5 Ways to Develop Your Leadership Skills

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Leadership is a paramount skill for self-employed entrepreneurs, start-up founders and working professionals. Demonstrating good leadership skills and guiding your team efficiently can mean the difference between success and failure in the workplace.

When visualizing exceptional leaders, a lot have a certain set of skills in common, be it authority, confidence and the ability to communicate well. It is important to take the time to learn and hone these leadership skills, and to build the poise to lead a team to success. Here are 5 ways to develop your leadership skills and help you on your way to becoming a better leader.

1. Take Initiative

Leaders are self-starters. They understand when it’s time to take initiative and are constantly striving to learn and grow as an individual and for a business. Keeping on top of industry news and knowledge to maintain this drive will see it translated into work and projects.

Exceptional leaders display excellent knowledge of the industry and are willing to go the extra mile, using their initiative to develop the expertise they need.

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2. Building Negotiation Skills

Negotiation skills are vital in any role, but particularly in a leadership position. Knowing how to secure a valuable deal, be it from customers or suppliers, is key to performance. The true value of a good negotiator is their ability of actively listen and critically think.

The Gap Partnership, experts in negotiation training and courses, highlight how excellent negotiators spend most of their time planning. They develop a strategy based on their understanding of the opposing side’s stakes and demands before entering the negotiation room. Expert negotiators and excellent leaders apprehend verbal and non-verbal cues during the negotiation to give themselves the upper hand.

3. Delegate

While initiative plays a big role in being a leader, knowing absolutely everything is impossible. As your business progresses and workload increases, you will have to learn to work across the team.

Identify the strengths of your team members and delegating tasks accordingly is also important. This helps to decrease turnover time, ultimately increasing productivity and spreading workflow to avoid putting the majority of work and pressure onto one person or department.

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4. Empower Those Around You

Your workforce is key to the success of your company. This is especially true for start-ups where every employee has an exceptional impact on driving results.

As a leader, it is your job to keep your team and employees motivated and focussed, ensuring they are hitting business goals and targets. A great way to do this is by empowering your employees.

Make it clear you value your employees’ opinions, welcome their input and ideas, and give them decision-making roles within the company. This will not only stimulate a productive environment where creativity leads to innovation, but also ensure your employees feel part of the business.

5. Practice Discipline

It is important to know how to motivate your employees, but also how to inspire and manage yourself.

Self-discipline is important when you want to hit personal and business goals. Forbes recommends removing temptations to build discipline, changing your routine so accomplishing tasks becomes second nature, scheduling breaks or treats to maintain focus, and learning to learn when making mistakes.

Learning a new skill takes dedication, time and effort. However, the positive effects of successful leadership on companies proves developing these skill is worthwhile, especially if looking to take on your own venture.