Want to step into a leadership role at work or develop your skills as a leader? Look no further.
Every industry and profession has its own set of skills that help cultivate success. When discussing leadership skills, the attributes mentioned here commonly enter the conversation.
“Leadership skills are highly sought after by employers as they involve dealing with people in such a way as to motivate, enthuse, and build respect,” SkillsYouNeed shared. If you are at a point in your career where you feel ready to take on a leadership role at work, the following list of leadership skills will help you effectively fulfill the role.
Common Leadership Skills
- Problem Solving
- Goal Oriented
Having communication skills is not exclusive to being in a leadership role. However, to succeed as a leader, it’s vital to have open, consistent, and clear communication. Whether verbal or non-verbal, leaders need to effectively communicate with their employees on a daily basis in a variety of methods.
- One-on-one interactions
- Team meetings
- Body language
It’s important that leaders take the time to not only speak to their employees but listen to them so each interpersonal work relationship can remain healthy and strong. In terms of nonverbal communication, a good leader should use their body language to also communicate with their team or individual employee.
In order to be successful at communicating, it’s paramount that a leader is specific and clear. By maintaining an assertive approach, one can be clear without being aggressive. Over-communicating is acceptable when mistakes can be costly and it’s necessary to ensure nothing is misunderstood. Develop your communication skill by managing to finish a business engineering degree. This will help you better understand how to communicate with your team and handling projects at the same time.
How to Develop Communication Skills
- Schedule routine meetings with your superiors and co-workers even if you have yet to take on a leadership role. Once you have taken on the role, set up an open door policy so that your employees can feel that you welcome their feedback.
- Have regular conversations with employees. By practicing a calm, positive, open, and optimistic demeanor, one can nurture a sense of openness with their employees.
- Be a good listener—this may be the most important factor of all when it comes to developing this leadership skill. It gives you a better understanding of the person you are communicating with which leads to better fulfillment of their needs.
Mentorship can exponentially elevate your leadership skills and help you avoid mistakes that many leaders have made throughout their careers. Mentors nurture mentees who are aspiring to reach the same goals in life or work. So, why not be a mentor for those around you? Most people have some expert insight that will help the people around them. Identify what valuable guidance you have and locate people who would benefit from that guidance.
How to Become a Mentor
A leader can also become a strong mentor by motivating their employees, harnessing their potential, and encouraging them to succeed. A strong leader should feel confident and secure in their own position to be able to promote the dreams of others.
Building the Bond
But first, one must establish a relationship with the employee, which can be done by relating to them on a personal level. An example is to make it a habit to remember specific details about their lives and inquiring about them from time to time. Another example is to organize activities outside of work, such as team building retreats.
Sit Down, Be Humble
Among our list of effective leadership skills is humility. It’s important to remember that everyone makes mistakes. Leaders are not perfect—they are bound to take a misstep. Leaders who refuse to acknowledge they have made a mistake will not be likely to gain the respect or trust of their employees.
“Even the best leaders make mistakes from time to time. But those who pass the blame to others or ignore their own shortcomings aren’t likely to gain much respect and hard work from team members,” wrote Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends.
How to Practice Humility
It’s important to practice humility by taking responsibility for all of the decisions you make. Follow through on your word, own up to your mistakes and shortcomings, learn from your mistakes, and take responsibility for your team. Not only is this a leadership skill that will earn the respect and trust of your employees, but it reminds leaders that the only success is team success and negates the idea that leaders are more important than their employees.
Get All Members Contributing
Communication, mentorship, and humility are leadership skills that build a foundation and pathway to delegation. One must be able to achieve those three in order to effectively delegate tasks to their team members. While many leaders fear delegating can be a sign of weakness, it’s quite the opposite.
Being able to acknowledge that, even as a leader, one cannot do it all exudes a sense of confidence and trust within your team. By assigning tasks to others, it also allows leaders to better focus on fulfilling their own responsibilities.
How to Delegate
In order to delegate well, one must be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses not only of themselves, but of each team member so that skill sets will be put to optimal use. Additionally, assigning employees a task demonstrates that you trust and believe in them while also exposing them to leadership roles.
The Need for Problem Solving
To be an effective problem solver, a leader needs to be analytical, creative, and flexible. Being an effective problem solver is an essential leadership skill as you will have to make countless decisions. Be it a last-minute change, a mishap correction, or an organizational problem. A good leader needs to be able to take these incidents in stride so that they do not lose their ability to think outside of the box to find the best solution. This is particularly important in situations where the solution is not clear or obvious.
How to Be a Problem Solver
- Be creative
- Identify problems
- Assess options
- Select plan of action
- Carry out plan
- learn from mistakes
The workplace is, at times, not the most creative environment. It’s important for leaders to practice creative thinking so they may be better prepared when the time comes. By remaining positive, a problem can become an opportunity to learn. In doing so a leader will be able to identify and anticipate problems before they happen. Additionally, practicing the ability to adapt to unexpected situations and changing circumstances is a good way of developing the flexibility needed to be an optimal problem-solver. Pick a plan and execute. Whether you succeed or fail hard, you will be able to learn from the experience and be better prepared when a similar issue arises in the future.
Another strong leadership skill is to be goal oriented. Many leaders show that they have a clear vision for their team’s development. When a leader is clear about their goals, it also shows the team that there is a purpose for their tasks and a target to hit. A well defined goal helps the team unite and work together. Not setting goals leaves your team open to wander aimlessly.
If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there. - Lewis Carroll
How to Set Goals
- Write them down
- Break them down into steps
- Set milestones and a deadline
- Reward your success
Writing your goals will be a good start to making them a reality. Breakdown your goal into well-defined steps that have measurable milestones and give yourself a deadline. This will kickstart your process and inspire you to take immediate action. Track success to each milestone and give yourself a reward for every step accomplished.
Ahead of the Curve
The ability to innovate is a highly valued leadership skill these days, especially with how much work culture continues to evolve. A good innovator effectively introduces new concepts, problem-solving techniques, and ideas. Leaders need to be able to anticipate the change and make the necessary adjustments to stay ahead of the curve.
“According to General Electric’s 2012 Global Innovation Barometer, which polled 2,800 senior executives on the state of innovation around the world, 92 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that innovation is the main level to create more economy,” wrote Peter Economy of Inc. Magazine.
In order to stay ahead of the curve, leaders need to form a network and pay close attention to what is happening within their industry, business, and supply chain. Technology is always changing and leaders can practice innovation by adapting to changes in stride and ensuring their company is ready for an innovative change. Work culture has evolved in such a way that what employees value has changed, and effective innovators are open to new ideas. The same goes for what clients value. As CSR has risen in prominence, it’s vital for leaders to embrace these new concepts in order to keep up with the competitive demands.
The Next Step
Becoming a leader is what happens when you step into a managerial role. Prepare yourself to become a manager by practicing your leadership skills now. This will get you ready to take the next step in your career so you can start running a department or team within your company. The leadership skills listed above will be a fantastic guide on your journey to becoming a leader.