Leadership Development Is An Evolving Process
In both my professional and volunteer work the question of how to develop leadership skills often is one of the first topics that is suggested for discussion.
The first important idea about developing leadership skills is that it is an ongoing process. The need to continue to develop skills and be open to adapting what we learn over time is something that needs to be embedded in all leadership development learning opportunities.
Developing leadership and communication skills is a combination of learning about emotional intelligence, situational leadership, different aspects of communication methods, and trying out what you learn.
Learn By Discussing What You Read.
Look for resources that focus on leadership and communication and absorb what you learn. Create your own diverse collection of books, articles, seminars, webinars, and mentors. Be aware of when you may be narrowing your collection into one stream and purposely expand this.
Be curious about why different perspectives and styles may or may not work in different situations. Be creative when developing solutions.
Recognize that being a role model also means being open to including the ideas of the people you lead and where possible incorporating those ideas into practice. Too often new leaders learn a fixed set of rules about how to be a role model that becomes rigid and counter productive over time. Be open to asking others for their observations of your effectiveness over time.
Develop multiple problem solving skills that leave room for flexibility and adaptability to change.
Engage in discussions with other people about what you read and learn and listen carefully for their perspective on the material.
Seek out people whose leadership style you admire and learn from their experience. Avoid idolizing and copying someone else’s leadership style. Develop your unique style and apply what you learn from others in ways that make sense in the situation you are responsible for at any given time.
Diversity is important but it requires a focus on inclusion in order to see the benefits of truly respecting the value of diversity.
You will gain a broader understanding of how people think and decipher information when you make a point of seeking diverse opinions and ideas. This will serve you well over time.