7 Important Leadership Skills Every Great Leader Has

Sean Dilger
By Sean Dilger

A leader is someone that commands, inspires, motivates or leads a group of people. A leader will help others in pursuit of a goal or desired outcome. Some people are born with the qualities needed to be a leader, just like others are born with natural talents.

Here Are 7 Leadership Skills That Make A Great Leader In The Workplace

Listening

Listening is a vital leadership skill. A leader’s listening skills play an important role in team building. A good leader must connect with their teams and show concern for them and their work. By listening to team members, it will make them feel important and respected, which will help them perform to their best abilities.

How to be a good listener:

  • Give the speaker your full attention and maintain eye contact
  • Let the speaker finish speaking, don’t make assumptions and judgments until the end of the speech
  • Watch your body language by being engaged with the speaker. For example, smile and nod at the appropriate time
  • Show the speaker you understand by rephrasing what he/she is saying
  • Ask questions to get more information
  • Evaluate carefully what the speaker said before you respond

Critical Thinking

In order to be a critical thinker, a successful leader will gather information and then analyze and understand the information before acting. Critical thinking focuses on how you approach questions and problems. In order to be a good critical thinker, you must question everything.

How to think critically:

  • Be informed by collecting information from many sources, including books, the internet, and consulting with employees and colleagues
  • Make sure you have all the facts before making a decision
  • Keep an open mind and ask questions
  • Be aware of your biases and avoid letting them influence your decision
  • Place more value on facts rather than opinions
  • You may encounter difficulties, but never give up
  • After analyzing all the options, decide which one will be best

Giving Feedback

Successfully providing constructive feedback is a vital leadership skill. Feedback is a great opportunity for the receiver to learn what they can change or alter and how they can improve. Additionally, it is a great opportunity for the leader to help the team function more effectively. Feedback helps promote trust and respect for leaders and team members as well as relieve stress.

How to give feedback:

  • Give feedback immediately after the behavior occurs in a respectful way tailored to the individual and explain what they did wrong
  • Explain the effect the error had
  • Listen to the individual’s response to the feedback
  • Tell the individual what they can do better
  • End on a positive note by thanking the individual for all that they do for the organization
  • Follow up on the team member’s performance and offer praise if there is an improvement

Always tell the team member what they did that deserved praise. This will help with confidence and motivation.

Time Management

Good time management skills are essential in order to become a great leader. With that being said, time management is challenging. To overcome some of the challenges, it is important to make good use of your time and always plan for the unexpected on a daily basis. Be realistic with yourself, there is only so much one can get done.

Ways to manage your time:

  • Identify short and long-term goals
  • Make daily to-do lists
  • Prioritize the most important items that must be done first
  • Plan your time accordingly to complete the tasks
  • Don’t spend a lot of time on a task that can be done by somebody else
  • Add time into schedule for unexpected tasks

Your schedule must be realistic and if it causes you stress, adjust your schedule to cause you less stress.

Planning and Implementation

Planning is important in order to complete your goals. A plan will help guide your team. The planning process involves setting objectives and goals and preparing plans and schedules for implementation. Leaders are forced to look beyond their everyday activities and plan for the future.

When decisions need to be made, leaders will consider how it will affect the future. Setting goals is the start of any plan and they reinforce what the organization is trying to achieve.

How to plan and implement:

  • Determine what you want to achieve by setting goals
  • List the steps that will have to be taken in order to achieve these goals
  • Prioritize and plan accordingly by setting deadlines
  • Delegate tasks to each team member
  • Anticipate potential problems and turn them into possibilities. This will help the team think more creatively.

As a leader, your responsibility is to communicate the goal to each team member in a way that motivates and excites them.

Organization and Delegation

Leaders must be well organized in order to help team members accomplish their goals and objectives. Leaders must then delegate tasks to other team members so they can perform functions that require special authority. A good leader relies on other team members to carry out various responsibilities assigned to them.

The team leader must provide structure and organization so the team operates effectively and efficiently. Set expectations for team members for when the goal must be completed by.

How to organize:

  • Divide work into tasks and sub-tasks to prevent overlapping assignments
  • Provide the team with the resources needed to get the job done
  • Assign responsibility to each team member
  • Use a suitable communication network to provide feedback and more

How to delegate:

  • Match tasks to a team member with suitable experience
  • Set clear expectations
  • Establish the best way to track progress – for example, do you require written or verbal communication on how things are performing

Motivation

A leader must be able to motivate their team. A team that is easily motivated will overcome obstacles to achieve goals. A good leader will understand the different needs of each team member and knows ways to satisfy them. By creating a great environment, it will support and encourage team members.

How to motivate:

  • When people believe in what they are doing, they feel good about their work
  • Reward team members for their work
  • Don’t reward the wrong people or team members won’t value the reward
  • Provide clear direction and purpose

Identify what motivates your team and provide them with a reward system that they will value. Make team members feel important and treat them with respect. Praise team members when they achieve desired goals and targets.

Wrapping Up

There is no doubt that each business needs great leaders. Being a leader is not easy, but by accomplishing all of the above leadership skills, your company will be in great hands. Always do more than what is expected of you in the workplace. By doing this, it will improve your work ethic and increase your desire to go above and beyond for clients.

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Sean Dilger is an SEO Project Manager at Power Digital with a passion for all things digital. He was born in Ireland and moved to San Diego in 2015. Sean has many years experience in the digital space and has worked in email marketing, PPC, social media and of course SEO. Sean graduated college in Ireland with a Master's Degree in Marketing and Management Strategy.