Effective leadership is of crucial importance to entrepreneurs. You need solid leadership skills to encourage productivity and ensure that projects run smoothly. To help you boost your leadership skills today consider these seven focus points.
1 . Focus on clear communication
To improve your communication skills, you need to learn how to listen. Being a good listener will help you to establish respect, and improve your business relationships. Good communication focuses on self-awareness, and the ability to understand your own feelings. To enhance your comms skills you should focus on improving your emotional intelligence and being inquisitive.
You should also think about communication between staff, and how you can support this. Provide your staff with collaborative tools and resources to help them communicate effectively. All comms procedures should be clearly outlined, so that everyone knows what to expect.
- Find your leadership style
There are various different styles of leadership. It can be helpful to learn about these styles, and determine where you feel most comfortable. One leadership style is called participative leadership. The idea is to allow the team to assist you with decision making. Participative leadership is based on democracy, and helping everyone to contribute. You’ll have the final say, but you’ll allow everyone in your team to have an active role.
Another style is delegative leadership, the style involves delegating tasks to the members of the team. It’s useful if your team members prefer to work on individual tasks. Some modern leaders like to encourage autonomous teams, meaning that your staff have more responsibility, and start to manage themselves.
- Prioritize active listening
To help you improve your listening skills you should focus on active listening. According to Vistage, ‘Active listening is the process of listening to someone in a way that focuses your attention on what they are saying so they feel heard and understood.’ To practice active listening you need to focus on the message. Avoid the temptation to form a response until the person has finished speaking. Attempt to build rapport, and provide the speaker with the most authentic answer that you can.
- Improve strategic thinking
Effective leadership relies on strategic thinking skills. To improve these skills, try to ask strategic questions, to get the information you require. Strategic questions might relate to an opportunity or challenge you are facing with your current project. Other ways to improve your strategic thinking skills include:
- Reflect on your opinions and decisions.
- Consider ideas that oppose your current strategy.
- Assess your tasks, (create a hierarchy of importance).
- Predict the outcome of your decisions.
- Use tools to support you
To lead successful projects there are plenty of tools that can help you. There are project management tools, document management tools, time tracking tools and more. When you’re choosing software, see if there are any tools that are designed for your industry specifically. For example, construction leaders should check out construction document management, to stay organized and support leadership.
There are lots of software tools which can support project processes. Additionally, you might consider taking a leadership course to improve your skills. Leadership courses can help you to identify your leadership style, assess your weak points, and learn how to improve.
- Inspiring your team
Great leadership is all about inspiring your team, it’s about being a role model, and motivating everyone to achieve their best. To inspire and motivate your team, focus on the following:
- Celebrate the achievements of your team.
- Ask for team feedback, and act on it.
- Collaborate and involve your team in decision making.
- Host inspirational events using industry guest speakers.
- Create shared goals together, and define your vision clearly.
- Learn more each day, and encourage your team to do the same.
- Help your team to set career goals and roadmaps to progress.
- Time management
To become an amazing leader you’ll need great time management skills. Successful project outcomes rely on time management, it’s important to set clear deadlines for each task and milestone. To improve your time management skills, pay attention to the following considerations.
- Use time management software to support your projects.
- Ensure that deadlines are realistic.
- Cut out unnecessary meetings, to make the best use of time.
- Think carefully about your resources, and how you assign them.
- Focus on clear communication.
Paying attention to these seven steps will help you to drive success and become a more effective leader. With the right leadership skills you’re far more likely to thrive in business.