When you start your career as Hardhat Professional your focus is mainly on technical skills but that doesn’t mean those are the only skills you should master. There will come a time where you will get promoted, and soon, you’ll be a manager and a team leader. From that time on, you’ll have to learn some leadership skills, or else nothing will go your way. But, what exactly are these skills? Well, there are many things to consider with leadership, but here are the 8 most important ones:


1. Self-awareness

This skill is the most important one, and should be the first thing you should learn. You must understand yourself before you can understand others, and without this skill you wouldn’t be able to build the others as well. Self-awareness helps you understand yourself. Your strengths, your weaknesses, and how you overcome them. Self-awareness helps you make decisions, and leads to self-regulation and empathy. Improve this skill by practicing mindfulness- let the moment, the here and now, sink in, and analyse it carefully. Keep track of things throughout the day, and optimize your work habits.


2. Trustworthiness

When people first meet you, their subconscious will always ask the same questions: “Can I trust this person?”, and “Can I respect this person?” Trust is very important when working in teams. I mean, how will anyone want to work for you if they don’t trust you? To build on this skill, you’ll have to show them trust to gain their trust. Allow your team members a good amount of freedom and autonomy. Share your personal experiences and open up to them. Get to know each one of them. The more your trust them, the more they’ll trust you.


3. Empathy

You must build empathy to understand your team. Treat them with respect, no matter how they may handle a stressful situation, and work together to get around these struggles. Build on this skill by talking less and listening more. Understand what they have to say, and take it in. Put yourself in their perspective. If you had gone through the same things they had, you would probably act the same, won’t you? Understand that not everyone thinks and acts like you do, so opening yourself up to new points of view will really help you understand other people in general.


4. How to Delegate

This can be hard, since delegating each job or assignment to a member of the team can be risky. We all have the fear of letting go of our control, but we have to. This ties in with trust, as you have to trust your team members enough to give them full autonomy on the work you gave them, with no interruptions. Doing the opposite can kill their motivation, and make them lose their trust in you. Build on this skill by learning to let go. Understand that you might not always be right, and you don’t have all the solutions and answers. Everyone does things differently, and you’ll be surprised at how innovative some people really are. Remember, 5+5 makes ten, but so does 6+4.


5. Giving Feedback

Giving feedback and criticism can be hard to do right, since you have to take into account to how they might react to it. Say the wrong things and they might take it too personally, not understand what you’re talking about, or just think that you don’t like them. Remember, focus on the behaviour, and not the person. Be specific and clear, and give feedback in real-time, not several hours or days after. Don’t be too harsh either, and try to help them by providing a solution. Building this skill mostly comes down to practicing it carefully. The more you give feedback and take note of how your team takes it, the better you’ll become at giving it. Be open and honest, and hold one-on-one meetings as a more formal way of giving feedback.

6. Receiving Feedback

If you can dish it, you better learn how to take it. No one will trust you nor listen to the feedback you’ve given them if you don’t know how to take feedback either. Remember, no matter what your position is, there’s always going to be room to grow. Even teachers can learn a lot from the students, so learn to take in the feedback you’re given. If nobody in your team gives it, try to figure out why. Maybe they’re uncomfortable. Maybe you haven’t encouraged them to give you feedback as well. Remember, you’re a leader, not a tyrant. Build on this skill by directly telling your team that you want them to give you feedback. Listen to them, and don’t speak. Take it in and understand. Ask follow up questions to get into the details as well. This’ll help you understand what they’re asking you to work on.


7. Communication

Anyone working anywhere at all should have good communication skills, and as a leader, it becomes more important. There are several instances where good communication skills can come in handy, like sharing the vision of the future, motivating the team, sharing bad news in a gentle way, communicating when someone has been fired or quit. Lack of communication or miscommunication just creates a big mess in the workplace, so avoid doing so at all costs. Build on this skill by improving your body language. The most subtle things can tell the biggest stories. Speak clearly, and avoid filler words like “uhm” or “like”. Watch the tone of your voice, and be careful with it. As much as possible, keep a calm, yet professional tone.

8. Consistency

Finally, you have to be consistent. Handling an unpredictable boss is very stressful, so make sure you’re consistent with what you say, how you work, how you communicate, and how you react. Build on this skill by setting clear expectations with your team at the very beginning. Communicate with them so that they’re in the loop.

Click here to read original article: https://gineersnow.com/leadership/engineers-need-build-skills-successful-leaders



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