How to Improve Leadership Quality

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 00:20
Leadership encompasses a variety of qualities and skills. A good leader is someone who is able to manage people and tasks, communicate effectively, and foster a positive team environment. Try to develop your leadership qualities by...
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Leadership encompasses a variety of qualities and skills. A good leader is someone who is able to manage people and tasks, communicate effectively, and foster a positive team environment. Try to develop your leadership qualities by analysing your strengths and weaknesses, and setting a good example to your colleagues.

Part 1
Part 1 of 4:

Analysing Your Leadership Qualities

  1. Step 1 Ask yourself what kind of leader you are
    . If you want to develop your leadership skills, it’s important that you honestly analyse your strengths and weaknesses. Doing this will enable you to identify the areas you need to improve, and make you more aware of how you act and behave. Start by asking yourself “what kind of leader am I?”
    • Perhaps you are someone who leads by example, and doesn’t get too involved in other people’s work.
    • Or maybe you are a leader who helps to solve problems, and takes a more active and interventionist role.
    • Being a good team player and helping other people get along and work together more effectively is another way of being a leader.
    • You can even use online leadership quizzes to evaluate your leadership skills.[1]
  2. Step 2 Consider how others might see you.
    Once you have begun to get a clearer picture of how you act as a leader, it will be helpful to consider how other people think of you as a leader. This could be your colleagues at work, or friends at school or college. You can do this by paying closer attention to team interactions, such as how often colleagues approach you for advice, and how comfortable they are doing so.
    • You can also ask a trusted friend or colleague for her perception of your leadership qualities.
    • You can ask a more senior colleague, who is familiar with you and your work, for some feedback and guidance on management and leadership.
  3. Step 3 Analyse your leadership qualities.
    After asking the initial questions about how you lead and how others perceive you, you can try to analyse you leadership qualities in greater detail. You will then decide which factors to work on. Write down the following questions and try to answer them as honestly and fully as you can:
    • Do I make an effort to be aware of the thoughts and feelings of colleagues?
    • Do I help others perform to their best and reach their potential?
    • Do I accept responsibility?
    • Do I keep an open mind and try new ideas and new ways of doing things?
    • Can I communicate effectively with others?
    • Am I a good problem solver?
    • Do I encourage and accept other opinions and perspectives?
  4. Step 4 Identify areas to improve.
    These questions will help highlight which leadership qualities you are strong in, and which you need to improve. Using your answers to the questions, divide your leadership qualities into three parts. Firstly, note those qualities you feel you are very strong on. Secondly, identify which areas need some improvement. Thirdly, determine which areas you are weak on, and need considerable attention.
    • For example, if you are aware of the thoughts and feelings of colleagues, and you accept other people’s opinions, your openness and engagement with colleague is likely to be strong.
    • If you don’t help others perform to their best, and you don’t communicate as effectively as you would like, these skills will need some work.
    • These leadership qualities can be broken down into the more general areas of communication, inspiring and setting an example for others, openness, and teamwork and cooperation.[2]
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Part 2
Part 2 of 4:

Improving Your Communication Skills

  1. Step 1 Enable effective dialogue.
    Communication is perhaps the most important leadership quality, and one that runs through all of the other important qualities. One of the keys to good communication is enabling positive and sometimes robust dialogue on problems and solutions. There are different styles of leadership, but someone who consistently shuts down debates and stifles discussions is unlikely to command the support of others for too long.
    • Ask and encourage open questions, rather than constrictive ones.
    • Highlight areas of agreement first, and deal with the disagreements second.
    • Don’t be overbearing, and facilitate an open environment where people are free to talk without fear.

    "If you hear people in the breakroom talking about something you said, but in their own words, you know your message is getting across."

    Maureen Taylor

    Maureen Taylor

    Communications Coach
    Maureen Taylor is the CEO and Founder of SNP Communications, a leadership communications company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been helping leaders, founders, and innovators in all sectors hone their messaging and delivery for almost 30 years, and has worked with leaders and teams at Google, Facebook, Airbnb, SAP, Salesforce, and Spotify.
    Maureen Taylor
    Maureen Taylor
    Communications Coach
  2. Step 2 Have positive body language.
    Positive body language can help you come across as dynamic, open and cooperative. It can also help you to make a strong impression when you are talking, and increase the power and effectiveness of your words. One good rule is to have body language that is consistent with what you are saying. Don’t, for example, ask someone to do something while looking down at the floor. Instead make eye contact and be open and engaging.
    • To have positive and affirmative body language while talking, try to maintain eye contact, stand tall and straight, and relax your face.[3]
    • Your body language may be interpreted as how you are really feeling, so try to have body language that reflects the qualities and approach of a good leader.[4]
  3. Step 3 Be an active listener.
    To be a good communicator, you need to be a good listener. If you make the effort to listen to somebody, she will see that and come to think of you as someone she can talk to. This is an important leadership quality to develop. Body language is important, so try to maintain eye contact with the person you are talking to. To be an active listener:
    • Don’t judge people.
    • Pay complete attention to the person you are talking to.
    • Try to understand others, before you try make yourself understood.
    • Don’t interrupt unnecessarily.[5]
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Part 3
Part 3 of 4:

