Whether you’re starting out, changing job mid-career or completing your last decade of work, leadership success depends on how well you manage yourself and interact with others.
Mastering leadership is crucial for professional development. Success depends on knowing, appreciating and accepting who you are.
Effective leaders also use psychology to understand and motivate others. As you ascend to positions of greater power and responsibility, you’ll increasingly rely on social and emotional intelligence.
This article examines three essential skills that every leader must master.
Skill #1: Know Yourself Well
Knowing yourself, and knowing the forces that affect the people who work for you, holds the key to being a successful leader.
The very character traits that peg you as a high-potential leader may also prevent you from making it to the finish line. Every strength has a downside when carried to the extreme. Self-awareness can prevent self-sabotage.
You probably have a sense of your personal talents and liabilities. Learning how to leverage them at workamplifying your strengths, while minimizing your weaknessessets the stage for good interpersonal relationships. You’ll become less vulnerable and sensitive to criticism. You’ll also learn more about your leadership constitution:
Even the strongest, most talented leaders have flaws. Each of us is driven by conscious and unconscious forces that must be channeled into positive outcomes, so it’s important to see personal development opportunities at every stage of your career.
Skill #2: Lead through Engagement
“When the best leader’s work is done, the people say, ‘we did it ourselves.”
Engaged employees are 22% more productive, according to a new Gallup meta-analysis of 1.4 million employees. They also enjoy double the rate of success, lower absenteeism and turnover, and fewer safety incidents and quality defects.
In an engaged workforce, people want to come to work. They understand their jobs and appreciate how their specific responsibilities contribute to the organization’s overall success.
An effective leader builds integrated teams: knowledge “communities” whose members work together creatively to achieve the desired result. If you expect your people to back initiatives with focus and enthusiasm, develop five essential skills that Dr. Settel describes in his book:
Skill #3: Manage Emotions
For decades, business experts discouraged emotional expressions at work. These days, we know it’s impossibleactually detrimentalto ignore or suppress them.
We want to be liked, appreciated, rewarded and respected. We need friendships at worksome level of closeness and affection. We thrive in a work environment that allows us to safely express our opinions and feelings, including our aggressions.
If you expect your people to put aside their emotions and “just do the work,” you’re failing as a manager. Emotions are a fundamental part of what makes us human.
Regardless of your industry, you’ll encounter three common emotional needs at work:
You won’t gain self-knowledge in a vacuum, so consider working with a mentor or experienced leadership coach like myself to learn more about your leadership constitution.
If you’d like to have a conversation about how this works, give me a call.
Let’s talk: 949-721-5732.