What are the leadership and influencing skills?
Leadership is the ability to motivate a group of people to achieve a goal. In entrepreneurship, this means directing workers and colleagues toward meeting the company’s needs. To achieve this successfully, here are five leadership and influencing skills you must acquire.
Leaders should prioritize half an hour a week to focus on themselves, whether to learn something new or to plan or prioritize what you want to accomplish in the coming week.
“You can look for quick ways to learn things like watching videos online or participating in short trainings,” Pollock says. “Focusing on developing yourself might also be about learning how to deal with stubborn people, how to have a difficult conversation, or how to motivate someone who is difficult to motivate. Learning is a continuous thing that should never end.”
“When you step into your workplace, you are bombarded with connections and chaos to manage. This whirlwind gets in the way of your intent because you’re just reacting.” “Think about what is most important to you and your team in the coming week, and define strategic actions to get it done.”
Pollock says the development of your team members is just as important as your personal development. He adds that the most successful managers today are those who adopt a leadership approach that includes developing employees, working with them to develop and achieve goals, and allowing them to take a more independent approach to completing their work.
“Leaders today take 10 to 15 minutes a week with their team to review their priorities, how they feel, whether they are overwhelmed or not…” “It’s about collecting data on their team to make sure they’re focused on the right things at the right time.”
With a culture of jumping from one job to another, retaining talent is more important than ever. Leaders should meet with their team members quarterly to discuss employees’ interests, ambitions, and goals, and then work together to develop plans that will guide them to get there.
“Many times leaders are not aware of all the resources available to them,” Pollock says. “When people think of development, their minds go to sitting in a classroom. But this is not necessarily the only option. There are videos and e-learning opportunities, or training courses that can be used on the job… The leader’s job is to facilitate this process.”
Today’s companies must remain nimble and responsive to change. This is why strategic thinking is among the most important leadership and influencing skills. The Harvard Business Review found that a strategic approach to leadership is 10 times more important to achieving success than other behaviors it has studied, including communication and practical tactical behaviors. Strategic thinkers take a broad, long-term approach to problem-solving and decision-making that includes objective analysis, forethought, and planning.
“Leaders need to think about the best way to get results that exceed customer expectations,” Pollock says. “There are many ways to do this, including setting a specific vision and sticking to it, as well as involving all parties in achieving that vision.”
Ethical practices and civic mentality
Pollock says leaders set standards for teams based on their values. “The things you talk about, do, and allow become part of your team culture.” “If you talk about ethics and do what you say, your team will follow suit.” “Your team appreciates everything you value.”
An ethical and civic-minded organization often dictates written policies and procedures that leaders must learn and refer to on a regular basis. Pollock says that many leaders are aware of these policies, but only look for them in times of crisis. Leaders must familiarize themselves with policies and procedures in order to be prepared for challenging situations.
“Most leaders don’t take ethics seriously,” he says. “Ethics must be at the forefront of leaders’ minds, so that they can deal with any problem quickly and effectively.”
creativity and innovation
For businesses to keep up with today’s competitive market, innovation must be an organizational priority. Like anything on the list of leadership and influencing skills, this behavior starts at the top. Pollock says it’s easy for leaders to carry out their day-to-day responsibilities, as people work according to their habits. Innovation is a good way to change things and try something new. This will inevitably lead to great ideas and better working methods.
“Leaders need to create an environment where people feel psychologically safe to step outside the box, know how things will work, and even fail sometimes.”
Pollock recommends that leaders set aside time each week to try something new, whether it be a process or a new idea.
“Leadership is synonymous with learning,” Pollock says. “The best leaders are those who are constantly learning and figuring out how to close gaps and develop the skills that are most important to them.”
4 ways to gain leadership skills and influence others
Here are four ways to acquire and master leadership and influencing skills.
Build a relationship with the people you want to influence.
Spend some time getting to know your team, building trust and familiarity, and strengthening personal relationships between you and them. Ask: “What did your former boss do that you want me to do or not do?” This question will immediately establish your credibility and show that you care. Whether their last manager was good or bad, their answers will provide valuable insights. You may need to reset their expectations and give them reason to be optimistic.
Listen to them and interact with them.
People want to be led by people they love, but that doesn’t mean you have to be friends with everyone. As a manager, being likable is about being caring, engaging, and sympathetic to your team’s needs as their leader, not their friend. Remember, you are often their point of contact with the larger vision of the company, and your job is to listen to them and provide them with the resources they need to succeed. To be admired and respected by everyone, make sure you set aside your biases, be consistent, and act on what you hear.
Stick to your team.
If you are not committed to your team, what is the reason for them to follow you? Find ways to show others that you are committed to them on a group and individual level. The best way to do this is to share your vision of what success looks like, how important their roles are in getting there, and building growth opportunities along the way. Try to hold regular one-on-one meetings that will allow you to show your commitment and build a following at the same time.
Focus on setting a perfect example.
Recognizing your team members and acknowledging their critical role in the success of the project can make a huge difference in how motivated they are. As a manager, one of the best questions to ask your employees is: “What is the best way to receive recognition?” The answers you receive will help you learn how to ideally give your team members more praise and recognition.