By Christy Eichelberger
Leadership is a valuable skill, especially in the workplace. Some people seem to be born to lead, and others have to work at it. Whichever category you fall under, you can be sure that the ability to effectively lead others will improve your work environment and help you get the best out of your employees and coworkers.
Even if you aren’t in a specific position of leadership in your job, leadership skills can benefit you. In dealing with coworkers, leadership skills can help you develop strong working relationships and earn the respect and support of your peers. Even if it’s not your job to manage others, by demonstrating leadership skills in your day-to-day activities, others will be willing to help you and will learn that they can count on you and turn to you for assistance, advice or support.
People are naturally drawn to leaders. The following are some of the characteristics that leaders commonly have. If these characteristics don’t all come naturally to you, make an effort to improve your areas of weakness. Leadership skills can be developed through practice and experience.
Leaders have direction. They are focused on their job and they aren’t easily distracted. Leaders work proactively, seeking new ideas and ways to improve things. They don’t get bogged down with smaller problems and they provide others with direction as well. When people see a good leader and their dedication to the job, it inspires them to be dedicated too.
Effective leaders inspire and motivate others. They help others see the importance of what they are doing and motivate them to do their best. A good leader understands that everyone works differently and takes note of others’ preferred work methods. They are able to use this knowledge to get more out of their employees and coworkers and show that they value them for their contributions.
Leaders are good communicators. They interact well with others despite different personality types and they know how to confidently and effectively convey messages to others. In addition, effective leaders make an effort to remember bits of personal information about others, take note of their interests, skills and experience. Taking a personal interest in someone strengthens their working relationship and encourages them to be more dedicated.
Leaders are positive. They don’t focus on the negative, but inspire others by letting them see how important their contributions are. This doesn’t mean they never have any problems to deal with, but when they do, they do not get wrapped up in the negative- they look for the best solution and focus on reaching it.
Successful leaders are solutions-driven. They see the problem and work for a solution, and they encourage others to help them. Leaders see the bigger picture and are constantly moving toward a specific goal.
Whether you have a disability or not, people are drawn to the same leadership characteristics. When others see leadership potential in you, it is likely to lead to greater opportunities and career growth. Even if you are not currently in a position where you have to be a leader, do your best to demonstrate these characteristics. You don’t have to be a natural leader- you just have to know what it takes, and be willing to work at it.
Oct 04 2010, 02:24 PM