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It isn’t always easy being a leader in the workplace. Even those with plenty of experience can find being the leader of a team or a whole department challenging.  

This is especially true when it comes to people management. The best way to learn to be a great leader and to develop your skills is to do the job and learn as you go. However, becoming a good leader can often mean that you need to look at yourself and consider which aspects of your own skillset and even your personality can be worked on in order to provide the very best leadership to those around you.  

Let’s look at leadership development goals and objectives in more detail.  

What are the objectives of leadership?

The main objective of leadership in the workplace is to ensure that those who are working together as a team do so to reach any shared goals. This could be to provide a high quality of customer service, to ensure that sales targets are met or to simply provide the service or product experience that is needed by the end customer. 

With the right leader at the front, ensuring that the entire team get where they need to be, is going to be so much easier. Without a good quality leader, the team can feel lost, things might not get done as efficiently or effectively as they can, and there could be issues along the way.  

What are smart goals in leadership?

If you are looking to become a great leader for your team, then one of the first things that you need to do is to identify the things that you should work on. These are the skills and abilities that are going to help you to become an effective leader and to guide those members of your team towards your end goal.  

It is one thing to set a goal that you want to achieve; it is another to make sure that it is SMART. SMART goals are targets that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. By looking at each of the aspects of the SMART, you are going to give yourself the best chance of succeeding.  

You will know what it is that you want to do exactly, and you will have a plan for how you may get there. You will be able to identify how you know that things are going in the right direction, as well as how you will know that you have reached your end target. A SMART goal will also ensure that the goal you are setting is something that can be achieved and that it is also going to provide you with something that can be used on a regular basis.  

So, what are the main things that a leader should have as a part of their skill set?  

Be an active listener

It is incredibly important to ensure that you not only listen to those around you in the workplace but that you are actively listening. Listening can sometimes be confused with hearing, which means that you may hear what someone is saying to you, or around you, but have you really listened and understood them? 

Someone who is an active listener is going to use more than just one sense to listen. They are going to give their full attention to whoever it is that is speaking and ensure that they soak up as much of what they are saying as possible. 

An active listener will also confirm what has been said to them and will then ask questions or simply just repeat this information back.  

It makes sense that being a great leader and an active listener are two things that would go hand in hand. This is because in order to know what is happening for your team around you, as well as where they may be in the process of their work, you need to be an active listener.  

Be a mentor to others 

As a leader, we are there to ensure that those people who are in their team are able to be the very best that they can be. However, sometimes it can be tricky to know the right way to go. Whilst you may still be learning as a leader, you are likely to have a good understanding of the business that you work for and what they provide to its clients and customers. This puts you in a great place to be a mentor to others.  

Show them the best way to approach things in the workplace and give them helpful tips and insights into what they can change to do their everyday work and work for them. That way, you can help them to be the best that they can be.   

Be an inspiration to others

We all perform much better when we have someone to inspire us. Feeling inspired by someone, more often than not, will give us the push and drive that we need to change things for ourselves, which is why it makes sense that you are going to want to try and find a way to inspire those people on your team. 

It doesn’t always have to be some kind of awakening for them; it just needs to be a case of helping them to see a different way, a new way, that they may not have thought of on their own.  

Not only this but when they feel inspired, there is always a good chance that they will think of new and innovative ways to do things in your business that you may not have thought of.  

Build emotional intelligence

One skill that is often overlooked is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is when someone is able to identify and then use their emotions in order to communicate properly with those around them. Not only this, but those who have emotional intelligence are also aware of the emotions of others and how these may be making them react to situations. 

As a leader, emotional intelligence is incredibly important. Not only does it show you to be someone who truly cares about those around them, but it also helps you to inspire those around you to be the very best that they can be. They will feel comfortable managing their strong emotions and know that if they feel a certain way, you will have empathy for them.  

Focus on building relationships

As a leader, you need to have a good relationship with those around you. You need to feel able to communicate with them, ask things of them and also have them ask things of you too. The only way that you can truly have this type of back and forward interaction is to have a good relationship with them.  

It can be hard to build relationships in the workplace, especially if you are a leader in the team. However, you need to see every single person as an individual and ensure that you do whatever you can to find some common ground, a starting point for a connection that you can then build on and grow over time.  

Lead by example

You should never underestimate the power of leading by example. There should never be a culture in any workplace of “do as I say, not as I do.” This not only harbours some form of resentment but also does not create a cohesive and respectful team.  

It is a much better idea to do whatever you can to lead by example. Make sure that those who are around you see you doing what is expected of them. That way, they will be much more likely to take the same approach.  

Facilitates growth in people

We all want the very best from our colleagues, but do we ever think about how we can encourage this to happen? To get the very best from our colleagues, we need to be able to give them a chance to grow themselves.  

