Do you have plans to transform more of your staff into leaders? If so, there are specific skills they’ll need to develop to get there.

To help you learn more about these different skills and what it takes to become an effective leader within a business, we’ve created a leadership skills checklist. Read on to find out more about these leadership skills.

  1. Being a Good Communicator
  2. Knowing How to Resolve Conflicts
  3. Becoming a Strategic Thinker
  4. Showing Willingness to Listen
  5. Inspiring Others in the Business
  6. Giving Constructive Feedback
  7. Being Prepared to Make Tough Decisions

1. BEING A GOOD COMMUNICATOR

Effective communication is one of the key skills any business leader must possess. Communicating effectively is vital for gaining trust, building strong relationships and inspiring positive change.

There are many elements to being a good communicator. Speaking with clarity is important. When communicating with employees, you should speak in specifics.

The clearer you speak, the more people around you will listen to (and respect) you. Learn more about the importance of communication skills and more examples of them in this article.

 

2. KNOWING HOW TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS

Conflicts will naturally arise in the workplace and can cost businesses a significant amount of money. A good leader will possess the right skills to deal with these situations and find solutions to resolve them. 

For this to happen, a leader will learn to actively listen, investigate the problem and determine each party's responsibilities in the resolution. 

Many types of situations might cause conflict at work. Some of these include bullying or harassment, poor performance and discriminatory behaviour. An effective manager will prepare themselves for these situations when they arise and show empathy to everyone involved.

 

3. BECOMING A STRATEGIC THINKER

Knowing how to drive the strategic direction of a business is an important skill any leader must possess. This requires setting plans, creating goals and implementing innovative ideas. 

A strategic thinker will always ask many questions and find improvements too. These improvements might be process-driven or focus on the overall culture of the business.

Not everyone likes to take risks, but a strategic thinker will be willing to take calculated risks. They won’t accept the status quo and are ready to take on change and new challenges.

 

4. SHOWING WILLINGNESS TO LISTEN

A business leader will most likely manage a team. This team will face challenges, have their own aspirations and need support when doing their day to day duties. 

For them to feel valued, their manager needs to know how to listen to what they have to say and be proactive in helping them, whatever the situation may be.

The way to improve listening skills is to practice "active listening." This is where someone makes a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but also, more importantly, the complete message being communicated.

There are certain traits an active listener must have, including being able to pay attention, knowing how to defer judgement and also how to respond appropriately in different situations. 

 

5. INSPIRING OTHERS IN THE BUSINESS

The best leaders in business know how to motivate and inspire others around them. They’ll be comfortable speaking in front of large groups and know how to energise their teammates.

A business leader should know how to set a good example. They do great work and have a credible reputation among their peers. 

Collaboration is an essential ingredient to an engaged and thriving team too. An effective leader will know the strengths and weaknesses of their different employees and find ways to bring out the best in them. 

You can learn more about what it takes for a line manager to get the most out of their team here.

 

6. GIVING CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK

Not everyone enjoys giving people feedback. Some people don’t want to step on toes or upset others. However, research shows that 96% of employees want to hear feedback regularly.

A leader in a business must be prepared to give feedback to their teammates. Whether it’s giving praise or helping someone improve their performance, it all counts the same. 

Giving feedback isn’t something you should do once in a blue moon. Instead, it should happen regularly. An effective leader should check in regularly with their staff, schedule one-to-ones and guide people throughout their careers

 

7. BEING PREPARED TO MAKE TOUGH DECISIONS

As the old saying goes, it’s tough at the top. Business leaders need to be prepared to find themselves in uncomfortable situations.

Results might not always be on track, customers may not always be happy with the level of service your team is providing, but knowing how to deal with these situations when they come around matters.

Keeping a level head is essential. So is finding solutions to problems. The best leaders don’t crack under pressure and find a way to turn a bad situation into a good one. 


IT ALL STARTS WITH A TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

We run a range of leadership programmes aimed at providing your employees with the skills and confidence they need to move up the management ladder.

You can find out more about leadership programmes, the benefits they can provide and the costs involved by downloading a copy of our brochure below.

Leadership and management

Oliver Simpson

Written by Oliver Simpson