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Developing Leadership Skills

Aastha Dogra Oct 6, 2018
For developing leadership skills, a manager needs to be a good communicator, connect well with people, and inculcate certain qualities in himself, such as honesty, integrity, courage and commitment.
When it comes to being a good leader, people have lots of misconceptions. One of the commonest is that, if you are authoritative and can control people, you are a good leader. Another one is that leadership is a trait people are born with, and it cannot be developed. Both of these are misconceptions.
A leader needs to be assertive, not authoritative. He should guide his followers, not control them. And lastly, leadership can be developed over time, with a little observation, experience, and effort.

Understanding Leadership Qualities

Before learning about the various techniques to develop leadership skills, one should be aware of the various qualities that should be cultivated in order to qualify for being a good leader.

» Communication skills - Ability to convey things clearly as well as listen to other's opinions with respect.
» Motivational skills - Ability to inspire other people to give their best, in order to achieve the goals.

» People's skills - Ability to build relationships with your sub-ordinates and gain their respect.

» Execution skills - Ability to complete the tasks within stipulated time-frame by being well-organized.
» Decision-making skills - Ability to take the right decision at the right time.

» Problem solving skills - Ability to solve any conflicts between employees as well as glitches that may arise while working on a project.

Assess Yourself

The first activity that should be undertaken is to assess oneself as to how one stands vis-a-vis the leadership qualities and skills mentioned above. One of the most effective ways to get accurate assessment is to get feedback from subordinates, managers, as well as coworkers.
To make sure that the feedback given is not biased, it can be kept anonymous, especially when subordinates are giving it. A person should himself jot down his positives and negatives, and figure out which areas need to be worked upon.

Work on Developing Yourself

Once a person is clear as to where he is lacking, he needs to take steps and improve upon those areas. For example, if there is trust deficit between the leader and his followers, he needs to make sure that he connects with his people and involves them in decision-making, so that they feel they are a part of the organization.
A successful leader is one who motivates his team and inspires them to work. Stronger people make the team stronger, and that in turn, makes the organization stronger.
A leader has to lead by example; so if he wants his followers to become dedicated and honest, he has to be those things first. Some of the effective traits that one needs to exhibit and develop are commitment, courage, confidence, humility, generosity, passion, wisdom, compassion, and most of all, sensitivity.

Some of the other dos and don'ts

―never threaten the junior with your position, do not control the employees but give them freedom to do things, give useful feedback, make employees feel special, let them figure out the 'solutions', be open to opinions, trust and respect the employees, and create a helpful environment. Only then you will be able to inculcate the qualities of a good leader.
For some, developing good leadership skills may be a cakewalk, while for others, it may take years. That's why it is always stressed that developing these skills in youth is the right time.
These days, companies conduct many training sessions as well as seminars for leadership development in their employees. Although learning by experience is the best way, still, to get a better understanding, one can always participate in leadership programs for self-development.