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      Top 10 Leadership Skills Every Professional Must Acquire

       

       

      Leadership skills are extremely critical for today’s professionals as more and more companies are looking for individuals with excellent leadership skill.

       

      We have listed the top 10 leadership skills you need to acquire for a highly rewarding professional career –

       

      1. Communication

      Leaders need explain their team members a host of things including organizational goals to specific tasks. To do it well, leaders must be good at all forms of communication from one-on-one, departmental, and full-staff conversations to communication through the phone calls, social media and emails.

       

      Communication quite often involves sincere listening and leaders should encourage steady flow of communications with their team members. Besides, a leader should be keen to be available for discussing issues and concerns with his team.

       

      Skills for Communication 

      Active listening

      Articulating

      Storytelling

      Clarity

      Correspondence

      Explaining

      Facilitating group conversations

      Nonverbal communication

      Presentation

      Public speaking

      Reading body language

      Reducing ambiguity

      Verbal & written communication

       

      2. Motivation

      The team members of a company follow their leaders; hence, the leader must inspire their workers by going the extra mile for the organization. Just a handsome pay package is not enough to keep the workforce inspired and enthusiastic. In order to motivate the team a leader boost the employee morale by conferring them with recognition and rewards, or by bestowing responsibilities which will make them feel integrated to the organisation, thereby increasing their investment in the company.

       

      A Leader should be able to sense the pulse of his team members and know well what works for them, because only a motivated team will feel encouraged to increase productivity by working passionately.

      Effective motivational skills

      Allowing independence

      Asking for input

      Assessing interests of staff

      Convincing

      Mentoring

      Open to employee concerns

      Persuasive

      Providing productive and challenging work

      Providing rewards

      Recognizing others

      Setting effective goals

      Team-building

      Thanking staff

       

      3. Delegating

      Taking on too many job-responsibilities will make a leader struggle to get things done the way they should be done. Such a leader often refrains from delegating tasks as he/she fears that delegating responsibilities indicates weakness, but in reality delegation is the mark of an able leader.

       

      The best way is to identify the skills of each team member and delegate tasks to them according to their skill sets. By delegating tasks a leader will have the necessary time to discharge other critical responsibilities.

       

       Skills of a effective delegation

      Accepting feedback

      Allotting resources

      Assessing strengths and weaknesses

      Defining expectations

      Identifying measurable outcomes

      Designating tasks to right employees

      Prioritizing tasks

      Teamwork

      Time management

      Trust

       

      4. Positivity

      A positive attitude can be a game changer in a professional atmosphere. A leader should always be ready to take it with grace and composure whenever things don’t go as planned. This will make the team members have faith in their leader and they will work with an open mind without intimidation. Positivity is essential for a healthy work environment, even during periods of immense pressure.

       

      Skills creating positive atmosphere in the workplace Caring

      Conflict management

      Developing rapport

      Diplomacy

      Encouragement

      Empathy

      Friendliness

      Humorous

      Respect

      Social

       

      5. Trustworthiness

      The work place should not have an air of intimidation and fear and team players must have the ease and comfort to go to the boss or manager with their concerns and also suggestions. A leader must demonstrate his/her integrity and trustworthiness, as the work force will only trust leaders they respect.

       

      Being open-minded and candid will ensure reciprocation of same behavioural traits amongst the team members.

       

      Skills that conveys trustworthiness

      Ability to apologize

      Accountability

      Business ethics

      Confidentiality

      Conscientious

      Consistency

      Credibility

      Emotional intelligence

      Empathy

      Honesty

      Reliability

      Respectfulness

      Standing up for what is right

       

      6. Creativity

      A leader needs to make a number of decisions, solve unprecedented problems and deal with unforeseen situations.  Therefore it is important for leaders to think outside of the box.

       

      Conceiving unconventional resolutions or dealing with problems in unique ways, enable leaders to resolve difficult and complex problem. Team members are known to be impressed and encouraged by leaders who avoid the safe and predictable paths.

