By Rick Goodman
Effective leadership skills don’t happen by accident. They’re cultivated through hard work, strategic focus, and consistency. And, no matter how advanced you are in your career, there’s always room to hone your leadership skills, becoming a more effective motivator and change agent.
The question is, what are some practical steps you can take to hone effective leadership skills? What are some ways you can become an even more valuable player within your organization? I’ve got a few suggestions to offer.
One of the first things you should do in pursuit of effective leadership skills is form some productive habits and routines; essentially, become a person marked by discipline.
Simply put, your team members will judge you based on the level of discipline you display. If you’re someone who regularly falls short of deadlines, or if you very visibly waste a lot of time, your employees won’t be motivated to put forth their best effort. However, if you embody a disciplined approach, your team members will follow suit.
So how do you become more disciplined? Start with some minor, personal habits and work your way up from there… for example, start waking up half an hour earlier, or working out before you head to the office.
It’s difficult to develop effective leadership skills when you do the same thing day in and day out, or when you become complacent in your professional life.
Indeed, in order to grow yourself, it’s important to venture outside of your comfort zone; to take on new projects or tasks that go above and beyond your basic job description.
What’s more, you can’t simply sit and wait for these opportunities to come your way. Instead, you may need to actively seek them out, looking for chances to learn on the fly and increase the value you add to your organization.
Be a Follower
This may sound counter-intuitive, but I truly believe that, in order to be a good leader, you also need to be a good follower.
What do I mean by this? Well, for starters, it’s important to know when you’re not the subject matter expert in the room, and to listen rather than speak. Actively seek out people who know more than you and try to absorb as much of their wisdom as you possibly can.
Also, know when to ask for help. Seek the advice of people who can assist you in expanding your own sphere of knowledge.
Are you known as a sad-sack or a downer in your workplace? Or do your colleagues recognize you as someone who is quick to offer a word of encouragement and positivity?
I’d highly recommend becoming someone who’s known to be inspiring and motivational. This really just takes some earnest effort on your part. Be ready and willing to listen to team members as they share some of the difficulties they’re facing. Let them know you care about what they’re going through and are there to support them however they need it.
The more you really listen and encourage, …read more
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