10 Leadership Skills for Business
All leaders require various soft skills to help them positively interact with employees and team members. Employers seek these skills in leadership candidates. Whether you’re an office manager or project leader, these are just a few skills of a strong leader.
Leaders need to know how to clearly and succinctly explain to your employees everything from company goals to specific tasks. They must master all forms of communication, include one-on-one, departmental and all team conversations. They need to professional when communicating via phone, email or social media.
A major part of communication involves listening. There should be an established steady flow of communications between leaders and their team members through an open-door policy or regular conversations with staff. It is important for leaders to keep themselves regularly available to discuss issues and concerns with their team.
Other skills related to communication include articulating, business storytelling, correspondence, facilitating group conversations, presentations and more.
A good leader can inspire their workers to go the extra mile for their company and often just paying a fair salary is not inspiration enough. There are many ways to motivate workers like building up employee self-esteem through recognition and rewards or offering them more responsibility to increase their personal investment in the company.
To encourage productivity and passion, a leader must learn what motivates their team the best.
Skills of a good motivator include:
- Show trust in your employee to work independently
- Asking for team input
- Assessing interests of the team
- Open to listen to and address employee concerns
- Providing productive and challenging work
- Providing rewards
- Recognizing others
- Setting effective goals
- Show appreciation towards your staff
Some leaders often fear that delegating tasks is a sign of weakness when it is actually a sign of strong leadership. Leaders who try to take on too much by themselves often struggle to get anything done at all. Leaders need to identify the skills of their team members and assign duties to each based on their skill set. Delegating tasks to team members can help leaders focus on other important tasks.
A few skills of good delegator include: assessing employee strengths and weaknesses, defining expectations, prioritizing tasks, time management and training.
At the office, a positive attitude can go a long way. A good leader should be able to laugh at themselves and move along when something doesn’t go quite as planned. This attitude helps create a happy and healthy work environment even during busy and stressful times. Small acts like asking an employee about their family or vacation plans, will help create a positive atmosphere in the office and raise the morale of the team.
Employees will be more inclined to want to work in a positive work environment.
Some skills of leaders who create positive work atmospheres include: caring, developing rapport, diplomacy, encouraging, empathetic, friendliness, helping others, humor and positive reinforcement.
It is important for employees to feel comfortable enough to come to their managers and leaders with their questions or concerns. As a leader demonstrates their integrity, employees will grow to respect and trust them.
Leaders should be open and honest with their teams so that they encourage your team to offer up the same kind of honesty. Here are a few skills that will help you build trust as a leader’s: ability to apologize, accountability, confidentiality, honesty, empathy and credibility.
Leaders need to make many decisions without always having a clear answer, therefore they need to be able to think outside of the box.
Coming up with non-traditional solutions and approaching problems in new ways is what helps leaders solve unsolvable problems. Teams will be impressed and inspired by leaders who don’t always chose the safe and conventional path.
Attributes of creative leaders include analytical, flexible, conceptual, curious, the ability to foresee problems and identify patterns and innovative.
Leaders should always be looking for opportunities to provide useful information to their team members about performance.
However, leaders should be aware there is a fine line between offering employee’s assistance and micromanaging. When you teach your employees how to improve their work and make their own decisions, you will feel more confident delegating tasks to your staff.
Employees respect leaders who provide feedback in a clear but empathetic way.
Leaders are responsible for the successes and failures of their team. A good leader needs to be able and willing to accept the blame when something does not go correctly.
Employees will lose respect for leaders that point fingers and blame other. After a mistake or failure, a good leader will accept that it happened and devise a clear solution for improvement. It is important for leaders to acknowledge their mistakes, be transparent, be open to feedback and evaluate the best solutions.
The success of a leader depends on their ability to follow through with what they agree do. A good leader will roll up their sleeves to put in the extra hours to complete an assignment and employees will see this commitment and follow their example.
If a manager offers their staff a reward like an office party, they should follow through. A leader can’t expect a team to commit to their jobs and tasks, if they can’t do the same.
Things change in business all the time. A good leader needs to flexible to accept and handle any last-minute mishaps and changes that come up. Employees will appreciate a leader’s ability to accept change in stride and creative problem solve.
Leader should be open to suggestions and feedback. If staff is dissatisfied with an aspect of their work, leaders should listen to their concerns and be open to making the necessary changes. Employees will appreciate their leader’s ability to accept feedback and adapt.