To encourage the potential of the best leaders in your organization, it’s important to think about how to develop leadership qualities in your staff. Most leaders are made, not born. Without encouragement and training, many with leadership potential never get as far as they could.
Many companies expect leaders to emerge naturally or may provide leadership training only to those in management. Your organization needs employees who show leadership skills at different levels. Even employees who are not supervisors or managers can benefit from leadership training as a way of nurturing and encouraging their unique contributions to your organization.
Recruiting leaders from outside the business can be expensive and time-consuming. It makes more sense for your company to develop leadership skills in the people they already have. Providing opportunities to learn and practice leadership qualities lets employees know that you value their career growth which can help keep them interested and engaged. How can you help develop these qualities in your staff?
Consider What Leadership Qualities Need to Be Developed
Leadership is a way of behaving rather than a particular position. Effective leaders can see the big picture. They have a clear vision of what they’re trying to accomplish, and they also have the ability to inspire others to follow suit. They have the desire to continually learn new things and to share ideas and solutions with others.
Before considering how to develop leadership qualities in your staff, it’s a good idea to think about what leadership qualities you’d like staff to work on. Examples of traits that can be worked on include:
- Taking initiative
- Motivating and inspiring others
- Public speaking
- Strong verbal and nonverbal communication skills
- Creative thinking
- Active listening skills
- Giving and receiving feedback
- Handling conflict or crisis
- Time management
It can be helpful to target specific skills to develop. Focus on one quality at a time rather than trying to master several things at once.
Provide Coaching and Mentorship
Coaching and mentorship are among the best ways to develop leadership qualities. Leadership skills aren’t something that can be learned in isolation and working with a skilled coach or mentor can help an individual identify strengths and skills to be developed. One way to implement mentorship is to pair an employee with a leader in your company.
A coach or a mentor can help an individual set and strive for goals within their current position or make changes needed to move in a different direction. They can provide goals and feedback while helping those they mentor to develop greater self-awareness and confidence.
Learn and Practice Skills on an Ongoing Basis
There’s always more to learn about leadership. Provide opportunities for your staff to learn and practice skills on an ongoing basis both within your organization and through external leadership programs. Training programs outside your organization can provide a fresh perspective and help your employees learn different strategies.
Interactive instructor-led training workshops can help to build an important foundation. Additional training opportunities range from webinars to courses taught in a classroom setting to virtual workshops to self-directed learning.
Training programs your staff completes should be followed up with opportunities to practice what they’ve learned on an ongoing basis. Encourage discussions between peers to brainstorm challenges and to provide feedback to one another.
Investing in the professional development of your staff can help them grow and evolve, and the results you get back from what you invest may very well exceed your expectations. For ongoing leadership training, get in touch to learn more about membership in People Leaders Club.