How to develop your leadership skills

leadership skills

It is true that some people are naturally predisposed to leadership, but even the most talented can always learn new leadership skills.

Open channels of communication

To better understand how our leadership is perceived, it is a good idea to acquire different perspectives, for example by simply asking by e-mail, a meeting or a questionnaire the point of view of one’s collaborators. It is important to understand what they really think about us. It is obviously necessary to be cautious because often not all employees feel at ease in sharing their point of view, mistakenly believing that some information may be improperly used against them, and thus put themselves on the defensive.

It is therefore vital to establish an open and honest relationship in a context where people have no difficulty in confronting each other. It is important to be approachable, available for comparison to ensure that the team really knows your person. So it’s up to you!

Offer support to your employees

Leaders often isolate themselves in their offices to develop new ideas, tactics and strategies. This can mean being busy most of the time. Understandably being a leader requires investing valuable time. One way to improve your leadership, in addition to the opening of these important communication channels, is to support a young professional with some aspect that is particularly complicated for him and in front of which he has “stuck” or for example support the front lines when you see them in difficulty. These little things have an important impact. People will remember that you offered your help despite your many commitments. You will be seen as part of the team, someone like them working to achieve a common goal

Listen up

Being someone “able to listen” is a fundamental way to improve your leadership skills. People want to be heard. Some minor problems or concerns may appear to be insurmountable problems for others. By listening to your employees and listening to yourself (very important!) You will be able to be more empathetic and interested. All leaders can “hear”, but only great leaders know how to listen. For example, Stanley Mc Chrystal, a former commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan, argues that after decades in the military and in leadership positions, the most important leadership skills gained in building a purpose is to listen and face the possibility of failure.

Let your team learn by yourself

People continually observe leaders. And for good reason. Take Howard Schultz, the man behind Starbucks. Schultz has very modest origins and obtained a scholarship thanks to which he then started the most successful coffee company in the business. People are inspired by Schultz and many other leaders for their perseverance and inexorable tenacity. This means that people often expect leaders to bring solutions to problems. It’s not a bad thing, it’s good to ask questions and look for answers. But there comes a point where a leader must let his team act autonomously to find out what he can do on his own. If you always provide the solution to your team, your employees will no longer be able to think for themselves and this could lead to major problems.

Learn from others

Being a leader is exciting. These suggestions are also useful for knowing where and how to improve. But sometimes you just need to listen to those who are projecting us into the future. And how do you do it without e-mail, phone calls or meeting other leaders? Easy! You Tube and TED have a whole series of interesting discussions concerning topics such as team management, challenges, obstacles and much more. If you lack inspiration or have a few minutes before a meeting, try also to approach these brilliant leadership discussions.

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