As coaches, we sometimes work with people in leadership roles. We can help good leaders become great leaders through our coaching methods and by helping individuals define their strengths. Our clients may associate great leadership with what we see on TV and think they need to become genius pirate captains to do their job. Misconceptions surrounding the best leadership style make clients anxious about whether they're up for the task. It’s our job to guide them to real leadership qualities and help them adopt their own leadership style.
We help our clients by focusing their attention on the purpose of leadership, aside from the superficial trappings and stereotypes society projects on it. Leaders are people who successfully guide their team members. A team leader needs to be reliable and guide others to success, and if they're able to do that, they’ve already succeeded.
Focusing on core tasks will help our clients become better leaders, no matter who they are. So, here are four inspiring and approachable tips on how to improve leadership skills.
4 tips to improve leadership skills
Not everyone is a born leader, yet many people are required to lead anyways. Leadership may be a byproduct of the skill development and career advancement our clients seek. And a lack of leadership skills may be a barrier preventing them from being promoted and moving higher up in their organization. Luckily, we’re here to help with these tips for how to improve leadership skills in the workplace:
1. Be disciplined
For anyone seeking to improve leadership skills, goals are foundational to the whole endeavor. It requires discipline to complete professional goals and all the short-term tasks along the way. As coaches, we assign our clients assignments to train them to keep commitments, practice time management, and stay organized to impress and instill similar values in their team members.
2. Assume more responsibilities
It's necessary to take advantage of opportunities to demonstrate commitment and decision-making skills to become an effective leader. We encourage our clients to take on more tasks, not to the extent of overworking themselves but enough to make an impression on those they wish to lead. A willingness to learn new things and develop competencies is inspiring. It’s important to encourage our clients to expand their skill set and step outside their comfort zone.
3. Inspire others
Inspiring others is no easy feat. It’s challenging for many would-be leaders who want to impress rather than inspire. We help break these patterns by pointing to the power of emotional intelligence and providing clients with techniques to support others and themselves. By stressing how communication skills, specifically listening skills, can be leveraged to make team members happier, our clients are likely to succeed in their work and personal lives.
4. Empower teammates
A piece of wisdom we give our clients is: It's good to pay it forward. By delegating and entrusting tasks to team members, leaders allow their teammates to demonstrate and develop their skills and become better leaders in the process. This virtuous cycle of leadership development helps the entire organization's competence.
Teach the qualities of a true leader
Many people who want to develop their leadership skills have an old-fashioned idea of leadership that prioritizes charisma over critical thinking skills. The charismatic leads we see on TV aren’t actual leaders. Leadership styles don't rely on bombast, which is jargon with little meaning to impress people (see what we did there?), to inspire team members. As we guide leaders to improve their management skills, we should encourage them to adopt values to guide their decision-making and ensure they approach their work in ways to help them and their coworkers flourish:
Good leadership skills don't exist in a vacuum. They must dynamically shift to reflect the technological, social, and personal changes affecting them and their team. If leaders prioritize personal development and take advantage of an ever-widening field of knowledge their team members offer, they'll be more resilient in accepting and adapting to feedback.
They’ll accomplish this by setting learning goals and clear boundaries between life and work. If they accept they're more than their job title, they'll be better prepared to approach a changing work environment rationally.
The best way for leaders to ensure their team is ready and motivated for any challenge is by giving their coworkers something to look forward to. Taking time to create opportunities for career development will improve teams’ skill sets and encourage people to feel more invested in the organization's future.
On top of encouraging leaders to delegate tasks, we teach the importance of creating meaningful relationships with team members. But remember, you don’t need to win any popularity contests. Our clients feel more confident in their roles by being generous with their time and demonstrating genuine interest in employees’ goals.
Effective leadership is more than making demands and handing out assessments. If that's the extent of a leader's interactions with their team, how can employees appreciate our clients' efforts to become better leaders? We recommend leaders invite their employees to participate in strategizing and encourage the innovation and action said strategy requires. If our clients let their team see how they come up with new ideas to overcome challenges and involve employees in the process, they’ll foster a culture of creativity and ensure mutual respect.
Leaders face many challenges, with some outside of their power to fix. As coaches, we remind leaders they're role models, can rely on others, and should listen to others’ input. Helping teammates resolve conflicts and heeding their advice will help leaders grow and benefit the organization.
Being fair and honest with employees, ensuring hard work is recognized, and sharing rewards will create a happier work culture and encourage teams to conform to similar ethical behaviors.
How to improve leadership skills as a student
Even the best leaders had to start somewhere. For our clients set on the path to leadership but haven't arrived yet, perhaps because they haven't graduated yet, we can encourage them to take on new challenges. Student life is filled with activities to improve leadership skills.
Students can start volunteering with student initiatives and councils and pursue additional professional development courses to supplement their learning. Even after earning their degree, there are courses on LinkedIn to teach new skills they may not have realized they need.
Practice soft skills
For our clients, it may have been their technical skills that earned them the opportunity to lead. But it's no longer their job to be the best employee. Instead, they must become good listeners. We must remind our clients soft skills, like active listening, truly make successful leaders.
Guide your clients to gain the communication skills they'll need to lead, create an action plan to improve leadership skills, and help them improve their interpersonal skills. Practice makes it easy to schedule appointments and ensure payments; its CRM software spreads insights across unlimited clients to improve services so you can help your clients become the best leaders possible. Try Practice, and start leading leaders.