- If you want to develop your leadership skills, it’s important that you honestly analyse your strengths and weaknesses.
Doing this will enable you to identify the areas you need to improve, and make you more aware of how you act and
behave. Start by asking yourself “what kind of leader am I?”
- Perhaps you are someone who leads by example, and doesn’t get too involved in other people’s work.
- Or maybe you are a leader who helps to solve problems, and takes a more active and interventionist role.
- Being a good team player and helping other people get along and work together more effectively is another way of being a leader.
- You can even use online leadership quizzes to evaluate your leadership skills.
- Once you have begun to get a clearer picture of how you act as a leader, it will be helpful to consider how other people
think of you as a leader. This could be your colleagues at work, or friends at school or college. You can do this
by paying closer attention to team interactions, such as how often colleagues approach you for advice, and how comfortable
they are doing so.
- You can also ask a trusted friend or colleague for her perception of your leadership qualities.
- You can ask a more senior colleague, who is familiar with you and your work, for some feedback and guidance on management and leadership.
These questions will help highlight which leadership qualities you are strong in, and which you need to improve. Using
your answers to the questions, divide your leadership qualities into three parts. Firstly, note those qualities you
feel you are very strong on. Secondly, identify which areas need some improvement. Thirdly, determine which areas
you are weak on, and need considerable attention.
For example, if you are aware of the thoughts and feelings of colleagues, and you accept other people’s opinions, your openness and engagement with colleague is likely to be strong.
If you don’t help others perform to their best, and you don’t communicate as effectively as you would like, these skills will need some work.
These leadership qualities can be broken down into the more general areas of communication, inspiring and setting an example for others, openness, and teamwork and cooperation.
- One aspect of good leadership is being quick and decisive to act to solve a problem. If you see something needs to
be done and are confident that you know the best way to do it, use your initiative. A strong leader can be someone
who is prepared to take the lead in situations without necessarily being asked to.
- Using your initiative demonstrates a positive and “can do” attitude.
- Make sure you are confident in your actions, however. Act calmly and assuredly, and don’t try to rush to a solution when the problem requires consultation.
- Another aspect of good leadership is knowing when to take advice, and understanding when a problem needs a deeper understanding before it can be addressed.
- To set a strong example as a leader it’s essential that you take responsibility for your individual tasks and priorities
as well as your team as a whole. Having clear priorities and clearly assigned roles will make it easier for people
to identify and own their responsibilities.
- Support your team members to complete their tasks and try to forge a cooperative rather than a competitive environment and culture.
- Taking responsibility can also involve removing responsibilities from those who have demonstrated that they are unable to manage the tasks assigned.
- A good leader is someone who can provide a clear and compelling vision for the short term and longer term future. The
ability to plan ahead, think strategically, and develop priorities are all hallmarks of strong leaders. In order
to do this, you will need to develop a broader perspective so that you can see beyond the immediate deadlines.
- Seeing the bigger picture can help you envisage problems before they arrive.
- This kind of approach can also lead to innovation and structural changes that have long term benefits.
- For teamwork you need motivated colleagues. One of the best ways for a leader to motivate her colleagues is pay attention
to them and make it clear that you are there to provide support and help when required. Try to keep people focussed
on the goals that are the highest priorities in order to provide a clear route forward.
- You shouldn’t be the last person to find out if someone has concerns or is struggling.
- Be active and communicative to identify problems and deal with them.
- This may involve tweaking your team or the distribution of work.
- For example, if someone is losing interest as the work is not challenging her, think of ways you can get her to engage with her tasks.
- You could explain how this work, although a bit boring, is essential to the overall project.
- Say something like “I know this is a bit monotonous, but without this the whole thing falls apart. I assigned it to you because you have great attention to detail.”
- If you are trying to be a strong leader, it can be tempting to try to prompt better work by creating a competitive
environment amongst your colleagues. In fact, developing a more cooperative work culture often leads to more effective
working and better relationships.
- Any battles that arise in a competitive culture cost valuable time and resources to deal with.
- You are better off creating common goals that you can achieve together.
- Creating a cooperative environment will encourage collaboration and help avoid silo working.