5 Strategies to Improve Your Leadership Skills
Not everyone is a born leader. Whether you came into the world as a leader or not, you can develop these skills with a little bit of practice! Below are the top 5 strategies for developing leadership skills for personal and professional growth opportunities.
Leadership Skills Development
1: Be A Great Communicator
Communication is about connection. We connect through the stories that we share. Great communicators share stories that inspire and influence others to commit to a shared vision. Great Communicators are also great listeners. They unite by speaking with purpose and clarity. . A great listener listens beyond the words understanding the context of what is being said while also understanding the emotional connection. They hear beyond the words (which is a trained skill). As they connect, a door opens that invites collaboration. Collaboration with open communication always leads to fresh ideas, better relationships, and refined processes. It also plays a significant part in resolving conflict in the workplace (more on this below).
Strong communication is founded on the gift of being present. When you are present you create a safe space for others to be authentic. . When you are fully present you are able to read the nonverbals of your team members. You notice their emotional connection through body language, posture, facial expressions, and eye contact. These cues can speak volumes about how a person is reacting or receiving information.
2: Empower others to be a part of the solution
There is nothing more powerful than a leader who trust their people to be part of the solution. The trap is that leaders get stuck in the story that it is their responsibility to solve the problems of others. This sends a hidden message that you are smarter and more capable of solving problems. IWhen you release control it shows your team that you recognize their potential, trust their instincts, and value their skills.
When team members feel seen, there are higher levels of job satisfaction. With higher satisfaction comes better performance. Trusting your people to solve problems means you are investing in the professional growth of your individual team members. You’re grooming them to be future leaders!
3: Recognize that conflict is the birthplace of creativity
Conflict in the workplace is often seen as inevitable and avoided at all cost. . When you have a diverse group of individuals working closely together for long periods of time, you are bound to run into obstacles. Great leaders know how to encourage conversations that promote diversity of thought. Of course team members have different perspectives on the way they see solving problems. The opportunity is to create a space where everyone contributes to the solution and that all insights and ideas are included in the decision making process.
Effective leadership means opening the lines of communication and understanding the personality types that make up your team. When properly dealt with, conflict can strengthen your team by bringing awareness, nurturing empathy, inspiring innovation and creating unity when all parties collaborate toward a common solution. In fact, it is critical for high-performance teams to embrace conflict as the space of innovation.
4: Master The Art Of Collaboration
One idea is isolated and limited, two ideas are a dilemma and three ideas create choice. The art of collaboration applies patience to discover multiple perspectives and ideas so the team can hear many possibilities and co-create a solution.
Collaboration values and respects both the personal talents “super powers” and organizational needs. The magic happens when you create value by aligning your super powers to the organizational purpose. Define your super powers first. What are your talents? Your unique gifts that allow you to achieve success in all aspects of your life. Next, learn the organization’s values. What is their mission statement? What do their priorities look like? The closer your personal values are aligned to the organization’s, the more confidence you can have in your decisions.
5: Learn How To Influence Others
You are not a leader if no one is following. Followership is about believing and trusting your leader to have your best interest at heart and being inspired to trust their direction. Influencers inspire people to think, feel and act differently. When employees feel like they are valued in the workplace, they feel validated. These feelings correlate to higher levels of job satisfaction and deeper levels of loyalty to the company’s mission. When team members feel like an asset, it drives their performance.
Influential leaders believe in their people more than they believe in themselves. They create clear direction and value tie voice and talents of each team member. Together the team co-creates new possibilities and knows how to take action that collectively creates value bigger than any one person.
Developing Leadership Skills
At COA, our leadership coaching experts are ready to partner with you to help develop leadership skills and strategies. Our experience and expertise in leadership training can help you advance in your leadership career.