Skip to Content
Sandler by MP Solutions in Cleveland, Ohio Change Location
This site uses cookies. By navigating the site, you consent to our use of cookies. Accept

How to Improve Your Leadership Skills


Become a Better Leader by Addressing Multiple Traits

Being a leader is more difficult than ever and the demands placed on those leading are constantly evolving. Business leaders need to continuously grow and develop themselves and their workforce, recognize and address stress levels at work, and solve organizational issues, all while driving the company to successful business outcomes. Exploring how to improve leadership skills is a topic every organizational leader—from CEO to department leads and more—should investigate thoroughly. 

It’s facile to simply chalk up the traits needed for leadership to natural, inherent characteristics. Natural leaders are rare—recent research found the ratio as low as just 1 in 10 people. That means most of the time it is critical for those in leadership roles to develop the right skills, gather experience, and hone a constant motivation to be better at leading their group. 

Whether you're a seasoned executive or aspiring to take on a leadership role, improving your leadership skills is a journey that can lead to more effective teams, improved business outcomes, and personal growth. Today we’ll outline some practical tips and strategies to enhance your leadership skills.

Tips for Improving Your Leadership Skills

Self-Reflection and Assessment

Understanding Your Leadership Style: Begin by reflecting on your leadership style. Are you more of a directive leader or do you prefer a collaborative approach? Understanding your natural style will help you identify areas for improvement.

Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses: Conduct a self-assessment to pinpoint your strengths and areas where you could improve. This could involve self-reflection, personality tests, or even professional assessments.

Seeking Feedback: Feedback from peers, subordinates, and mentors is invaluable. It provides different perspectives on your leadership approach and offers insights into areas you might not have considered. You can also participate in a third-party evaluation tool to benchmark your strengths vs your weaknesses. Not an easy exercise, nobody enjoys being critiqued, but we all have blind spots, those weaknesses that aren’t necessarily conscious of.

Effective Communication

The Power of Clear Communication: Clear and concise communication prevents misunderstandings and keeps teams aligned on their goals. Work on articulating your thoughts and instructions clearly and effectively and layering in accountability.

Active Listening Techniques: Active listening is key to understanding and empathizing with your team. It involves not just listening with the intent of responding, but truly understanding what your team member is communicating to you.

Non-verbal Communication Skills: Non-verbal cues, such as body language and eye contact make up 55% of our communication. Be mindful of the signals you're sending to ensure they align with your message.

Decision-making and Problem-solving

Developing Critical Thinking Skills: Enhance your ability to analyze situations, understand complex problems, and make informed decisions. This involves questioning assumptions and considering multiple perspectives.

Embracing a Solutions-Oriented Mindset: Focus on solutions rather than dwelling on problems. The ‘blame game’ won’t solve the issue; encourage your team to bring forward solutions when they present challenges.

Emotional Intelligence

Recognizing and Managing Your Emotions: A key component of emotional intelligence is self-awareness. Recognize your emotional triggers and learn how to manage them effectively. Understanding this will help keep your decisions grounded in rational thought and not spur-of-the-moment reactions.

Empathy in Leadership: Empathy allows you to connect with your team members on a personal level, understand their motivations, what makes them tick, and build trust. To get the most out of your team, they have to know you understand where they’re coming from.

Time Management and Prioritization

Setting Priorities and Goals: Effective leaders know what needs to be done and when. Setting clear priorities and goals helps focus efforts where they are most needed.

Effective Delegation: Delegation is not about offloading work; it's about empowering your team. Identify tasks that can be delegated and match them with the team members' skills and development goals. You can’t do everything, and your team needs to have skin in the game. 

Time-blocking Techniques: Time blocking is a time management method that involves dedicating specific blocks of time to certain tasks or activities. This can help leaders focus on their priorities without distractions. Guard this time with your life, it allows you to do the deep work and high-priority tasks that get interrupted throughout the day.

Conflict Resolution

Understanding the Nature of Conflict: Recognize that conflict is not necessarily negative. It can be an opportunity for growth and innovation if handled correctly. There will inevitably be conflict at some point. Address it constructively.

Strategies for Resolving and Preventing Conflict: Develop strategies for resolving conflicts that arise and methods for preventing them in the future. This often involves open communication, negotiation, and compromise.

Continuous Learning and Skill Development

In addition to the above strategies, continuous learning is vital. Leadership is a learned skill and needs to be developed regularly—it’s never ‘finished.’ Think of it like a muscle; without regular exercise, it gets weak.

Consider engaging in formal leadership training programs, such as those offered by MP Solutions. These programs can provide you with the tools, techniques, and frameworks to enhance your leadership skills, stay updated with the latest in leadership trends, and network and learn from other leaders.

Leadership training programs are essential for seasoned managers and new hires alike. Consider this: 87% of new leaders surveyed said they wish they had more leadership training before they started a leadership role. Training is also proven to have financial benefits. A recent study showed that for every $1 invested, leadership training produced a $7 ROI.

Learn How to Improve Leadership Skills with MP Solutions

We’re proud at MP Solutions to offer the training to help your leaders hone the skills they need to answer the challenges of today. As part of the Sandler organization, all of our courses are backed by 50 years of proven research—and results. Our training comes with identifiable steps and techniques that allow leaders to chart their own course for growth. Our new Sandler Management Accelerator Program gives you access to personalized support from Rick McDermott and myself, and our decades of leadership and sales experience, while learning alongside and from other leaders. 

We have specialized solutions beyond leadership as well. Training for sales teamssales managers, or even your own development are available and come backed with the same Sandler insight you’ve come to expect. Reach out to us today for more information.

As always, stay hungry, stay driven, & KEEP GROWING!

Rob Yoho​​

Rob Yoho

Principle MP Solutions- For 25 years Rob has been driven by the passion he has to grow people and organizations. Rob has worked with hundreds of companies and is a sought-after speaker on sales, sales management, social media, strategy and goal setting. He brings his 18 years of Sandler Training experience to MP Solutions.