Some people dream of leading a team or organization to success, while others prefer to work quietly in solitude or in a small group of peers. At one point or another in their careers, however, most people have to take on some leadership responsibilities, whether that’s as minor as being the person in charge of a small project or as major as being appointed CEO. Regardless of your industry or your career aspirations, leadership skills are extremely valuable and can help you become more successful.
Everyone who can develop leadership skills and become more satisfied in their career. 75% of the workforce by 2025 will be millennials, and 63% of millennials say their leadership skills are not being developed. This causes high turn over rates in jobs, and makes millennials want to find better opportunities.
Many young people aren’t given the opportunity to develop leadership skills, which is why it’s so important businesses help employees develop leadership skills. If you’re already leading a team or managing people, it is extra important to take time to effectively communicate and strengthen your leadership skills. Being able to positively empower and impact people makes work and life easier. You can turn around your work culture, and improve employees satisfaction by learning some simple leadership tools.
These 10 essential leadership skills will serve you well in the office and your personal life:
Knowing your own strengths, weaknesses, and motivations isn’t as easy as it sounds. It is very difficult to look at yourself objectively, since you don’t know for sure how others perceive you. However, becoming a self-aware person will help you to lead and constantly improve yourself. Staying humble and connected to your team is key, and leaders with high levels of self-awareness are usually the best equipped. By knowing yourself, and being willing to make positive changes, you can take steps to master communicating and leading well.
2. Ability to Perceive with an Open Mind
As a leader, you’ll work with a lot of different people. They will all have different ideas and perspectives. Being able to keep an open mind and not impose your own beliefs on others helps teams become more respectful and encourages innovation. Groupthink kills creativity, and as a leader, you need to remain open to all different opinions and stay as unbiased as possible. If you are leading a business, being open minded and willing to try new things and hear new ideas is essential.
3. Communication and Listening
Communication issues are often at the root of office conflicts. Poor communication can take many forms, and it’s a good idea to always try to improve the way you relate to others. At the root of good communication is listening. Being able to take in what someone is saying without interrupting them or anticipating what they’re going to say signals respect and allows you to get the necessary information before you respond. By listening to others and employees, you can have a better understanding of how they need help, and be willing to help them.
4. Passion and Ability to Take Action
Although it might seem strange to think of passion as a leadership skill, it’s actually at the root of all effective leadership and one of the characteristics of an ideal leader. Companies often want people with leadership skills and look to hire people with strong leadership skills. If you don’t have passion for your team and the work you’re doing, you’re not going to be motivated. Since taking action and being decisive is a necessity for creating anything meaningful, a lack of motivation can kill your ability to be an effective leader. Showing you care, and utilizing your passion in the work scene can tremendously impact how you show up, work, and value other people too.
We all want to be treated like human beings, and the leaders who treat people with respect, compassion, and empathy inspire the most loyalty. When making decisions, leaders need to be able to take others into consideration and balance their needs with those of the organization. A little compassion goes a long way, and considering others, where they come from, and being able to lead with empathy creates more love and unity in the work scene.
Although it’s important to connect with your team, accountability is what builds respect and makes things happen. Learning to set clear expectations for yourself and others—and living up to those expectations—is what earns your team’s respect. Holding yourself and others accountable for their responsibilities isn’t easy, but it is essential. As a leader, you must also become humble and admit when you’re wrong, and be able to admit when you’re not showing up as well as you could.
7. Honesty and Transparency
People like to know what’s going on, and they want to be trusted with important information. Leaders have to be scrupulously honest and transparent in order to gain their team’s loyalty. Transparency assures everyone that leaders hold themselves to high standards and are doing what’s best for the team. Honor you word, be clear in communication, and let what you say and do be in alignment with what you mean, and what happens.
8. Motivation and Positivity
No one wants a low-energy boss who’s just pushing work on others and not doing their share. Leading in a dictator method always causes problems, especially for employees being disrespected. People want to be led by someone who is motivated by their work and can maintain a positive attitude most of the time. As an effective leader, it’s imperative you highlight positive work efforts, and do a great job in motivating employees and reminding them of their value in the workplace.
9. Feedback Skills
Giving feedback is a part of any leader’s job, but it can be a sensitive subject. It’s essential that leaders learn how to be tactful, yet constructive when delivering feedback. People can’t improve unless they know exactly what they need to work on—and often, how. Pointing fingers at employees and only telling them what they need to improve on greatly restricts their growth. The mark of a real leader and manager is someone who can effectively share feedback and inspire people to grow.
10. Ability to Problem Solve Effectively
A leader needs to be the ultimate problem-solver. When everything is going well, teams don’t really need to get their leaders involved. A good leader is willing and able to tackle challenges and problems head-on to reach a satisfactory resolution.
Leadership Skills: A Must for Career Success
Developing leadership skills can improve your work ethic and enhance your resume. Even if you never intend to reach for a management role, leadership skills will still impress. You can reduce conflict, and improve communication by learning how to be a good leader. People will want to work with those who hold themselves to high standards and are able to work with different teams and people, while positively making an impact in the lives of others.