4 Reasons Why You Should Learn Leadership Skills Even If You’re Not A Leader
What are leadership skills? Leadership skills are what you use to organise other people to achieve a common goal. Instead of just one skill, it is a combination of several different skills that one needs to hone to execute it effectively. It is also important to note that there is no right way to lead. Everyone has a different style and everyone grows and changes throughout the years. So rather than looking at it as something that can be achieved with a few sessions of training, look at it as a lifetime of learning.
If you’re not a leader of a team or do not hold any managerial positions yet, you might think that this article is not for you. But wait! I am here to tell you that leadership skills are one of the many skills that can and should be learnt by everyone. Here are a few reasons why.
1. Improve your interpersonal skills
When it comes to leading, the hardest thing to do would probably be to stay level-headed and unbiased. There may be times where you will struggle in keeping it fair and square for your whole team due to unconscious biases and favouritism. Among many other skills, leadership skills require you to have speaking, listening, and coaching skills.
Learning how to listen will make you seem more trustworthy. Once the people around you know you are a good listener, they would be more open to listening to your advice and feedback. This is where your speaking and coaching skills are needed. With the right speaking technique, you will not only learn to give feedback, but you will also know how to give support and motivation and help the people around you to grow and improve.
2. You become more self-aware
Learning leadership skills will make you more aware of your personality. You’ll learn more about what motivates you, your strengths, and your weaknesses. Whether you like it or not, when you become a leader, it will force you to look at yourself in a different light. Little by little, you will notice that everyone (including you) has a different leading style.
This may seem and feel daunting at first. Sometimes, you may not like the person you are becoming; but if you look at it in another way, this is the chance for you to keep bettering yourself. As your self-awareness grows, so does your leadership style. Being self-aware will then put you in a better position to learn how to quickly adapt to each circumstance. Referring to point number one, self-awareness will also help you gain more insight into your own biases and prejudices, hence keeping you more in-tune with your feelings.
3. Improves overall team’s morale and skills
When you know your strengths and weaknesses, it will make it easier for you to spot other people’s strengths and weaknesses. This will help you to decide everyone’s respective roles. This is important because when everyone is clear on their roles and knows that they are using their fullest potential, the team will naturally feel motivated to do their work.
Being led by someone that is both motivating and appreciative will make the team feel secure and comfortable with each other. In return, communication can be conducted more effectively and miscommunications can be minimised. Never underestimate the importance of communication and the team’s morale to make a great team! These two aspects combined will not only give you a productive team, but also a compassionate one of high calibre that we desperately need to see more of in the corporate world.
4. You understand your leaders better
Instead of always wanting to be understood, having leadership skills will make you realise that your leaders need to be understood too. The less you understand your leaders, the easier it is for you to resent the decisions they make. Understanding your leaders will help you make sense of their choices and actions. This will then reduce your tendency to become overly emotional as a results of those choices and actions.
Of course, each of us has our struggles and we all handle them differently. After picking up leadership skills, you will understand that your leaders are human beings too. Though it may not seem like it, they, too, struggle in making some decisions. You do not have to agree with all of their decisions. But at least you are able to gain a better insight as to where they are coming from. This will prevent us from building up resentmet towards them.
If you need some inspiration or motivation, here are the top three leadership podcasts to listen to:
- The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry – It’s not a leadership podcast per se, but I love it because it builds me up and offers practical tips that can be applied to my everyday life.
- The LEADx Leadership Show with Kevin Kruse – If you need that extra push, this is the podcast to listen to. From various business executives to top leaders, you will learn a lot through their stories.
- Leadership and Loyalty by Dov Baron – Rather than just focusing on the practical aspect of leadership, this podcast will help you gain insight on how emotional intelligence plays a role as well in contributing to effective leadership.
Leadership skills are more than something that can be used only in the work field. It is a great skill that encompasses multiple important qualities you need to become a better human being. It is also a great way for those who constantly want growth in their lives. Being a leader will push you out of your comfort zone and explore your strengths and weaknesses. That way, you can be a better contributor to the people you work with and to the community. At the end of the day, no skill learnt will ever go to waste. So, give yourself the chance to learn anything new. Even the skills that you may think are not relevant to you!