7 ways to enhance your leadership skills
There is a popular saying: “Leaders are born and not made”. This might be partially true but only a few of us are natural born leaders. The rest of us must simply develop and practice leadership skills. Fortunately, there is a useful trick that will help you become the successful leader you long to be.
Every good leader needs to be disciplined. If you require discipline from your team, you yourself need to be the one who sets the standard. Remember, always meet your deadlines, keep your appointments, and end meetings on time. It doesn't matter if you consider yourself to be naturally disorganized. You can start implementing new habits at home first, for example by waking up early and getting daily exercise. Set your objectives and fulfill them!
There might be times when everything is going downhill and things are not exactly as planned. In moments like these, you need to remain calm and confident to be able to assure your team members that the reality is not as bad as it might seem. Make sure everybody realizes that setbacks are normal and the important thing to do now is to focus on the bigger picture. If you as the leader stay confident, so will your employees.
Learn from others
Don’t forget: you shouldn’t feel threatened when colleagues disagree with you, question your ideas or share ideas of their own. Instead, try to embrace this opportunity to learn from others, listen to what they say and praise their effort. The more you respect and value others’ opinions; the more respect will be shown towards you.
Being a leader means being pro-active. You should not be satisfied with how things are now but instead, you should be able to see the bigger picture and think ahead. This ability will help you avoid potential problems and recognize opportunities that others might overlook. You might be surprised how much will you be praised for it!
Inevitably, it is your job as a leader to inspire your co-workers and motivate them to achieve better results. People work their best when they feel as if they are fulfilling a vision and their hard work is recognized. Give them the credit they deserve! It will inspire them to work even harder next time.
It might surprise you, but you don’t have to do everything by yourself. Learn to delegate tasks to your colleagues; they are surely more than capable of fulfilling the task just as well as you. It will leave you with more time to do tasks you are best at and, at the same time, it will empower your team members and help them move forward.
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.
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. In the words of John F. Kennedy: “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
9 Ways to Develop Your Leadership Skills. Available at https://www.wrike.com/blog/9-ways-develop-leadership-skills/.
Top 10 Qualities That Make A Great Leader. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/tanyaprive/2012/12/19/top-10-qualities-that-make-a-great-leader/#e2cfe8835648.