Team Leadership Skills: Definition and Workplace Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 26 September 2022

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.

Many organisations rely on leaders at different levels of the company hierarchy to manage other employees in the best interests of the organisation. Strong leaders can help their team members develop skills and knowledge to improve productivity and benefit the business's objectives. Understanding the definition of team leadership skills and knowing how to improve them can help you become a more valuable asset to the organisation you work for. In this article, we examine essential skills for team leaders and review steps that you can follow to improve and highlight these skills.

What are team leadership skills?

Team leadership skills are hard and soft skills that can help you become more effective at guiding and managing your team members in the workplace. Hard skills include knowledge of how to use various systems in an organisation that are crucial to its operational processes. Having these skills can enable you to mentor more junior team members and share your knowledge with them, helping them become more productive and efficient in performing their job duties.

Soft skills may include skills such as interpersonal communication and emotional intelligence. Interpersonal communication can help you communicate with your team members and subordinates more effectively. Similarly, emotional intelligence can help you become more aware of the way your team members are feeling about various issues in the workplace.

Related: 8 Benefits of Soft Skills Training and Types of Soft Skills

Examples of team leadership skills

Familiarising yourself with team leadership skills can help you identify potential areas for improvement. Here are some examples of essential skills that can be beneficial for team leaders and aspiring leaders:

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence typically refers to empathy and the ability to understand how others are feeling on an emotional level. Strong emotional intelligence can enable you to understand how each of your team members is feeling at different times. This can allow you to identify ways to help them develop and improve their performance at work. For example, if you recognise that a particular team member has adverse feelings towards a specific task and is less effective when doing it, you can assign that task to another team member. This can improve your team's overall efficiency.

Interpersonal communication

Interpersonal communication skills can help you in communicating clearly with your team members. They can include both verbal and nonverbal cues that influence the way you speak with your colleagues in the workplace. For example, listening actively when a team member is sharing information about their progress on an assignment can help you better understand if they're having any concerns.

Related: 10 Ways to Become a Better Leader and How to Improve Your Skills

Openness to feedback

Being open to feedback can enable you to make changes in your workplace or management style that can benefit your team members, contributing to overall effectiveness. For example, if your team members suggest that they prefer a more collegiate management style, being open to feedback can help you accept this suggestion constructively. You can then consider altering your management style, which may have beneficial effects on your team's morale.

Strategic thinking

Strategic thinking is an essential skill that can help you identify ways to improve your team's performance. This skill may assist you in recognising areas where each member of your team can improve. You can then use this insight to help them create a professional development plan, improving their skills, knowledge and productivity.

Charisma

Having strong charisma can help you inspire your team members. A charismatic personality may also enable you to be more persuasive. These qualities can help you increase the morale of your team members, potentially increasing their productivity and helping the organisation achieve its business objectives.

Related: Charismatic Leadership vs Transformational Leadership: What's the Difference?

How to improve team leadership skills

Here are some steps that can help you improve your skills and become a better team leader:

1. Gather feedback from different stakeholders

Some of the different stakeholders that might benefit from you improving your leadership skills include your team members and your superiors. You can start by communicating with them to see if they have any feedback about aspects of your leadership that you can consider working on. Once you've gathered their feedback, you can analyse this to identify areas for improvement.

2. Create a professional development plan

Once you've identified the leadership skills that you want to improve, you can create a professional development plan. You can also consider asking a mentor to help you in creating it. It can be beneficial to start by setting out the goals you want to achieve. For example, you can create a plan with the objective of becoming a better communicator.

Once you have an objective, you can then set out the steps that you can follow to help you achieve this goal. When setting out the steps to help you achieve your goal, it can be beneficial for you to think of tangible and actionable steps. For example, if you want to become a better communicator, one of the steps that you can include in your professional development plan may be to attend an interpersonal communication course or workshop.

Related: What Does a Communicator Do? (With Types and Tips)

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3. Implement your plan and track your progress

Finally, you can implement the steps in your professional development plan. It may also be beneficial for you to keep track of your progress. You can do this by periodically gathering feedback from different stakeholders. This can help you discover whether your steps are working and identify possible ways to optimise your plan.

Related: How to Improve Leadership Skills: Guideline and Tips

Team leadership skills in the workplace

Here are some examples of how leadership skills can help you as a team leader in the workplace:

  • Strategic thinking: Many organisations hire team leaders at different levels of their organisational hierarchies to perform managerial tasks, such as project management and delegation. Having strategic thinking skills may help you make better decisions when managing your team, which can help to benefit the long-term goals of the organisation.

  • Interpersonal communication: In many organisations, team leaders often communicate frequently with the people in their teams. Being able to convey information to your team members in a clear and effective way can help you improve overall efficiency and productivity.

  • Openness to feedback: Your team members in the workplace may sometimes have feedback about to some decisions you make. Approaching such feedback with a receptive attitude can help you be as objective as possible and make decisions that benefit your team and the organisation.

How to highlight leadership skills

Highlighting your relevant skills can improve your chances of getting a job offer if you're applying for a job in a managerial position or with leadership responsibilities. Here are some ways that you can highlight your relevant skills to show that you're an effective team leader:

1. Team leadership skills for a resume

On your resume, it can be useful to include a section where you can showcase your most relevant leadership skills. When choosing the skills to include, you can start by analysing the description of the job that you're applying for. Check to see if it lists any specific skills that the employer wants its ideal candidate to have. You can then include these in the skills section of your resume. Customise each resume, based on the job listing, to show potential employers that you meet their requirements.

Related: 6 Leadership Skills for a Resume and How to Demonstrate Them

2. Team leadership skills for a cover letter

You can emphasise your relevant skills in your cover letter by using them to describe yourself. For example, to highlight that you have strong emotional intelligence, you can describe yourself as an empathetic professional. You can also consider stating the skills that you have. For example, you might say that you're a professional with over five years of experience and strong interpersonal communication skills.

3. Team leadership skills for a job interview

Many interviewers tend to ask candidates to describe experiences in the workplace. You can highlight your relevant skills by talking about how you've used them in the past. For example, if an employer asks how you resolved a miscommunication in the workplace, you can say that you used your interpersonal communication skills to clarify the situation and rectify the problem.

Related: 7 Team Leader Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

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