There’s a common misconception that only managers need leadership skills, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Serving as a leader and a manager are two very different concepts, as an employee can be a leader without having a single direct report.
Leadership skills center on key abilities such as strategic thinking, turning a vision into reality and effectively communicating with others, which is why every person on your team needs these pertinent skills. Help your employees get the leadership skills needed to shine by implementing the following three strategies.
All good leaders know connections are everything in business. Help your team bond with both one another and professionals outside the company by urging them to network.
If you don’t already have one, create a common area at the office where people can eat lunch together and build relationships. Consider using the space to host occasional after-work happy hours, to further promote the cause. When people are feeling more confident, point them toward local chapters of professional organizations in your industry and other networking events where they can perfect the art of schmoozing.
Not only will networking help them feel more comfortable conversing with new people, it will also raise their profile and could even help bring in new business.
Stop Solving Their Problems
As the boss, employees frequently come to you with issues you’re happy to help resolve. This is what a great manager does, but hand-holding doesn’t mold future leaders. Instead of jumping to help the next time an employee has a problem, point them in the right direction and let them work it out themselves. This will allow them to become more independent and confident in their abilities.
Expand Their Horizons
Take inventory of the responsibilities associated with your job that make you a leader. Help employees develop these skills by delegating select tasks to them. For example, if you know a certain person isn’t the best public speaker, ask them to lead the next staff meeting. They probably won’t like these duties at first, but after they grow into them, they’ll be forever grateful to you for giving that much-needed push.
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