Five No-Brainer Ways To Hone Your Leadership Skills And Get People On Board
Being a leader may not be as easy as it seems. Is leadership in your career future? Or, are you already in a management role and are eagerly searching for ways you can be even better? Here’s the good news: Regardless of your current rank or position, there are no-brainer ways that you can give your leadership skills a boost and get people on board.
Your leadership qualities, and the ability to be a dealer in hope, play a huge role in the development of your career.
Technical skills are definitely essential, but soft skills are equally important in order to achieve long-term success in the world of employment opportunities. Leadership qualities are very much required, especially in the corporate world. It is more likely that you will be promoted if you have leadership qualities with the power to motivate people because very few people are born with natural leadership qualities.
Having leadership skills can have an extremely large impact on the life and career of any individual.
To work well with others, advance through difficult activities, inspire the people around you and further honing skills to help you and others are all captured in any great leaders. Likewise, enhancing and developing your leadership skills is critical to effectively progress your ability to work well in teams and take your career to the next level.
Some people appear to be natural born leaders with their winning charisma and ability to make others tick in an instant.
Other leaders struggle to communicate well or keep the team on track despite their best efforts. The reason for this is that leadership often revolves around our soft skills, and some people have developed these better than others over time — well before getting a managerial job. But if that doesn’t sound like you, fear not. You might not have the best leadership skills today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t develop better ones and become the manager you always dreamed about.
Put some (or all!) of these five no-brainer tips into play at the office, and you’re bound to transform into the type of leader that everybody admires — whether you have the title or not.
Here are five no-brainer ways to help you fine-tune and hone your leadership skills, whether you have recently been put in charge of a team, or have set your sights on promotion to managerial level. Consider some of the following tips for how to become a better leader and think about ways that you can implement these strategies in your daily life.
Tip #1: Be Passionate & Engaging
No one wants to seek counsel from someone who doesn’t care about the topic as much or more than they do. Passion is effort; passion is exertion. Passion is never giving up. Without it, you cease innovating and stagnate. When you display authentic enthusiasm and passion for the end result, your people will keep working to achieve their goals.
Employees respond to those who are eager to help them learn and grow.
Show passion for everything you do, including in your efforts at developing leadership skills. Your desire will be clear to your employees, and you will inspire them to improve leadership skills, too. Working by yourself might not be very easy. But inspiring others to work is definitely a gargantuan task. As a leader you must inspire and motivate your team to maximize performance. As a leader you have to be assertive, but, at the same time, know the difference between being assertive and being oppressive.
Acting as your team’s cheerleader is an important part of being an effective leader.
You should be invested in their success and growth. When leaders believe in their employees and give them the opportunity to learn and grow, they might be surprised how much they can accomplish. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks and encourage freedom and creativity. Employees like challenges and feeling the satisfaction of overcoming them. Whether it’s a tough client, a difficult sale, a hard situation or whatever the case, it’s always good to let them take on these challenges.
A great way to develop your leadership skills is through effectively learning a way to inspire and motivate others.
When leaders positively inspire the people around them team productivity, success and further performance may be found to increase immensely. This is due to leaders having a key ability to motivate and influence others with energy and passion to work extremely hard with a desire to meet all goals presented. To inspire others consider trying to help others through solving difficult challenges or problems they may be facing. Further aim to help create a positive working environment that allows individuals to work effectively to meet key benchmarks and goals. Finally, consider giving positive reinforcement that inspires individuals to work extremely hard as they gain an increased level of satisfaction.
One of the most crucial parts about being a leader is the ability to motivate others to want to succeed.
Instilling that burning desire and drive in another worker can be a fulfilling experience, but it is by no means an easy feat. The truth is, people can tell when you are here for the pay and not because the project is something you truly care about. Only by working in afield you are passionate about will you become one of the best leaders around. Ultimately, you need to show your own burning passion for the job to make others also want to succeed.
Tip #2: Assess Yourself
Developing leadership skills often focuses on weaknesses, but don’t forget that you can develop your strengths as well. An understanding of your weaknesses provides you with areas you know you can improve, but a strong knowledge of your innate gifts and abilities means you can put them to work for you right now. If you’re an excellent speaker, give presentations on challenging topics or join a public speaking group to improve your skills even more. Remember that the areas of improvement for leaders are endless, including your strengths.
A Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis is very essential for a leader.
A leader should be fully aware about their strengths and weaknesses. Write down your strengths and weaknesses and how you, as a person, feel about it. You may want to approach peers and team members to help you discover blind spots that you may not be aware of. There is a huge benefit in this process. Once you have succeeded in identifying your weaknesses and strong points, you can work on the areas that you feel are priorities.
Finding out what others think of our leadership skills style can be a real eye-opener, and is often the most powerful driver for change.
Using a 360 survey where you receive feedback from your staff, peers, and manager gives you some concrete information on a sometimes intangible subject. Use an existing tool (and there are some highly regarded ones out there) or else simply let your staff know that you are seeking feedback from them in order to improve your style. A word of caution though, your staff may not feel safe in giving feedback if they believe you are going to use it against them, or become defensive about what they say. It’s up to you to create a safe environment so they feel comfortable in being open and honest with you.
