Enhancing your leadership skills can play a key role in your career development. After all, your technical skills and formal education can only help you up to a point. When it comes to aiming for leadership roles, your leadership skills are what will make you stand out from other candidates.
Here is a short guide on how to enhance your leadership skills in the workplace:
Start with a self-assessment
An honest self-assessment can be a great tool to start with because it will show you clearly which skills you already possess, which can be further improved, and which you don’t have at all. The most common leadership skills are interpersonal communication, active listening, goal setting, conflict resolution, motivation, decisiveness, and critical thinking.
Learn about each skill
After your self-assessment, it is a great idea to look up each of the leadership skills mentioned above and inform yourself about them. Even if you think you have mastered any one of the skills, there is always room for improvement. Here is a quick overview of each of the most common leadership skills to help you get started:
Interpersonal communication: selecting the words you use very carefully is just a part of this leadership skill. You should also be in complete control of your tone, hand gestures, body language, and facial expressions so you are exactly communicating the message you intend to on every different level.
Active listening: listening carefully to what is being said to you, so that you can fully retain the information that is being conveyed, and act upon it.
Goal setting: being able to set clear, measurable goals is a key leadership skill because it ensures that everybody knows what they should be working on, and limits frustration.
Conflict resolution: when there are conflicts between colleagues or departments, it falls on management to find an immediate solution. Being able to hear both sides and to mediate between both parties is a great leadership skill to have.
Motivation: being able to keep morale high is crucial when leading a team. This means paying attention to each member’s wellbeing and helping them pursue their personal development goals as much as possible.
Decisiveness: Making the best possible decision as quickly as possible is very valuable for any leader.
Apply leadership skills as often as possible
The only way to truly develop your leadership skills is to apply them in your workplace. The more you engage your leadership muscles, the more they will grow and become an automatic response. Every single workday is an opportunity for you to enhance your leadership skills.