Whether you are aware of it or not, at some point in time in your life you will find yourself leading others. This doesn’t literally have to mean leading a large corporate team; it could be a small team that you lead in a small business. One of the most prominent things searched by employers when they look for the perfect candidate for a growth business is their leadership skills. This is what makes it so important to have the right leadership skills to lead people in the right direction and in the best way possible.
Let’s then take a look at 10 ways a leader can improve their leadership skills:
Have a clear motive
One of the fundamental qualities of a leader is to take the time to set out clear goals for the team. This then needs to be communicated to the team so that they are well aware of what is expected of them. Other details such as time constraints and deadlines need to be mentioned as well so that the team members start working on their projects well ahead of time and do not have to rush through things in the last moment. Another important factor is to make your employees realise how much of an asset they are to the team. This makes them feel valued and deliver their best.
Capitalise your strengths
Know your strengths and try to use them to your advantage at all times. Recognise ways in which you can make the best use of your strengths to lead the team in an efficient manner. This will help you not just use your strengths beneficially, but also lead in a way that is effective. Identify your weaknesses and privately work on them. You may partake of training or make a point of reading books on the subject over the weekend. Self-improvement should be constant, but definitely focus where you need it most. I say ‘privately’ because you don’t want to highlight to management or staff you possess weaknesses; instead just ‘fix’ the problem and be the best leader possible.
Ask yourself: Would you look up to someone who is not interested in fulfilling the goals of the organisation? Without a doubt, you would not! Thus, always be passionate about your work. The more passionate you are, the more hard work you put in, making you a formidable leader. Let everyone around you know that you are passionate to complete your goals in the best way possible. Appreciate the work handed over to you by your colleagues and encourage them to do better always.
Live by morals and values
Always live by your morals and values and this is true even when it comes to your work. This is because, when you go against your morals and values you find yourself constantly feeling guilty about it and this can eventually lead to poor working habits. This might come in the way of your success and even in your relationships. Thus, work in a way that aligns with your morals and values, this makes success coming in so much more effortless. As a business leader, if your team sees you ‘rip off’ clients or suppliers, then don’t be stunned and surprised if they try to ‘rip you off’ too. Lead by example; if you cannot do what is right, how can you expect those under you to do so?
Be a role model
Become a role model for your juniors. If you would like to see certain qualities in your group members then you need to make sure you model these qualities yourself. This will make your team members want to be like you. Where possible, try to assist and mentor those under you. Offering them help or guidance will be seen by those above you and will be seen favourably. You, of course, need to get your own job done; but helping others in the business to achieve will benefit the whole business.
Set goals and make concrete plans
You should know where you are heading with the project – this is what the end product should be like. Map out a plan on how to get there and share this with your team members. To improve your leadership skills further, set up few goals and set deadlines for them. Make your plans in such a way that it is easy to follow and can be completed within the set time frame. This is because you don’t want your team members to put forth just anything, you want them to put forth their best work, and this requires time.
No one likes to approach someone who is always grumpy and moody, or worse, constantly cranky. Be someone who is approachable to your team members. Always be positive, not just in your work, but even in your life, in general. You will be happier if you look at the brighter side and surround yourself with positive vibes. This will eventually lead you to attract exciting opportunities as well. Anger (even when someone stuffs up) will achieve nothing, other than teaching the team to keep things hidden from you. As a leader, you should never yell, abuse or berate your team other than in a very professional and suitable manner. Yes, you can reprimand them, but this should always be done calmly, respectfully and not in front of other staff or clients.
Work on your communication skills
Having great leadership skill encompasses good communication skills. If you are not able to communicate your need to the team members effectively, you will definitely not receive the best input and output from them. This is what makes it so important to always build and improve your communication skills. And don’t forget, to become a great communicator you also need to be a great listener.
Motivate your team members
Value your team members’ efforts and make them feel like they are prized possessions to you and the company. Don’t let their hard work go unseen. Always appreciate the littlest of things that they do, and encourage them to always give their 100%. Naturally, if you appreciate and recognize their efforts, they will be compelled to do even better. Most people work better being enticed (the carrot concept) versus fear of punishment (the stick concept).
Learn from failures
Failures are a part of success. Know that everyone makes mistakes. Successful leaders are the ones who acknowledge their mistakes and are willing to learn from them and grow. There is nothing to be ashamed about failure, as long as you learn from them. A good leader will nurture a team member, help them overcome failures or weaknesses and encourage them to ‘go forth and conquer’ after the event. No one is perfect, but we can all try our best and that is exactly what matters.
Thus, these are just a few of the many tips for leaders who are striving to be better. No one is a perfect leader, we all need to constantly learn to make ourselves better at every stage of our lives.
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