       

      Skills for creative thinking

      Analytical

      Conceptualization

      Critical thinking

      Curiosity

      Embracing different perspectives

      Foresight

      Innovative

      Listening to others’ ideas

      Observation

      Problem solving

      Sound judgment

      Visionary

       

      7. Feedback

      Delivering constructive feedback to team members regarding their performances, form a critical part of a leader’s job. However, good leaders are aware of the subtle difference between offering guidance and controlling. The best way is to guide the team members on self-improvement and encourage them to make their own decisions; by doing that leaders will feel more confident while assigning job-responsibilities to your staff.

       

      Employees prefer leaders who offer feedback clearly but in a compassionate way.

       

      Skills for giving clear feedback

      Being open to feedback

      Building confidence in employees

      Clearly laying out expectations

      Coaching

      Following up

      Frequent feedback

      Listening to employees’ responses

      Mentoring

      Providing specific advice

      Respectful

       

      8. Responsibility

      Successes and failures of a team largely depends on the leader or the boss, therefore, a leader must always be ready to accept responsibility at times of failure.

       

      Leaders who point fingers and blame his team members at the slightest failure will lose soon respect and support. It is the trait of a great leader to accept mistakes and failures, and eventually formulate clear solutions for better performance.

       

      Skills to convey the sense of responsibility

      Acknowledging mistakes

      Being open to customer feedback

      Evaluating best solutions

      Forecasting

      Learning from past mistakes

      Listening to feedback

      Project planning

      Resolving problems

      Transparency

      Trouble shooting

       

      9. Commitment

      It is extremely critical for leaders to stay committed to their promises. They must be ready to do everything in his power to make his commitments a reality. Team members will see the commitment and follow the example.

       

      Leaders should not expect their team to commit to their job responsibilities if they are not doing the same.

       

      Skills related to commitment

      Applying feedback

      Commitment to company objectives

      Determination

      Keeping promises

      Passion

      Perseverance

      Prioritization

      Team player

      Work ethic

       

      10. Flexibility

      Disasters and last-minute alternations are common phenomenon is a work place. Competent leaders are flexible in mind and accept changes with grace and composure. The workforce will always value the leader’s ability to accept changes with confidence and take things under quick control.

       

      Leaders should always be open to suggestions and feedbacks. If a member is unhappy with a certain issue, it is imperative for the leader to listen to the concern and be ready to make required amends. Employees always welcome a leader’s capability to acknowledge right feedback.

       

      Skills for flexibility

      Ability to learn new skills

      Ability to respond to new problems or issues

      Adaptability

      Improvising

      Negotiating

      Recognizing individuals’ strengths and skills

      Treating employees as individuals

       

      How You Can Build Leadership Skills

       

      Be enterprising

      Think big and long-term, and be ready to take up tasks outside your job role. Think about the big picture about the overall good of the company. Try to come up with bright ideas and work beyond the daily schedule.

       

      Take more responsibility

      Once mastering your job-role think of telling the boss about your keenness to develop and grow leadership qualities. Offer willingness to take up more work or offer sharing your boss’s job-responsibilities.

       

      Target specific skills

      Improve abilities and skill that are in demand in your work place, in doing so take a class or online course, get a mentor to help or read books.

       

      How to Showcase Your Skills

      It is a great idea to use the leadership related expressions listed in the article in your resume, particularly in the work history section, while searching for jobs. These words and expressions can also be used in the cover letters. While mentioning the skills it is recommended to give definite instances of demonstrating them at a previous work place.

      Using these words in interview will also give you an extra edge. Be ready to cite occasion when you demonstrated the leadership skills and solved problems.

       

       

      Author: Baishali Mukherjee

      Profile- An independent writer and journalist for last nine years; presently working with Education World, Entrepreneur India, Scrabbl.com and Stoodnt.com. Worked as the content head for four books and have articles and features published in leading print and digital media spaces.

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