Whether you are brand new to a leadership position or a seasoned executive with years of experience, there is always room to improve your leadership skills. Becoming a more effective leader can not only help you reach your professional endeavors, but it can also help you be a more well-rounded individual in your personal life as well. Becoming a more effective leader does not happen overnight; it requires a great deal of time, effort and diligent daily work. One of the best ways to truly improve your leadership skills is to start forming some daily habits that can help you improve as a leader. If you try to do these things every day and truly make them part of your routine, then you can instantly see your leadership skills improve.
Take the Time to Connect on a Personal Level
Every day, you should be connecting with at least one individual on your staff in a more personal way. If you are never reaching out and really forming bonds with others outside of giving these individuals tasks in the office, your team will never trust or respect you. Trust and respect are two of the foundations of effective leadership. This is a relatively simple habit to form, but it is one that many leaders ignore. Remember, your team members are people first and your employees second.
Spend Time Reading About Industry Trends
Every day, you should allocate time in your schedule to read about what is going on in your industry. Leaders need to be knowledgeable and passionate, and staying up-to-date on what is going on within your industry can only help fuel both your knowledge and your passion. When those around you see how excited you are about what is coming next in your industry and how in-the-know you are about what is ahead for the future, this energy will only radiate throughout your team. Passion and excitement is not something you can force upon team members but it is something you can spread by being passionate and excited yourself.
Ask For Feedback
It should become a habit for you to start asking your team for feedback. You may be your team’s leader, but it doesn’t mean that you have all of the answers to every problem. You may be able to learn from your team, not only about questions you may have, but about how you are doing as a leader. Do not be afraid to ask them questions or for feedback on how you or another staff member is doing or how they think a project is going. Your team members are valuable sources of information, do not be afraid to consult with them.
Take the Time to Draw From Your Outside Experiences
So many leaders get so caught up in what is going on in their office and viewing their leadership role as being solely confined to their workspace. However, outside experiences are some of the best places to turn to for help in becoming a better leader. Take the time to think about how you or someone else handled a situation outside the office. Perhaps it was how you handled a parenting challenge, or how you saw someone help out a neighbor or friend. Sometimes this fresh perspective can give you more understanding regarding an issue with a colleague or a challenge in motivating your team.
Start Mentoring Someone
There is no better way to hone your leadership skills than to teach. Being a mentor or a teacher to someone in the office can help you understand what motivates your team members on a personal level. Teaching is all about helping people through challenges and connecting with those less-experienced than you. If you start mentoring just one person in the office, chances are you will see these coaching tendencies begin to become a part of your everyday repertoire. You will start naturally feeling the tendency to teach and mentor all of the staff that you interact with in some way. After all, as a leader it is your job to show your staff the best way to do things, and having a coach’s mentality can only help you do this.
Keep these five daily habits in mind as you start to hone your leadership skills. It may take a while for them to truly become habits and become integrated into your daily routine, but with time you will start to see improvements in how your leadership skills impact those around you.