Being a leader is one of the important qualities for those ambitious among us. Any managerial position requires this skill, and the great thing about it is that it’s something you can learn. There were occasions when you witnessed leadership skills. It could have happened while you were playing sports or participating in the drama club at college.
Leadership is a rare talent. It is something that has to be learned and practised to perfection. Mastering leadership skills can help you with promotion and advance in your career. They are valuable for both professional and personal life. Since only a lucky few are born with it, the rest of us have to learn how to be leaders. Here are some ways you can improve and hone your leadership skills.
1. Delegate tasks
Every management course will show you that one of the most important characteristics of a strong leader is the ability to delegate tasks. As a leader, you will be responsible for people under you and the tasks you are assigned. You will have your own tasks to finish, but the rest you should delegate to other team members.
Assess the strengths and abilities of each member and according to those, assign them tasks and deadlines to complete them. This way your team members will complete the goal with the utmost quality and productivity. The way you delegate tasks and manage each goal with your team members will directly reflect on your leadership skills.
2. Communication is key
Communication is something usually perceived as a one-way street when it comes to the relationship between the manager and an employee. However, there is more to it than just assigning tasks and evaluating the manner of their realization. Your employees need to know that their input and work are significant to you. Communication doesn’t have to be face-to-face, but via message boards, project platforms and telecommunication apps.
During meetings, ask employees for opinions and suggestions. Allow them to present possible solutions to some issues or strategies to proceed with certain goals. When it comes to tasks, be transparent and tell them all you think is vital to help them complete their work successfully and feel included in the team. You all share a common goal so frequent and adequate communication with the team is important for its satisfactory completion.
3. Be confident
Employees have to see you as an authoritative figure. You will be the one making hard and unpopular decisions. Of course, you are not a robot and there will be times of doubt but don’t show them in front of your employees and don’t succumb to pessimism.
One of the characteristics of a good leader is staying calm and composed in high-pressure situations and times of crisis. How you handle yourself will imprint on your reputation and image. Leadership is not only about the success, but also it is an essential skill to manage problems and unfavourable situations. Without confidence in your knowledge and abilities, you will succumb to panic and lose the perspective on goals.
4. Commit yourself
Leadership practices tend to change and evaluate for the more efficient fulfillment of goals and achieving better interpersonal relations. You can follow the newest trends and strategies from the trusted sources online, like articles from the eminent leaders and managers. However, you can also take courses and additionally educate yourself by acquiring masters or PhD degrees.
As a leader, you have the ability to set an example for your employees. If they see how much you invest in your knowledge and are ready to learn, they will start doing the same, too. Management is present in every aspect of human life. Stores, companies, hospitals and even parks have managers who are responsible that everything functions flawlessly and without mistake.
This also means that leadership skills are always re-examined and available for improvement. Therefore, staying in up-to-date with the newest practices and measures is a prerogative of a successful leader.
5. Prepare for new challenges
Challenges are something every leader faces frequently. They can present themselves as unforeseen circumstances which you have to deal with without a pause. For example, if you’ve accepted a promotion abroad, every leadership skill you learned will be put to the test. Not only that you will have new team members, but will have to deal with new culture, business regulations and different language.
To be the successful leader in that situation, consult the best lawyers for the immigration issues to familiarize yourself with the legal aspects of your stay in the foreign country. Also, start learning the language and everything you can about the new culture. Lastly, examine employee files and get to know them on paper before you meet them in person. It will leave a good first impression if you learn their names, achievements and position in your team.
6. Be proactive
A positive attitude is something that will influence the overall environment in the office. The job can be frustrating sometimes and you might be tempted to lose your nerves. However, this is not appropriate for a respectable leader nor is acceptable in the team.
Instead of accepting the negative view on the matter, take a step back and approach it from the practical aspect. Try to think creatively and outside of the box. Your team will depend on your reaction and if it’s negative, the overall enthusiasm and motivation can be diminished. Work with your team to turn the odds in your favour and come to a better outcome. Great leaders take actions to resolve the situation, they don’t hide under the desk or throw tantrum.
7. Adapt your approach
Different people require a different approach. This means that you can’t use the same behaviour with everyone. You have to assess the people you work with and adapt your approach to their personalities and abilities accordingly.
Every successful leader has developed this dynamic skill in order to respond to various challenges and individual needs. Since as a leader you had to learn how to be patient, this is a perfect moment to test it. Take your time to meet your employees and observe them as unique individuals in the team. This way you’ll be able to meet their needs and build a healthy relationship with each of them.
If you want to be a successful leader, you have to constantly educate yourself on the newest approaches and practices. This will not only help you with your calling but also be a positive example to your team members and have a beneficial impact on the goals. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Leila Dorari is an entrepreneur, freelance writer and self-improvement enthusiast from Sydney. Currently, she is spreading the word about the different challenges one can take in order to upgrade their life. In her spare time, she is either window shopping or exploring new ways to make her life more meaningful.