How To Improve Leadership Skills: Guideline and Tips

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 November 2022 | Published 27 July 2021

Updated 30 November 2022

Published 27 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Advancement in your workplace may necessitate the development of various talents, one of which is leadership. Because the majority of higher-level positions are leadership positions, understanding how to properly and effectively lead and organise a team is critical while advancing your career. Developing excellent leadership skills may give you confidence and direction in your work. In this article, we look at the importance of leadership skills, steps to improve leadership skills and some tips and pointers to help you become a better leader.

What are leadership skills and why are they important?

Leadership skills assist you in relating to people, making constructive judgments and providing excellent advice. Leadership skills may comprise both demonstrable talents or traits, as well as social abilities such as confidence, decisiveness, honesty, communication, integrity, empathy and openness. These skills enable you to manage a team successfully, inspire your employees, assign work and utilise feedback to develop over time.

Excellent leadership abilities are essential for a variety of reasons. Whatever role you currently hold, there are certainly chances for you to demonstrate your leadership skills and positively contribute to the overall success of your business. Even if you don't lead a team or occupy a management role, you may start honing your leadership abilities to become a more effective employee and contribute to the teams you're a member of. Additionally, leadership skills are critical in the workplace because they can:

  • Assist you in maximising your workplace strengths, such as self-awareness, knowledge and respect

  • Support your overall contribution to your team and workplace in general

  • Motivate you to be proactive when action is needed and no one is stepping up to make changes

  • Allow you to provide support and encouragement to others to perform better in their jobs

  • Assist you in instilling confidence and motivation in your team for a more productive output

  • Allow you to enhance morale and encourage a positive attitude among your team

  • Foster dedication, commitment and devotion to the organisation

  • Enhance the overall work environment by increasing performance and function in the workplace

How to improve leadership skills

These steps can provide some insights for you on how to improve leadership skills:

1. Integrate discipline into your daily routine

Discipline is an essential element of a good leader, and it may be used to inspire others to be disciplined as well. Other people may assess your success as a leader based on the discipline you exhibit at work. You may exhibit strong workplace discipline habits by appearing on time for meetings, concluding meetings on time, consistently meeting deadlines and fulfilling all of your assigned tasks in a timely manner.

In numerous instances, your habit may frequently migrate from your personal life to your work life and vice versa. Likewise, you can also practise discipline in your personal life. Outside of work, good disciplinary habits include obtaining regular exercise, getting up early and honouring obligations with family, friends and relatives.

Read more: Staying Focused While Working from Home

2. Seek a leadership mentor

You may admire someone in your business who is in a position of leadership. When it comes to improving your leadership abilities, consider asking this person to be your mentor. Watch, study and assess how they behave in different settings, how they connect with others and how they perform their everyday tasks. You can try to put what you've observed and learned into practice and frequently ask for feedback to guarantee that you're progressing.

Related: What Is the Leadership Process and Why Is It Important?

3. Enrol in a leadership workshop or course

There are several leadership courses or programmes available, many of which are available online. Online leadership courses enable you to learn more about the important components of becoming a successful leader in your spare time. They also offer an opportunity to list professional development on your resume, showing employers how you've grown your skills over time.

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

4. Learn your leadership style

Understanding different leadership styles allows you recognise areas for improvement and growth. You may also discover a different leadership style that better matches your character or the needs and objectives of your team. Being aware of your leadership style allows you to connect your vision and goals with your abilities. You can also become more aware of your own areas for improvement and develop a greater understanding of your influence on the individuals you manage. When you are conscious of your shortcomings, you may learn to use your talents more strategically to compensate for them.

You may demonstrate different leadership styles depending on the scenario or job position. For instance, you can take on the autocratic style when your business is undergoing fast and disruptive changes, but you can use coach-style leadership during day-to-day operations when finishing a project. There are several leadership styles, with the most common being:

  • Visionary

  • Affiliative

  • Transactional

  • Coaching

  • Pace setting

  • Autocratic

  • Participative

  • Transformational

  • Servant

  • Laissez-faire

Read more: How to Create a Vision Board in 9 Steps (Plus Definition)

5. Take on more duties and responsibilities

If you aren't presently holding a leadership position or if your current role has minimal responsibilities, try asking for greater responsibility at work. Additional responsibilities can assist you in becoming used to the higher demands that frequently accompany upper-level leadership roles. Furthermore, by demonstrating your willingness and dedication to take on more responsibility, you may leave a favourable impression on your bosses and may likely be recognised and considered for forthcoming promotions or leadership positions at your organisation.

6. Learn to inspire, empower and motivate

Being a successful leader is being able to effectively empower and encourage your team to work together toward a common objective. Improve your motivating abilities and start implementing them in your work life while engaging with your team. Delegate duties to your staff to offer them greater responsibilities and demonstrate your confidence in their skills to handle these duties.

7. Establish and follow through on goals

An effective leader not only sets goals for themselves and their team, but also ensures that they and their teams achieve these goals. Spend time planning your goals and dividing them into smaller assignments that you and your team can manage. You may want to ensure that each team member fully knows and comprehends their roles as well as your expectations. You also can establish manageable timetables to determine when you want to meet each goal. Consistent progress toward goals demonstrates your dedication to leadership and enhances your capacity to be a successful leader.

8. Don't be scared to acknowledge when you've made a mistake

Leaders may make mistakes too. It's how they deal with those mistakes that distinguishes them as leaders. Being able to acknowledge that you've made a mistake and take prompt action to fix it is a sign of a successful leader. Each mistake is a learning opportunity, so instead of becoming upset or attempting to conceal it, utilise it to learn how to prevent making the same or a similar mistake in the future.

9. Exercise patience

Be patient when you learn and adapt to your position. Try focusing on certain abilities or imagining how you would lead in a specific situation, such as introducing a new project or guiding a team through a major change. Acknowledge that you may encounter unanticipated events that may provide opportunities for improvement and growth. Keep in mind that patience is a leadership quality that you can cultivate.

Tips for improving leadership skills

Outlined below are several tips and recommendations you can consider to enhance your leadership abilities:

Be inspired

It's difficult to inspire and empower others if you aren't motivated yourself. Identify and decide what inspires you in the workplace. Utilise that to drive your leadership efforts and urge others to take action.

Reward your team

Successful leaders don't simply criticise or distribute responsibilities to their employees. They also acknowledge and reward employees for a job well done. Reward good performance to keep your team motivated and improve their overall job satisfaction. For instance, you can acknowledge when your team member meets a goal or performs better than expected.

Trust your team

Delegating responsibilities may be difficult if you don't initially trust your team. Learn to trust and let go so that you may delegate some duties to others. This not only helps you and your workers establish mutual trust, but it may also allow you to reduce your workload to focus on things that are important to you.

Maintain openness and transparency

Effective leaders communicate openly with their team and are ready to share information, even if it's not always positive. To work at their best and focus on the most relevant duties to reach their goals, your team needs to be updated on current events. Moreover, remaining transparent shows that you trust and respect your team.

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