Are you aspiring to become a strong leader? Whether targeting a promotion or striving to improve in an existing role, there are certain personal qualities that, if proactively developed, will enable you to achieve your ambitions.
You could take advantage of leadership development services, read personal development books or engage a mentor to help you grow. But whatever your chosen learning method, below are some of the skills that have the power to improve your relationships with both team members and clients.
From marriage to sports, good communication skills are crucial in almost all aspects of life. But while many leaders are already confident speakers, the best will make a concerted effort to listen to every single person they are leading.
Making eye contact and showing genuine interest in the thoughts and lives of others will empower people to speak and step up when you need them to. You’ll also win their trust along the way.
Most leadership roles require an ability to step back from day-to-day work and view situations holistically and strategically. Good leaders are able to critically analyse their own business as well as competitors to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
This can be especially difficult if you’re used to being a ‘doer’ – but taking a removed position often allows leaders to add more value.
Are you set in your ways or open to new ideas? Strong leadership requires the latter, as understanding there is rarely only one ‘right’ way to do things can help to inspire new ideas and embrace differences within your team.
That could mean being willing to hear fresh perspectives on old processes as well as being prepared to afford new ideas enough room to develop.
Accountability works both ways for leaders. You’ll need the confidence to hold others accountable for their actions when it’s appropriate to do so, while also having the strength to admit to your own mistakes along the way.
The same goes for celebrating your team’s successes. Handing out and taking a fair share of credit will ensure that everyone feels they’re being treated in a just manner.
Finally, staying upbeat is crucial to keeping teams motivated through ups and downs. While certain studies have found that over-positivity can actually lead to lower wellbeing, maintaining a certain energy and a proactive mindset will rub off on others in the right way when challenges arise.
At the same time, allowing room for your team to relax and be themselves is also vital to fostering a positive atmosphere.
Strong leadership is not built overnight. But by sticking to certain principles and earning trust over time, your team will soon go from strength to strength.