What makes you tick, what gets you going? What are you good at? What are you bad at?
Self-aware leaders continually ask themselves these questions. They are curious, they seek out information and welcome the answers. Taking the time to be self-aware, to really consider one’s strengths and weaknesses, to build self-understanding, is not something that most leaders do very often. They are too busy focusing on the multiple tasks of any given day and on things considered far more urgent. Developing and practicing self-awareness may not get the attention that it warrants, yet it is one of the most important things leaders can do to raise their own and their organization’s performance.
Leadership comes with responsibilities that few are ready to shoulder right from the get-go.
But, with continuous self-assessment, leaders can prepare themselves for any challenges that the lie in front of them. Self assessment in leadership is a never ending debate with yourself on how you can improve and take your organization to even greater heights. They can serve as a wake-up call to pressing issues that would have otherwise gone unnoticed and set you on a path to a better version of yourself. MBTI is a popular personality archetype indicator that can be used to gauge what kind of a person you are. MBTI uses a categorization system that clubs different combination of traits into 16 different personality types. Find out which one are you!
Tip #3: Listen More
It’s true that leaders do a lot of speaking, instructing, and delegating. But, even more than that? They listen. The next time you’re in a team meeting or a conversation with a co-worker, actively listen to their point of view before jumping in with your own two cents. Ask thoughtful questions to get a better sense of where that person is coming from.
Listening isn’t a natural skill for many of us–particularly when we feel so much pressure to be involved and engaged in every conversation.
But, the more you can practice taking a step back and absorbing the thoughts and perspectives of others, the more prepared you’ll be to be a top-notch leader. One of the most important elements of effective leadership is creating an open line of communication with your team members. Displaying active communication skills and transparency can build trust among your team and improve overall morale. Your company and its employees are a reflection of yourself, and if you make honest and ethical behavior as a key value, your team will follow.
A critical skill that needs to be enhanced to develop your overall leadership skillset is your listening skills.
Specifically, when you are able to listen to others effectively, key problems may be solved much more easily through effective collaboration of team members and through gaining unique perspectives, shared ideas and critical strategies. To develop your listening skills practice maintaining eye contact, avoid distractions, avoid talking over others and take in all information critically. Moreover, consider body language when talking with others, it can be easy to notice if someone has made a statement with a particular meaning through gestures and behavioral patterns.
Employees have opinions and feelings about their place in the organization.
By listening, you can find common areas of engagement with your employees. Of course, listening should be followed by execution whenever feasible. As well as dealing with work-related issues, try to build relationships with your team. Most people want to know their boss cares for them as a human being. It feels good when a manager asks after the well-being of an employee’s family or notices when someone is feeling run down. Keep it about them, and keep it professional; leadership requires a certain distance to be effective.
If there are unhappy or disgruntled people in your business, you can guarantee that at some stage they’ve tried to tell you what the problem is.
It’s likely you weren’t listening (or didn’t want to listen), or perhaps your initial reaction made the person think twice about bringing the problem to you. Truly listening is one of the greatest skills to develop, regardless of your role. Good listeners are genuinely interested, convey empathy, and want to find out what’s behind the conversation. Great leaders are great listeners — without exception.
Tip #4: Own Your Mistakes
There’s nothing worse than a leader who tries to sweep their own blunders and missteps under the rug. Leaders need to accept accountability for their own actions, as well as the actions of their direct reports. As tough as it can be at times, get in the habit of owning your own mistakes right now. If and when you screw something up, take the steps to fix your error and loop in the relevant parties right away — rather than hoping it’ll slip by unnoticed.
The humility to admit to your screw-ups and then learn from them is an important — yet often underrated — skill of some of the best leaders.
Even the most powerful, inspiring leaders make mistakes. When you recognize an error, admit it openly and take action to correct it. Be open about your failures; discuss them with yourself and with your team. Learn from them. Ask yourself and your team, “How can I avoid making this mistake in the future?” Learning from your failures sends a powerful message to those around you. They understand that you will lead well even when you make a mistake. Those wondering how to improve leadership skills need to learn how to recognize successes and failures.
The same way, encourage creativity by allowing team members to be wrong.
Making mistakes is an inherent part of the creative process. If employees know they won’t be punished for coming up with an atypical idea or solution, they will be inspired to think outside the box and take more chances, leading to the creation of better, more innovative ideas. Good leaders have the emotional intelligence to understand and accept that change is inevitable. Instead of trying to maintain a status quo just for the sake of consistency, embrace change and innovation. Be open to new ideas and alternative ways of thinking. Everyone brings a unique perspective to the table, and that is something to take advantage of, not discourage.
Accountability comes from the top. But what does this “top” mean?
