Unleashing Your Inner Leader

Leadership is more than a role; it is a skill that requires practice and is essential to personal and professional growth. In the workplace, leaders inspire and influence others to accomplish a common goal. However, becoming a leader doesn’t require a title. It does include developing skills and traits that allow you to lead with purpose, empathy and confidence. While some people seem like natural-born leaders, great leaders grow into their positions, learning and improving through every experience. To unleash your inner leader, consider these seven steps:

  1. Lead By Example – Leading by example is critical to being seen as an authentic leader. You will earn the respect of your community and model the behavior and values you want to see in others. When you not only ask but act with integrity, accountability, and determination, you will inspire your team to do the same.
  2. Harness Emotional Intelligence – The ability to read a room is an essential leadership skill. Harnessing emotional intelligence requires self-awareness of your emotions, actions and reactions, as well as how they impact others. Using emotional intelligence is a core piece of leading with empathy, an attractive leadership quality. Harvard Business Review found that 29% of employees wish organizations acted more empathetically, and the percentage is only growing. By practicing active listening, you will be able to connect with and understand the needs of your employees beyond what is verbalized. This relationship will enhance your ability to communicate, motivate and inspire others effectively
  3. Communicate Effectively – Strong communication skills are vital in any setting but even more critical within leadership. Communication goes two ways. Practice being clear, brief, and empathetic when you speak, but also focus on active listening, seeking advice, and giving beneficial feedback. Improving your communication can help your team become more collaborative and efficient.
  4. Engage in a Growth Mindset – A growth mindset encourages constant learning, resilience, and continuous improvement. When there is no workplace growth, burnout skyrockets. Avoid burnout and poor retention rates by encouraging personal goals, emphasizing continuous learning, and celebrating milestones.
  5. Empower Others – Great leaders understand the power within a team. Everyone accomplishes more when leaders delegate tasks and encourage others. Trust your team and empower them to take charge of designated projects and decisions. Empowering initiative and assigning strengths-based responsibilities will build the team’s productivity. Empowering your team will also build a sense of ownership, raise spirits, and create a teamwork-centered culture.
  6. Invest in Leadership – Development and Coaching- Many leaders reach a point where they feel like they have hit a wall. Invest in Leadership Development and Executive Coaching to give yourself deeper insight into your leadership style and how to improve. The Leadership Coaching Report found that 67% believed leadership coaching increased employee engagement, 60% said it enhanced employees’ perceptions of leadership and 50% said it improved productivity. Continuous learning and self-improvement are critical aspects of becoming your best self.
  7. Reflect and Learn: Leadership is a lifelong journey. Create a space for self-reflection, gather feedback, and learn from your experiences. The best leaders know there will always be room to grow. By continuing to learn, you’ll better adjust to new situations and motivate those you lead.

Anyone can unleash their inner leader, but it will require a commitment to personal and professional growth. Leading with authenticity, empathy, strong communication skills, empowering growth and learning from your experiences will set you apart from the rest of the pack. We all know the phrase “practice makes perfect.” Start small and work your way up. Embracing the opportunities to lead will grow your sphere of influence, setting you on the path to lead and inspire those around you.

If you want to take the next step in your leadership journey, AJ O’Connor is here to help. We offer Executive Coaching and Team Coaching Solutions, and Custom Leadership Development Programs. Let us know how we can help you reach the next level in your journey; contact us today.

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Post by AJO

Founded on core family values and a commitment to building strong, long-lasting partnerships, AJO approaches its work with confidence and expertise that only comes with over 40 years in the business. Working with companies of all sizes, needs and budgets, AJO develops high-performing teams and global leaders for organizational success.