Developing leadership skills is an important part of anyone’s career. Not to mention the integral role it plays in a company’s success.
So if you’re wondering how to develop leadership skills in your employees, look no further. Because we have the top tips that will help you institute leadership skills development in your company office or boardroom.
Soon enough, you’ll find plenty of good leaders in your corporate environment. And it will only enhance your organization further.
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#1. Encourage employees to focus on the bigger picture
It can be easy for a team to get bogged down in the essential daily tasks. But a true leader also knows how to see the big picture and streamline new ideas.
Developing this kind of motivation and vision in your employees sounds like an arduous task. But here are a couple of ways to encourage employees to seek out leadership roles and with it, more responsibility.
Focus on overarching goals, not tasks
Department heads are of course focused on getting the essential daily tasks done. But by shifting your leadership style just a smidge, you can show your team that there’s an overarching goal as well.
Not just the small tasks they accomplish on a day-to-day basis. So, as any effective leader would, make sure your team knows what that goal is and what they can do to contribute to it.
And in the mean time, hire a comedian to run your meeting every once in a while. This will not only brighten the mood, but tell employees that you’re invested in their entire wellbeing at work.
Provide a mentor for potential leaders in the office
Not everyone is a natural leader. But there are certainly some who show great promise of becoming successful managers and leaders someday.
Once you recognize those individuals, start training them to take on more responsibility. And give them a mentor to show them the rest of the ropes of the company.
This will show employees that you’re invested in their ability to grow and develop. And it may even prompt other employees to up their game as well.
#2. Give stretch assignments to develop new skills
Stretch assignments are a great way of instilling a sense of leadership in your employees. Because they literally stretch employees’ abilities.
A good leader will find such opportunities for employees to develop their own strengths and skill sets. And besides, it gives each team member a chance to better their own leadership style and work ethic.
Play to employee’s strengths but just outside of their comfort zone
If you’re looking to develop leadership in a particular employee, look to where they excel first. You don’t want to plop them into a situation that’s entirely out of their range.
But one that’s just enough to push their current skill sets. For example, if you have an employee who displays great body language and eye contact, consider giving them some face-to-face time with clients.
Just this little bit more responsibility can help your employee develop their own leadership skills. And all you had to do was nudge.
Offer them experience handling complex projects
Let’s say you have some employees that seem ready to grow. Well, give them a complex project you’d normally assign to managers.
After all, the goal is that these employees may become managers one day. So offering them the lead of projects can help them develop the ability to take initiative and meet tight deadlines, even if they don’t all have the skills required yet.
#3. Delegate authority amongst the team
Like most managers, you probably have a business email that’s full of unopened messages. But you’ve also got a ton of other responsibilities to fulfill within the company.
Here’s the perfect chance for you to work on developing your employees’ leadership skills. Simply by delegating tasks so you can get to those emails!
Teach employees how to spot potential problems
Leadership training will involve learning a variety of hard skills. But don’t forget about the soft skills too.
This can mean developing employees’ empathy or social awareness within the office. Or by teaching them how managers speak with clients so as to ensure future business while still avoiding issues down the line.
Additionally, one could employ soft skills by bringing in some corporate entertainment. Because laughter is a necessity in the office after all.
Recognize opportunities for increased productivity
It can be hard to let go of some of your tasks and give it to an employee in training. But rather than dwell on what could go wrong, consider this a possibility for increased productivity around the office.
You don’t want an employee just twiddling their thumbs all day long, do you? Then give them a project to take the lead on and start training your employees to take on their own leadership development.
Besides, leadership training is meant to give managers a rest too. Well, rest as in catching up on all their direct reports.
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#4. Provide suggestions and feedback regularly
Developing leadership skills in employees isn’t always easy. And it requires a lot of feedback on a frequent basis.
In fact, a good leader will always offer up suggestions on how an employee may improve. After all, how can an employee further develop their ability to grow if they’re not given some constructive criticism?
Teach employees how to anticipate problems and resolve conflicts
Organizations can run into any number of issues. But anticipating these problems is the first step to protecting the company.
And that’s the perfect thing you can introduce into your leadership training. Teaching employees to be leaders within the company doesn’t just mean giving them a better position right off the bat.
It means instilling in them that they are a reflection of the organization and that the organization is a reflection of them. Once they understand this symbiotic relationship, you’ll see more leadership taken on amongst your team.
