6 Essential Skills Every Leader Needs to Develop

16 April 2019 by Libby Webb

Whether you’re a marketer, accountant or engineer by trade, when it comes to developing as a leader, there is a specific set of skills required to succeed in leading, developing and motivating your team.

They say leaders cannot be built overnight, but if you’re already demonstrating a developed application of the following skills, then you might just be your organizations next emerging leader…

Decision-Making

By demonstrating the decision-making skill, leaders also utilize a number of other high-quality skills, such as planning, organization and problem-solving.

Leaders with a well-developed decision-making ability are those who can make quality, informed choices from a number of options. And the most effective leaders will be able to make the most difficult of decisions in a timely manner, even in intense pressure situations.

Communication

Problems can persist in organizations when leaders fail to communicate well with their team. After all, how can your workforce be expected to help overcome a problem if they’re unaware of its implications?

Most businesses will recognize that their leaders must learn how to constructively communicate their ideas, problems and solutions to ensure that everyone is one the same page, effectively working together.

Emerging leaders should feel comfortable discussing issues in plain terms, understanding how to deliver information to various audiences to ensure that each recipient clearly understands what’s expected of them.

Problem-Solving

According to Career Builders, 77% of companies view soft skills, such as problem-solving and the ability to mediate, as being just as important as hard skills for a leadership team.

Efficient leaders are skills at solving the various (and often unexpected) issues that arise on the job and the effective problem-solving involves identifying a plausible solution in a calm manner.

For a leader to succeed at problem-solving, they must be able to make timely decisions, resolve obstacles with their team and ensure projects are kept within their deadline, meeting their specific criteria.

Team Building

Many employers believe that highly collaborative teams will add value through greater productivity, higher morale, less counter-productive conflict and better customer relations.

A strong leader is one who can comfortably resolve workplace conflict and bring their team together to ensure they cooperate and communicate effectively to make every aspect of the working day more productive.

Flexibility

The modern leader should expect the unexpected.

Situations can change dramatically and how well a person responds to these new situations is crucial for team effectiveness. In the capacity of a leader, you should be able to anticipate these changes and adjust as quickly as possible.

Individuals who are more agile and demonstrate flexibility are able to take these unexpected circumstances in their stride, adapt their behaviour, plans and working strategies to suit without disrupting too much of the day-to-day of their workforce.

Identifying New Leaders

A common mistake made by many organizations is the assumption that top-performing employees are the ones best-suited to leadership roles – but this isn’t always the case.

Current leaders should be able to spot potential leaders in their team so that they can nurture the skills they’re already displaying and develop the ones they lack so that their workforce is ready for the next steps in their career.

Skill development opportunities are becoming one of the most sought after aspects of Learning & Development within the workplace. If you’d like to learn more about how you can create meaningful learning experiences for the emerging leaders in your organization, download the Learning Pool Guide to Learning Experience Platforms.

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Libby Webb
Marketing Executive

Libby graduated from the University of Winchester in May 2018 with a degree in Media and Communication and soon after joined HT2 Labs as a Digital Communications Officer.

Following their acquisition in June 2019, Libby is now a Marketing Executive at Learning Pool and with a keen interest in content marketing, Libby’s day-to-day involves blog writing, press releases, case studies and more!

Outside of work, Libby enjoys all things health and fitness related, including long walks and morning swims. Having spent 9-weeks travelling Central and South America before University, Libby is a keen traveller and you’ll often find her planning her next trip with her partner.

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