how to develop leadership qualities

About the author : Valerie Dansereau

Leadership qualities can get you noticed and can make a difference in your career. If you’ve never been in a leadership role but are suddenly in one, or you’re trying to pursue a management or supervisor position, you’re probably in one of two categories. Some people are naturally born leaders, and if you’re lucky, you’re one of them. But the majority of people have to figure out how to develop leadership qualities starting from scratch.

What Qualities Do Leaders Need?

Before focusing on how to develop leadership qualities, it’s a good idea to consider some of the qualities good leaders have. No leader is perfect, but here are some good qualities to strive for:

  • Leaders set an example to others of commitment to doing their best and remaining interested and curious.
  • They have the ability to delegate to others and can build effective teams.
  • They can manage conflict.
  • They can handle change.
  • They treat others with respect and compassion.
  • They encourage creative thinking.
  • They often inspire those around them to want to meet their potential and contribute innovative ideas.
  • They motivate others to work toward a common goal.

Communication skills are imperative, especially active listening skills and the ability to be supportive of others. Leaders also need to be able to give feedback to others that isn’t always positive.

Paths to Developing Leadership Qualities

Even if you aren’t a natural-born leader, it’s possible to learn leadership skills in a variety of ways. Keep your desire to develop leadership qualities in the front of your mind. Many leadership skills can be learned through watching other effective leaders in action and through practice.

To continually gain more knowledge and tips on leadership, if you have an extra few minutes in your day, it can be spent reading books on leadership or watching related videos on YouTube. An even better approach is instead of waiting for free time, schedule time in your day to focus on learning about and improving leadership skills.

Formal training is a great way to learn different aspects of leadership such as time management and communication skills. Interactive, instructor-led workshops can be beneficial, especially when followed up with role-playing with peers. Online leadership training is a way to work on leadership skills without having to go to a different location.

If your organization doesn’t offer formal leadership training, you may be able to learn by finding a mentor in your company who is an experienced and effective leader. If you can work with a leadership coach, they can provide feedback and prompt you to reflect on your experiences and where there’s room for improvement.

Continual Leadership Training

Leadership isn’t a title; it’s a way of behaving. Even if you’ve never been a leader, you can learn the skills needed to effectively lead. The more you work on developing leadership skills, the more others will look up to you. Continually challenge yourself and strive to learn something new every day.

There’s no graduation date when it comes to figuring out how to develop leadership qualities. Learning to be a leader is an ongoing experience, and you won’t always do it perfectly. The important thing is to remain committed to learning and sharpening your leadership skills. More insight and more self-awareness can be beneficial for your own career goals and for your interactions with others.

Leadership training can build confidence and help take your skills to the next level. Working on your leadership skills through webinars, skills practice, coaching or mentoring can benefit both you and your organization. Get in touch to find out more about People Leaders Club.

About the author : Valerie Dansereau