How To Demonstrate Leadership Skills At Work: A Guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Employers value leadership skills as it involves interacting with people in a way that motivates, impresses and builds respect. Developing leadership skills can help you optimise your current job performance and advance your career path. Knowing what these skills are and how to develop them can help you establish your ability to lead in any position or industry. In this article, we examine what leadership skills are and how you can develop and demonstrate leadership skills at work.

What Are Leadership Skills?

Leadership skills constitute a set of abilities that enable professionals to motivate or guide teams and peers to achieve workplace goals. Your leadership skills can inspire others to achieve a common goal. This can be instrumental when you are overseeing a company or managing a project that involves a large number of contributors. Here are some essential skills that can help in a leadership role:

  • Communication

  • Creativity

  • Self-motivation

  • Positivity

How To Demonstrate Leadership Skills At Work

Understanding how to demonstrate leadership skills at work can aid your professional growth. Some people are born leaders, ready to take on new challenges, while others gain these abilities through practice and time. Developing leadership skills can help you guide a team of professionals with confidence. These are some ways you can demonstrate leadership skills at work:

1. Listen and learn

You may spend a lot of time communicating with team members as a leader. Part of this communication includes listening intently to those around you. Aim to remain open to other people's ideas and learn from them. When making important decisions, consider all options. When you listen to and learn from others, you are more likely to earn their respect, which benefits everyone in the team.

2. Communicate efficiently

Clarity is crucial when you take on a leadership role. Send your message as clearly as possible, whether you are delegating tasks, exchanging ideas or reporting on results. Nonverbal communication can also be beneficial. Use eye contact, hand gestures and body language to emphasise key points and increase the impact of your message.

3. Make your best effort

As a leader, always look for new ways to improve your skills and broaden your experience. You can demonstrate your ever-increasing capacity to grow with this strategy. Striving for excellence in every situation allows you to demonstrate a strong work ethic and your commitment to excellence.

4. Take responsibility

Taking responsibility for both success and failure is a sign of true leadership. To demonstrate leadership, take responsibility for your contributions, even if they result in poor outcomes. Determine which systems you can work on and devote time to improving them. As a leader, you demonstrate stability by indicating that you can acknowledge praise and criticism equally.

5. Set a powerful example for others

When you take on projects with initiative and a positive attitude, you can inspire others to do the same. You can effectively guide colleagues to a successful outcome if you lead by example in the workplace. Strive to be a role model, regardless of whether or not you have an audience. This method can help you continuously improve your performance so that you are better prepared to lead when the time comes.

6. Include everyone

To practise leadership skills, involve your entire team in projects, meetings and in making important decisions. To avoid being limited in your growth, work to identify your strengths and embrace diversity. You can build a more capable team by being open to new ideas and considering different perspectives.

7. Strive for authenticity

Create your own leadership style that incorporates your personal goals and vision. Begin by defining your core values. Consider the qualities you admire the most, the type of corporate culture you want to foster and the resources that enable you to perform at your best. Consider your professional goals, what you want to achieve at work and how your team can contribute to something meaningful. These factors can assist you in developing your own authentic leadership style.

8. Develop into a thought leader

Position yourself as a thought leader to show that you have a strategic vision. Try reading about the most recent developments in your field and sharing them with coworkers or in professional settings. To display your vision, add your own comments and critiques and consider publishing your own forward-thinking pieces. To establish yourself as a thought leader, look for opportunities to speak about your strategic vision at work.

Related: 10 Common Leadership Styles

9. Seek management training

Seek management classes to demonstrate your devotion to becoming a leader. Enquire with your supervisor about internal training sessions, external classes or other opportunities to put your skills to the test in a professional setting. Make a list of areas where you wish to improve so you can effectively advance your skills.

10. Form key connections

Interacting with successful leaders can also help you improve your leadership skills. Set up an informational interview or an informal meeting with managers you admire at work to enhance your professional connection. You can look for professional associations in your area and begin networking with industry leaders. Connect with industry leaders by attending panel discussions, educational sessions or through networking events.

11. Find a role model

When looking for a mentor, consider where you want to be professionally in 10 or 20 years. Recognise the obstacles you might face and the skills you wish to master. Even if your mentor works for a different company or industry, you can gain valuable leadership skills and advice from someone you respect professionally.

Examples of leadership skills

These are some common leadership skills that may be useful for advancing your career:

Decisiveness

Effective decision-making often requires experience. Decisiveness is an important leadership trait as it can help progress projects more quickly and efficiently. Effective leaders can make quick and accurate decisions based on the limited information they have.

Motivational skills

Motivating and inspiring a group or team of employees is an important part of leadership. Leaders who share their enthusiasm with their teams may have a better chance of keeping morale high, increasing efficiency and improving overall performance. Being self-motivated and instilling motivation in a team is critical to an organisation's or project's success.

Creativity

Creativity is a valuable asset in any position, but especially so when managing a team of professionals. Creative leaders create an environment that encourages an open exchange of ideas. By straying from traditional frameworks and guidelines, creative leadership can foster innovation and improve work functions.

Integrity

People often consider integrity to be synonymous with honesty or truthfulness, but it can also refer to adhering to a set of strong values. In the workplace, having integrity often entails being able to make ethical decisions and contributing to a company's positive image. Most reputed companies prefer to recruit professionals who possess a strong sense of integrity.

Problem-solving

Good leaders may know how to deal with problems that arise on the job. Staying calm and identifying a step-by-step solution plan is often required for effective problem-solving. Problem-solving abilities can assist leaders in making quick decisions, resolving obstacles with both internal and external teams and ensuring that the team completes projects on time and according to specifications.

Related: How To Highlight Problem-Solving Skills On A Resume

Ability to provide feedback

Receiving constructive criticism and positive feedback allows employees to better understand what they are doing right and where they can improve. As a leader, being able to constructively provide feedback in an organised manner is critical to assisting a team in achieving its objectives. This may involve complimenting team members on their work and offering suggestions for improvement.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking refers to an individual's ability to review facts or evidence, make important connections and form judgments based on their analysis. Leaders require critical thinking abilities to assess employee performance, evaluate potential business opportunities and determine the best course of action. A critical thinker is usually self-reliant, thoughtful and deliberate. This ability also aids leaders in gaining meaningful insights from available data and making sound decisions.

Adaptability

It is critical for your growth and development as a leader to be adaptable to changes in the workplace. Effective leaders may address changes by devising strategies for dealing with new or uncertain situations and also by initiating team engagement to ensure that team members have a say in the process or regarding operational changes. Being adaptable also allows a leader to make room for team members to adjust their priorities in response to changing circumstances.

Related: Adaptability: An Essential Skill For Changing Workplaces

Time-management skills

Leaders can use time-management skills to plan their schedules and complete tasks in accordance with upcoming events and deadlines. This ability also aids leaders in setting realistic deadlines for completing tasks and work processes. It also aids them in determining how much time they can devote to certain activities and which tasks require more focus and priority.

Empathy

Skilled leaders often rely on their ability to empathise with and understand others to effectively lead teams and direct operations. Being able to approach team members with kindness and acceptance can help to inspire and foster healthy working relationships. Empathy also demonstrates openness, making leaders more approachable and trustworthy to their teams.

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