Classic question: Are leaders made or born?
We can admit that it is possible to be born with management skills, but the wrong motivation and understanding of it will not lead you anywhere. On the other hand, there is a very small percentage that a shy person could become the second Napoleon. Ultimately, it means that to be a leader both things are required: the correct encouragement and the correct leadership skills.
It is never too late to start developing your leadership skills. It is thought that many famous leaders who changed history did not show impressive skills in leadership as children. Don´t be scared to try!
So how and why develop leadership skills?
Successful management requires more than just assigning tasks to a team. It calls for a leader who can inspire team members to achieve their full potential. People want to be guided by a person they respect, and by someone who has a clear sense of direction. To be that person, there are certain things that you must BE, KNOW and DO, and that’s what developing leadership skills is all about.
Here are some tips on how to develop leadership skills:
1. Test what people think about you: You can do it with a help of survey or just asking them about it in a relaxed environment. Knowing particular aspects of you from different members of a team will help you to make a realistic conclusion about yourself, and will aid with the improvement of your management style and techniques.
2. Be a good listener: It is a well known fact that if you don’t know how to listen to people, then nobody will listen to you. Good listening skills are essential for success. If you don’t listen, you will never have a factual overview of a situation and it will impair the skills you wish to develop.
3. Make sure your communication is effective: Try to deliver a positive message to your employees. Even if you have negative news to give, communicate them to colleagues in a professional way.
4. Be a people person: It doesn’t mean that you have to let your employees do whatever they want, but that you have to trust them enough to let them make decisions sometimes. If you don’t trust your employees then do you think they are going to work properly with you being a watchdog? Try to be their friend and teacher. Motivate them and give them freedom so they do not pressured, but rather and understood and respected in the company.
5. Be an example for your team: People should admire you, through the way you are perceived and your characteristics and not only the things you say to them.
6. Share leadership: Distribute tasks among group members depending on the situation and individual strengths. You become a better leader by involving more people in the leadership process.
7. Appraise your success with others: It means that your success can be evaluated together with the success of your team. Your goals and objectives are achieved as a team and should be celebrated together as well.