There are many different attributes and topics you need to know to be an effective leader. Guest writer Sharon Hooper gives us her top ten topics that you need to know.
Like all individuals and many employees, you want to do well at whatever you are asked to do. Sometimes, you will be asked to lead a team at work and this could be a daunting task if you do not have leadership skills. However, with training, there is no skill that cannot be developed and effectively mastered.
Leadership is not any different and we have some tips here that will help you become an great and effective leader at work or wherever and whenever you are called upon to lead.
Understand yourself and the leadership style best suited for you
The first thing to do in trying to become anything is knowing yourself and knowing where you want to be. You should have an understanding of your strength, weaknesses and the environment best suited for you. You should also know what style of leadership best fits your personality and disposition.
This will help to guide the actions to take and the skills to focus on or develop in your quest to become a leader. You can get to know what leadership style suits you through a leadership style quiz or test.
Get a mentor
This is an important step in becoming an effective leader. You need to have a mentor, someone that helps to guide you as you try to develop leadership skills.
Look for established leaders who have distinguished themselves and get one or two of them to share their wealth of experience with you. They could also direct you to the right materials or training institutes that will help you become the best leader possible. Mentors also serve as the best accountability partners.
Learn effective communication skills
Great leaders all over the world are very effective communicators, they are very good at communicating their ideas and goals to their followers. They are experts at using the right words to spur their followers to action and productivity. Therefore, to become a great leader, you must learn how to communicate effectively with people.
Learn how to speak in clear and concise terms and how to speak practically and logically without unnecessary emotions except where emotions are needed. Learn how to present challenges in ways that don’t scare your followers. You should know how to present solutions without inferring dominance over your followers.
Be a listener and a team player
Great leaders are great team players and to become a great leader, you must learn the rudiments of being an effective and wonderful teammate. One way to be a good team player is to be a listening leader.
When you listen to your teammates, you get to know and understand their fears, challenges, and strengths and this will help you in relating with them in the most productive ways. In the end, you have a very productive team that does not have a load of internal problems and conflicts.
Beyond just listening as a team player, you should also get involved in the work of helping your teammates solve problems and you should be ready to do the dirty job with them when necessary. These are some of the traits we see in excellent leaders and these are the traits which top organisations watch out for.
People recognise passion when they see it and they can be infected by the passion that another person shows them. This is one thing that great leaders have learnt and something you must develop, if you want to join them. Learn to be passionate and to put all your energy into a task.
When your teammates see this, they will be encouraged and inspired to put the same energy and strength into that task and in the long run, it makes you the leader of a productive team. Whether you want to lead the best paper writing services or just a school team or a group of boys, without showing passion yourself, it is difficult to inspire it in others.
Learn your limits
You should learn your limits as an individual, so that you don’t burn out as an effective leader. Limits include both physical and professional limits. Even though you must be a passionate and hardworking leader who leads by example, you must also learn the physical limits of your body and know when to rest and take a break.
Furthermore, you should also have professional limits that guide how you relate with your teammates. Being a kind and a friendly team leader is wonderful, but you should also learn when to be strict with your teammates and what limits and boundaries cannot be crossed.
Develop yourself consistently
Beyond just developing skills that will make you a good leader, you should also be vast in several other things as this will help get the respect of your followers. Read a lot of books and attend professional training that relates to your job or to your task. As a leader, you need more than just brilliant teammates, you should also be a brilliant team leader.
Developing yourself will also improve your self-confidence in facing your team and in addressing the challenges they will bring to you. For example, through reading and researching, you could easily discover where you can direct your team members to, whenever they are having writing challenges.
Be a role model and a good example
Another skill that must be developed in becoming a leader is learning the art of leading by example and being a role model. Many great leaders in human history are not just known for being good at giving instructions or commanding people to do things, they are also known for being very good at those tasks themselves.
This is another reason why developing yourself is important. You will not be able to lead by example if you do not know the workings of the tasks or goals that you want your followers to do.
Furthermore, you might want to instil certain traits in your followers and the best way to do this is to show them the attributes that you want to see in them. Be a loyal, caring, honest and diligent leader if you want to have loyal, caring and diligent followers. In other words, walk the talk.
Learn the art of complimenting and recognising your followers
Another trait of an effective leader is the recognition of the good works and efforts that your followers have put into a task or job. Recognition can be in form of awards and compliments for doing excellently. These will make your teammates and followers feel appreciated and loved.
The overall consequence is an increased sense of productivity and efficiency. It also makes others who have not been doing too well to step up their game, because they know that there will be reward for this. Lastly, by recognising the hard work of your followers, you get their love, admiration, and respect and as such, you are able to influence them better.
Create a fun environment
We have talked about the need to cultivate hard work and to ensure that your team follows your example. However, alongside all these, it is important that you create a fun environment for your team where they can be relaxed and not be under pressure and stress all the time.
You can do this by setting aside certain days of the week or the month when there are games or trips or other fun events for relaxation.
When your team have this kind of activities on their schedule, they are less likely to be overly stressed out and this will definitely improve their productivity and will make you the loved leader of a productive team.
Also, a fun and free environment promotes great cohesion among your teammates, and this will help them improve as they learn from each other as well as from you. A professional writer who has led various teams and advised every leader to give his teammates the opportunity to unwind.
There you have them! With the tips discussed here, you have some very useful tools that will transform you into a great leader as well as keep you being an effective leader.
Most times, companies and employers will have to appoint new people to take up leadership positions and it’s not always easy to measure performance, both for the company and the individual. However, carefully considering the individual based on the skills highlighted above, will help to properly measure leadership abilities.
As an individual, you must therefore keep these hints at your fingertips as you measure your personal growth. You can be like me, by marking the tips you already have and working hard on developing and putting the rest to use.
About the Author
Sharon is marketing specialist and blogger from Manchester, UK. When she has a minute, she loves to share a few of her thoughts about marketing, writing and blogging with you. Currently, she is working as a marketer at Edugeeksclub.