Learning to become a better leader is important for everyone, regardless of role. Leaders inspire those around them with their goal-oriented attitude, innovative ideas, and positive vision. They share their expertise with others in order to help them achieve their full potential.
Leadership skills are especially important for those at the top of an organization. Their ability to motivate and communicate effectively can make or break the success of their business.
Here are ten ways to improve your management skills and become a more effective leader.
1. Be a Role Model
Good leaders lead through actions, not just words. Your peers and employees will look to you as an example in difficult moments. If you act quickly and fairly, maintain control of the situation and stick to your principles throughout, they will take note – and do the same later on.
2. Look Inwards
If you want to know how your employees see you, first focus on yourself. Evaluate your own performance by completing a self-assessment, and use it as a resource to think about areas of improvement. If you were in your employees’ place, how would you want to be treated by a leader in your organization? What could that leader do to inspire you to succeed?
A true leader is a good communicator, but also a good listener. Ask for others’ opinions often, and show that you care by taking what they say into account. Don’t be afraid to take criticism if it’s constructive.
4. Be Open to Change
Adapting to change can be overwhelming, but innovation is crucial if you want your organization to survive and thrive. If you’re flexible enough to deal with the unexpected, you will command respect both inside and outside of your company.
5. Learn How to Tell a Good Story
You know you have an amazing vision, but how do you convey it to the outside world? A good story is compelling, has a beginning, middle and end, and is relevant to its audience. Whether you’re telling your brand story or simply explaining an important concept, people are hardwired to seek out the narrative in what you’re saying. Make sure they can find it.
6. Show Appreciation
Don’t get into the habit of rewarding great work with more work. Offer recognition where it is due – the result will be increased loyalty, higher morale, and better cohesion within your team. Recognizing your employees’ achievements will help them grow as workers, and as people.
7. Find Leaders You Admire
You’ve worked hard and made it to the top, but you can still benefit from the advice and inspiration of others. A good leader starts out by being a good follower. Make a list of the leaders you respect most – what is it you admire about them, and how can you emulate those traits?
8. Show Interest
As a busy professional, making time to get to know all the people you come in contact with each day may seem impossible. However, a personal question or friendly remark here and there can go a long way. We sometimes forget that the people we work with are human beings too, with their own hopes, dreams and lives. Showing interest will make you stand out.
9. Learn How to Handle Pressure
Your day-to-day life is filled with many stressful situations, most of which you cannot control. However, you can still control your reaction. Learning how to keep a cool head under pressure can help turn an otherwise nightmarish situation into a learning experience.
10. Follow Through
Politicians who break campaign promises disappoint people, and the same rules apply in the business world. It is better to under-promise and over-deliver than the other way around. Following through also means sticking to your values, so your peers know that when you say something, you really mean it.
True leadership isn’t easy – it’s a skill that must be learned. But by reading this article, you’ve already made a commitment to improving your leadership skills. Follow these suggestions, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a better leader.
Take the next step in your leadership journey with the leadership coaching and programs available from Esprit de Corps!