Being a leader isn’t as easy as some make it sound. There are those who are born with a natural flair for it, but it also comes with a lot of hard work, dedication, and experience. You can be born with the qualities of a leader, but you are made into a good one. If you are climbing the ladder towards a management position, or you have recently found yourself in one, there are a few basic skills you absolutely must have if you want to succeed in the role.
Problem Solving and Decision Making
“There are always going to be problems, and there are always going to be decisions that need to be made says Chris Baron from SBE”. As the manager, you are the one that needs to make the choices and decide what is happening. You have to be able to come to resolutions that are sensible and work, be able to think critically and carefully about the situation at hand as well as all the potential outcomes.
Most decisions have a strict time limit, and so your problem solving needs to be fast so that you can make those choices quickly and confidently. One of the best ways to boost your critical thinking skills and become better at problem solving is to take a course and learn new skills for the area. Indecision can cost you money, respect, and even your position, so you should be able to make choices as well as stand by them.
Planning and Delegation
“You have to understand each of your employees, their strengths, weaknesses, and who they work best with says Mike from Brand24”. Delegation is key because you need to place the right employee with the right task if you want to see success within your team. Being able to plan ahead, carefully, and with all of this in mind is one of the most important skills. It shows that you are not only thinking ahead, but that you have also taken the time to get to know your team and figure out where they excel.
“Every area of life is made better with good communication, and as the leader, it is something you cannot afford to do poorly” says Sylwia from Shmunky”. Each point that you put across needs to be clear and concise so that it is understood and can be carried out effectively and with little to no confusion. Not only this, but you should take the time to have meetings with each employee on a weekly or monthly basis. It lets you know how they are doing, what they are feeling, and if there are any aspects that they feel could be improved. Communication works on multiple levels, and you need to conquer them all.
This is an aspect that has only really been focused on in recent years, but it is perhaps one of the most important. On one level, it is being empathetic with your employees, understanding them, their circumstances, and what makes them tick. Being able to relate to and feel comfortable around a leadership figure is often good for morale and productivity.
However, emotional intelligence is also understanding that things won’t always go your way. Sometimes, they will go way off plan and collapse, but you will be able to manage your stress levels accordingly and not take it out on your staff. You take the good with the bad, keep your emotions in check, and always remain professional.
Teamwork and Collaboration
The differences in your team and members is something to be celebrated and encouraged, which is where teamwork and collaboration come in. Even as the leader, you are still part of a team of people, and they have valid ideas and opinions that you should always take the time to listen to and consider. Set common goals, unite your team, and encourage them to work together in order to achieve everything you set out to do. Take equal part in the work, and really be there to act as a guide and role model for them.
Hopefully, this has helped you to discover who you are as a leader, the ways in which you can improve your skills, and how you can help your team learn to work better together. A good manager understands the balance between being firm and being kind, and they are able to relate to their staff as well as be compassionate towards them.
This is part of why emotional intelligence is so important, because people work better when they know they are respected. When you combine all of the skills above and execute them correctly, you will become a superb leader. Just remember, it’s normal and acceptable to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.