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 –
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
Facilitating group conversations
Reading body language
Verbal & written communication
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
Asking for input
Assessing interests of staff
Open to employee concerns
Providing productive and challenging work
Setting effective goals
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
Assessing strengths and weaknesses
Identifying measurable outcomes
Designating tasks to right employees
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
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
Standing up for what is right
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
Embracing different perspectives
Listening to others’ ideas
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
Listening to employees’ responses
Providing specific advice
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
Being open to customer feedback
Evaluating best solutions
Learning from past mistakes
Listening to feedback
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
Commitment to company objectives
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
Recognizing individuals’ strengths and skills
Treating employees as individuals
How You Can Build Leadership Skills
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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