Eight Ideas to Support your Leadership Development

We can all develop and evolve as leaders. And, regardless of your current skills, getting better is always possible. Learning and practicing leadership skills will support you in becoming more assured and confident as a leader.

Leadership happens in many places. Leading yourself can be honoring your commitments to yourself, doing what is important because you said so, or even including self-care so that you can lead again tomorrow. Leading can be partnering with another person at work and fully committing to both of your successes. Below are ways to improve your leadership skills when your role is team leader, department manager, or someone who leads an organization. That said, each suggestion is relevant in whatever capacity you lead in your life. Leadership is made up of behaviors and the thought processes that support those behaviors.

Take advantage of every leadership opportunity to hone your skills:

1. Create a vision and share it with your team. Start with the end in mind and go backward from the desired results. Set milestone goals. Goals are most effective when they have a deadline and a way to measure progress.

  • Meet and discuss your vision and plan with your team.

  • Share the rationale behind this goal and how it will serve the team. What is the benefit for them?

  • Be open to and curious about their feedback. Your team might see something you did not.

2. Know your values and express them through your actions. Living your values allows the team and all around you to know what is important to you and what you stand for.

  • Who you are is perceived based on your actions and behavior.

  • Do your words and actions demonstrate who you are?

  • Remember your actions set the norms for the team by example. Is your work ethic outstanding? Are you answering Slack messages all day and night, setting the expectation that downtime and self-care are not critical? Remember, you set the tone.

3. You are optimistic on calm days. What about when the seas are rough? Maybe you can fake it till you make it, but can you see the opportunity in conflict or see that there could be potential in pain? The attitude of your team will rarely be better than the mindset you're demonstrating.

  • People have a natural tendency to a negative bias. It is evolutionary! Find the problem and survive! But we cannot thrive in that. Do the work to be able to pivot in the face of conflict and adversity with optimism.

  • Not only will you feel better, but also your team will perform at a higher level and feel confident about the future.

4. Success depends on your communication skills. Assess your communication skills. Ask yourself these questions regularly:

  • Does the team know what they need to know?

  • Is everyone clear on what I expect?

  • Am I checking for their understanding?

  • Am I listening to my team effectively?

5. Are you actively working to have a connection and relationship with your team? Do you make time to connect, understand and know your team members?

  • Do you understand, at least generally, how each member of your team communicates and their personalities. Do you strive to match and communicate with your team members' personalities in mind and not expect them to meet your communication style?

6. Support and work to your strengths. Be upfront and honest about weaker skills. Allow your team to handle tasks where your skills are less developed. No one is great at everything, and setting that expectation can be damaging to the team and the team goals. Do what you do best and allow those with the needed skills to fill in your gaps.

  • Being at your best makes those around you more confident. Admitting your weaknesses demonstrates that you're smart, humble, and committed to success.

7. Commit to learning and developing yourself. Being an example of developing yourself will serve as a role model to your team.

  • Develop your leadership with books and online resources. There are many good books and websites on leadership. Avoid limiting yourself to a quick read. It's not just about educating yourself. You must integrate your learning and practice the information regularly to see improvement. Do a Google search or search on LinkedIn on the topic of leadership.

  • Attend trainings, webinars, and college courses related to leadership.

  • There many places to get the support and training you need to be the leader you want to become.

8. Getting one on one coaching will help you rapidly develop your leadership. Working with a coach will help you gain insight into your strengths and blind spots. A coach will work alongside you to support you in your personal challenges and goals.

Developing yourself as a leader is up to you. The best way to learn is to engage regularly with skills and ideas you want to improve and support.

My clients and I work on all of these things and more! If you are challenged by or curious about leadership aspects, contact me for an introductory 30-minute session. Get the support you need to be the leader you want to become. You can contact me at 415.212.8945 or rob@balaamcoaching.com

I am Rob Balaam, and I am an executive leadership coach. I work with female Executive Directors in the non-profit sector. I support high-level leaders in developing an executive presence. My clients activate charisma, gravitas, and inner sage while minimizing their saboteurs. This work results in my clients having better relationships with their boards, a stronger connection with their empowered team, and a clear vision that drives a successful mission and goals.

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