How to Improve Your Leadership Skills

How to Improve Your Leadership Skills

Having a leadership role is one of the highest honors, but it can also be very challenging. Earning the respect of your team members isn’t always easy, and being a good leader can often be a process of trial and error. By treating everyone with respect and working on your own shortcomings, you can have a good relationship with the people that you lead and foster a motivational, positive work environment.

Method 1 of 2:
Working on Yourself

Image titled Improve Your Leadership Skills Step 5
1
Set a good example. If you don’t practice what you preach, your team is probably not going to respect you. Try to lead by example, and always follow the rules you enforce, even if you don’t technically have to. [1] X Research source For example, if you’re strict about everyone taking a one-hour lunch, keep your break within that time frame as well, even if you’ve finished your work for the day. Or, if you enforce a professional dress code, make sure you show up in business attire every day.
2
Respect everyone that you meet. When you’re a leader, you’re going to meet a variety of people, some of whom you may have absolutely nothing in common with. Treat everyone with respect and try to value their input, even if it seems daunting at first. [2] X Research source If you respect others, they’re more likely to respect you back.
Image titled Improve Your Leadership Skills Step 2
3
Recognize your own shortcomings. Nobody’s perfect, even those in leadership positions. Try to recognize your flaws and take steps toward bettering yourself to be a better team member and worker. [3] X Research source For example, if you have a problem with time management, try setting reminders for yourself about your deadlines. Or, if you struggle to communicate clearly, practice writing out memos to your whole team.
Image titled Improve Your Leadership Skills Step 3
4
Keep up with changes in your industry. As technology advances, your industry may change and develop with new techniques or applications. Look for online classes or in-person seminars that you can take to educate yourself on the newest innovations in your career. [4] X Research source Some workplaces will send leaders to conferences or educational seminars once a year. Depending on what your industry is, you may need to do this more often, especially if you’re in the technology sector.
5
Take responsibility for your actions. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Your team members are much more likely to respect you if you accept that you made the wrong decision and provide a concrete way that you’ll be fixing it in the future. [5] X Research source If you make a mistake, try saying, “Hey guys, I missed the deadline for the applications last night. It wasn’t fair to you all and I’m sorry. Next time I’ll set a reminder for myself so I don’t forget.”
6
Have a positive attitude, even when it’s tough. You don’t need to be happy all the time, but try to spin things in a positive way to keep your team’s morale high. Looking on the bright side can help your team work harder, even if they feel overwhelmed. [6] X Research source If you come across a problem, try to identify 3 positive things about it. Once you do, you can start to solve it while keeping a positive attitude.
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Method 2 of 2:
Building a Relationship with Your Team Members

1
Communicate well with your team. If you need your team to do something, make sure you tell them clearly and concisely what they should be doing. If you have a large team, consider writing an email or a memo to get your message across. Try not to assume that people know what you mean without double-checking. [7] X Research source Make sure you are always open and honest in your communication, and try not to sugarcoat things, even if they’re tough to say. Poor communication can lead to confusion and frustration.
2
Get to know the people you are leading. If you haven’t led your team for very long, try taking them out to a happy hour after work and asking about their lives. Or, invite them out for a fun bonding weekend at your local park or golf course. Try to see your team members as people, not just followers. [8] X Research source Icebreaker games in the workplace are a little outdated, and they can often make people feel uncomfortable. Try to get to know people naturally without the assistance of random, basic questions.
3
Delegate tasks to your team members. A great sign of trust is giving an important task to someone you know can handle it. Instead of hoarding all of the assignments to yourself, hand them out to your team members to show you trust them. It will have an added benefit of lightening your load, so it’s a win-win situation. [9] X Research source Make sure you keep enough work for yourself to do.
4
Take note of your team members’ strengths and weaknesses. As you get to know your team, you may be able to recognize who is good at what and which people work well together. You can use that knowledge to form smaller teams of people to work on large tasks and hand out assignments as you see fit. [10] X Research source For example, if one of your team members is really good at spreadsheets but not so good at communication, you can give them the budgeting tasks and leave the memos to someone else. Or, if you notice that 2 of your team members tend to butt heads, you can separate them to work on different assignments so it doesn’t cause a conflict.
5
Encourage growth in your team members. If your employee has a new opportunity in the company, encourage them to take it. If you see one of your employees struggling, offer your assistance in any way you can. Have the self-confidence to step aside and let your team members flourish and even surpass you, if they can. [11] X Research source It can be tough to see someone who you used to lead climb the ladder of your company. Try to remember that you were once in their position, too.
6
Ask your team members for input. Your team members accept your leadership every day, and they may have ideas on how you or the company could improve. Set aside a time to listen to your employees’ feedback or give them a space to anonymously write out what you or the company could be doing better. [12] X Research source The more your team members feel listened to, the more empowered and happy they will feel.
7
Thank your team members and colleagues for the work they do. It’s important to treat others with respect, and it’s also important to acknowledge their achievements. If someone on your team does a really good job with an assignment, tell them! If your colleague communicates something clearly and concisely, thank them for it! Everyone likes a compliment. [13] X Research source Positive reinforcement is a great motivator, and it can lead to more motivation and hard work.
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Method 1 of 2:
Working on Yourself

