6 Ways to Become a Better Leader

6 Ways to Become a Better Leader

It’s an age-old question: Are we influenced more by nature or nurture? Applied to leadership, the question becomes: Are great leaders born or made? It’s one of the most frequently asked questions in leadership development, attributed to one of the world’s top experts on executive effectiveness, leadership and organizational change—Dr. James M. Kouzes.

To really answer that question we need to look at the big picture and the small details. The big picture is important because it shows us what it takes in order to be a great leader. It gives us the foundation so that we have a better chance of becoming a good leader. The small details are also important because they show us how to practice and improve. Although great leaders are generally made by their experiences, there are things you can do to be successful. Whether you’re just beginning an entry-level leadership role or you’re a seasoned veteran, these tips will help you become more effective in your next leadership position.

1. Learn to Listen

Leaders often make the mistake of thinking that they are better at listening than their followers. This is true in some situations, but not all. Being a good listener is a skill that can be developed and learned by anyone who wants to be better at leading others. As the leader, it’s important to remember that you are there as an example for your team members; a good leader listens so he or she can become aware of what problems exist and then work towards solving them together with his or her team members.

Leaders also need to be sure they don’t fall into the trap of listening only when it’s convenient for them; this sends out a message that says: “I only care about what you have to say when what you have to say benefits me”. While this may seem like common sense, many people overlook this fact because they’re too busy trying not to let their attention wander from what someone else has just said (or maybe even more importantly; trying not think about something else).

Listening is key because it allows us as human beings permission  to express our thoughts without being judged by another person; we all want someone we look up too trust us enough  to listen without judging us first!

2. Listen to understand rather than reply

The first step is to listen.

– Take time to listen, ask open-ended questions before you respond. So many times, leaders are so eager to jump in and solve a problem that they don’t take the time to hear what’s really going on. Asking open-ended questions like “How did you feel about that?” or “What were some of the challenges with that project?” will help you get all sides of the story rather than just hearing your employee’s side of things.

– Don’t be afraid of silence; use it wisely. A skilled leader knows how important silence can be in creating trust and sending messages that are not easily misunderstood or misinterpreted because he or she listens much more than talks! You should never rush an answer when someone is sharing something with you—or at least make sure you have all relevant information before responding (like if someone asks “Why didn”t my team make our deadline?”). Also pay attention when people tell stories; often times there is more meaning behind what happened then just what happened itself

3. Hold a courageous conversation

There are lots of ways to become a better leader, but one of the most important is having a courageous conversation. You need courage because if you ask someone something that makes them feel bad, they will probably get defensive. So instead of being direct with your question and risking an awkward reaction, take time to think about how you might phrase it in a way that is more open-ended.

Asking questions is also important because people won’t tell you what they really think about something unless asked directly (or forced). If there are issues at work, it’s best for everyone if those issues are addressed and solved as soon as possible rather than ignored until they turn into bigger problems down the road.

Finally, not having these conversations can cause unnecessary stress as people try to guess at what others think or feel instead of getting clarification from their coworkers themselves! This means that while courageous conversations may be difficult at first, they pay off big later on by allowing everyone involved in them feel more confident going forward.”

4. Face conflict head on

Conflict is inevitable. It could be something as simple as disagreeing on the name for a new project, or it could be something drastic, like someone missing an important deadline. The key to resolving conflict is to face it head-on and deal with it before it escalates into something more serious.

This skill is essential for success in any industry or field because everyone has different opinions and ideas about what they think needs to happen in order for their work to succeed. Some people may have different ways of doing things, so conflict resolution is a core management skill that every leader should have under his or her belt. This can also be categorized as communication skills since communication plays such an important role in resolving conflicts successfully without creating more problems along the way. And finally, interpersonal skills are critical when working with others who may have opposing views on how things should go down—especially when those people are your coworkers! But don’t worry: this doesn’t mean you’ll always agree with other people’s opinions; only that you’ll know how best (and respectfully) communicate them based on your own values system!

5. Don’t be afraid to take action

You will never become a better leader if you’re afraid to take action.

Action leads to results. Results lead to success. Success leads to more success, which means that you have more opportunities for failure, but it also means that those failures will be less likely than ever before—and if they do happen, they’ll be tolerable because their impact on your progress as a leader will be minimal at most (and often negligible).

6. Your personal success is rooted in the success of others

You may be wondering how you can achieve your goals and the goals of others at the same time. The answer is simple: you must care about the people you are leading, and want them to succeed.

You have to be a great manager. You have to be a great mentor, and also a great teacher. You have to lead by example and make sure that everyone knows what they need to do in order for their department or team to succeed.

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