Regardless of your current skills, there’s always room for improvement. There are many ways to strengthen your leadership skills. The most effective way to take your skills to the next level is practice.

Below are 9 ways to build your leadership skills

1. Develop a vision and share it with your team

Take the necessary time to determine the vision and the path to that vision. Narrow down your vision to tangible goals. Goals are most effective when they have a deadline and a clear sign of achievement.

Lay out the path you intend to follow to complete the objective. Include everyone in the strategy session. Listen to the feedback you receive. As you do this, show your team members how they will benefit from the achievement of the goals and vision.

2. Demonstrate your values

Many team members aren’t sure what to expect from an unknown leader. Each person has their own code of conduct. In the previous article, you learnt the importance of having values and living them.

Let everyone see what you stand for. Each decision you make provides an example of your moral code. Your behaviour sets the boundaries for everyone else. Be confident enough to let everyone know what you expect from others.

3. Have a positive attitude

Stay strong even when things take a turn for the worse. Your team follows your conscious and subconscious cues. Therefore, their attitude will rarely be better than the attitude you’re demonstrating.

Not only will you feel better when you have a positive attitude. Your team will also perform at a higher level and feel more confident about the future.

4. Work on your communication skills

Communication is one of the most crucial leadership skills. Make every effort to strengthen your ability to communicate. Ask yourself these questions on a regular basis:

  • Does everyone in my team know what I expect from them?
  • Does everyone know what they need to know?
  • Can everyone on the team communicate the goal of our project accurately?
  • Am I listening effectively to each team member?
  • Am I providing everyone with feedback on a regular basis?

5. Find the optimal way to motivate each team member

This can take time to discover. At the very least, take a moment to encourage and compliment each team member on a regular basis.

Also, take time to teach these leadership skills to your team leaders or supervisors if you have any working under you. While this may seem counter-intuitive, it will actually strengthen your team when members see you growing leaders from within.

6. Demonstrate how much you care about authentic success

You determine the commitment of your team members by the level of commitment you demonstrate. Your behaviour also determines whether people seek success authentically or not.

No one will care more than you do and no one will work harder than you do. Demonstrate how important the work is to you while maintaining integrity. Your commitment strengthens the team and motivates members.

7. Be likeable, but serious

If you’re likeable, others will do their best to help you. After all, aren’t you more likely to help a friend or someone you like? Note that being likeable isn’t the same as being a pushover. Hold people accountable, but be fair. If you want others to take their work seriously and commit to success, you must be serious too.

8. Maximize your strengths

Growth is not an option, it’s a must. At the same time, allow your team to handle tasks that you’re weaker at. It’s rare that someone has all the skills and talents necessary to complete a significant project alone. Stick to what you do best and allow those with the requisite skills to take on their specific roles.

Operating at your best makes those around you more confident. Admitting your weaknesses demonstrates that you’re smart, humble, and committed to success. Delegating frees you up to concentrate your energy on what you do best.

9. Learn and advance your skills

The most effective way to enhance your leadership skills is to find a mentor with skills you admire. A mentor is someone who has walked the path you’re walking. They know what to do or not do and they’re willing to pass on their knowledge and wisdom to you.

If you’re unable to find a suitable mentor, there are other options:

  • Books: There are countless books on leadership. Purchase those with the best reviews and put them to work. Avoid limiting yourself to a quick read. It’s not just about educating yourself. You must apply the information regularly to see improvement.
  • Websites and blogs: Leadership is a popular topic. There are plenty of free articles and videos to keep you busy for a lifetime. Also, check out blogs by your favourite online and offline leaders. Most of these people share useful tips and resources.
  • Formal education: There are seminars, webinars, and college courses on leadership. Identify the skills you need to boost and attend a corresponding course. Remember to put your skills to use even as you learn.
  • Coaching: Unlike a mentor, a coach doesn’t have to know or understand your career or industry. Coaches are experts in helping you identify what you want to achieve, map the path to achieving it, and then they walk that path with you. An executive or leadership coach will easily help you identify the skills you lack and help you grow into them. They’ll also provide accountability and support as you grow.

Your turn

Anyone committed to becoming a more effective leader will find the necessary information to take their skills to the next level.

There are opportunities each day to gain more experience, even outside of work. Plan a weekend trip for the family. Hold a family meeting. Organize and host a party. Each of these activities provides an opportunity to learn and grow your skills in a unique way.

Practice makes perfect. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and practice leadership skills. It’s not possible to become an expert at anything without intention and prolonged effort. Learn a little each day and apply it vigorously. Gauge your results and seek improvement.

Few people make a concerted effort to grow their leadership skills. You can quickly surpass your peers if you make the effort! Take advantage of every opportunity to hone your skills.

Over to you…What has been your experience as a leader? If you’re not a leader, which additional leadership skills would you recommend?

(Photo by Kiana Bosman on Unsplash)

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