A huge part of career development is learning how to interact with others in the workplace, and eventually taking on a leadership role. But, how does one go about developing these skills throughout their career? If you are searching online with the inquiry of “how to develop leadership skills in the workplace,” then this post is for you!
Qualities Of A Good Leader
Not all of us are natural born leaders, but with practice, research and character development it is possible to grow into a leader. Whether you are just beginning your professional career, starting a new management position or even a seasoned boss, there are several strategies to implement as you transition into the best leader for your workplace.
A leader needs to show a willingness to take on as many projects as possible. Co-workers will always follow someone who leads by example. Reach out to your bosses or manager to see if there is any extra work or an additional project that you can take part in. This is not to recommend taking on more than you can currently handle; make sure you can handle your workload first. Instead, this is a recommendation to go above and beyond your job description. This is a great way to grow, professionally and personally.
A great leader needs to know how to listen to others. To lead, one must first be in the role of follower. Leadership includes the ability to yield power when appropriate. If someone is more of a creative thinker for a situation that calls for creativity, then let that person have the floor. Yielding power to best use your personnel shows true leadership and maturity.
Stepping back and letting a co-worker take control relates directly to empowering teammates. View your employees as teammates at all times, empowering them when the time is right. Empowering tends to inspire others. All good leaders must be able to inspire others in the workplace. Last but not least, always keep your eyes open and ears peeled. A key to leadership development is to always look for opportunities to grow. Never stop learning, even when you’ve reached the pinnacle of your career.
Developing situational awareness will help to empower others. This can be done by a leader who recognizes an issue and sees the big picture. By developing awareness, a good leader will anticipate problems and have solutions ready. This ability will certainly come in handy when working with a group or under a deadline. You may be able to spot opportunities for individuals that most managers or bosses would generally overlook.
Here is a quick list of qualities that aspiring leaders should possess:
Managers or bosses simply in their current roles to move on and up in a short period of time will do little to inspire the confidence of their employees. Great leaders stick around for the long term, through good times and bad. Commitment never goes unnoticed by fellow employees or workers. Good managers are committed to making their current role as meaningful as possible. By committing time and effort over a long period of time, good leaders are demonstrating their worth simply by their body of work.
Explaining a task or goal to your team, then just leaving it up to them is okay, but there is certainly a better way to get your team excited on the job. A good leader will leave no doubt that you understand the objectives set in place. Walk your team through a project step-by-step, fielding any questions along the way. Passion is a building block towards success, and passion can definitely become contagious when the right culture is developed.
All of these tips and skills are rendered moot if the manager is not a good communicator. Good communication skills are possibly the first attribute a good leader must acquire. Knowing how to speak with employees of all different levels and needs is crucial for success. Goals and objectives are the easy parts. Effectively guiding your employees to the goals is where the real work begins.
Bosses command and leaders influence is a common belief. Many believe a leader’s authority stems directly from his or her ability to influence others. A boss offers rules, while a leader encourages workers to think for themselves and utilized creativity when possible. Good leaders tend to grow their influence by practicing encouragement, optimism, and of course, honing some exceptional communication skills.
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Differences Between A Leader And A Manager
Leaders Inspire Others
Leaders are known and generally revered for their abilities to drive people and praise successes. Management differs in the way they operate a business and utilize workers, though. A manager will work to find faults and flaws with workflow and communication. A leader will paint a clear picture of their vision for the company and/or a particular project. Leaders embrace teamwork, knowing a collaborative effort will almost always outduel the efforts of an individual. Managers have a tendency to try to control all situations, which doesn’t give the staff a true chance to fly on their own.
Different Workplace Traits
Managers and leaders will possess different traits in the workplace. A manager is more focused on the task at hand, and when to get there rather than how to get there. Managers are deadline and results-driven people, fueled by the success of a business; not so much the success of people. These people will have an uncanny ability to execute a vision or a company goal. They can build a map towards success, with each tiny detail included. Managers are direct and focused, which, of course, are certainly good traits to possess. Sometimes, though, being direct with workers instead of taking the time to relate to them better can backfire and lead to a lack of motivation or understanding.
Being direct and focused is important, but leaders will take the time to create a vision that includes each member of the team. Leaders will help chart a path towards success, enabling as many people as possible along the way. Leaders need to always remain honest. Honesty inspires others and it builds trust faster than anything else. Last but not least, a good leader is not afraid to challenge others; it’s what good leaders do. Leaders think outside the box and they will challenge other team members to adopt this style of thinking, as well.
If you are a manager, chances are you simply count value instead of creating it. But, what exactly does this mean? Managers, unlike leaders, count value and can even reduce it when disabling someone who certainly adds value to your organization. A manager may ask for constant updates or set strict deadlines. Meanwhile, a leader will create value by giving a team member extra responsibility or a chance to lead by example. A key factor in leadership is enabling others. Enable others and you will undoubtedly inspire others along the way.
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Leadership Training By Saletta Leadership, LLC
Michael Saletta is known as the “Master Facilitator” in guiding companies to drive their sales and business strategy. He is the founder and CEO of Saletta Leadership, LLC and Leadership Partners, LLC, consulting companies dedicated to developing leaders, growing sales, and aligning team performance. Change your business by contacting Saletta Leadership today!