Ask this question to anyone and chances are that they’ll say the top management. However, there’s another layer above it that people tend to miss — the organization itself. Organizations need to be accountable to their customers and third parties. They should take ownership of their actions, even if that goes against traditional business practices. Companies don’t always have to put a rosy facade in front of their customers. People respect businesses that are transparent and don’t shy away from accepting their mistakes. For example, when KFC had to shut down its restaurants in the UK because they ran out of chicken, instead of passing the buck they owned their mistake with a full-page newspaper advertisement.
Taking accountability builds trust and respect, and models a behavior of accountability in your employees and team.
If the leader in the example above refuses to take any ownership for the failure of the big project, they’re no longer holding themselves accountable. This can have disastrous effects that ripple throughout the business. Even if you have some great communicators on your team, it’s extremely unlikely they’ll tell you that you’re not holding yourself accountable. Giving unsolicited feedback to leaders is viewed as criticism. Thus, without the option for healthy communication, resentment builds. Without trust in leaders, people become less transparent, collaborative, honest, and ultimately less engaged. They can begin to feel less aligned with company values, which leaders are meant to exemplify, and may start looking for a workplace that better matches their values.
Tip #5: Deal With Conflicts
A critical tool that should be developed to effectively enhance your leadership skills is to learn strong conflict resolution techniques. As a leader, you may notice a conflict between yourself and team members or even a distinct conflict between individual team members. Likewise, it is extremely important to learn the effective steps and tricks to resolve conflict to ensure team productivity and satisfaction is maintained.
People fight. It’s natural. Don’t even try to ignore interpersonal conflicts within your team, they will not go away and eventually, they will threaten to paralyze the whole team.
The sooner you learn how to resolve conflicts, the better. For example, address the issue by talking to each of the fighting sides privately and don’t be afraid to reassign the team members if needed. Consider learning how to be impartial, don’t necessarily take sides in a conflict, consider both sides of any situation and come up with a fair and reasonable solution that does not upset any individual. Another important technique is to address conflict directly as a leader, do not let the situation escalate as it could have a detrimental impact on employee performance. Practice taking necessary action as soon as possible to resolve any issues at hand.
Conflict is a normal occurrence in the workplace.
This is due to the fact that the individuals that make up the workplace all have differing views and their own ways of doing things. A true leader should assess conflict situations correctly, and handle them carefully so that healthy team tension doesn’t turn into disruptive chaos. Sadly, many leaders prefer to avoid tense situations and insist on maintaining a fake harmonious environment. This helps enhance their popularity in the workplace initially. However, what they don’t realize is that this eventually leads to further build-up of negativity and internal disruption amongst team members.
Conflict management is an ongoing job duty of a leader.
Developing skills in managing conflict in the workplace through self-awareness, communication, respect, and appreciation for others skill set are important aspects of the leader’s role in ensuring conflict is managed and organizational goals are prioritized. The leader must be careful when addressing only one person’s point of view. The leader must gather information, develop their own self-awareness, and be ready for the unexpected. A goal for managing conflict should be identified and strategies specific to achieving the identified goal should be implemented. This strategic approach can assist the leader in staying on task and resolving the issue at hand.
Note that an aggressive approach to “resolving” conflict may produce short term outcomes. It forces a solution on one or more parties.
But it really doesn’t produce an effective long-term resolution. Force doesn’t equal acceptance. When you’re bringing folks in a hot conflict together, you need to establish clear ground rules at the outset. Before anyone has a chance to speak. Once everyone’s agreed, try giving them turns with the talking stick. Give each person a strict time limit to speak. And ask them a question that requires them to speak about themselves and their own feelings rather than attacking the other person. Facilitate debate and dialogue and thaw out the conflict enough to start the process of resolution.
Leading a team is never going to be easy, but by developing certain characteristics you’ll be able to fulfill your potential as well as help others achieve their best. There’s a lot that goes into being a great leader, and nobody’s born with everything it takes. Much like any other skill, there are certain things you’ll need to work at and refine. The good news? Implementing these five tips will help you do just that.
Anyone can sit in a corner office and delegate tasks, but there is more to effective leadership than that.
Effective leaders have major impacts on not only the team members they manage, but also their company as a whole. Employees who work under great leaders tend to be happier, more productive and more connected to their organization — and this has a ripple effect that reaches your business’s bottom line. As you hone your effectiveness as a leader in your own life — whether that’s in a professional or personal capacity — you’ll strengthen the efforts you put into your own goals. Those around you will see the hard work and passion you bring to the table each day, stirring them to work on developing leadership skills, too.
It’s impossible to get things right all the time, but a little goes a long way on the journey to becoming a great leader.
You need to figure out what you’re missing if you want to lift spirits and boost team productivity, which means finding the best resources to hone your people management skills and applying those skills effectively in the workplace. Remember, if you want to achieve more, if you want to advance your career and be the leader others want to follow, you cannot ever stop improving yourself.
Remember that being a good leader takes time.
Although some individuals are naturally inclined to have good leadership skills, it is something anyone can learn and improve upon. With hard work, dedication and strategic planning, you can lead your team to success.
Do you have any other tips to hone your leadership skills at work? If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.