The old saying “some people are born leaders” might be true, but that doesn’t mean these individuals didn’t spend time honing their skills. Learning how to develop leadership skills takes time for most, which is natural and in no way a bad thing. Whether you were recently promoted at work, assigned as the head of a task force, or otherwise want to strengthen your leadership skills, let the following guide assist you.
Common Qualities in Good Leaders
A variety of outstanding qualities make up good leaders, including empathy. The ability to think about an issue or situation from someone’s point of view and consider how they might feel is a leadership must, as it encourages trust. It also embraces the humanity in a team and demonstrates understanding about everyone’s strengths and flaws.
Good leaders have faith in their abilities, which can involve knowing when to speak up, when to defend a team member, when to be assertive, and when to take a more delicate approach. Leader confidence also helps employees respect assorted decisions as the right ones for them or the company.
Transparency paired with delegation skills fall into the ‘good leadership’ category. Team members quickly become disgruntled when they are not provided with the right facts or are confused about the latest project’s end goal. The more information a leader can provide their team, the happier the employees will be because they aren’t working “in the dark,” which creates stress and tension. They feel like their leaders are honest individuals who are ready to help them and answer any questions they have. Delegation skills mean the leader does not “micro-manage” and can hand over different assignments and projects to team members without hurting their egos. The ability to delegate additionally demonstrates confidence in the team’s work and punctuality.
Good leaders demonstrate compassion, since employees are more than just numbers on a spreadsheet. They are not overly arrogant or assertive, and eagerly work to find solutions to problems.
Tips For Developing Your Leadership Skills
Determining how to develop leadership skills can start with training workshops, including those featuring experts discussing related topics, such as how to effectively lead challenging conversations. Pair workshops with literature about being a successful leader, then consider joining a training program to practice what you have learned.
It also helps to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are, and how you can use them to enhance your skills. For example, if you are an outgoing person who easily speaks in front of others but have problems maintaining eye contact, start talking to small groups. Even if the groups consist of friends and family, you will get practice maintaining said contact. Compare your strengths and weaknesses to your communication skills to determine what else needs improvement, such as the ability to read body language.
Leadership skill development also benefits from setting goals and tracking your progress. You could make weekly lists of what you learned in the training program and how you are applying those skills in real life. Once you feel your skills are sufficient, ask for more responsibilities at work or find volunteer opportunities. You could head a community clean-up initiative that involves assigning assorted tasks, or volunteer to be the latest manager at a local animal shelter. Volunteering looks fantastic on your resume in addition to helping you hone your skills.
Networking with local leaders in your industry helps you learn as well, since you can watch what makes these individuals effective at their jobs and apply them to your own skill set.
Remember, learning how to develop leadership skills is an ongoing process, so don’t get discouraged!