How do you develop your leadership skills?
Becoming a better boss is like any other self-improvement program. You have to work at it. Once you’re in a role, it’s not set and forget or on-the-job experience. If you want to sharpen your skills, then you need to train yourself.
So what do you do to develop your leadership skills? Do you have to enrol in courses or watch a bunch of videos? These will help, but you can also try these techniques to improve yourself in the workplace.
1. Focus on Situational Awareness
One leadership trait in demand is seeing the bigger picture and anticipating issues before they occur. It may not always play out exactly as expected, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Part of developing this skill is reviewing what led up to an event. What can you learn from it, and how you can use this information to prepare for a similar one?
You should also consider what you and your team need to handle future scenarios. Schedule training or perform a review of what transpired. Your direct reports might have some ideas on what lessons could be learned as well as what they need next time.
2. Become a Part of Projects
A great way to develop your leadership skills is to get involved with initiatives within your organisation. You can collaborate with other leaders and participants from different departments. It’s also an excellent opportunity to work on your listening skills and presenting abilities if you take on a role that requires managing up to stakeholders.
Try to choose a project where you don’t have a lot of knowledge of the solution. You will need to concentrate harder during meetings, and you might pick up on certain elements that you can bring back to your team. Overall, it will be a much more fulfilling learning experience.
3. Practice Discipline
Practising discipline is the same as being organised. Take a moment to look at where you’re struggling and what changes you need to start making. It could be missing deadlines or being late to meetings. What is the root cause of this?
Some of the solutions might be declining meetings or delegating tasks to direct reports. It could even involve setting boundaries on your time. Give yourself a set finishing time, and be sure to leave every day at that moment. It will provide you with a better understanding of what your capacity is during office hours.
4. Empower Your Direct Reports
Developing your leadership skills isn’t all about you. It’s also an opportunity to upskill your direct reports, so you’re able to focus your time on high-value items while empowering your team to become self-sufficient.
Gain an understanding of where their gaps are. What do they need you for most, and how can you turn the tables so team members can rely on you less? The less your direct reports call upon you, the more you can focus on the future.
5. Listen More
Have you ever sat in a meeting and just listened to the other participants instead of waiting to contribute? Listening can provide you with a lot of insights about your colleagues and direct reports. You can find out their motivations and goals as well as what is important to them.
You can use this information to personalise your conversations with them. It’s also a skill you can practice with senior executives. Once you know their motivations and goals, you can strategise how your team can contribute to the business objectives.
More Ways to Develop Your Leadership Skills
It’s important not to neglect your own development. You need to treat it like a gym program or any other type of method of embedding a habit. Develop your leadership skills by being consistent and having a clear plan in place on how you’ll continue to improve.
For more resources on ways to develop your leadership skills, make sure to follow the Better Boss Blog. You’ll find tips, tricks, and advice on how to continue to improve. Follow pwf services on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, so you never miss a post.