How to Develop Leadership Skills in the Workplace


Maybe you have your mind set on achieving a leadership position, or perhaps you’re already a leader, but see some room for improvement. Developing the leadership skills necessary to advance your career is possible with a little bit of practice. Here are four steps on how to develop leadership skills in the workplace.


Step 1: Get to Know Yourself as a Leader

Laying the foundation for improving your leadership skills starts with an examination of your strengths and weaknesses.


Many different assessment tools can uncover an understanding of your leadership styles, preferences and abilities. These tools use a series of statements and reflective questions to identify strengths and deficiencies in your leadership skills. By understanding your strengths, you’re able to put them to work for you. An understanding of your weaknesses means you’ll be able to seek support to help overcome them and grow as a leader.


Step 2: Take Initiative

Taking on additional responsibilities and doing more than what’s in your job description can demonstrate your desire to advance your career.


It’s impossible to learn anything new when you’re doing the same thing day in and day out, so avoid becoming complacent. Dedicate some of your time to learning skills outside of your comfort zone and use that newfound knowledge to create improvements. Establishing a track record of being proactive will get you noticed by executives and help others accept you as a leader more easily.


Step 3: Apply Critical Thinking

Great leaders recognize potential problems and prevent them from happening. They have a plan in place for possible scenarios and expertly manage complex issues with tight deadlines. When an employee approaches them with a problem, they work quickly to get to its root – and prevent (or reduce) any negative implications from occurring.


Critical thinking skills also help identify potential opportunities for the company. Leaders notice areas for improvement that others on the team overlook. This can lead to positive impacts for the employees, the company, and the customers.


Step 4: Motivate Others

Great leaders are in their positions to support their teams, providing them with encouragement and guidance. They listen well to others, are sympathetic, and are firm believers in having open communication systems.


Leaders can energize and inspire their team to collaborate to achieve company goals. They understand that a positive work environment is a key motivating factor and work hard to show their teams their appreciation.


The Bottom Line

Training can be helpful in certain situations – such as when you’re onboarding a new employee or learning a new system or process. But when it comes to changing a person’s behavior to become a great leader, coaching is necessary instead.


Through our Individual Leadership Development Coaching and Group Leadership Development Coaching programs, we help new or experienced leaders develop better ways to lead teams. Results from our programs include more team engagement, better retention rates, and greater productivity. See for yourself what our coaching programs are all about by scheduling a free 30-minute consultation.