What Leadership Skills Are Your Strongest?
Whether you’re an early career professional or someone who has moved into a leadership role, knowing what your strongest leadership skills are is essential. Leadership skills impact every aspect of your business: productivity, employee engagement, customer satisfaction, innovation and more.
Leaders often deal with sensitive, stressful situations. These are times when emotional intelligence is key to helping managers keep calm and reassure their teams.
Empathy is the emotional glue that builds strong connections and trust. It allows leaders to better understand the perspectives and emotions of others, fostering a sense of community and collaboration.
Leaders who are empathetic listen to the concerns and needs of their team members and work toward solutions that benefit everyone. This type of leadership fosters a culture of trust and compassion that is crucial for business success.
For example, when GM was facing a crisis due to the ignition switches that caused accidents and deaths, CEO Mary Barra demonstrated empathy by acknowledging the company’s mistakes and showing genuine concern for victims’ families. This empathetic approach was critical in rebuilding GM’s trust and commitment with employees. It also inspired loyalty and improved employee retention rates.
Patience is the ability to accept adversity, frustration, and suffering without becoming agitated or overwhelmed. It’s a key ingredient to mental stamina, which leaders need for their long-term success.
Leaders with patience can give clear instructions and understand the needs of their team members. They can also effectively negotiate conflicting viewpoints.
Results from Schnitker’s research suggest that people who practice patience are more satisfied with their life goals, and they stick with them longer than those who lack this skill. This might have something to do with the fact that patient people are less likely to get frustrated, resulting in stress-related health issues such as ulcers and headaches. Patience also helps people focus on what’s going well and feel gratitude, which is another strong leadership trait.
Adaptability is the ability to quickly shift mindsets and work styles. It’s a common leadership skill, especially in today’s business environment, where technology changes faster than ever and new competitors can pop up on a whim.
People with this skill take a proactive approach to workplace change and thrive when it happens. They are open to different viewpoints, willing to learn from mistakes and experiment with solutions.
They also have the flexibility to adapt their approach based on how other team members respond. They recognize when a colleague needs a little extra support and are able to delegate tasks effectively when necessary. They know how to compromise and find best-interest solutions for everyone involved. Their willingness to step outside their comfort zone makes them a valuable resource for their company.
Unlike some leadership skills that are intrinsic or “innate,” critical thinking is something that can be learned. Leaders with critical thinking skills are able to thoroughly examine situations and information, identify their implications and make informed decisions accordingly.
They are able to make the best use of resources and understand how their actions will affect other people. They are also able to avoid relying on biases during their analysis and decision-making processes, resulting in more effective outcomes.
Employers look for candidates with critical thinking skills, so it is important to include them on your resume and demonstrate them during an interview. Some interviewers will even give you a scenario or problem and ask you to solve it using your critical thinking skills. Be sure to explain your thought process thoroughly.
Whether you’re in an office manager or a team supervisor, any professional who wants to lead can benefit from having strong leadership skills. Developing these soft abilities will help you be more effective in your management roles, and can also support your career advancement into other leadership positions, such as a start-up leader.
Effective leadership is about communicating effectively. This includes giving clear directions, explaining complex topics and ensuring colleagues understand your message. Skilled leaders can communicate in a variety of ways, including one-on-one conversations, department meetings and full staff meetings via phone, email, video and social media.
When conflicts arise, effective leaders are able to negotiate a solution that benefits everyone involved. Negotiation involves understanding each party’s interests and finding compromises that satisfy both sides.