10 Important Skills Every Leader Needs

See also: Top Leadership Skills You Need

To be an effective leader in your workplace, you need to develop the right skills.

You need to be able to set goals, communicate well, know how to delegate, be dependable, and make your employees feel valued, to name just a few of the skills you must master to be a strong leader.

So, check out the following 10 important skills that every leader needs to possess.

Close up of a man in suit pointing at the viewer.

1. Goal setting

Having excellent goal-setting skills is all about establishing both small and large objectives that relate to the greater good of your company.

Using sound planning methods, you can create a series of milestones that lead to attaining a larger objective.

Armed with goal setting know-how, you can determine the resources that your team needs and set realistic goals to help your team members work towards and achieve the goals that you have put in place.

2. Communication

Things like goal setting are easier to achieve when you possess excellent communication skills.

Indeed, strong communication is an essential skill for all leaders. This means you need to be able to clearly and concisely explain anything that needs addressing to your team, from specific tasks to organisational goals.

Leaders must be adept in all forms of communication, which include departmental communication, one-on-one communication, and communication via email, phone, video, and so on.

Furthermore, developing excellent listening skills is a vital part of your communication skills. This means making yourself available on a regular basis to listen to your team members and actively hearing what they have to say.

3. Understanding How to Provide Effective Feedback

Understanding how to provide feedback goes hand-in-hand with communication.

Leaders not only need to ensure that they give employees feedback to help them perform tasks properly and meet the standards of their company culture, they also need to understand how to give feedback in the right way.

The last thing you want is to make your feedback feel like you’re reprimanding your employees.

Forget micromanaging. The key to providing productive feedback is to ensure your words offer sound advice and assistance that can help employees to improve their work.

Also, when you provide feedback in a clear and emphatic way, your employees are sure to respect you more.

4. Delegation

As a leader, you’ll need to be able to delegate tasks appropriately.

If you take on too many tasks by yourself, you’ll end up getting stressed, running out of time, and not completing tasks as they should be completed.

So, know when and how to delegate tasks. And don’t see delegation as a form of weakness. It is anything but.

To delegate tasks well, you should be able to identify the skills of each of your team members to ensure each person is delegated tasks based on their skillsets.

5. Dependability

A good leader needs to be dependable and reliable. Other people in your organisation need to be able to trust you to complete tasks and address needs as required.

Dependability is also about ensuring you’re punctual, kind, and have a strong work ethic.

When your team is able to depend on you, you’ll be able to depend on your team. So, lead by example. You can then encourage your team to be just as dependable as you are.

6. Motivation

Employees need to be inspired at their workplaces if they are to perform well.

While each worker needs to be able to motivate themselves, you’ll get more out of them when you help to motivate them.

Having strong motivation will, of course, also help you to stay positive and happy in your work.

By inspiring your team and helping employees to build self-esteem, you can get the most out of people and retain the top talent.

Just like every sports coach motivates his or her team before a game, you need to motivate your employees each day to enhance their performance. In turn, this means your team members will be more focused, happier, and more productive.

7. The Ability to Make People Feel Encouraged and Valued

Following on from motivation, you need to be able to make your team feel encouraged and valued. To do this, consider introducing things like team bonding activities and training opportunities.

It’s also a good idea to recognize high-performing employees. For instance, you could regularly give gifts or corporate recognition awards to the highest-achieving members of your team.

When workers feel valued, they’re sure to be more motivated and happier in their work.

Everyone wants to feel valued. As a leader, it’s up to you to encourage your team members and make everyone feel valuable in their roles.

8. Positivity

In order to develop your motivational skills and your ability to make employees feel encouraged and valued, you should develop your positivity.

When you have a positive attitude, which includes things like being able to laugh at yourself when things don’t go quite as planned, not coming down too hard on employees who make mistakes, and staying in a jovial mood when around your team, you can contribute to a happy workplace environment.

In turn, it will be easier for you and your team to get through busy and stressful periods.

Do things like asking your employees how their weekends were and what their vacation plans are, on a regular basis, to help you achieve positivity in the workplace.

When employees are in a happy environment, they’re more likely to perform better and do things like work long hours when needed.

9. Decisiveness

Every leader needs to be decisive. That means being able to make high-quality and educated decisions, even when you’re under pressure.

It’s not just about making any old decision quickly. Effective decisiveness involves understanding the consequences of your decisions, which means you’ll need to have in-depth knowledge about your company, your team, and your industry.

10. Commitment

If you want your team to be committed, you need to demonstrate that you’re committed yourself.

You need to be committed to your team, your company, and yourself.

In practical terms that could involve things like putting in extra hours when deadlines are approaching.

You can’t expect your employees to be committed if you’re not. So, commitment should always be at the forefront of your mind.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Leadership

The Skills You Need Guide to Leadership eBooks

Learn more about the skills you need to be an effective leader.

Our eBooks are ideal for new and experienced leaders and are full of easy-to-follow practical information to help you to develop your leadership skills.

About the Author

Cristina Par is a content specialist with a passion for writing articles that bridge the gap between brands and their audiences. She believes that high-quality content plus the right link building strategies can turn the tables for businesses small and large.