Four Tools for Building Your Leadership Skills

Filed under Leadership, Tools | Posted by MMeloni

In every stage of your career, leadership skills will serve you well. And as you climb the ladder having good leadership skills becomes more and more important. You do not become a leader the moment you advance to a specific level. Your leadership emerges and when properly attended to, grows with you. Think back to your very first job. Maybe it was babysitting or working in a fast food restaurant or in a retail store. Some people around you demonstrated leadership skills, and others did not.

As you move up the ranks, you will be handed more responsibilities, like managing a team. When that happens, be ready and have what it takes to be a great leader. If your executive team can look at you and see leadership potential, you are more likely to singled out for advancement. Keep investing in your leadership skills, here are four ways to support you on your journey.

Evaluate Your Leadership Style

Everyone’s leadership style is personal and unique to their own experiences. However, you can choose to learn more about how you manage people by taking a leadership style quiz. Doing so gives you an insight into how you behave under stressful situations, how you interact with those under your team, and how you direct people to success. As you learn more about your leadership personality, you also get to identify where you can improve. When choosing a leadership style quiz, look for one that’s reputable and based on results like Myers-Briggs and The Enneagram. You can also ask some of your colleagues to give your feedback. These three simple questions can provide some very useful insights:

  1. What would you like to see me do less of?
  2. What would you like to see me do more of?
  3. What would you like me to keep the same?

Go Back to School

Pursuing further education in management and leadership can be great if you’re looking to learn in a structured environment with experts in your field. The right degree or certificate can also beef up your resume. Business degrees will help you build your expertise in management and operations. This intensive learning doesn’t have to stop once you have your bachelor’s degree. For those already finished with college, a master’s degree in management and leadership can further develop your skills in communication, critical thinking, team building, and problem solving. This type of training recognizes that management is more than just business — it is, primarily, about people. Moreover, being around professors and students with the same passion in leadership will expand your understanding of good leadership. Hearing other’s methods of leadership and how they’ve overcome problems in managing a team will be a great learning experience for you.

Join Leadership Training Programs

Not interested in a degree program? We are fortunate enough to live in a time with many learning opportunities. Do some research and find a course or seminar that is right for you. This allows you to focus on a specific strength – perhaps communication, or conflict resolution, or emotional intelligence.

You can work on your leadership skills independently, with what you’ve learned from various references – books and podcasts can be of great help when building your management competency. However, nothing beats learning from industry experts in training sessions where you can ask for advice. Additionally, seminars and training camps focused on management can help you practice key tenets of good management such as personal and interpersonal mastery. Talk to your employer about any available leadership training programs that your company might offer. In the event that your company doesn’t have any, you can try to look for leadership seminars and events in your area or on the web.

Track Your Progress

To stay on top of your progress, detail your experiences in management by writing in a journal. Here, you can list down all the long-term goals that you want to achieve and map out how you can drive your team and company into triumph. Furthermore, tracking your progress in a journal gives you something to impart to others who need help when you’re already established as a strong and capable leader. To better organize your entries, you can try to journal using a note-taking app like Day One or Bear.

The critical point here is that you need to keep growing, keep learning, and keep investing in yourself.

exclusively written for By Jennifer Birch.

Jennifer Birch is a marketing manager based in Nevada. If she’s not reading the latest CEO biography, you can find her walking her golden retriever Becky at the local dog park.