Whether you hold a leadership title or not, you can still cultivate the skills of leadership that benefit others. You may or may not lead a business team, but you do have the opportunity to show up as a leader in other situations such as your church, your family, in a volunteer role, or in sports or academic endeavors.
Here are five ways you can show up as an excellent leader in any situation.
The ability to inspire others is an important leadership skill. You can do this by helping others understand their part in the bigger mission and goal. When people know how their efforts impacts the mission and goal, as well as others on the team they’re more likely to feel valuable and give more of themselves.
Leaders are always looking for potential in others, and seeking opportunities to help those on their team grow.
Acknowledging and developing the potential of team members is a key aspect of leading a functional and thriving team. You can do this by taking the time to observe and listen to your team using both scheduled one-on-one time and informal conversation.
Discuss how they feel in their role overall, where they’re excelling, and where they feel challenged. No matter what the team, it’s important they knows you are an ally in their growth and development journey.
See Different Perspectives
Everyone likes to feel their ideas and viewpoints are worth hearing, and being open to new ideas creates an environment of growth and innovation. Stephen Covey’s 5th Habit of Highly Effective People is “Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood.”
The usefulness of this habit cannot be overstated in nearly every human interaction. Simply holding space and creating an environment where people feel safe to express themselves, their viewpoints and experiences can give you helpful information and allows those around you to feel heard and when people feel heard, they’re more likely to contribute.
Communicate Standards and Expectations
Communicating and enforcing standards of performance, team values and behavior demonstrates that you are a fair leader who holds everyone to the same standard of accountability rather than playing favorites or enforcing policies selectively.
Regarding setting expectations, what if you walked into a new job and your team leader called a meeting and essentially said, “Ok here are our goals. Good luck!”
You might wonder what was going on, right? We all want to be on a winning team and in order to succeed, we need to know what to expect from others, what’s expected of us, and we need targets to hit.
One of the six human needs is certainty, and by conveying standards and expectations clearly, you offer certainty which makes the brain relax. Team members can focus on the work, rather than whether or not they’re meeting expectations.
The ability to communicate clearly, directly and respectfully especially in conflict or under pressure is one of the skills that differentiates an effective and professional that people respect and want to follow.
Align Your Words and Actions
When someone says one thing and their actions say another thing, aren’t you confused, unclear and left wondering? If your words and actions are out of alignment, those around you receive an incongruent message, which impacts their ability to fully believe they can trust you.
Instinctively, we know that words are easy and actions are hard, so when we have to choose which is truth, we tend to default to believing the actions we observe. Aligning your actions with your words is a powerful way to help pave the way for others to easily have trust and confidence in you as a leader.
Building leadership skills is an ongoing endeavor, which benefits both you and others. You experience an enriched personal and professional life, and in your learning and leadership, you help others grow and improve.
Monica Ricci spent 20 years as an organizing and productivity consultant, speaker and trainer. Today she coaches busy professionals and business teams, to create the life and business they desire and deserve. Monica enjoys travel, baseball, cycling, strength training and high quality butter.
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