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To become a leader, you don’t necessarily need to go back to school or adopt a strict persona. The typical business, band, or group of friends just needs a level-headed figure to set ground rules, create an upbeat culture, and make tough calls.
Those wishing to build leadership skills can do so by learning from others, anticipating obstacles, and practicing leadership in everyday situations.
Is your team’s momentum grinding to a halt? Perhaps teammates are lacking a sense of direction. As their leader, you should be able to adopt a more confident, personable, and engaging style. For guidance, look to leadership-focused businesses as role models. The Southern Gas Company expects its leadership team to fine-tune their people skills and develop pragmatic qualities by:
- Understanding that team members prefer various types of learning styles
- Recognizing sensitive topics and personal “hot buttons”
- Knowing how to defuse a stressful situation
- Managing your own personal tendencies
When difficult situations present themselves, many of us react without thinking it through. Failing to see the bigger picture, we might become angry, ignore the problem, or address it with a temporary solution.
Instead, think of life’s obstacles as trials to help you become a more strategic, forward-thinking leader. When a challenging day-to-day issue arises, reflect on it longer than you normally might. This gives you a chance to assess the risks, consider how your words or decisions may affect others, and ultimately create workable solutions.
The best athletes, poets, and experts are skilled because they practice every day. That practice becomes invaluable experience. Likewise, before you can become a leader, polish your people skills in everyday situations. Perhaps it’s time to push back against a stubborn, albeit well-intentioned, friend. Or, maybe you just need to make yourself accessible to others by working in a common area instead of your cubicle.
As Fast Company suggests, being more mindful in your decisions and actions can improve all areas of your life, including business matters, relationships, and even your health. When you start approaching everyday interactions this way — the good, the bad, and the slightly uncomfortable ones — take note of the results so that you can improve future outcomes. When your leadership skills eventually become vital to your group of friends, colleagues, or your family, you’ll be able to resolve situations in a productive and fair manner.
The leadership skills that you build today are guaranteed to serve you for years to come. Whether it’s gathering an online community of like-minded individuals, or creating your own podcast, your ability to manage pressure, resources, and people will guide you toward success.
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