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Top tips for developing leadership skills

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A lack of good leaders is hampering UK Plc’s productivity; just last week HRZone reported on findings from professional body the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development who said that the problem is impacting on efficiency and staff morale.

In response to the growing issue, JCI UK, part of the global leadership organisation, Junior Chamber International (JCI), has put together a top tips list for developing business leadership skills:

  • 1. Managing in a time of change requires leaders to increase communication with their teams, as many will be anxious and the leaders role is to support and enthuse the team with the vision behind the changes. Regular communication is essential during this period; even if you cannot tell the staff anything, at least they will feel that their concerns are being heard.
  • 2. Change management requires people to buy-in, and the best way to achieve this is for them to be involved. The most relevant people impacted by the changes need to be involved in the process, and to be able to influence them. If they are actively involved, devising and supporting the changes, then both the implementation and the solution will be smoother, and indeed result in a better overall solution. Those people can then help sell the benefits of the change into colleagues.
  • 3. Leaders need to be prepared to take risks and have the self-confidence to make those decisions. One of the elements of leadership development that is often missed is the development of that self-confidence. Jack Welch’s new book, “Winning,” highlights the development of leadership skills such as self-confidence.
  • 4. Leaders need to maintain a broad perspective in order to implement change, as a narrow perspective can result in stagnation during change and, ultimately, failure of the project.

Julia Lea, JCI UK’s National President commented: “Skills learnt in an external environment can be transferred back into the workplace, helping proactive leaders to stand apart from the crowd. There are many enjoyable ways to develop your leadership skills, and the confidence to take risks and make hard decisions can be learned on-the-job or by undertaking projects within a variety of external environments.”

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Annie Hayes

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