The possession of specialised knowledge and skills makes a leader the first port of call for specific tasks within an organisation. Being endowed with expertise helps establish status as one who influences staff. In order to develop expertise and a reputation for it, a leader has to identify where his/her brand of expertise lies. In coming to identify your own expertise do not disregard those abilities and talents that you might take for granted. When a leader has worked out what their own key expertise is, he/she must capitalise on it. This will involve the acknowledgement of how your ability aided you in achieving your aims as a leader.
A leader’s ability to inspire the teams they lead to respond to changes in the marketplace, which is unpredictable, with new approaches to new challenges faced by your organisation is a talent key to better leadership. Leaders and managers cannot simply acquire the ability to innovate through a process of learning. They can, however, employ techniques to encourage staff to be innovative in their thinking. Providing the right conditions in which innovation can take place can mean changing traditional methods of brainstorming.
Persuasiveness is a key ability for being a better leader. The ability to ‘sell’ something – a product, good, service, idea, or point of view both internal and external to your organisation is essential for leadership. A leader might not see this as a skill that falls within their remit. Introducing a concept for a new way of thinking and making people see things from new perspectives is necessary for leadership, especially when it comes to persuading people to see things from the leader’s perspective.
- Problem-Solving Abilities
The best leaders furnish employees’ skillsets with competencies and the insight required to solve small problems before they turn into much bigger ones. From the perspective of leadership, this requires that the right questions must be asked before answers have been supplied. The direction of discussion is key. Solving problems innovatively means interpreting the parameters of the problem correctly first and arriving at its expression in the most helpful terms. Good leaders also look at things from different perspectives.
Today, empathy is becoming increasingly important. The ability to empathise with others – to understand and share their feelings – is vital in the modern workplace. The starting place for establishing good relations with staff in this way is to begin the working relationship with openness. The leader’s ability to see through his/her staff member’s eyes is key to understanding which tools they need to be given to complete various tasks. The best leaders know that you get the best out of staff if they feel comfortable and secure.
- Networking Skills
The most effective leaders have very large professional networks available to them both inside and outside their organisations. In being so endowed, leaders are able to access a broad-ranging wealth of specialist knowledge and skills. The best leaders know that in order to gain more contacts, one must share one’s existing networks with others.
- Communication Skills
In order to lead a team to success in achieving goals, and setting the goals before they have been reached, a good leader must be able to explain precisely what is expected of them. Communication skills are also key to inspiring staff members to be motivated in the duties and goals to which they have been assigned. A leader should know the difference between communicating guidance and communicating to inspire staff. The best leaders and managers know that e-mail is a poor substitute for face-to-face communication, with telephone conversation coming second.
Develop Your Leadership and Management Skills with Alternative Partnership
As a manager or leader, there’s always something new to learn or a skill you can improve and develop. Organisations need to support managers and leaders in this development, but you also need to invest in yourself.
Getting formal leadership and management training will not only help you build your leadership skills, it will also help you grow in confidence, and increase your chances of career progression.
Alternative Partnership delivers ILM-accredited Leadership and Management training programmes to support you and your teams in gaining formal, nationally recognised qualifications.
If you’d like to hear more about our current ILM courses or are interested in any of our services, get in touch.