5 skills you need to become a strong leader

3. Social skills: managing relationships to move people in the desired direction.

Your social skills refer to your interpersonal skills or your ability to relate and connect with people, which can motivate them to deploy discretionary efforts to help you achieve goals that are best accomplished via partnership and collaboration.

Here are some tips for improving your social skills:

  • Pay attention to the feedback of friends and co-workers, good and bad. Train yourself to repeat the behaviors that get positive feedback and work on eliminating those that make people react negatively.
  • View constructive criticism as just that. When we become defensive, we don’t hear what can be very helpful feedback.
  • Learn to handle conflict and confrontation from a perspective of compassion and caring.
Personal coaching can be very helpful in learning to be more diplomatic in your interactions with others.

4. Empathy: considering other people’s feelings, especially when making decisions.

Some people believe empathy cannot be learned, but I believe just the opposite. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to see situations from their perspective. Might they be feeling fear? Shame? Guilt? How do those emotions make you feel? Understanding and addressing the concerns of others is essential to emotional intelligence.

Always consider intent versus impact, and how your actions or decisions may affect the individuals or groups involved.

5. Motivation: being driven to achieve for the sake of achievement.

Simply put, what motivates you? What are your benchmarks for success? Once you achieve certain levels of success, you need to consistently set new benchmarks to keep chasing personal excellence!

Practice your EI skills on yourself first, and you’ll develop greater personal power. That can lead to achievements you may never have dreamed possible.

Lynda Chervil is the author of “Fool’s Return”, a new novel that incorporates life lessons in a page-turning tale that touches on technology, the green movement, and other aspects of contemporary society. 

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