#4 Key Leadership Skills your Business Can’t do without
In your business your team members look to you to be a great leader. That means developing a range of skills including management skills, HR knowledge, and a whole host of other talents that enable you to run your business from the front. Right?
Well yes, but not exactly. Good leaders may not know everything about their business and they may not have some of the key pieces of knowledge that you’d expect.
Leadership requires a different set of skills than simply business knowledge or knowing how HR works.
What is it about Richard Branson or Alan Sugar that has made them so successful? And what is it about politicians that makes them so disliked as a profession? How do they communicate?
Authenticity and Self Awareness
There are leaders and there are leaders. Who do you think are leaders today? Are they authentic? In other words, do you believe them and are you likely to be motivated by what they’re saying and doing?
Or are they saying things that you don’t think they really believe? Is what they say more of a way of manipulating people to get what they want? They may not even be aware of the way they go about things. Not motivating right?
So as a leader, your level of self awareness is key. You must be aware of who you are, how you communicate, and how what you say and do is likely to be received. But be authentic, because you can’t please everyone.
So you might say self-belief counts towards your own authenticity. It’s not simply a case of giving instructions. Your authenticity will bring people along with you. And if your team is motivated, the knock on effects for your business productivity are obvious.
Developing self awareness can take time and practice as well as learning, whether by yourself or in a more formal setting.
Emotional intelligence might seem like something to leave at home, but your team are all people, so your ability to recognise what other people are feeling, and how you impact them is key. Are you good at managing emotions, both your own and other people’s? How do you engage? Is your eye contact consistent?
High emotional intelligence is difficult to master, but empathy with your fellow humans and your ability to put yourself in their shoes will pay dividends.
There’s no emotional quotient required, or a need to be on high alert. Emotional intelligence is about striving to understand the people around you, and being receptive to how you can interact with them to help them make the most of themselves. And of course, in your business, that means happier staff, and improved productivity. It is likely to even reduce sick days.
There are an infinite number of good communication skills. We’re going to focus on a few. Firstly, how do you communicate?
Written communication requires more careful thought than simply leaving a quickly scribbled note or instruction. Think about the points we made about emotional intelligence. How will your note be received?
And you can apply this to text, messaging, email, and any digital format. It’s all too easy to misinterpret this type of communication.
Is your chosen platform appropriate? There have been numerous news stories about people being dismissed by text. That’s not OK!
So first of all, does your format suit what you are communicating.
If you’re communicating face to face, your body language plays a part, your attention to the person speaking, and your obvious listening skills. Being present is key. So put your phone down and engage with your audience.
Active listening skills are probably just as difficult as speaking. It’s a simple concept that means reacting to the people that you are communicating with. It will help you to prove your authenticity. As a leader, your staff will feel like they are listened to simply by your reaction to them. Do you really listen to conversations?
How do you demonstrate that? Is your body language open or closed? And do you give answers, and ask relevant questions to really demonstrate that you have understood what’s being said? To practice active listening means more than simply having both ears open, it means to be demonstrably reacting to what is being said and taking part in that conversation.
Where does Identity Resource come in?
We can coach you and your team on a variety of challenges that face businesses, from leadership skills to team management and wellbeing in teams. If you have a gap in skills in your business then get in touch and we can work with you to develop the training and support that your business needs. Our ultimate aim is to help you develop the people and processes in your business to build a positive mindset in your teams, which ultimately improves productivity, and increases profitability.
To get in touch and discuss your training needs contact us here