5 Tips for Developing Leadership Skills
Regardless of the field you hope to go into, skill in leadership is a must. When an individual has gained these skills, they become invaluable to an employer and are trusted with a wide variety of responsibilities. Due to the priceless nature of these key skills, it’s never too early to start developing such traits. This week we will be discussing five ways you can begin developing leadership skills today.
Keep a Planning Journal
One of the best ways to meet your goals is to record them and your plans to accomplish them. Make a journal that is primarily for setting goals, tracking those goals, and keeping track of your daily tasks. You should also write thoughts on how goals are progressing and what adjustments you feel you need to make to better accomplish those goals. There are so many different ways to organize such a journal. Some prefer to make such a journal aesthetically pleasing while others may just want to write out lists and journal entries. You may also prefer having such a journal online. There are many resources you can use online, but I suggest trying DayOne. This is a great website/app that allows you to keep your journal organized and accessible. Whatever your preferred method, a journal is a great way to prepare you for the next tip.
Whatever your life currently consists of, it’s critical to begin disciplining yourself. Make being on time (or even early) to meetings, appointments, classes, etc. a top priority in your life. Keeping track of these things in your journal may help you to accomplish this goal. If you find you do very little outside school, give yourself additional projects to work on outside of class and your job. Getting out of your comfort zone and learning to keep your life organized will translate well to leadership opportunities.
Learn to Recognize Positive Traits in Others
As a leader you may be required to put together a team. Learning to recognize positive traits in others will help you to build the right team when the time comes. Complimenting those individuals on positive traits you recognize in them will also help you to develop skills in verbally recognizing and encouraging good work amongst your future team members, giving them a more solid reason to trust and respect you as a leader.
Learn to Trust Others
Trusting others can be a difficult thing to do, particularly if you tend to live by the “if you want something done right, do it yourself” rule. Leaders need to be able to delegate tasks to all members of a team. When they refuse to allow others to take care of things for them, the team will lose respect for them, causing a disconnect in the flow of the project. If this is difficult for you, find opportunities in your own life to allow someone else to take care of something for you. It may be hard, but it will help you a great deal in becoming a better leader in the future.
In a world full of text abbreviations and emoji’s, effective communication tends to be a lost art. Make an effort to explain your thoughts and ideas frequently and efficiently. Opportunities to do this include explaining why you were out beyond curfew to your parents, asking your teacher specific questions about an assignment, discussing a problem brought up by a customer with your manager, etc.. Learning to communicate effectively is one of the most important leadership skills and as such should be practiced as often as possible. When developing this trait, remember that listening is just as critical to effective communication as talking.
Regardless of your age, leadership skills are incredibly important in preparing for your future. Take time to consider at least one thing you could do to improve upon those skills and make plans to actually do so this week.