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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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