The skills needed to be a successful leader (or individual), goes beyond having natural talent to be a leader. Just because one may not have been born with an innate ability to do something does not mean one cannot develop natural abilities to perfect a thing or process through the quality and quantity of practice. Leadership skills can be developed and honed with time and practice.
These simple practices can help you build leadership abilities within your everyday life:
Learn to Listen | Listen to Learn
Learn to listen and communicate. Listening is an essential skill of being a good leader. Be present. Put away your phone or other gadget, look others in the eye and really listen to what they are saying. Verbal communication only makes up a small percentage of communication, as actions often speak louder than words. Be mindful of your body message language. Nod and communicate with them in a way the other person knows you are actively listening to better understand them and not merely waiting for the opportunity to respond or insert an opinion.
Communicating and listening can be tough, especially with certain people in your personal life. Learning this skill even when it’s difficult builds your leadership skills and helps you relate to other people.
Be Intentionally Engaged
Get involved with causes you care about. Raise your hand when an opportunity to lead others becomes available. Volunteering is a great way to learn leadership skills that might include strategic planning, interviewing others, and learning procedures and processes.
Intentionally build skills that are necessary for leaders. Be more purposeful in making decisions in your personal life. Thinking about what you’re doing and deciding if it’s the best choice, whether it’s in your relationships, finances, or some other area of your life.
Being more mindful in your actions and decisions helps you develop a strong sense of identity making us a better leader not only in our own lives but in the lives of others as well.
Embrace Other Experiences
Have a diverse group of people with varied life experiences and backgrounds in your life. Become involved in community organizations, church or other groups to meet people with different experiences and ideas than your own. This can expand your way of thinking and teach you to learn to value the opinions of all.
Follow Up and Follow Through
Take responsibility for your own actions. Did you forget to do something important for someone? Own up to it and make amends. Don’t make excuses for your actions. Follow through when you give your word. Don’t lie and procrastinate.
Now that you’ve learned some simple practices to build leadership skills within your everyday life, it’s time to begin developing the skills to be a good leader. It takes hard work, responsibility and working on building your skills daily to become a good (or better leader).
What steps are you taking to become a better leader?