Leadership skills are excellent to have. They are essential in your career, regardless of your position and this article is going to share 9 effective leadership skills you need.
Being a strong leader means you have the ability to lead others, take direction, practice active listening skills and utilize more soft skills that can help you in your day-to-day career. Whether you’re trying to direct a large team or work well with your peers on a project, having leadership skills can help in so many ways.
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What Are Leadership Skills?
Leadership skills are the soft skills that enable you to lead a team effectively. Natural leaders are present in every industry and organization, across various roles, management and non-management, alike.
Effective leaders are the backbone of successful organizations.
A strong leader can manage teams, motivating them to work together to see a positive outcome. They can create a positive experience for team players working together and help cultivate an environment where people feel comfortable and enjoy contributing to the team.
Why Are Leadership Skills Important?
Leadership skills are crucial because they help ensure a smooth-running team. Teamwork exists in many companies and across various roles.
Regardless of if you want to work alone or not, working in a team setting will almost always exist and leaders that have great leadership skills will make this experience easier on you.
Anybody can be placed in a leadership role but the best leaders have great leadership skills. Strong leaders are excellent communicators, they are great listeners and have strong emotional intelligence, they can set goals, they’re diplomatic and possess other skills.
9 Effective Leadership Skills
1. Critical Thinking
Being a strong critical thinker is about having the ability to see the big picture. You can visualize the end goal and devise a plan to meet that end.
Thinking critically is an excellent skill to possess in the workforce when working with others because it plays a major role in meeting goals. You know what the end goal is but, complications, interference, and unexpected things can come in your path.
As a critical thinker, you can problem solve to get past those issues, so you can fulfill your goal.
2. Relationship Building
Relationship building is one of the building blocks of leadership. This is about the ability to work with others and build relationships with them.
It’s a critical part of running a well-performing team and contributes to a more engaged team with employees that perform better.
According to this source, research shows that relationship building used in leadership creates a more engaged workforce with less turnover and increased company loyalty.
This is about recognizing employees as people and pushing beyond a transactional relationship. Being humane, transparent, and compassionate are traits shared amongst leaders that focus on relationships.
Negotiation involves two parties coming together to reach a mutually agreed upon resolution. This could be formal or informal in nature.
This “give and take” is an essential leadership skill that can help you in various situations that may arise in the workplace, like:
- Being the voice for your team asking for more overtime hours
- Arguing for a raise
- Negotiating a new schedule with a member of your team
Negotiation uses many leadership skills discussed in this article like communication, active listening, and emotional intelligence. If you possess any of these soft skills independently, then you can use that to build on your ability to negotiate well with others.
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Flexibility means that you can adapt well to change. The changing workforce can produce an environment where labor shortages happen from day to day, the organization shifts their leadership model, and other last minute changes that can happen at any moment.
Flexible leaders are adaptable and can shift with the natural changes that happen in the company.
Communication skills are great for everyone to have but they are especially important for leaders. Being a strong communicator marries so many other skills like:
- Good listening
- Emotional intelligence
You can actively listen, be assertive, you’re good at giving and receiving feedback, and you’re an effective speaker.
With these skills, you’ll be able to communicate successfully with anyone in the workforce from employees you manage to executive-level leadership.
Check out our guide on how to list communication skills on your resume.
Being decisive means you are good at making decisions. You won’t waffle trying to figure out what path to take but instead, you can see the strengths and weaknesses from both angles and you can concretely make a choice.
There’s a process that goes into making a decision:
- Critical thinking and problem solving
This is more than just making a choice, it’s about making an informed decision going through the above process. Strong leaders can look at all angles, go through the decision-making process to make a choice and they’re confident in their decision.
People of integrity are honest. They have strong values and they’re trusted by others. You are ethical and do the right thing.
Having integrity means you do your best to make the right choice every time, not necessarily the easy choice. When temptation is present, you hold onto your values and choose ethics over greed.
8. Problem Solving
Problem solving skills allow you to think quickly on your feet and come up with solutions you face for problems that can arise at any moment.
You won’t shy away when the unexpected happens.
Instead, you’ll take swift action to identify and diagnose the issue then come up with a solution that can help you move forward toward your end goal.
Mentorship is one of the most important leadership skills to have. A good mentor is a sounding board for others. You’ll be an excellent listener, honest, candid, and non-judgemental, helping your mentees navigate the changing workforce and following through to guide them through their career path.
Mentors are inspirational, knowledgeable, wise, and patient. Mentoring others to be a better worker, improve their skills and move into their desired career path can take a lot of time. You have the patience to work with them throughout that process, motivating and inspiring them to stay the course.
If you possess these skills, you may be wondering how to include them on your resume. Check out our guide on how to add leadership skills to your resume.
How To Develop Or Improve Your Leadership Skills
Leadership skills are something everyone should strive to improve. They aren’t just reserved for managers or workers in leadership roles. If you’re trying to develop your leadership skills, here are some tips to help:
Put Your Skills To Practice
Take advantage of opportunities to use your developing leadership skills. One of the best ways to work on your leadership skills is to put them into practice. If you find yourself in an opportunity to use these skills, take advantage.
Work With A Mentor
Finding a mentor to work with can be possible through networking or expressing this interest with management, who may be able to pair you with a mentor within your company.
Join A Leadership Program
Leadership programs can be found online on a national or global scale. Look to your organization as well. You may be surprised to learn about leadership programs available at your workplace.
Developing your leadership skills can help you excel within your organization or you may choose to find work outside the company with your new set of skills. Finding a new role that aligns with your skillset can be beneficial and give you more opportunities to practice your leadership skills.
For more information, check out our guide to the best leadership training options.
If this is you, leadership skills will be an excellent add to your resume and you can trust professionals from this roundup of the best resume writing services to prepare a professional resume that can make these skills shine.
To learn more, explore our guide on how to discover your leadership style.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, leadership skills are important to have. These leadership skills are essential to help you become a great leader.
Once you’ve developed your skills, you may find that you’re ready for a career change. When you’re ready to make that move and start your job search, visit ZipRecruiter.