No matter if you are an emerging leader or a seasoned executive seeking to develop their abilities, taking an active approach to your growth as a leader can prove fruitful. Experiences outside of work may provide invaluable learning opportunities while exploring potential development options within your workplace can also prove fruitful.
Self-awareness is one of the key traits a leader needs to develop, as it will assist them in many ways. Self-awareness allows leaders to improve their decision making abilities, lead by example and foster open communication throughout an organization. Furthermore, it allows leaders to identify both their strengths and weaknesses so as to devise plans to overcome either of them.
Self-awareness can be challenging, yet essential to becoming a great leader. To increase your self-awareness, try keeping track of your emotions and reactions during daily events; this can help you identify what triggers specific feelings within yourself and how they might alter your behavior, while it may also shed more light on your leadership style and the effect it has on others in your team.
To increase your self-awareness, the first step should be asking others for feedback. Although this may be intimidating at first, seeking feedback can provide invaluable insight into how others perceive you – enabling you to use that insight as the foundation of positive behavioral changes that benefit both yourself and the organization.
Another way to deepen self-awareness is through practicing empathy for colleagues and teammates. Doing this will enable you to recognize when someone is having a tough day or struggling with something personal in their lives, and be more patient towards them. Furthermore, practicing empathy will remind you that everyone has different preferences and tendencies, thus it’s unrealistic to expect everyone on your team will act similarly to yourself.
Becoming more self-aware is an ongoing journey that demands regular reflection. To achieve this goal, consider looking back over past experiences, observing emotions and actions, as well as identifying traits or characteristics you’d like to strengthen or change. If you know you struggle with maintaining a positive outlook in stressful situations, seek the support of a career coach or mentor; in addition, networking events provide ample opportunity to expand interpersonal skills by meeting other professionals.
Take on more responsibility
Many individuals who take on leadership roles are motivated by a drive to succeed and accomplish great feats, working hard and honing their skills. Yet becoming a great leader takes more than hard work ethic and technical proficiency alone: true leadership must come from within and develop itself over time.
An effective leader must also have the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances, which will help them overcome obstacles and meet their goals despite obstacles in various situations. Being flexible allows leaders to make better decisions under pressure and lead their teams toward success. To become an adaptable leader, immerse yourself in other cultures’ traditions so as to better understand different viewpoints and avoid conflict.
One effective way to enhance your flexibility as a leader is by taking on more responsibility. Accepting additional assignments will push you out of your comfort zone, pushing you further than before and showing that you’re up for bigger roles down the line – whether this means taking temporary leadership roles with volunteer organizations or guilds like World of Warcraft.
Accepting more responsibility will also teach you to deal with criticism and challenges more maturely, including accepting your mistakes and being willing to adjust your methods if necessary. Becoming proactive helps prevent problems from ever emerging in the first place!
An effective leader must be able to see the big picture and anticipate problems before they arise, in order to effectively oversee projects and keep all parties aware of potential issues that could arise, while quickly responding to any that do arise in order to minimize impactful on team members or stakeholders.
Learn from your superiors
Learning from your superiors is the key to becoming an even greater leader. This doesn’t mean following in their footsteps exactly, but rather taking note of specific elements of their leadership style that you can imitate or adapt in your own leadership approach. Pay attention to how they engage with team members, make decisions, inspire buy-in and unity among staff, address conflict effectively, encourage success or correct mistakes – these are all areas where you can glean insight and implement into your own leadership style.
Real-life experiences provide great opportunities to grow as a leader, but developmental assignments in your current role also present many possibilities for furthering leadership development. Successful growing leaders don’t shy away from asking for additional responsibilities such as leading meetings or managing teams; and they welcome workshops or online training courses which teach skills they don’t yet possess.
Rising leaders possess one of the key attributes of successful leaders – being able to remain composed in difficult situations and find a resolution – this skill can be developed with practice.
Growth-minded leaders possess another trait of effective leaders: an ability to recognize and learn from mistakes. Mismanaging client meetings, missing an important deadline or speaking over colleagues in public forums are all mistakes worth learning from as leaders; every mistake made will reveal something new about your leadership style. Acknowledging what went wrong and devising plans to avoid similar mishaps in future is essential part of becoming an expanding leader.
Once you know your leadership strengths, you can start matching them with how your manager expects you to perform in your role. For instance, you might excel at managing upward-managing managers but struggle with working under managers who prefer downward management of employees. It is therefore vital that you learn what your manager expects of you and modify your working style accordingly if you wish to impress and move up in your career.
Ask for feedback
Engaging in feedback-seeking activities can provide an outside perspective on your performance and ensure you’re meeting your leadership goals. Feedback sessions may reveal “ah-ha!” moments that help identify areas for improvement as a manager; so it is crucial to seek constructive opinions from team members as well as managers in order to improve.
When seeking feedback from your coworkers, it’s best to do it in private face-to-face (or video call, if this isn’t possible). This will create psychological safety and allow them to be open and honest with you. It would also be ideal if this information could become part of a regular one-on-one meeting so that any adjustments that might need making can be discussed over time.
Receiving feedback can be an unnerving challenge for anyone, regardless of its positive nature. Your amygdala brain region may interpret negative comments as attacks and trigger a defensive reaction. When receiving feedback, stay calm and remain objective when responding. Take the time to listen without quickly jumping to defend yourself or defend actions taken by you or others.
Lastly, when asking your managers for feedback it’s important to keep in mind they are people too and may be uncomfortable providing constructive criticism if you are seen as a high-performing employee. In order to set them at ease try being direct in your request while explaining why feedback is valuable and stressing that it will be welcome.
Once you become more experienced in soliciting and accepting feedback, the more adept a leader you’ll become at making effective decisions about how to allocate time and resources while also identifying any areas for improvement that require attention. When receiving feedback, make sure to thank those involved and tell them how it will fit into future plans – this shows you value their opinions as members of your team!