Image titled Improve Your Leadership Skills Step 5
1
Set a good example. If you don’t practice what you preach, your team is probably not going to respect you. Try to lead by example, and always follow the rules you enforce, even if you don’t technically have to. [1] X Research source For example, if you’re strict about everyone taking a one-hour lunch, keep your break within that time frame as well, even if you’ve finished your work for the day. Or, if you enforce a professional dress code, make sure you show up in business attire every day.
2
Respect everyone that you meet. When you’re a leader, you’re going to meet a variety of people, some of whom you may have absolutely nothing in common with. Treat everyone with respect and try to value their input, even if it seems daunting at first. [2] X Research source If you respect others, they’re more likely to respect you back.
Image titled Improve Your Leadership Skills Step 2
3
Recognize your own shortcomings. Nobody’s perfect, even those in leadership positions. Try to recognize your flaws and take steps toward bettering yourself to be a better team member and worker. [3] X Research source For example, if you have a problem with time management, try setting reminders for yourself about your deadlines. Or, if you struggle to communicate clearly, practice writing out memos to your whole team.
Image titled Improve Your Leadership Skills Step 3
4
Keep up with changes in your industry. As technology advances, your industry may change and develop with new techniques or applications. Look for online classes or in-person seminars that you can take to educate yourself on the newest innovations in your career. [4] X Research source Some workplaces will send leaders to conferences or educational seminars once a year. Depending on what your industry is, you may need to do this more often, especially if you’re in the technology sector.
5
Take responsibility for your actions. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Your team members are much more likely to respect you if you accept that you made the wrong decision and provide a concrete way that you’ll be fixing it in the future. [5] X Research source If you make a mistake, try saying, “Hey guys, I missed the deadline for the applications last night. It wasn’t fair to you all and I’m sorry. Next time I’ll set a reminder for myself so I don’t forget.”
6
Have a positive attitude, even when it’s tough. You don’t need to be happy all the time, but try to spin things in a positive way to keep your team’s morale high. Looking on the bright side can help your team work harder, even if they feel overwhelmed. [6] X Research source If you come across a problem, try to identify 3 positive things about it. Once you do, you can start to solve it while keeping a positive attitude.
Advertisement

Method 2 of 2:
Building a Relationship with Your Team Members

1
Communicate well with your team. If you need your team to do something, make sure you tell them clearly and concisely what they should be doing. If you have a large team, consider writing an email or a memo to get your message across. Try not to assume that people know what you mean without double-checking. [7] X Research source Make sure you are always open and honest in your communication, and try not to sugarcoat things, even if they’re tough to say. Poor communication can lead to confusion and frustration.
2
Get to know the people you are leading. If you haven’t led your team for very long, try taking them out to a happy hour after work and asking about their lives. Or, invite them out for a fun bonding weekend at your local park or golf course. Try to see your team members as people, not just followers. [8] X Research source Icebreaker games in the workplace are a little outdated, and they can often make people feel uncomfortable. Try to get to know people naturally without the assistance of random, basic questions.
3
Delegate tasks to your team members. A great sign of trust is giving an important task to someone you know can handle it. Instead of hoarding all of the assignments to yourself, hand them out to your team members to show you trust them. It will have an added benefit of lightening your load, so it’s a win-win situation. [9] X Research source Make sure you keep enough work for yourself to do.
4
Take note of your team members’ strengths and weaknesses. As you get to know your team, you may be able to recognize who is good at what and which people work well together. You can use that knowledge to form smaller teams of people to work on large tasks and hand out assignments as you see fit. [10] X Research source For example, if one of your team members is really good at spreadsheets but not so good at communication, you can give them the budgeting tasks and leave the memos to someone else. Or, if you notice that 2 of your team members tend to butt heads, you can separate them to work on different assignments so it doesn’t cause a conflict.
5
Encourage growth in your team members. If your employee has a new opportunity in the company, encourage them to take it. If you see one of your employees struggling, offer your assistance in any way you can. Have the self-confidence to step aside and let your team members flourish and even surpass you, if they can. [11] X Research source It can be tough to see someone who you used to lead climb the ladder of your company. Try to remember that you were once in their position, too.
6
Ask your team members for input. Your team members accept your leadership every day, and they may have ideas on how you or the company could improve. Set aside a time to listen to your employees’ feedback or give them a space to anonymously write out what you or the company could be doing better. [12] X Research source The more your team members feel listened to, the more empowered and happy they will feel.
7
Thank your team members and colleagues for the work they do. It’s important to treat others with respect, and it’s also important to acknowledge their achievements. If someone on your team does a really good job with an assignment, tell them! If your colleague communicates something clearly and concisely, thank them for it! Everyone likes a compliment. [13] X Research source Positive reinforcement is a great motivator, and it can lead to more motivation and hard work.
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