The transformations and challenges posed in today’s world have changed the dynamics and outlooks of jobs. Constant innovations and speed of change have redefined the definition of employment and career in a typical workplace. There are primary expectations and skillsets to be possessed to serve in an organization. Typically, an individual needs to be technically competent and experienced to perform the job. In addition to technical skills, there are certain soft skills like presentation skills, team player, negotiation skills, etc. are essential to fulfill job responsibilities.
But in the modern context of workplace success, the term “leadership” has emerged as one of the important success factors. As there are very lesser competitive advantages prevailing in the market, and the organizations that are well lead and directed gets the success. Leadership is not about being a boss and utilizes the authority to get things done. As an effective leader, it is important to have specific leadership skills in addition to technical knowledge and skills. Such leadership skills enable an individual to create a positive and encouraging workplace environment, commitment from the team members, gaining love and respect, and setting business for greater successes.
There are conventional debates that exist about leadership, whether leaders are born or made. Many schools of thought believe that leadership skills are innate, and some people are natural leaders, whereas many counter-arguments suggest that yes, some people are leaders by birth. However, it is possible to learn and seek leadership qualities. Countless examples suggest that leadership qualities can be acquired by training and working under great mentors and leaders, and many modern academic curriculums are designed to train individuals on leadership. Some many universities and institutes offer organizational leadership degree online for the amateurs and professionals to polish their leadership skills and be successful.
As we have discussed the importance of leadership skills, let’s discuss some of the much required, tried, and tested leadership skills to possess for greater workplace success.
Nothing can undermine the importance of communication skills in any context, especially in the workplace. The majority of the problems at work originate due to this. In a survey by Quantum Leadership Group, out of ten, six of the top leadership competencies rated by members involved communication. It does not limit to speaking well and putting your idea across but to listen actively and exercise questioning techniques to extract required and relevant information.
Effective communication does not only helps leaders to bring clarity or to put the idea across but also to build connection, persuasion, inspiration, and guidance. And the communication style of a leader sets the foundation for internal communications across the organization.
In the modern world, success is relationship-driven. A leader needs to build and sustain a strong connection and relationship with employees and clients both. And it requires the investment of time and emotional effort to strengthen the bond to attain success as a leader in the workplace.
It can be done by building one-on-one relationships with employees (if it is feasible, considering the size of the organization), or simply inspiring people around by greeting them, appreciating their work and giving them the feeling of being connected.
It is important to give constructive and reassuring feedback to team members to help them grow and improve timely. However, being able to receive feedback is a bigger leadership skill expected in a leader.
Accepting feedback, acknowledging it, and acting positively help a leader to grow and get better in his leadership. There is always room for improvement, no matter how promising you are. Hands-On feedback coming directly from the team members is the best source of learning and improvement, and a good leader knows it.
Similarly, addressing constructively on the feedback not only helps a leader but uplift his image among employees. This defining trait of leaders cultivates respect, loyalty, and devotion among team members and subordinates; therefore, it is a must-have trait to adapt and refine.
One of the core responsibilities of a leader is to solve organizational problems at all levels. These can be internal problems of the organizations, i.e., rifts among departments, operational matter, etc. Or it can be external, with the clients, regulatory authorities, etc. According to a survey by Zenger Folkman, a Leadership Consultancy firm, problem-solving skills is the third most important competency for leadership in the workplace.
For effective problem solving, the leader needs to analyze and understand the entire issue while staying cool-headed, as it will help him to take fast and relevant decisions for the company. This real skill of problem-solving helps leaders to identify and analyze trends for strategic planning ahead. Lastly, by successfully turning around problems, leaders can motivate and inspire their teams to work harder and have a belief in him as responsible and courageous.
In recent times of the hustle and bustle, empathy is one of the most important skills required for a leader. Usually, leaders can miss out on the feelings, conditions, and needs of their team members. And if these feelings are not addressed, this can turn out negatively in their performance and motivation.
Being empathetic with the team members can translate the workplace environment into a happy, productive workplace with high levels of satisfaction with employees. Then there would be lesser requirements of “employee engagement initiatives” in the organization.
The above-discussed skills are not an extensive list of leadership skills, as there are many others too. However, the importance of leadership skills cannot be emphasized enough, and the key to organizational growth and personal growth depends highly on an individual’s leadership skills. Therefore, it is important to focus on them, along with the required technical skillset relevant to your nature of the job.
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