Offer motivation through consistent review
Taking on a leadership role means knowing how to assess a job well done and a job not so well done. So by offering consistent review, organizations can motivate new leaders to emerge, simply by identifying who takes on constructive feedback and acts on it.
Of course, this might seem like you’re just waiting for future leaders to emerge from the woodwork. But when you treat everyone equally and instill in them the same leadership skills, you’ll start to notice who takes it more seriously than others.
And those are the exact type of leaders you’ll want to invest in. Those with innovative ideas and the ability to put words into action.
#5. Lead by example in the workplace
You don’t cultivate leadership skills overnight. In fact, leadership skills can take quite some time to develop.
But by practicing everyday, you can start to lead by example and instill those key skills not only in yourself, but in your surrounding colleagues. So organizations who train employees to develop leadership skills also ought to act as they are training their employees to act.
Demonstrate soft skills and influence future leaders
Leadership skills development can happen in a lot of ways. From taking literal training courses on leadership skills.
Or from watching a prominent person in the organization take charge. So all leaders in your organization ought to know that the way they act will directly influence the leadership skills they are attempting to develop in employees.
Encourage situational awareness throughout the office
Situational awareness is yet another one of those soft skills that all leaders in your organization ought to possess. Because understanding interpersonal dynamics in the workplace is tantamount to running a smooth operation.
This kind of soft skill takes time and practice to develop. But in addition to the other leadership skills you’re developing in employees, remember to practice this soft skill so they can see it firsthand.
As far as leadership skills development goes, the soft skill of interpersonal connection is a rather subtle art. But acting it out in front of future leaders is a great way to train them and work on your own skills in person.
#6. Emphasize core leadership skills in the office
Organizations that take leadership skills seriously know the importance of establishing this mindset from the very onset. In fact, leadership should be one of the core pillars of your company values.
So make it clear to employees that any one of them can become a leader. If only they step up to the challenge.
Practice your own listening skills
In developing leadership skills in employees, organizations also have the chance to receive feedback. Not just give it.
Hearing how the leadership training process goes from employees themselves will help to refine the process down the line. And besides, receiving employee feedback is the perfect opportunity for you to demonstrate your own leadership skills by listening intently.
Like if they ask for a virtual comedian. Might as well give it to them!
Offer leadership training
Encouraging leaders to come out from the woodwork can be done subtly. Or, it can be done through an official training program.
In fact, setting up these leadership structures may influence the chain of leaders down the line. Because there will be an actual infrastructure from which to choose leaders from and rely on for future training.
Why institute leadership development in the workplace?
If it wasn’t clear from everything else we mentioned, there are quite a few benefits that leadership skills can offer your company. So, shall we summarize the points and convince you once and for all?
Leaders can emerge from anywhere within the workforce. So handing everyone the opportunity to create their own career path will not only help your company train employees to take initiative.
But it will also enhance your company’s competitive edge. Because everyone will be putting their best effort forward.
Yes, there is a thing as too many cooks in the kitchen. But good leaders will know when to take a step back and listen to their peers.
As a leader yourself, taking the step back to let other leaders emerge may end up offering your organization even more success than you thought. So open yourself up to the possibility of greater recognition.
Watching employees grow
On a personal note, it’s simply rewarding to watch leaders emerge. Odds are you’ve seen these employees grow and develop over a period of time.
And that experience in and of itself is a special thing to witness. So, from one leader to another, give yourself a pat on the back once you see your employees starting to step it up.
No, time travel doesn’t exist yet so you can only be in one place at one time. But luckily, training your employees to become leaders means sharing responsibility and having a set of eyes in multiple places at once!
Not to mention that this kind of shared responsibility helps to build a team mentality. Because a leader isn’t a singular entity; it’s spearheading a group of collective efforts.
Avoiding potential problems
Having only one person in charge and nobody else willing to step up already sounds like a bad idea, right? So avoid these kinds of issues by training leader after leader in your office.
Not only will this help you out as a manager. But it will show employees that you’re invested in their long term growth.
Spearheading critical thinking
You can’t be the only one bringing ideas to the table. So encourage your employees to bring their own and develop critical thinking skills. Two heads are better than one.
When everyone is capable of taking on and completing projects, guess what you get? An office full of productive and confident individuals ready to do the work and celebrate the rewards!
Leaders of tomorrow
There are leaders everywhere. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of identifying potential and tapping into it.
So take charge and start developing some leadership skills in your employees today. Not just for your benefit, but for everyone’s.
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Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.