How to Develop Leadership Skills at Work

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February 16, 2021
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min read

Leadership skill doesn't come naturally to everyone and for those that are natural leaders, their skill set can always be improved and developed. Being a leader in the workplace is an invaluable asset that can propel you to new roles and experiences with potentially higher pay grades.

If you're looking to improve your leadership skills and become a more dynamic member of the workforce, then you've come to the right place. The following article will detail some of the best ways you can develop your leadership skills at work. If you're short of ideas on ways to improve your management, delegation techniques, or assertiveness, then read on and take note.

Take on More Projects

Taking on more work is a good way to widen your scope and open yourself up to fresh challenges and new situations. If you can, be selective in the work you take on as you don't want to simply do more of the same if your role does not currently demand leadership skills.

The types of projects you want to undertake are ones where you obviously lead team members in one way or another. Leadership development is accelerated by actually performing leadership tasks, so if you have the opportunity to lead a new project, embrace it with open arms.

Demonstrating that you have the capacity to be a good leader to employees can open new doors for you, and you never know where it will take you. So dive headfirst into the situation.

Resolve Conflict

If projects, where you can improve your leadership skills, are at a premium, you can develop your leadership skills in other ways. One such opportunity is if a conflict arises in the workplace among employees.

If you spot a disagreement and think you are in a position to help, step in, assess the situation, and try to resolve the conflict yourself. This can help you improve leadership skills in the workplace while lending a hand to employees in need.

Obviously, you should be mindful not to overstep the mark and get involved with something that doesn't concern you though. You'll have to be careful and assess the pros and cons of getting involved, but it could still be an opportunity to improve leadership skills.

In short, if a low-risk scenario with a minor disagreement pops up, take the chance to improve your leadership and communication skills and solve the problem.

Become a Good Listener

Leadership isn't all about taking charge. Being a good listener is an often-overlooked skill that is vital to developing leadership skills. Listen to team members and their needs, ideas, and wishes. Take note of situations that aren't going according to plan and think about how you could improve them.

A good leader knows when to lead and when to sit back at the workplace by paying close attention. If you're always giving instructions, they're going to be construed as bossy, not assertive. Developing leadership skills is as much about knowing when to be a leader and when not to be.

Equally, when the time comes and you have listened to everything you need to, it's time to put your leadership skills into action. Having thought about ways to improve, step into those leadership roles, and assert your leadership style. After all, developing leadership skills entails taking on leadership roles at the right time, so consider each situation carefully.

Lead by Example

This is perhaps the easiest form of leadership for someone who doesn't consider themselves a natural leader. If you aren't the most vocal or the most assertive person in the workplace, it doesn't necessarily mean you can't be a leader and motivate others at your company.

Team members will view you as a leader if you are the one setting an example and leading the way in terms of performance and conduct. So set the bar and inspire others by showing them how it is done. A team can respond to this and take your exemplary display as a call to match it. Good leaders always lead by example.

The Bottom Line

There are many ways to develop leadership skills, and not every leader is a carbon copy of one another. Great leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and as long as you are showing the way, then you're leading.

Work on the aspects of your leadership abilities that need the most work if you want to become a more well-rounded and dynamic leader or boss. Leadership development is a long road, so never stop learning those skills in the workplace.

Assuming a positive leadership role will boost career development, help resolve conflicts, and make you a better team member overall for your organization. Displaying leadership qualities will also make you a better role model, aid in decision making, and make your leadership traits rub off on other employees at your organization.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some practical steps I can take to develop my leadership skills in my current job role?

To develop leadership skills in your current role, start by taking on more responsibility and seeking out project management opportunities. Offer to lead meetings or presentations, and ask for feedback on your leadership from peers and supervisors. Engage in active listening, improve your communication skills, and be proactive in problem-solving. Additionally, consider finding a mentor who can guide you and provide insights into effective leadership practices.

How can I demonstrate leadership at work if I'm not in a management position?

Leadership isn't confined to those with managerial titles. You can exhibit leadership by being a reliable team player, showing initiative, and helping to foster a positive work environment. Volunteer for new projects, share innovative ideas, and support your colleagues. By taking the lead in these areas, you can demonstrate your potential for formal leadership roles in the future.

Can leadership training or workshops significantly improve my leadership skills, and how do I convince my employer to invest in them?

Leadership training and workshops can be highly beneficial for honing your skills, as they provide structured learning, practical exercises, and the opportunity to network with other leaders. To convince your employer to invest in them, present a clear case for how the training will benefit not just your personal development but also contribute to the team's and organization's success. Highlight the potential for improved productivity, team morale, and the positive impact on the company's bottom line.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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