Managers’ direct reports look to them to set the tone for the workplace culture, standards, and personality. However, often, star employees are promoted to management without training in leadership skills they need to lead. This can create frustration for everyone. Here are 10 leadership skills that will help put your team on the right track.
1. Vision & Creativity Drive Teams Forward
Many employees feel their job is to produce what the management wants, whatever that might be. As a manager, you’re the one setting that course. Developing the leadership skills to set a creative vision for your team will help boost their productivity and participation.
2. Communication & Facilitation Leadership Skills Foster Collaboration
Teams must communicate well to be productive. As a leader, you must develop clear communication skills, including the ability to facilitate team discussions. Your workers will take your lead on proper workplace communication etiquette, collaboration with coworkers, and active listening, helping everyone get their messages across clearly.
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3. Decision-Making Helps Push Through Deadlock and Meet Deadlines
Collaboration is ideal for most teams. But sometimes the desire for consensus can bog down your work. Being decisive when time is an issue is an important leadership skill. However, whenever possible it should be pared with active listening, so your team feels like they are heard and contributing to the decision.
4. Self-Awareness Shows Leaders Where They Can Grow
There is always room for improving leadership skills. Every manager has strengths and challenges that are part of their leadership management style. By developing self-awareness about how you lead, you can take active steps to shore up your weaker areas, and create a personal development plan that will be good for your team, and your career.
5. Strengths Assessments Allow Leaders to Delegate Strategically
You can also use these same skills to guide your team’s growth. Strengths assessments can sometimes create anxiety among team members. However, if you focus on development rather than judgment, you can use them delegate tasks to team members who would perform and enjoy them best.
6. Feedback and Constructive Criticism Help Workers See Weak Spots
At the same time, when a team member is under-performing or causing disruption, it will be your job as a manager to put them on the right course. Knowing how to deliver feedback and constructive criticism effectively and sensitively will allow your team to grow to the challenge instead of shrinking from fear of consequences.
7. Time Management Helps Leaders Stay on Track
When you become a team leader, you often must balance all your personal tasks with added meetings, responsibilities, and communication with your team. Time management is a key leadership skill. By knowing how to prioritize tasks, you can make sure you are available to your coworkers and still get your work done without working as much overtime.
8. Conflict Management Leadership Skills Keep Teams Working Together
Eventually, there will be conflict between members of your team. When that happens, having strong conflict management leadership skills becomes crucial. Knowing how to approach team members when a dispute arises can resolve the matter quickly and keep it from affecting the rest of the team.
9. Cultural Intelligence Helps Diverse Workforces Come Together
The workforce is increasingly global. Having the cultural intelligence to respect the diversity within your team will set you apart as a leader. Understanding racial sensitivity, religious tolerance and accommodations, and culturally significant days and behaviors will all give you an edge in management.
10. Integrity and Honesty Build Teams’ Trust in Their Leaders
Ultimately, the most important leadership skills you can have are personal integrity and honesty. If your team can trust you to do what you promise and own your mistakes, they will more likely do the same. You can cultivate an open team relationship over time, but it must start from the top.
Develop Your Leadership Skills with the Help of an Executive Coach
Even if you have the title manager without the chance to develop your leadership skills, there is still hope. By working with an executive coach, either through your job or privately, you can build your management skills, develop a strong resume, and improve your performance in your current position.
David Stanislaw is an organizational development specialist with over 30 years’ experience helping managers and business owners develop their skills through one-on-one leadership and executive coaching. Contact us to meet with David and start developing your team’s leaders today.