12 Leadership Strengths – Understand How to Become a Great Leader
Leadership has evolved immensely over the past decade. While some aspects of managing changed drastically, planning for future success and making difficult decisions remains a constant yet challenging chunk of a leader’s everyday life.
Being an effective leader can be immensely stressful. After all, the future of an entire organization relies on your ability to lead. Failure to effectively lead can lead to disastrous effects on a company’s future.
Thus, learning the proper way to use your strengths is crucial. You may be wondering how to create a cohesive team, or how to strengthen your leadership abilities to catapult your team into the future.
Initiating progress starts with finding ways to utilize your skills to your advantage and improving your weaknesses.
This article will cover the best ways to capitalize on your leadership skills and improve upon your weaknesses.
What are Leadership Strengths?
Leadership strengths qualities and characteristics that help promote a leader’s success. Such strengths may help create effective communication methods within the organization or assist the leader in forming precise goals for the future.
They allow the individual to improve the way they lead, manage, and organize their teams. Business leaders often need to utilize a combination of hard and soft skills to succeed in their careers.
Thus, over time they strengthen both analytical and social skills to reach their company goals. However, these strengths can be any skill or positive quality you have utilized to your advantage.
Key skills include creative thinking, conflict resolution capabilities, decisiveness, confidence, empathy, decision making skills, honesty, and integrity.
List with 12 Examples of Key Leadership Strengths:
- Situational awareness
- Excellent communication skills
- Effective negotiation skills
- Conflict resolution skills
- Collaboration skills and intercultural sensitivity
- Ability to work with different personal styles and approaches
- Being able to make courageous or difficult decisions
- Motivation skills
12 Key Leadership Strengths You Must Learn
For those working in leadership roles, being self-aware is an incredibly important skill to have. Knowing your full abilities and flaws will allow you to prosper as a leader.
Specifically, understanding your strengths will allow you to incorporate a strength-based leadership approach, which emphasizes on your ability to use your strengths to direct others.
Understanding strong and weak aspects of your personality also let you find a leadership style that is tailored to your strengths.
Being aware of your surroundings at all times can benefit your ability to plan in the future. If you are always aware of the conflicts and problems in the workplace, you will be able to efficiently address such issues.
Being aware of your environment allows you to evaluate whether organizational goals are being met and if your company culture matches the standards you previously set.
Excellent Communication Skills
Being a strong leader involves effectively delegating tasks and ensuring all team members are meeting your goals and upholding the company’s core values.
Possessing strong communication skills allows for more successful employee management. Additionally, conflicts can be mitigated or avoided altogether if you communicate effectively.
Other soft skills are included in this strength. They include public speaking and interpersonal skills.
Effective Negotiation Skills
Being able to negotiate is necessary for both business success and maintains positive employee relationships. Negotiation increases the odds of acquiring a desired result and creates positive results for both sides of the trade.
Strategic leadership involves finding the best way to acquire particular information or objects, and negotiation skills are often needed in such conversations.
Conflict Resolution Skills
Conflicts can lead to drops in productivity and establish a negative company atmosphere if they are not handled well. Managers must be able to peacefully mitigate conflicts and get workers back on track.
Using one’s emotional intelligence can help managers understand and empathize with those participating in the conflict, leading to better manager/employee relations and a quicker resolution.
Collaboration Skills and Intercultural Sensitivity
Ultimately, strategic leaders do not exclusively work alone. Rather, it is best to create a diverse team to help support you for the best results.
Being able to work efficiently with a large group of individuals will be beneficial for your business. Each individual’s skills and needs are unique, thus helping you create a balanced team to work alongside.
Ability to Work with Different Personality Styles and Approaches
To work well with their employees, successful leaders change their leadership approach to meet their employee’s needs.
While leadership courses can help you further develop this skill, asking your team for feedback can also aid you when trying to remain flexible with your leadership style.
Being Able to Make Courageous or Difficult Decisions
Leaders will undoubtedly be faced with difficult decisions throughout their careers. However, remaining firm by sticking with your goals and aspirations minimizes regret.
Making calculated decisions allows you to plan your approach to problems and find ways to maximize your success.
This leadership trait allows you to focus on long term success by balancing the boldness of your actions with some amount of safety.
True leaders must inspire their employees to reach their full potential and push beyond their set boundaries.
They build trusting and strong relationships with workers to find what they value and utilize their values to a create common goal between them and the company.
They often change their communication style to suite the individual’s needs. Charismatic and encouraging language also plays a role in motivating employees.
Managers must be able to understand the hopes, aspirations, and problems their followers face. Without this deep understanding, effective leaders is not possible.
Not comprehending the wide range needs employees have leads to improper utilization of the strengths based leadership approach.
Proper strengths based leadership involves thoroughly understanding employees and delegating tasks tailored to their specific tasks, which empathetic leaders excel in.
Empathy also leads to increased loyalty, creativity, and job satisfaction.
Resilience or perseverance is displayed not when the environment is calm and prosperous, but precisely the opposite. In chaos, experienced leaders shine.
Such individuals continue working with a positive attitude, thus encouraging their followers to do the same. They remain calm in stressful situations, choosing to focus on finding solutions rather than on the problems.
