As someone who has been in the professional training industry for a long while now, people often ask me for advice on how to improve their leadership skills. While the best bet would be to attend one of our leadership classes, I decided to put together the tips below to help get you started down the path to becoming a better leader.
7 Tips For Developing Your Leadership Skills:
Tip #1. Get Personally Acquainted With Your Team: By taking the time to get to know someone, they will come to be better acquainted with you, too. If nothing else, asking coworkers about their family and interests fosters a friendlier work environment. You will also find they will be more open to helping you, and taking extra time to get things done.
Tip #2. Respect Your Colleagues: If you want to be in a position of leadership, you need to start building relationships with the people around you. This means showing them the respect they deserve. Respect their position, their job function, their professionalism. Everybody wants to be respected for what they bring to the team.
Tip #3. Build Stronger Relationships: Great leaders know the value of relationships. They make a conscious effort to get to know team members better -- what's important to them, what motivates them. The better you understand the people you work with the better you can support them. And when you support others' goals, they will support yours in return.
Tip #4. Find The Positive, Not Just The Negative: In the business world, it is easy to be critical and negative -- especially in this economy. People aren't perfect, and while you need to call someone on their poor performance, you also need to acknowledge when people are doing a good job. Doing so builds a positive work environment that helps make people feel appreciated.
Tip #5. Know Your Strengths: We all excel at something. Chances are, that "something" is the reason why you were hired. So naturally, it is better to improve your strengths than pour all your energy into weaknesses. While addressing weaknesses is certainly useful, by working on your strengths, you will find you can rise to the expert level sooner than you would by working solely on your weaknesses.
Tip #6. Rely On Others To Complement Your Weaknesses: As mentioned above, we all have strengths and weaknesses. Great leaders recognize their weaknesses, find people who excel where they fall short and rely on them to contribute to a well-rounded team. That's because great leaders don't hide their weaknesses, but rather use them to build a strong team.
Tip #7. Strive For Self-Improvement: Great leaders are always on the move, always finding new ways to better themselves and strengthen their skills because they realize how damaging being set in their ways can be. So they take the road less traveled, knowing that the risk is sometimes greater than the reward.
Executive Summary: Ultimately, what makes a great leader great is their ability to lead -- to generate team unity by fostering not only their own personal growth and develop, but the growth and development of their team, the other crucial pieces that work in unison towards a business' success. To accomplish this, great leaders cultivate genuine relationships founded on mutual respect.
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