Whether you’re currently in a leadership role or are working to develop the qualities needed to function as a leader, having an action plan to improve leadership skills is a great way to make steady progress toward your goals. Leaders face new challenges almost daily so continuously working to improve leadership skills makes sense. Putting in place an action plan to improve leadership skills is a way of being sure that you’re actually working on sharpening your leadership skills rather than thinking about taking action sometime in the future.
Why Do You Want to Work on Your Leadership Skills?
Sometimes knowing the reason or reasons you want to improve your leadership skills can make a big difference in whether you’ll stick with your action plan. You may have recently been put in a leadership role, but don’t have a lot of experience in this area. You may be aware that leaders who aren’t effective can trigger low morale and decreased productivity.
You might want to improve your ability to motivate your team or improve team engagement as a way to reduce staff turnover. You might want to improve your decision-making abilities or communication skills to earn the respect of others. You may not yet be in a leadership role but want to become more confident so that your career prospects improve. Get in touch with what you’re hoping to work on and why this matters to you.
What Action Steps Will You Take?
It’s great to set a goal, but if you don’t think through the steps you need to take to get there starting where you are now, chances are it will stay a vague dream or a thought. Spend some time thinking about your strengths and weaknesses. What strengths do you have to build on? What do you most need to work on?
Consider both short-term and long-term goals and map out what you can do today or this week to get a step closer to your goals. Break down your goals into manageable steps and set target dates for achieving them. Plan to track and evaluate your progress and adjust your goals periodically as needed.
Skills to Work On
Clearly define what leadership skills you need to work on. You can do this by spending time in self-reflection or through having conversations with people that you work with. Examples of leadership skills that may need improvement include:
- Setting a positive example
- Active listening
- Managing stress
- Time management
- Challenging and empowering others
- Team building
- Conflict management
- Giving and receiving feedback
You’ll never excel at every possible leadership quality but having an idea where you need some improvement gives you a place to start. Once you get started with working on your action plan, other areas you may need to focus on may become apparent.
Ways to Improve Leadership Skills
There are several different approaches to improving leadership skills. One of the best ways is by working with a mentor or coach. Your organization may have an experienced leader that’s willing to work with you, or you can look for leadership coaching outside your organization. There are informative instructor-led webinars and workshops held both in-person and virtually. It can be beneficial to practice skills you learn in different ways by role-playing with peers.
Working on improving leadership skills benefits you personally but may also benefit your company and your team, this is best done on an ongoing basis. To be an effective leader, there’s always more to work on and you’ll never stop learning.
Get in touch to learn more about membership in People Leaders Club.