Leading By Example

  1. Step 1 Use initiative.
    One aspect of good leadership is being quick and decisive to act to solve a problem. If you see something needs to be done and are confident that you know the best way to do it, use your initiative. A strong leader can be someone who is prepared to take the lead in situations without necessarily being asked to.
    • Using your initiative demonstrates a positive and “can do” attitude.[6]
    • Make sure you are confident in your actions, however. Act calmly and assuredly, and don’t ty to rush to a solution when the problem requires consultation.
    • Another aspect of good leadership is knowing when to take advice, and understanding when a problem needs a deeper understanding before it can be addressed.
  2. Step 2 Take responsibility.
    To set a strong example as a leader it’s essential that you take responsibility for your individual tasks and priorities as well as your team as a whole. Having clear priorities and clearly assigned roles will make it easier for people to identify and own their responsibilities.[7]
    • Support your team members to complete their tasks and try to forge a cooperative rather than a competitive environment and culture.[8]
    • Taking responsibility can also involve removing responsibilities from those who have demonstrated that they are unable to manage the tasks assigned.
  3. Step 3 Keep improving your skills.
    One way to demonstrate good leadership skills is to always be alert to new possibilities to learn and develop your capabilities.[9] Showing a continuous desire to improve yourself and your work can be a motivating factor for those around you. It demonstrates your commitment to excellence and your lack of complacency.
    • Organise and write down a clear set of standards for yourself personally, and then try to always stick to them.
    • Try to monitor your work, and identify the areas which you can improve on.
    • You can use these personal standards to draw up a personal development plan.
  4. Step 4 Provide a vision.
    A good leader is someone who can provide a clear and compelling vision for the short term and longer term future. The ability to plan ahead, think strategically, and develop priorities are all hallmarks of strong leaders. In order to do this, you will need to develop a broader perspective so that you can see beyond the immediate deadlines.
    • Seeing the bigger picture can help you envisage problems before they arrive.
    • This kind of approach can also lead to innovation and structural changes that have long term benefits.[10]
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Part 4
Part 4 of 4:

Facilitating Good Teamwork

  1. Step 1 Motivate others.
    For teamwork you need motivated colleagues. One of the best ways for a leader to motivate her colleagues is pay attention to them and make it clear that you are there to provide support and help when required. Try to keep people focussed on the goals that are the highest priorities in order to provide a clear route forward.[11]
    • You shouldn’t be the last person to find out if someone has concerns or is struggling.
    • Be active and communicative to identify problems and deal with them.
    • This may involve tweaking your team or the distribution of work.
    • For example, if someone is losing interest as the work is not challenging her, think of ways you can get her to engage with her tasks.
    • You could explain how this work, although a bit boring, is essential to the overall project.
    • Say something like “I know this is a bit monotonous, but without this the whole thing falls apart. I assigned it to you because you have great attention to detail.”
  2. Step 2 Commend good work.
    An important part of motivating others is commending good work. Look for opportunities to praise people for a job well done, and demonstrate that you appreciate what they are doing. Taking an active interest in the work of your colleagues is a key feature of a good leader who is able to motivate her team.
    • With more junior members of staff, always be on the lookout for career development opportunities.
    • A positive and cooperative working culture where people’s hard work is respected and appreciated will result in a more motivated group.
  3. Step 3 Cooperate instead of competing.
    If you are trying to be a strong leader, it can be tempting to try to prompt better work by creating a competitive environment amongst your colleagues. In fact, developing a more cooperative work culture often leads to more effective working and better relationships.
    • Any battles that arise in a competitive culture cost valuable time and resources to deal with.
    • You are better off creating common goals that you can achieve together.[12]
    • Creating a cooperative environment will encourage collaboration and help avoid silo working.
  4. Step 4 Be visible and approachable.
    If you are leading a team on a project, it’s important that you are available to your colleagues. Remember that a good leader is someone who not only gets the task done, but is also concerned with helping her colleagues develop and achieve their potential. Be open to mentoring more junior colleagues, and be sure to make time for one-to-one training when required.
    • You can make yourself visible and available in a number of ways. For example, you might schedule in a short period each day where you are free to listen to any concerns.
    • You could do this formally, or just set aside half an hour in which you can go around the team and check how everybody is getting on.
    • If someone asks you something and you don’t have time to deal with it right away, don’t dismiss it outright. Schedule a time later when you are free to talk.
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How Do I Know My Leadership Style?

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