How to build and improve your leadership skills

Leadership skills and traits

In todays working environment, regardless of where you are on the corporate ladder, there will come a time when you are given a leadership role and your team members will expect you to hit the road running. Perhaps you have hopes to lead an initiative, or chosen to lead a team project, or apply for a management position. No matter what the situation or leadership role you have been chosen for, you will probably want to know how to develop or upgrade your leadership skills.

Here are are few suggestions and tips to develop your leadership skills:

Take a test to evaluate your leadership skills – Take some time to think about how you react and behave under stressful situations. Ask yourself what your preferred leadership skills. Speak to friends, family, and co-workers and get their opinions. Do you prefer to tell other what to do and what you expect from them? Do you worry if there is clear vision for your team? Take the time to introspectively think about your preferred leadership style. There are many leadership tests or quizzes online for you to take to help identify your leadership personality and how to improve your leadership skills.

Define and have a clear vision – Take the time to share your vision, your mission and your goals with your team. Your job as a leader is to provide a clear path that your team can follow. Your team also must understand why the goals you have set are valuable to them. Take the time to explain to them, in detail, why and how your vision will not only improve the business, but how it will benefit them in return.

Keep a personal journal – Start a journal specifically dedicated to your career and record all those awkward exchanges you have experienced in the past. Write down all those instances and how you could have managed those situations differently or better. Keep notes about your personal or team accomplishments, your long-term goals, or even those mishandled situations. Think about and write down what you consider the most important leadership skills.

Discover your passion – To be a successful and effective leader you need be passionate about what you do. It is much easier to follow and emulate a person who eats, sleeps and breathes the work. If you feel that your current job is just for the paycheck, try taking a personality test and get a better understanding of what drives and motivates you to succeed.

Brush up on your communication skills – One of the hardest skills to perfect is communication. Try over communicate with others around so that everything is understood and avoid any misunderstanding or misinterpreted. Set up weekly meeting with managers any colleagues working on ongoing projects you working on. You might be good at some communication skills while lack confidence or experience when it comes to others. Focus on those skills that you feel you have a weakness or lacking.

Focus on leadership skills outside your work environment – One the best ways to get a hands-on team building and leadership-building experiences is to work for a charity or nonprofit in your community. Not only will you be helping a great cause and feel self fulfilled about a cause you are close to, but will also be able to learn about different areas and facets of the organization.

Organize and build a good team – An important part of leadership is the ability to put together a good team that can work together. Start observing your co-workers and identify their strengths and weaknesses. Be aware of people that work well together. The better you understand the personal dynamics and different types of individuals work together will allow you to be a strong team member, regardless of your actual position. The best leaders are able to identify and reflect on their own weaknesses and view other with different strengths as contributors not threats.

Take a leadership course – Continue with your education and take a course whether it be at a local college or online to help develop your leadership skills. Taking a course can help accelerate your climb up the corporate ladder and help to make you a better, stronger, and more confident leader.


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