The purpose of an effective leader is to support, inspire and motivate those around them to reach their potential. It takes a great wealth of skills to encourage such qualities. Strength training is an integral part of leadership that requires investment in developing your skills as well as those of your employees. Even though there is no one formula to reach success, strength training will help prepare you for the road ahead! After all, if you can predict it, you can prepare for it.
Below are a few strengths training skills that, through development and consistent practice, will ignite your team engagement, productivity and success.
Self-Awareness & Self-Management
Quite simply, being self-aware is knowing how you show up and affect the people around you. Self-awareness is at the heart of emotional intelligence. Dr. Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, definesEQ as your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships. As a leader, your awareness and ability (self-management) to positively direct your behavior impacts your team and influences the outcome of your shared goal.
Effective Communication Skills
Effective communicationis a fundamental element of every great relationship. It’s your ability to have a two-way dialogue, between you and another person, to express thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When you communicate openly and honestly, you are naturally building the foundation of trust in your relationship. It is important to lead with this behavior and model it for your employees.
The transformation of becoming a more effective leader begins with The Art of Mindful Listening. Everyone has a special way of making that connection whether it’s by leaning into what the person is saying, showing interest in a topic by giving eye contact, taking notes or even in asking follow-up questions. It’s a simple gesture that demonstrates care, value and investment. Listen to learn and seek to understand.
Lead with Empathy
Empathy is yet another emotional intelligence skill and an essential component of leadership. It is your ability to understand your team as if it was your experience. It’s the direct connection to feeling understood. Be careful as you express empathy. It is not about how you feel walking in their shoes, rather how they feel. Another example that illustrates this would be, “it’s understandable you would feel this way” compared to, “I understand why you would feel this way.” To be heard and understood with respect is powerful. In order to build, inspire and motivate a team, a leader must either possess empathy or being open to learning how to acquire it.
Utilize Humility and Vulnerability
The purpose of an effective leader is to support, inspire and motivate those around them to reach their potential. Making a difference happens through a real connection, sharing our emotions, intentions and personal stories.It is through small moments that leader’s model what it looks like to be open and emotionally available.Everyone is good at something, but not everyone is good at everything. Leaders will admit that there is always more to learn – it sends a message of humility to the team. Ask, “what has your attention?”, and listening to the answer attentively to what is and what is not being said. By creating a space to be candid and vulnerable, it allows others to feel a sense of trust and security to do the same.
Build Diverse Teams
There are many “dimensions of diversity” in the workplace; age, ethnicity, gender, race, work experience, educational background, seniority, function level, just to name a few. It’s important to have an open mind and embrace differences that can empower the team to new levels of thinking, creativity and collaboration. Albert Einstein was quoted, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Therefore, utilizing diversity to enhance creativity can be a valuable tool.
Conflict Resolution Skills
Conflict is a very complex factor in the workplace. If handled correctly it has the potential to create change and spark innovation. Learning how to navigate the stormy waters with optimism and lead with confidence are necessary to make it to the goal. How you navigate the energy of conflict with others will determine your outcome of results. Honesty and bravery in discussion can be a powerful tool for effective communication because it does not muddy the waters with platitudes and incoherent jargon. The trouble is in remaining respectful, but honest in confrontation which leads to real problem solving.
Empowering Leadership & Decision Making
Do what you love, love what you do. Great leaders talk the talk and walk the walk. “The most powerful tool of a leader is to lead by example,” John Wooden. They inspire the team by understanding each player and their strength to the team. A leader provides their players opportunities to do what they do best every day, further igniting their passion and interests. This cultivates a culture of greater engagement, creativity and productivity. Empowering your team with their strengths, skills and knowledge gives them confidence to take the lead when making decisions. This can be shown through constructive feedback and praise during both formal and informal reviews.
Leadership development requires daily strength and condition training. As you begin to build your consistency in these skills, your bench strength will increase team engagement, productivity and success exponentially.
Multi-dimensional leadership requires a balance of skills to lead your team effectively. Robin Bush