out of the job, or they are getting better and more productive.  

When you cultivate an independent employee, who is ambitious and productive, they will definitely rise. These people will admit to you when they mess up and they will eventually ask for help. If you have a strong leader-member relationship with them, they will become more collaborative and productive. Those who are unmotivated and less ambitious need more guidance in their direction and they tend to self-select out.  

If your employee projects a behavior that does not align with the goals and values of the company and he or she cannot always keep up with his or her roles, you need to consider moving this person out from the company. But, always make time to let your people know that you care and that you are fair to everyone.  

#3: Separate Discipline and Development  

You need to take note that if you are a leader, your employees will most likely be scared of you in the first place. Do not give them the reason to give mixed messages. When it is time for some discipline, make it clear that you are discussing consequences and not just a room for future improvement.  

When it comes to encouraging improvements, you need to tell your employees to work on certain things like becoming productive at work. Your message should aim for the developmental side rather than discipline.  

Wrapping Things Up! 

Of course, you can be both demanding and supportive to your employees. But, to become an effective leader, you need to separate these two acts. When in times of setting demands, you need to be clear about it. On the other hand, you need to be constantly supportive, especially in times of struggles and hardships.