Reliable managers are individuals their employees trust and depend on. They follow through with their plans and keep promises. In doing so, their employee/employer relationship is strengthened through trust in one another.
Common ways reliability is strengthened is through being detail oriented, truthful, loyal, and realistic with goal setting.
Understanding Leadership Strengths in the Workplace
When a leader repeatedly emphasizes the application of strengths on his or her work, that individual uses a strengths based leadership approach.
Barry Conchie and Tom Rath, both experts in the field of strength based leadership, states that the approach consists of a acknowledging one’s strengths, building a talented team, and meeting the needs of the customer (1).
Every leader has some amount of innate ability to communicate well or motivate a team. However, it is key to consistently improve upon such strengths to avoid stagnation.
Resilient leaders work tirelessly to find new ways to apply their strengths to turn their ideas into reality. Finding your strengths involves repeatedly asking for feedback from other innovative leaders in your sector.
Also, searching for root causes of success reveals your key strengths. Once you identify your abilities, continue to work on them.
Find which approach are and are not productive, and associate them with your strengths and weaknesses.
Differences Between Leadership Strengths and Employee Strengths
Both managers and employees can benefit from a strengths based approach, although the application of this approach varies between these positions.
Critical leadership qualities include strategic thinking, be motivational or charismatic, having strong critical thinking skills, think in the long term, be able to resolve conflicts in addition to delegate responsibilities, and be comfortable with risks.
These strengths center around management, organization, decision making capabilities, and employee engagement. Most employees will need a slightly different skill set to succeed in their career.
Business management skills or business organization is not a strength that is usually utilized by employees, but is crucial to managers.
Collaboration and friendliness are more necessary for employees in comparison to leaders.
For engineering roles, being able to describe specific product details is crucial to communicate the details of the systems powering machines.
Employers do not need to focus on the intricacies of such devices. Rather, they must focus on the big picture and the company’s overall goals.
What Strengths are Ideal to Bring to a Leadership Position?
A vast array of skills are needed to effectively manage a team. While any strength can be applied while leading, leadership skills are particularly crucial.
A number of soft skills and listening skills are needed for effective leadership, such as thorough communication.
Other strengths include being empathetic, customer-focused, trustworthy, confidence, and selflessness.
Additionally, problem-solving skills, analytical skills, strategic planning, creative thinking, flexibility, agility, selflessness, versatility, and quick learning ability are all essential leadership qualities.
In general, if strength can be beneficial to a leader, it should be utilized and grown upon. The use of such leadership strengths improves self-efficacy and helps managers work effectively (2).
3 Examples of a Good Leader Using Their Strengths
The following three examples display three possible ways a strengths based leadership approach is used in real life:
1. Managers implement conflict deescalation techniques and watch for possible conflicts so they can intervene before the situation becomes turbulent.
This active approach is utilized over simply ignoring the circumstances and forcing his/her team to adapt. This example shows conflict resolution skills in action.
2. Previously, a supervisor delegated tasks without taking the employee’s needs, goals, and strengths into account.
Now, he assess an individual’s strengths and finds ways for them to grow upon their skills. Here, effective delegating skills are displayed.
3. An executive often observes his workers and works with them individually.
He keeps their goals and abilities in mind, and finds ways for them to develop and reach any goal they set their mind to.
This executive would be utilizing his ability to mentor or motivate employees to his advantage.
Frequently Asked Questions About Leadership Styles
How to Build Key Leadership Strengths?
Building your leadership attributes takes time and effort. However, you can start by building discipline. Stick to your goals and deadlines and strive to always be on time.
Then, take on more projects to find your leadership approach. Once you do this, find which strengths are best suited for this approach.
For instance, if you enjoy coach-style leadership, focus on being motivating and empathetic.
If you struggle with finding which strengths you should build upon, try to ask yourself which qualities contribute most to your success and accomplishments.
How to Identify Your Leadership Style?
One commonly used strategy for identifying your leadership style is finding which qualities you would like to emulate.
Find innovators and leaders you look up to, and ask yourself which aspects of their leadership (character traits, delegation style, skills, etc.) make them successful and which qualities you would like to implement for yourself.
Asking for honest feedback from your team can also help you identify your leadership style.
They are the individuals most familiar with the way you delegate tasks, respond to criticism and chaos, and how you treat workers. Thus, their input could be very helpful.
How to Improve Your Leadership Strengths?
Since improving leadership strengths is beneficial early on in one’s career, taking initiative as soon as possible is necessary.
Fully explore how you can apply your strengths by exposing yourself to many circumstances where you can lead a team.
Think critically and try to spot potential problems before they occur.
Once you start to take action on having less bad leadership qualities, ask for feedback from other leaders, employees, and customers.
Additionally, work on your interpersonal skills and empathy by motivating, empowering, and positively influencing your workers.
At some point in your life, leadership skills will be extremely valuable. For managers and executives, these skills are not just beneficial; they are crucial for success.
Both leaders and employees can build on their unique strengths in unison to create an efficient team and positive work environment. Strong leaders do not aim for competency.
They do not wish to be mediocre; rather, they strive to be exceptional at using their strengths to their, their team’s, and their customer’s advantage.
Furthering your leadership skills is the first step toward maximizing every individual’s potential, and it leads to growth in our businesses, communities, and nations.
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