9 Ways To Further Develop Your Leadership Skills
If you have a belief system I once had, where I thought leadership skills are only necessary for the top management. It’s time you change that! The world is more competitive today than it was 10 years back. Therefore, leadership skills, today, are much required to succeed not only in a professional environment but also in your personal life.
We all have leadership skills beneath us and some of us use that consciously but most of us do it subconsciously. So, How to Further Develop Leadership Skills? To further develop your leadership skills you must put them to action. Reading theories would provide you knowledge but practice would provide practical experience.
Our brain grabs a lot of information but how much of it do we remember? Do you know what we do remember? The practical experiences that take place. It is said that repetition is the mother of all skills. If we keep repeating what we learn and practice it. We would surely be unstoppable. Checkout 9 Ways to further improve your leadership skills with practical steps
Improve your Decision-Making
We all make certain decisions daily. These decisions play a vital role in our lives and provide a new direction. It also plays a vital role in an organization. Executives plan out their day-to-day activities as a decision. CEOs plan out their meetings and canceling a meeting is a decision.
I am sure you would have taken decisions in your life. Let me ask you this, think about a moment when you made a certain decision. Now think about the fact that if you had taken a different decision. How would your life be different?
Steps to start making effective decisions –
- Step 1 – Awareness of your needs, here you must remind yourself that you would be needing to make a decision that would make or break your life.
- Step 2 – Gather Information, A strong base of effective decision making is to understand that you have all the information you need.
- Step 3 – Evaluate the Alternatives, as and when you gather the information, there are chances that you would come up with different alternatives available.
- Step 4 – Check for the evidence, while you may be having other alternatives but you must go back to step one to understand if your need would be met with those other alternatives
- Step 5 – Chose one alternative and take action, From the list of options available. You would be selecting an option and take feasible actions that may lead you towards your needs
- Step 6 – Measure your decisions, Here you would be measuring the outcomes of your decision and evaluate them.
Learn to Speak Last
Probably we all want to keep our points early. Maybe as a senior person in the management, you would likely be speaking more but there’s a difference between speaking to tell and speaking to inspire.
There are many reasons to follow this pattern but the two main reasons to speak last is, First, it gives chance to everyone in the room and second, people in the room feel that their voices have been heard and therefore no one thinks that they are left out. This gives a mental signal to them that their opinion is heard and hence they come up with better ideas.
How do you learn to speak last? Follow these steps and you would be developing this much-needed skill for leadership
- Step 1 – Set out or understand the agenda of the meeting.
- Step 2 – Ask Questions, Speaking last does not mean no speaking it all. In this step, you would gather information by asking questions to your team member.
- Step 3 – Speak, Once everyone has presented their opinions you would be addressing your views and politely disagree with the views that do not make sense.
Start Taking Actions
We all have ample reasons to not take action. What is most important this simple fact is that there would never be a right time to do something. If there is a bridge that gaps between a mere dream and a reality that is the bridge of actions. The actions you take would define whether or not you would be achieving your goals or not.
I am sure we all hear it but most of us don’t apply and most of us apply with lousy actions. What do lousy actions give us? Lousy results right? Therefore, for the aspiring leaders out there. It is critical that understand the importance of actions and start taking one. If you have a struggle take action. The steps below would work be of real help. However, even these steps won’t if you don’t take…. Actions!
- Step 1 – Knowing what you want is not important, feeling what you want is important. Therefore the first step towards anything that you want is you must want it bad enough. Once you have a pretty good reason to get what you want, you would require little no motivation to take action.
- Step 2 – Get an Action Plan, If you have a goal to lose 3 kg weight in 2 months, you must have an action plan ready. You must know what actions you must take and then take them.
- Step 3 – TAKE ACTIONS! Remember, no amount of leadership training would work unless you do. You have to get out of your comfort zone and do what is necessary to get what you desire.
Get a mentor
Anyone serious about self-improvement must be knowing the importance of getting a mentor. For years, I thought I could be all on my own and gain all the knowledge. That approach was limited and slow because once I did get a mentor. I could speed up my knowledge process.
Not only could I speed up the process I was guided as and when to apply that knowledge. While most of us try to find a mentor online, I would prefer getting a mentor online as my last resort. Because, I believe, the relationship between a mentor and a mentee should be natural rather than a forced relationship based on some contract.
So what do we do? How do we find a mentor that we feel some connection? Below are the steps I followed to find a mentor for myself.
- Step 1 – Find someone who has a similar set of beliefs and is in the position you want to be, this step is the crucial step to finding a mentor. This step would determine your connection with the mentor. Finding them is a slow and on-going process and there is no set platform where you can find one. LinkedIn can be one option but I would not recommend putting all your cards on one table
- Step 2 – Approach and Start a conversation, This step does not need to have set criteria. It can be subjective depending upon the person.
- Step 3 – Just Ask, Once it has been a healthy month or two since the conversation began. You should just ask! Check out this post that contains How to Approach a Mentor
Set Real and Concrete Goals
There is no doubt that Goal Setting provides us with both long-term vision and quick gains. However, most of us tend to set goals that are unreal and lousy. Due to which they think that goal setting does not work. A great leader, on the other hand, would set real and concrete goals that can be easily measured and action-based.
I once had goals that were lousy and had lost faith about goal setting but once I was able to understand about it through trial and error, I was able to set many goals out of which most of them are achieved. How did I do it? Below are the steps I took to get the most juice out of goal setting.
- Step 1 – Identify the Milestone you want to achieve, This is crucial. Set your eyes on the target and ask questions like, why do you want to achieve it? What would you feel like once you achieved it?
