Leadership Skills and 6 Ways to Improve It In 2020

1. Be a Lifelong Learner

Effective leaders know things. You do not need to be an expert on every subject, but you need a broad base of knowledge to draw from and a willingness to learn new things. Formal education, such as a Master of Public Administration degree, can give you a good foundation to draw on. You will need to supplement this education by reading books, taking continuing education courses and staying on top of rapidly changing technologies, policies and political conditions.

Leadership Skills

2. Take Initiative

Do not wait around for someone else to ask you to take on a project. If you know a leadership position that you want is opening up soon or you think you can convince the person or people in charge to create that leadership position, make it known that you want it. However, you need to make sure you are in a good position to convince others that you are qualified by doing exceptional quality work, going above and beyond what you are asked to do and picking up new skills or improving the skills you already have.

3. Be a Good Listener

Leading is not just about telling other people what to do. You also need to listen. Listening effectively will help you gather feedback that can be critical in completing projects, gauge the morale of your comrades and opponents and effectively strategize. To accomplish effective listening, you should avoid distractions, pay attention to the speaker, avoid interrupting and work on your ability to interpret body language.

4. Learn How To Motivate

An effective leader needs to learn how to bring out the best in the people she leads. There will be setbacks and frustrations that can demotivate a team on any project. A good leader needs to know how to keep people engaged and optimistic, even when things do not go to plan.

The keys to becoming a good motivator include effective communication, openness to feedback and new ideas, providing challenging work, understanding individual motivations and showing appreciation. It is important to gain an understanding of the needs and wants of each team member so that you can modify your leadership style to best suit that particular team.

5. Do Not Try To Do Everything Yourself

Most people hate feeling like their time is being wasted and they do not want to be micromanaged. If you fail to delegate important tasks to your team and give them the autonomy to accomplish those tasks on their own, your team will likely lose faith in your leadership and motivation in their work quickly.

Learn the strengths and weaknesses of your team members and figure out who is best suited to do what tasks and let them do those tasks. It is OK to verify the quality of their work, but do not hover over them checking every little thing. This not only helps keep your team motivated but frees you up to take on tasks that can not be delegated.

6. Take Advice

Effective leaders utilize the expertise of others. You can not be an expert on every aspect of every project you will lead. It is important to be willing to listen to people who know more than you do and implement their advice strategically.

Effective leadership relies on a lifelong commitment to learning new skills and building relationships. A great leader knows how to take a team and get the most out of the team members’ talents, skills and personalities.

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Article Author Details

Kevin Gardner

Kevin Gardner loves writing about technology and the impact it has on our lives, especially within businesses.