10 Tips to Improve Your Leadership Skills and How It Can Influence Your Career
Apr 22, 2019self-education
“Leaders are born not made”. Have you ever heard this phrase? Indeed, the Great Man and Trait theories suggest that the majority of people are prone to inherit certain qualities that make them better leaders. Being a leader is not an easy route, so one might suppose that it is a born ability of a person to guide others and lead them to successful results. Does that mean that you cannot develop your leadership skills? Surely, no! The majority of experts stick to the Behavioral theory that states that leadership is a learning skill, which can be acquired through teaching, mentoring and observing. So, do not wait for an opportunity, prepare to leadership beforehand. We gathered 10 best tips for you to improve your leadership skills and advance in your career.
- Take a Personality Test. How do you behave in a stressful situation? How do you cope with pressure? Are you able to lead from the front? An assessment will reveal your main strengths and weaknesses, which will help you explore your personality and identify areas for improvement. Apart from it, you’ll be able to find your preferred leadership style and go with it.
- Find a Role Model. Throughout the history of humanity, there were many outstanding personalities, who could inspire and lead people with their speeches and actions. Martin Luther King, Margaret Thatcher… All of them had a set of qualities, which set them apart from other speakers and helped to become great leaders. Choose the public figure you like, analyze his/her traits and focus on them!
- Be Passionate. What is the difference between successful people, who lead crowds, and average managers? Great leaders are always passionate about their work: they eat and sleep with their ideas. Of course, it is not something you can fake or develop. Therefore, take a minute, look where you are now and decide where you want to be in the future.
- Networking is Everything. If you can’t communicate effectively with your team members, you’re likely to hit the ceiling. Successful leaders are great communicators as they realize the value of relations. When you don’t have any conflicts or issues with other team members, it is easier for you to request information or ask for a favor. Stay open-minded, speak to people and they will listen to you.
- Learn More About Your Team. Observation is one of the best ways to explore the world. Did you know that a toddler learns 80% of information by observing parents’ behavior? Use this ability. Observe your teammates’ behavior, identify their strengths and weaknesses, think how they can complement each other. This skill is essential for effective cooperation with all team members.
- Use Benefits of Online Education. If you followed all previous steps, you must be aware of your weaknesses. Do not approach them as problems, view them as areas for improvement. Find an online course that geared towards building leadership skills. Don’t expect that you will become an expert right after you finish it. But it will foster your development and help advance in your career.
- Stay Flexible. Modern business environment is very agile. If yesterday you were expected to sit in the office and do a 9-to-5 job, nowadays, lots of teams move to remote locations. Be prepared to change your work routine and embrace innovations quickly. Be curious about emerging technologies, read news and articles as it will help you stay updated on all the latest trends.
- Be Respectful to All People. Respect is fundamental in relationship-building. You might criticize someone’s actions or dislike your manager’s communication style, but you should never show disrespect to your colleagues. It will damage your reputation as a leader, which will negatively affect your status in a company.
- Learn to Delegate. Managers are usually busy people, who have plenty of tasks. If you can’t delegate, you’re likely to burn out. Analyze your colleagues’ qualities, identify their core competencies and empower them to perform interesting tasks. After all, that’s what they are waiting from you!
- Address Conflicts When They Arise. Don’t create the image of “a manager from hell”. When you interact with people from diverse background, there will be conflicts and misunderstandings. Ignorance is not the best way to deal with problems. Don’t wait that all issues will “meltdown”. The best option is to address every conflict personally with all individuals involved. Communicate with employees, get to the bottom of a problem and find the best way to resolve it.
Leadership is often a choice. A leader is not afraid of taking up a challenge and leading a team. So, before you have such an opportunity, make sure you’re prepared. Develop your leadership skills and apply them in real life!