- Step 2 – Get a Journal and write it down
- Step 3 – Make sure your goals have specifics that you want to target
- Step 4 – Write down the action plan you would be carrying out.
- Step 5 – Once you have action plans in place. Rewrite your purpose from step 1 to give you more depth.
- Step 6 – What is it that you would lose if you don’t achieve this goal, this step fills your heart with dedication if you attach a pain point.
- Step 7 – Write down how much time you would need to achieve this goal
- Step 8 – Evaluate, Evaluation of your goal-setting process is subjective. You can evaluate your short-term goals on different specifics and long-term goals on other specifics. Just make sure you can see the progress…
Learn to Move on
Most of us are stuck with something or the other that has happened in our past. I.e. we all act as a victim of our past and that limits our potential. One of the reasons great leaders have unlimited potential is that they learn to forget and forgive. They know that the past is not equal to the present. Your past can be as bad as the loss of loved ones or ample rejection but we need to learn to move on.
Let me ask you this, in your lifetime, when did you make great decisions? Did you make it while you were stuck with your past or did you make it while you were living in present? The answer is obvious. This is why you must be willing to leave your past behind. There are some actions that you can take to look forward in life rather than looking behind.
- Step 1 – Identify the things that you lost due to this mindset, why is this required? This step is crucial to identify the things that you already lost. This gives your brain a pain point and it wants to avoid that in the future.
- Step 2 – Recall your potential, Once you link a pain point to your past that was holding you back the next step is to recall the potential that you once had. This would make you aware of the potential you have and motivate you to take action.
- Step 3 – Feed your mind, this is not a one-time process. Rather it’s an ongoing stream of thinking that you must do keep the direction of your mind in the future rather than in the past.
Take Calculated Risks
Risks and actions are the two forces in our lives that are inevitable. Whatever you would want to achieve in life requires you to take action and analyzing the risks involved. Most of us live with fear and take no action as it includes some risk. It can be anything. Risk of losing someone because of difference in opinions, risk of experiencing failures. While most of us don’t take action, cause of the risks involved, some of us take risks blindly.
There is a fine line between not taking any risk at all and blindly taking risks. This line is usually the secret of great leaders. And that is they take a calculated risk. Calculated risk means analyzing the risk and accepting the loss while realizing that the loss would be temporary rather than permanent.
So how do you take calculated risks to take your leadership to the next level? The steps below would help you acknowledge the risks and make a feasible decision
- Step 1 – Identify the threats, this is not complicated. Do this analysis while taking any actions. This would help you foresee the risks
- Step 2 – Check if any alternative is present, make no mistake that an alternative does not mean quitting it. An alternative only means that we check for other options where we might be able to reduce some risks.
- Step 3 – Do it, Now that we know the risks involved. We must just take action as taking any action has less risk than not taking any actions at all.
Become a problem solver
Challenges are inevitable. We all face some problems or the other while we are hunting for a better life. Problem-solving skills and decision making are quite related to each other because a better decision would lead to better problem-solving skills and lousy decisions would lead to lousy problem-solving skills.
We all come up with certain problem-solving skills and hence we need to improve that skill to improve our quality of life. How do great leaders solve their problems? How do we improve our problem-solving skills further?
Firstly, Analyze your current problem-solving skills. First and foremost we must be able to check and review if your problem-solving skills have been giving us any results at all. The way to analyze this is to identify the latest issue that you came across and see how did you tackle it
Improve, There is always a scope for improvement in anything that we do. If you’ve been getting lousy results. You might want to check out these problem-solving steps I used that gave me great results.
- Step 1 – Identify the problem, you must be aware of the problems that you are facing so that you can take appropriate decisions
- Step 2 – Find out the reason behind the problem, This step has a lot to do with the root cause of your problems. To find out you must ask questions like what is it that is causing this problem? How can I tackle it?
- Step 3 – Find and choose the best solution, Next, you want to find out various options available that have the potential to solve your problem. Once you find some option it is time to select one option that would at least solve 80% of your problem
- Step 4 – Take Actions, This step involves taking decisions and acting upon them.
- Step 5 – Measure, once you make the decision, it is time to calculate the decisions that you’ve taken and find out their effectiveness.
Ask More Questions
To improve your leadership skills you must be willing to ask questions. Whatever we have been learning until now, did you notice one thing in common? Yes! We ask questions in every step that keep us stuck from becoming a great leader. Asking questions is critical, whether you want to understand the doubts of your employees or simply find out self-doubts, Questions are critical to getting to the solution.
There are many questions that we ask our subconscious mind all the time if we think about it. Thinking is also nothing but asking questions to yourself. We all ask a lot of questions daily and as we ask questions we get answers and hence that is what we feel.
How do you ask empowering questions? That gives you empowering answers? Check out some steps that I follow that give me great and empowering answers
- Step 1 – Identify your feelings, Why is it necessary? It is! Whatever we are feeling at the moment or whatever the results that we have it is the result of our questions that we ask. Hence if we want a better state of mind we must identify what is it we’re feeling at the moment
- Step 2 – Identify your questions, Once you come to know about the feelings that you’re experiencing. It is time to identify the questions that you were asking. The first question you ask is, How did I get this feeling? Then follow it up with what was I think? Then follow it up with Why was I thinking it? These are just examples. Although you can ask any sort of questions you want. The deal is to ask the questions which would give you clarity.
- Step 3 – Replace your questions, once you identify the questions you were asking subconsciously, it is time to replace them with more empowering questions. So if you were asking questions like Why did I create this mess? Replace it with What went wrong so that I can avoid it in the future?
Hey, y'all I'm Faisal!!👋
I’m SO excited you’re here! I’m super passionate about improving ourselves and the daily challenges we Millennials go through, gives me hope to change our lives for good!
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