In an increasingly competitive professional world, leadership skills are highly valued in those working in managerial and supervisory roles. Leadership skills can often be the deciding factor between whether or not a candidate gets promoted or hired for a more senior role. While some people are born leaders, others can learn to develop their leadership skills over time to develop into great leaders. Whatever your current leadership skill level may be, there is always room for improvement and with these essential tips for better leadership, you can be well on your way towards the C-suite in the near future.
Learn how to properly delegate work. Known leaders are great at delegating work to their team, but this doesn’t merely mean doling out responsibilities to others. Great leaders know how to manage team projects by assigning tasks and responsibilities in line with the skillsets and interests of their team members. By compartmentalising duties and giving team members work that they can naturally excel at, leaders allow employees to feel valued, productive, and accomplished.
Encourage others to grow professionally. Another trait of excellent leaders is their ability to push and encourage those around them to strive to be better professionals. Either by encouraging continued learning or allowing them the opportunity to stretch their existing skillsets, strong leaders make it their business to see their team members succeed in as many ways as possible. They do this with the understanding that their role as a leader is to offer guidance and support, not to hold the hand of others throughout their entire career.
Maintains an open line of communication. A bad manager is one who manages with a top-down attitude. This leads to an unhappy and dissatisfied team who is resentful and fearful, and who will ultimately leave the company. Those managers who lead the most satisfied and productive teams are those who have an open-door policy when it comes to communication. In order to effectively manage a group, leaders need to know how to listen objectively to their team members, but more importantly, their team needs to feel as though their voices will be heard when they have an issue they need to raise.
Offers flexibility. Good leaders understand that business succeeds because of dedicated and hard-working employees. They also understand that even the most dedicated and hard-working employees may need a break from work on occasion. Burnout is a real threat to retaining talent for any industry and any company, and it is only with flexibility and understanding that the best managers and companies will be able to hold onto their best employees for years to come.
Values accountability. Mistakes in the workplace are not uncommon, and although they are far from ideal, they do offer opportunities for learning and growth. Unfortunately, the only way to shift an undesirable outcome to an opportunity for development is through accountability. Not only will an effective leader hold their team responsible for their actions, forcing introspection and reflection to drive better decisions in the future, but they will also hold themselves to that same standard of accountability.
Soft skills in the workplace, particularly those embodied by excellent leaders, are becoming more and more crucial for the success of working professionals. While we cannot all be natural born leaders, we certainly have it within ourselves to learn to become one.