Being a follower is just as important as being a leader. Although leaders are usually more popular, a lot of people look down on finding a team of subordinates with good followership skills. People underestimate the power of being followers who can push their leaders to great heights, and settle for mere yes-mans and boss pleasers.
Being a good follower takes more than just mindlessly following the leader. Effective followers not only make the team more valuable, they also make a good support system. The question is, how to distinguish the good followers from the bad? These are the questions to ask to determine whether people have good or bad followership
Question 1: How do you contribute to the team?
Contrary to popular belief, good followers do not just go with the low. They carry their own weight by doing their tasks they are assigned with. They actively participate in group projects from the start to the end. Good followers even give constructive criticism to their teammates and leader, and come up with their own ideas when
needed. If the leader contributes by giving the last call, the followers contribute by following through with the tasks with complete dedication.
Question 2: How do you listen to your teammates and leaders?
Good followers are often good listeners too. They listen to instructions or concerns, understand the situation and generally get the picture of what’s best for the team. Bad followers only hear, but don’t listen when given feedback. They only pretend to understand what’s being said, but they get caught from the poor quality work they
Question 3: How do you support your team?
Good followers are socially capable, and make good team players. They’re not just good at completing their individual tasks, they are also good at showing appreciation for the team. They know when to celebrate little successes with teammates and their leaders, and give credit where it is due. Bad followers either disregard their
teammates’ achievements or ignore them altogether.
Question 4: How do you manage your ego?
Good followers usually have good interpersonal skills. They don’t seek personal recognition at work, they prefer to succeed in group performances. For them, they feel more satisfied when the whole team gets recognition for their hard work. Bad followers are more individualistic, and measure their own successes. Since their ego drives them to do work, they may not follow instructions well and be problematic when it comes to group tasks.
Question 5: How loyal are you?
Loyalty to an organization is crucial. Imagine a company facing a crisis, but due to disloyal employees, the company is forced to shut down because all of its confidential data are compromised. Good followers firmly believe and respect the organizations they belong to, and show their commitment through their work.
Although being called a follower is not as glamorous as a leader, a follower has his own roles to play. People should start seeing the importance in learning good followership skills and stop seeing these skills as inferior to leadership skills. After all, good followers, with the right motivation and progress, also have the makings of