Leadership Skills

Five Ways to Build Your Leadership Skills

Leadership is an important skill for project, programme and portfolio managers. No matter how much technical expertise or strategic and business management experience you may have, without an equal knowledge of leadership, your skill set may be out of balance.

So, how can you improve your leadership skills? Here are five ways we can learn from the experts on projectmanagement.com

1. Build Trust

Start your journey to better leadership through honesty, says Syed Moiz. To build trust, “walk the talk.” Practice the traits you want your team members to exhibit, and they will follow.

2. Make People Your Top Priority

“You need your team more than they need you,” remarks Andy Jordan. If you first learn how your team operates and adjust your style to fit in with them, leadership comes easy.

3.  Share the Workload

Don’t take on all the work yourself, advises Stacy King. Ensure better outcomes and avoid burnout by delegating to all your team members — not just the high performers. Delegation is accepting that you’re not the “chosen one,” but rather, “the one chosen to run the project,” says King.

4. Serve the Needs of Your Team

A good leader serves his or her team by giving them the resources, guidance and feedback they need, says Moiz. Acceptance and empathy go a long way in securing commitment.

5. Use Your Ears More Than Your Mouth

Maybe you’ve read the latest active listening techniques, but just practicing them doesn’t ensure engagement. “Begin with an intention to listen, ensure your presence and keep an open mind,” remarks author Prabhaker Panditi. “If you do this, you will be a better leader than you are today,” he says.

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