How to build leadership skills
Leadership skills can play a significant role in a person’s career development however, there is more to leadership than bearing a title and having the authority to tell people what to do. Effective leaders in the workplace need to be able to guide and motivate their staff to achieve their goals, increase productivity, and stay happy in their jobs, as well as work on progressing in their own career.
Technical skills are essential in the workplace, but leadership skills are considered to be just as important when it comes getting to the top of your field. Few people are born to be leaders, and many of us need to learn, develop and work on leadership skills and being a good leader. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you hone your leadership skills and become an outstanding leader in both your professional or personal life.
Take the Initiative:
Don’t wait to take on extra responsibilities go above and beyond the call of duty and work on additional projects that will help to develop your skills. Take on projects that are out of your job description – this will show that you are proactive, forward-thinking and willing to extra hard towards achieving your goals – all signs of a good leader. Working on projects outside your field of expertise is a form of learning in itself and could help you gain you extra skills needed for moving into a leadership position in the future.
Become a Critical Thinker:
Good leaders are able to foresee potential problems before they arise and develop ways or solutions for preventing the problem from happening. This takes critical thinking skills, so you need to become a critical thinker. Learn to think out of the box and be open to the thoughts and ideas of others – this will enable your scope of solutions to be much broader, which could, in turn, benefit the company and employees.
Be a Good Listener:
One of the most important skills a good leader can have is to be an effective listener. Listening to your colleagues or partners enables you to take new information on board, get a sense of what your staff or team feel and collate feedback towards any problems that might arise. Effective listening skills include being aware of body language and gestures, maintaining eye contact, avoid distractions and responding appropriately.
Influence and motivate people in a positive way:
Good leaders influence and motivate others in a positive way by knowing their needs and wants. Influence is defined as the ‘capacity or power of a person to be a compelling force or produce effects on the actions, behaviours, and opinions of others’ (Oxford Dictionary of English) and includes being reliable and trustworthy.
-Reliability is the extent to which someone, whether it be a work colleague or a friend, can be counted on to do something, such as arriving at an appointment on time, finishing an important task, or being discreet about certain matters. These characteristics play a vital role in the workplace, gaining trust and respect from the people around you, thus, in turn, supporting your role as an influencer.
-One of the key attributes of an influential person is trust. An individual who is trustworthy can be relied upon to deliver on what they have promised, to do the jobs they have set out to do and in whom the trust of others can be placed without the worry of betrayal. Trust is an invaluable asset in the workplace, and a trustworthy person will have undue influence on others.
Good leaders need to have the ability to handle difficult people and conflicts in a calm and fair way. Leaders need, to be honest, and straight to the point, but also need to listen to both sides of the story and make calculated, informed decisions as to the outcome. Good leaders also need to have the courage to make difficult decisions, such as firing people, and stand by them with conviction.
Be open to constant learning:
In the words of John F. Kennedy, “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Excellent leadership skills include always learning and continuously setting new challenges like taking a course or trying something new.
In conclusion, good leadership skills are essential to career development and personal growth. To improve your leadership skills, give some thought as to how you could become more influential in the workplace and how you would motivate your staff or your team to achieve their goals.