Great leadership is the bread and butter of a work environment. It’s so essential that 83% of companies say it’s important to develop leaders at all levels. Whether you’re a budding manager or a management veteran, you should always keep developing leadership skills.
In this guide, we’ll cover the eight significant ways you can grow as a leader and inspire your team.
1. Develop Your Listening Skills
The act of listening may sound straightforward, but many leaders don’t realize that listening takes more effort than simply hearing. Effective listening isn’t a natural skill, but once you’ve implemented it in your routine, you’ll notice a favorable difference in how your team reacts.
Practice effective listening by remembering to ignore your biases. Common biases and preconceived judgments impair your ability to rationalize complaints. Incorporate empathy into your listening routine, especially if you prejudge specific people on your team.
For example, if one of your team members is a slower learner and complains about processes, take some time to put yourself in their shoes. Approaching situations with empathy helps you listen to the core of your team’s issues, making you a better listener.
2. Grow Your Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence, like effective listening, isn’t always a natural trait. To grow your emotional intelligence, try working on the following traits.
Empathy involves feeling and understanding what other people are feeling. This trait is essential when it comes to leading and managing because it helps you understand your team on a deeper level. Being aware of everyone’s feelings and acting on them leads to more motivation and a happier team.
No one is perfect, which is why self-awareness is a healthy trait. Knowing your flaws helps you make better decisions and improve as a leader. Knowing your internal biases also helps you make better decisions for your team.
Teams feed off of the energy you project. Channeling positivity helps encourage your team to channel it back. A positive team is a more productive team.
While it’s easy to react to conflict with anger, it’s better to react admirably. Leaders will often find themselves in non-ideal situations, like missed deadlines. By reacting without angry outbursts, your team will respect you more.
3. Take a Leadership Class
Leadership classes are great resources, especially if you’re new to leadership. These courses teach you vital leadership skills on top of many other business skills.
A typical leadership class also involves communication training, group coaching, and motivation techniques.
If you haven’t started your career yet, but plan on becoming a manager, consider building your leadership in college. These courses complement business courses well and get you on the path to leadership at an earlier point in your life.
4. Stay Consistent
As soon as your team figures out that you’re inconsistent, they’ll respect you less. Consistency in your rules and decisions makes you appear more organized and knowledgeable.
Switching your expectations throws your team off and ends up confusing everyone in the process. Keep up the same rules and expectations to keep your leadership consistent.
For example, suppose you’re harsh to one employee about a missed deadline but let a missed deadline slide for another employee. In that case, you’ll create confusion. This confusion often leads to doubt in your leadership capability and resentment towards your decisions. By treating your entire team the same way, your team will appreciate your consistency and won’t believe you play favorites.
5. Encourage One-on-One Time
Leading a team often means you’re leading a group with very different personalities. Some team members are more upfront and outspoken, while others are quieter.
Make sure you’re aware of the different traits of your teammates and provide a variety of ways to approach you. Setting aside consistent one-on-one time invites quieter teammates to approach you with potential issues and questions. Private time also helps bring out issues that are difficult to admit to in a group, which helps prevent disasters down the line.
6. Work on Your Communication
Communication is a skill you should always work on because everyone communicates differently. Providing several ways for your team members to communicate with you invites more opportunities for your team to reciprocate. After all, managers and leaders aren’t mind readers, so having an open floor for discussions helps make your life easier.
Beyond one-on-one time, consider online communication methods and group meetings. The more communication routes you have with your team, the more you’ll stay informed. Keep the following tips in mind to communicate better:
- Deliver Your Messages Clearly
- Listen To Your Team
- Present Your Ideas Confidently
- Take Feedback Constructively
- Deliver Instructions With Positivity
7. Be a Role Model
As a leader, your team looks up to you and respects you. This requires you to become a role model for your team. Role models exemplify your values and your company’s values, which maintains those values in your team.
If you present yourself as a positive and knowledgeable leader, you’re most likely a great role model. To keep this up, make sure you practice the rest of these tips and take time to learn about your team.
While you don’t necessarily have to become best friends with everyone on your team, you do have the responsibility to understand what type of leader they need to be productive and happy.
8. Offer Constructive Feedback
While leaders need to take feedback with ease, they also need to distribute the feedback to their team. Giving feedback sometimes requires you to deliver constructive criticism. Both positive and negative feedback need empathetic delivery.
For example, if one team member is notoriously late to meetings, it’s vital to communicate this issue to them effectively. Firm communication without raising your voice will ensure your team member understands the mistake and learns from it.
Developing Leadership Skills With Ease
With the right resources and a bit of patience, anyone can learn how to develop leadership skills. Building leadership skills is the most vital component in becoming the type of leader your team needs.
If you’re looking for more leadership insights, check out the rest of our blog. We right about tech news, self-improvement, and more.