Having the required qualifications and experience for specific designations makes it possible to bag a suitable job but those are not enough to attain success at the workplace, eventually. Unless you can develop certain leadership skills and nurture those attributes well, your chances of outshining colleagues at the workplace will be slim. Only a handful of people are born with innate leadership qualities. However, the nice thing is that you can attain those traits with proper methods and consistent practice. When you succeed in developing those skills, not only do your career prospects become brighter but you earn the respect of the company management and co-workers.
To consolidate your career growth and stay ahead of the competitors in the workplace, you have to develop certain leadership traits. Possessing such professional skills will enhance your job prospects significantly and make you an ideal contender in the eyes of employers everywhere. These include:
Employees keen on developing leadership skills cannot overlook the importance of developing strong communication skills, regardless of the sector and designations. Robust communication abilities are prerequisites for those in customer support-centric or marketing jobs, for sure. However, those handling work-from-home jobs or back-office operations too need good communication abilities for success, eventually. At a workplace, communication takes place in many ways, using multiple channels. These types include:
Ø Personal communication
Ø Group/team interactions
Ø Interactions between the management and employees
Ø Communication between employers and third-party vendors
Ø Communication with customers
These professional communications and interactions may take place using the channels:
Ø Chat applications
Ø Social media platforms
Based on your role in the organization and situation, you may have to develop skills in all these types of workplace communications. You also have to be adept at picking the right time for making such professional communications. Using the apt vocabulary and tone of language matters a lot in this regard.
In most organizations, employees in key designations often act as the source of motivation for junior employees. It is not unusual for some of your team members to feel dejected or demotivated about work, owing to multiple reasons. You have to possess leadership skills to act as the source of motivation for such employees, periodically. When teams with low morale are offered motivation, they give their best efforts, leading to a boost in overall productivity.
There is no fixed formula to motivate your team members, however, you can pick from some tried and tested means:
Ø Offering more autonomy to the employees/team members
Ø Asking for their ideas and feedback
Ø Offering small rewards for those exceeding targets
Ø Being open to employee concerns
Ø Offering them occasional relaxation and stress-busting activities at the workplace
Maintaining work ethics and adhering to company norms is a prerequisite. However, there has to be someplace for allowing flexibility in the workplace, too. Unless the employees in an entity are given some amount of flexibility, they may not feel motivated to give their best input. While the onus is mostly on the company management to make rooms for workplace flexibility, the senior employees too play key roles. Keeping things flexible at the workplace helps to enhance overall productivity and creates a healthy ambience for developing leadership skills.
Listed here are some tried and tested methods to incorporate flexibility at the workplace, though it varies from one entity to another.
Ø Work attire flexibility (like allowing casual attire once a week)
Ø Work timing flexibility ( Offering employees the option to pick their shifts, for example)
Ø Keeping leaves flexible ( Allowing employees to work on weekends and take off on weekdays occasionally)
Ø Deploying bring your own device work model at the workplace
There are several instances of specific employees in various organizations reaching the acme of success by utilizing leadership skills like innovative thought processes. This happens in almost every sector. Every company has certain protocols and methods to get things done, but sometimes using a little deviation, for enhancing productivity and clearing a stalemate situation is welcome.
For example, choosing to change a specific software used in workflow to accomplish a time-critical project can fetch the team and company benefits.
Employees with such leadership traits should not feel shy about sharing their ideas with seniors and the management.
Every employee in an organization has a specific role to play. However, not everyone is equally accountable. Some employees are very much aware of their responsibilities and they do not hesitate to walk the extra mile if that benefits the organization eventually. The importance of leadership skills like accountability can never be undermined.
Your professional accountability is not limited to the tasks assigned to you individually. It may involve certain aspects of teamwork, too. Responsible employees sometimes look after certain aspects of teamwork when some unforeseen development crops up. For example, you may have to chip in for a team member who has fallen ill suddenly and ensure the work is done within the deadline. Accountable employees also keep an eye open for possible hurdles in the workflow and update the management about them. In most cases, such acts of accountability are noted and such employees get recognition.
Those keen on developing leadership skills should try to be good at solving various workplace–related problems. Some such professional problems can be anticipated and resolved with prior planning. However, some such problems crop up unexpectedly, too. There can be myriad workplace-related problems. Examples include:
Ø Conflict between two or more team members
Ø Lack of proper coordination between two or more teams in the company
Ø Problems caused by underperforming third-party vendors
Ø Resource outage/shortage-related problems affecting workflow (internet outage for example)
Ø Emergency developments affecting the employees (such as a quake or flooding)
Ø Problems caused by employees quitting without notice
Such issues need prompt resolutions and employees who play proactive roles in finding solutions get extra mileage. When you become good at anticipating as well as resolving such professional problems, you exhibit the potential of a true leader.
True leaders have a deep sense of commitment and that holds true for professional spheres too. Development of leadership skills will be half-baked if you are not committed to the work you are doing. Committed, hard-working employees receive recognition while those lacking the attribute stay limited to the periphery of working hours and assigned tasks. Imagine a situation where an employee puts in extra hours outside of his/her shifts to wrap up an important project while the colleagues log off at the fixed hours. That employee is likely to wrap the work before others and the dedication will boost appraisal prospects, certainly.
If you understand the importance of leadership skills and want to develop and nurture such qualities, there are some ways you can use them. You can resort to the below-listed ways to develop major leadership traits that will boost your career prospects in a big way.
You can learn a lot about leadership quality development by observing some such leaders and icons. Read about the work-life of established corporate icons or leaders in your industry. You can find many such resources online these days. Follow their blogs, and social media posts and watch their video interviews well.
Reading books composed of well-known motivational speakers and icons can help you in developing leadership skills, too. If you do not get enough time to read printed books, try e-books.
You may not be equally good at developing multiple leadership traits and that is okay. Try to figure out your areas of strength that can be useful in the workplace. Are you a good team player or thinking creatively is your forte? Once you fathom your strongest professional skill, try to polish that for aiding career growth.
Check out: What is leadership communication?
You can develop leadership skills with proper planning and consistent practice. Understanding your skillset is also a prerequisite for developing such traits. Developing leadership attributes can be a time-consuming process though. The results of developing such skills and applying them in professional life are definitely worth the time and effort.