It’s important to show leadership to move up in the business world. Whether your eye is on a promotion where you currently work or advancement within your industry in general, there are several business skills that will help you get there.
If you want to rise to a position of power, you will need the ability to:
1. Communicate Effectively
Top business leaders often say communication is the most important skill required for leadership positions. It makes sense because if you are in a leadership position, you will need to communicate with everyone including your boss, employees, customers, vendors, the public, and more. You need to clearly and effectively explain different aspects of your business, depending on your audience. If you want people to follow your guidance or ideas, or to help them reach goals, it’s important that you can effectively explain your thoughts and expectations, both verbally and in writing. And if you want to satisfy the needs of your customers and the concerns of your staff, you need to listen.
2. Give Constructive Feedback
Even if you have skill No. 1 covered, it can still be tough to tell team members what they’re doing wrong or how they can improve. You might be more comfortable providing positive feedback, but if you want to be a leader, you’ll need to learn to tell someone when they don’t quite measure up. Do so tactfully and helpfully while also being clear in your message. First tell them all the areas where they do well. Then let them know there’s room for improvement.
3. Be Positive
A great attitude spreads! It’s important for you to like what you do, let others see that, and encourage them to have the same positive attitude. If you become a leader, you will probably be faced with challenges and may have to make decisions that aren’t popular. It’s up to you to stay positive and deliver messages that explain the benefits of changes, even when employees might not be happy about them. Your attitude will help to keep morale high. Plus, who doesn’t like to follow a leader with a positive vibe?
4. Delegate Strategically
Part of the appeal of being a leader is that you can delegate work. But a sign of a good leader is one who does this well. It’s important to know what tasks to hand off to other people and who the right person is for each one. You should be able to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of your team members and delegate tasks accordingly.
5. Problem Solve
The more responsibility you have, the more it will fall on you to solve problems. Customers and clients may come to you with complaints. Employees and other team members will have totally different challenges and dilemmas for you to deal with. To be a good leader, you need to have solid problem-solving skills and some creativity to help you find solutions that are best for multiple players involved.
6. Stay Professional
Whatever you do as a leader, it’s important to remember that you represent your organization. You need to look, talk, and act professionally at all times—even when you’re not at work. You might have a difficult employee or customer, or a team member who you really gel with. Whether the situation is positive or negative, you need to keep things professional. Keep your cool — don’t scream at the employee or customer — and don’t give special treatment to the team member you like. A good leader recognizes professional boundaries and sticks to them. This will help you avoid complicated situations and prevent a toxic atmosphere from developing.
Are these 6 leadership skills you have or want to develop? At Charter College, our Business programs teach you technical skills, and also soft skills to help you succeed as you enter the world of business. Contact us today to learn more.