A Guide to Management Leadership Skills | Thomas.co

Leadership is a fundamental pillar of management. Without leadership guiding, nurturing, and driving a team, metaphors of headless chickens come to mind. To facilitate organizational growth a company must harness effective leadership skills. They are crucial to negotiate the intricacies of the modern workplace.

With a shift towards more collaborative and flexible work environments, leadership styles and skills required have changed dramatically. Traditional managerial hierarchies are evermore becoming a thing of the past. The effective leaders of today are more sympathetic, flexible, inclusive, and adaptable. A leader that moves with the times nurtures an inclusive, and productive working environment for all.

In this blog, we will uncover the principle functions and pillars that form the makeup of effective leadership in the modern workplace. We note the necessary skills, and practical know-how to help you build on your leadership proficiency, as well as the effects of such. In addition, we will explore how partnering with Thomas can have a profound impact on your journey to understanding what separates great leaders from the rest.

The core leadership skills every manager needs

The essence of strong management is contingent on a deep understanding of leadership theory and its fundamentals. Leadership skills are at the heart of a healthy, inclusive collaborative team environment, where productivity and organizational growth excel. Leaders armed with these skills can foster a corporate culture of:

  • Trust.
  • Teamwork.
  • Working towards a common goal.

All three of these are crucial to remain ahead in modern competitive markets.

Some of the key leadership skills imperative for managers to attain or learn are:

  • Communication. Effective communication negates confusion, acts as necessary confirmation, and inspires.
  • Emotional intelligence skills help leaders get to the root cause of problems and desires.
  • Strategic thinking allows leaders to capitalize on opportunities, logically applying action plans.
  • Decision-making skills.
  • Delegation.

Moreover, leaders need to be flexible, with a high degree of adaptability to tailor solutions to the unique requirements of individual team members. The requirements of team members can vary depending on strengths, personality style, experience, level of seniority, and the task at hand. In adapting their approach to each team member, leaders make team members feel included and valued, helping to drive team productivity, increase motivation, build trust, and reduce employee turnover.

Building your leadership toolkit: Practical strategies

In this section, we explore three of the developmental areas that all leaders should focus on and provide practical strategies on how to improve them. The areas in question concern the development of emotional intelligence, how to improve communication skills, and encouraging a culture of continuous improvement.

Emotional intelligence is a bedrock of successful leadership. Be receptive to feedback, recognize it as an opportunity for your personal development, and accept it as an invaluable resource to understand how your team feels, and what their needs are.

Conduct more regular ‘one-to-one’ to understand how team members feel in their roles and how they are progressing. However, be careful not to turn them into update meetings, with team members to provide feedback on project progression, etc. This can be counterproductive, so keep in mind the purpose of the conversation. Taking time to understand the emotional needs of your entire team is paramount in building an environment of trust, support, and motivation.

Clear and transparent communication is essential in not only avoiding confusion but also for the comfort of team members. Be aware that clear communication in all forms, including:

  • Verbal communication comes in a multitude of forms and scenarios. These can include meetings, presentation feedback, and telephone conversations.
  • Written communication. The modern workplace is constantly presenting us with more communication tools and channels. Including Email, Teams, Zoom, Slack, WhatsApp. Be aware of the different levels of formality that have been normalized in each, and gently coach team members on the purpose of each.
  • Visual communication can include graphs and charts. Be aware that these methods of communication can be open to interpretation and confusion, perhaps even more so than other forms of communication.
  • Informal communication might include chats and catch-ups at work parties, birthdays, and other forms of social gatherings.

Across all forms of communication, the most effective and respected leaders practice active listening. Active listening is an encompassing term that embodies all the facets of a good listener. It means that the listener is concentrating and responding at the appropriate time, without interruption. The responses should also be relevant to the message that has been listened to, and the information should be remembered. Active listening demonstrates a genuine interest in your team, helping to build strong relationships.

Whether office-based or remote, a workplace of continuous improvement is important to remain competitive and retain your skill base. If team members do not feel like they are growing personally, or within the company they will leave. It’s as simple as that. A leader should motivate a team to take on new responsibilities, projects, and opportunities to grow. This has to be conducted without a sense of pressure or obligation. Failures in new ventures should be celebrated as opportunities to learn.

The impact of strong leadership on team performance

The impact of strong leadership on team performance is profound. It has a big effect on team morale and engagement. Leaders who place importance on communication and develop an understanding of their team at an emotional level create an environment of growth, where morale, engagement, and job satisfaction are maximized.

Effective leadership skills and productivity are directly related. A successful leader streamlines processes clarifies goals, and empowers team members, which in turn pushes the business towards its objectives.

Resilient leaders empower teams to face challenges head-on and create an environment of collaboration, learning from setbacks, and bouncing back stronger.

Leveraging Thomas to develop leadership skills for management

It’s much easier to navigate the complexities of improving leadership skills and pinpointing areas for improvement with Thomas’ tools and assessments.

Download this free leadership whitepaper that covers the different types of leadership as well as opposing the ‘one size fits all’ stereotype.

At Thomas, we have also developed our psychometric assessments to help companies identify effective leadership skills. We use scientifically backed processes, such as our personality assessment to help organizations identify and retain future leaders.

Have a look at the upcoming training dates for our next workshops for management and leadership, developed through people science. Managers, leaders, and trainers will be empowered. Whether you opt for a day course or something more extensive, you won’t regret it.

Taking the next step in your leadership journey

Leadership skills are an imperative function of effective management, building trust, nurturing a motivated team, and adaptability. Effective leaders facilitate teams to overcome challenges and achieve personal and organizational goals in tandem.

Unleash your leadership powers now with Thomas’ tailored solutions. Contact one of our experienced team members, to talk through your options. You and your team deserve it.