If you want to move up the career ladder, there are some key skills you need. Leadership skills in particular. Some people think leadership skills are only for those in management. They couldn’t be more wrong!
In a changing world, we all need to lead, at every level. You can inspire peers and team leaders alike. Have others follow your action of choice, and improve the dynamic of your workplace.
To learn how to develop leadership skills in the workplace, check out our 5 tips below!
The Importance of Leadership
Humans are social beings.
Once in a group, we chose group leaders. That can be a conscious or subconscious choice.
The modern world is one of fast change and digital disruption. That means greater uncertainty – and greater opportunity.
In both cases, we need great leaders. To comfort us during uncertainty, and to inspire us to adapt or lead change.
Great leadership is about inspiring people, not barking orders at them. Those able to step into leadership roles – in or outside the workplace, have some traits in common.
If you’re interested in being a leader at work or elsewhere, there are some things you can do to improve your chances.
5 Tips On How to Develop Leadership Skills in the Workplace
Some people think that they can show their leadership skills once they in a leadership role. That’s too late to learn how to do it.
Also, why would anyone promote you if they haven’t seen your leadership skills in action? That’s why it is important to be demonstrating leadership, whatever rung of the career ladder you’re at. Let’s look at tips to get you there, faster.
1. Show Integrity
Leaders have integrity. They act in ethical ways. They consider others and consider the repercussions of their actions.
To show management your leadership potential, work to show your integrity. Every day of the week. How? By not participating in office gossip. By owning your mistakes. By speaking up about the injustices you witness.
It’ll improve your standing with peers, and the team dynamic in general. They’ll know you’re someone who they can trust.
Believe us – your managers will notice!
2. Improve your Soft Skills
Being a leader means being able to communicate well. To communicate effectively you’ll need strong soft skills.
Soft skills have never been so important, and while they come more naturally to some, they can be learned! Robots might be able to take over boring, repetitive tasks. They will never have the empathy and communication skills of us humans!
Recognize the achievements of your team members. It costs nothing to be appreciative, but it means the world to the person on the receiving end. Say ‘well done!’ and ‘thanks!’ more often.
Learn how to give effective feedback. Be a better listener. You can study active listening and positive body language.
You might even join a community public speaking group.
This will all boost your ability to communicate your ideas. You’ll be able to inspire others into action. You’ll be able to negotiate for the outcome you want.
The way we dress is one kind of body language you could start to improve right away.
What do your clothes say about you? A good piece of advice in this domain is to dress for the position above yours.
If your manager wears a suit or blazer, you can start doing that too. It will amaze you how this can change the perception of your leadership potential.
3. Find a Mentor
An age-old way to learn a skill is to learn it from an elder. Is there someone in your work or in your circle of friends, with great leadership skills?
Ask if they would consider being your mentor.
You could meet with them each week or month, ask questions about how they got where they are. How did they sharpen their leadership skill set?
Their answers are all keys you can use to open up that leadership gate!
Even once promoted, keep working with your mentor. Ask them for feedback on your progress.
Continual improvement and lifetime learning are the paths to success.
Real leaders know it.
4. Put your Hand Up
Ask your manager for a special project, so you can show off your abilities. You can even ask if they would pay for you to complete an online Six Sigma Green Belt certification or an advanced degree.
It’s even a great chance to make mistakes and learn. That’s the best way to develop – the hard way! Through mistakes.
You might be able to volunteer with members on another team, or in an organization outside work. They’re great ways to beef up your resume and to have the people around you see your initiative and drive.
Next time a promotion comes up, you’ll be a much more visible candidate.
If the project you are working on is a pilot, if it’s successful you’re the obvious pick to lead it going forward!
You can develop leadership skills by participating in community groups. Think emergency services, youth groups, sports, the Honor Society, and others.
See which would be the best fit for you and your long-term leadership goals.
5. Take a Course
There is a reason why this tip is last.
There isn’t anything wrong with studying leadership in a formal way. But the best way to learn leadership is by doing. That’s why we’ve listed the other four tips to get better at it.
There is value in studying the theory though. We’d recommend you do so alongside practical efforts. That way you get the best of both worlds.
You can study at a university, or find cheap or free courses online.
Your workplace may even have sponsored leadership programs. Ask your manager to nominate you.
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