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Leadership Skills - Methods and Practice to Improve Your Skills

Oct 11, 2007
We have all heard it said, "There is room for improvement". Leadership is no exception. Effectiveness of knowledge in leadership is a key component. The need for education and development of the team as well as the leader is crucial to improve and maintain effectiveness. Instructional methods that teach the qualities of decision making, problem solving and communication are relevant to both sides of leadership, the leader and the follower.

The best leadership style is one that helps motivate people to perform to their potential. The simplest leadership style is that of problem solver, someone who knows what to do and who earns respect by being knowledgeable and decisive. Leaders who are confident can generally gain the cooperation of their team members. But to improve your leadership style beyond this basic level, figure out how to adapt your approach to various situations and different human needs.

Making someone feel important promotes good self-esteem which is essential to performance the better we feel about ourselves the better we interact and perform. Listen to people and pay attention to what they say. A sincerely expressed compliment is uplifting. Show respect toward individuals and their ideas. Using a person's name whenever possible is an excellent habit. We all like to be remembered for who we are.

Finally, there is your own comfort zone, stay inside of it. Don't behave like a cheerleader if this is not your style. When you think about improving your leadership style, be sure to stay within the limits of your own personality. You will only lose respect if your leadership style appears artificial.

Communication is imperative to leadership and listening an important factor as well.

-Keep people informed.
-Do not be fearful of delegation. You cannot do it all yourself.

Components to put into practice:

-Reward high performers - not just for financial results.
-Conduct meetings and surveys to provide input from employees for decision-making and policy making.
-Performance assessments tied into rewards
-Recognition by peers leads is an important motivational factor. The best leaders use different methods i.e. letters, awards, mention of their achievement on the intranet or in newsletters etc.

Time management - The 80:20 Rule.
This is nicely summed up in the Pareto Principle, or the '80:20 Rule'. This argues that typically 80% of unfocussed effort generates only 20% of results. The remaining 80% of results are achieved with only 20% of the effort.

Brainstorming techniques:
-Important not to criticize or debate
-Efficient and simple method of bringing good ideas to the surface.
-Builds team trust
-Listening to one another's creative ideas fuels development of solutions
-Motivates the group
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