Growth can be scary as a leader, especially if you don’t want certain team members to leave and move on to something new. But we should never hold back those key team members for our own selfish reasons.  

Instead, leaders should find ways to help their colleagues to grow and to develop their own skills. Sure, it might mean that they eventually move on to something new, but they may also stay with you and use those skills to help your team and business to achieve great things.  

Open to constructive feedback 

It can be hard to hear just what others around you think of you. However, so long as the feedback is constructive, it is important to hear it. Constructive feedback can help you to find out more about areas that you need to improve on, often when you may not even be able to identify them yourself.  

This will often be geared towards how you can be a better leader and how you can then lead your team towards the goals that you have. 

Learn to give constructive feedback

As well as being able to listen to and act on constructive feedback, as a leader you should also be able to give it to those that you work with. It can be equally as difficult to tell someone what they need to improve on, as well as hear it about yourself. But you have to remind yourself that it is important to give this feedback

Try to approach any feedback that you give without attaching any emotion to it. Think about it from a logical point of view and remind yourself that even though it may feel somewhat awkward at the time, it is, in the long run, a great idea to do.  

Learn to be adaptable to change and growth

Things change, even things that we don’t want to. It can be hard to accept change unless it is something that you feel positively about, but, for the most part, all change can be good in the long run. 

As a leader, you are going to be responsible for leading your team through a variety of different changes and showing them that whilst the change may be somewhat scary; it will all work out in the end. If you can stay positive and learn to adapt to change and growth, then you will soon find that your team are 100% behind you every step of the way.  

Build effective and dynamic teams

For many of the tasks that you do in your workplace, you need to ensure that you come together as a team. Being one cohesive unit is a great way to ensure that no matter what the task is, there is a good chance that you are going to get it done to the highest standard (and in good time too).  

The best way to do this is to take the time to build an effective and dynamic team. An effective team is one that knows what to do and, of course, the best way to do it. Along with this, a dynamic team is one that will recognise their own strengths and abilities and use them to ensure that the work that needs to be carried out is finished.  

Know your strength and weakness

We all, no matter where we are in a team, have our own strengths and weaknesses. We are going to expect our team to be able to identify what theirs are, but what about ourselves? As leaders, we always need to take a step back and think about what things we can do and which things we don’t do as well.  

When we identify our own strengths and weaknesses, we are able to find a way to improve them, and we can show those around us that it is okay to know what we need to work on.  

Learn your limits

Following on from the above, if we can take the time to identify our weaknesses, then we can also take steps to learn our limitations. Whilst it is always a good idea to try and push ourselves to achieve things that we may not think that we can achieve, we should be aware of our own limitations too. 

Trying to push past those boundaries may not always work out for the best, and we may even make a situation worse in short and the long term too. This can be frustrating, especially if there are others out there in our team who are more capable.  

Understand your team strengths

Taking the time to learn more about your team and what they can do, is the first step to identifying their strengths. When you know the strengths of those around you, then you can use those strengths to the advantage of the whole team.  

You can ensure that certain work tasks are allocated to the right team member and that they are going to be able to approach whatever the task is in the right way.  

Of course, you need to be careful not to pigeonhole team members into certain roles, but so long as they are happy to take on certain aspects of their work, then this should be an approach that you take.  

Always willing to learn and improve

No matter how long you have been working in a role or a company, there are always going to be new things that you can learn. Not only this but there are also things that you can improve on. If we don’t find a way to improve and make things that we do even better, then we are going to end up stagnating with no drive to do any better.  

If you show that you are always willing to learn and then take a step to improve, then this will inspire those around you to do the same thing. Then you will have a team that is well-rounded and able to tackle a wide range of aspects of their work.  

Develop a growth mindset

Similar to the above, you should, as a leader, have a growth mindset. You want to always be looking at ways that you can grow, you can change, and can improve. This may be within your team and the work that you do, or it may be looking much wider at the business as a whole.  

Without a growth mindset, you will always be stuck in the same place, and you won’t ever get any closer to the places that you want to be in the future.  

Practice effective time management 

Time management doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but as a leader, it is something that you need to have under your belt. This can be as simple as ensuring that you are on time and ready to go every day for work, but it can also be how you allocate your working day and the tasks that you need to complete.  

If you show your team the importance of keeping to time, recognising how long things take and also being realistic about your own time each day, then they too will start to show effective time management.  

Learn to constantly review, improve and adjust

We never know what needs to be improved or changed if we don’t take the time to review what we have done in the past, as well as what we are going in the present. This means that you should always set aside time to review what you, as a team, have been doing.  

When you review, you can then think about ways that you can change your approaches and how they can improve the workflow and also your effectiveness as a team. Sometimes you may find that there are no changes to be made, but equally, you may find that things are not quite working out as you may have hoped and that some changes need to be made.  

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