Improving your leadership skills is a time-tested way to get noticed at work. Don’t wait until you’re already in a leadership position to hone these skills.
Know yourself and what you have to offer
Being a leader doesn’t mean conforming to one type of personality. Leadership is a skill that you can learn, and a big part of that learning process is knowing yourself. To know yourself you must know your strengths and weaknesses. Armed with this information, you can develop strategies to become a leader on your team.
Lead by example
When you do your job without cutting corners, with a professional attitude and a legacy of being effective, others will try to emulate you. When others begin to follow your lead, you’ve become a leader whether or not you have the title that goes with it. When you hold yourself to the highest standard, you’re influencing the culture of your team.
Get to know your coworkers
You spend 40 hours a week with them, you should have some sort of personal relationship with the people around you. If you’re in a leadership role, getting to know the people you manage will allow them to feel comfortable coming to you with their challenges and suggestions.
Positivity breeds positivity. If you’re in charge of your group, or you’re a key player, people look to you for their cues on how to feel about their work and their prospects. If you spew negative remarks over your company’s work, how will your workers feel about what they do? Will they be willing to put in the extra effort for something that always seems worthless?
Keep on top of things
Leaders don’t fumble to turn in their projects at the last minute. They put in place processes and do the work upfront to get ahead of the game. Always being in a state of urgency is not the way to excel.
Facilitate two-way communication
If you have something to say to your team, say it directly. Don’t make your team guess what you want from them or what you mean.
Be open to feedback and criticism from your team. If you aren’t receiving feedback, your team may be afraid to speak up. Effective leaders welcome feedback on their ideas.
Have a true North
It’s OK to change your mind as a leader, but it shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence. Every decision you make should lead you toward your overarching goal. If you find yourself off track, you need to reevaluate what your goals are and how you plan to get there.