Having good leadership skills is important not only when you enter the work environment but also when you are in college or university. In fact, you don’t really need to have a large team reporting to you to be considered a leader.

A small team at which you lead with a strong leadership will ensure you get the best result even when you are studying. Not to mention that when you have good leadership skills and are able to show it on your CV, you will be highly evaluated by potential employers. When you are an influential leader, you will be able to motivate your friends, your family as well as the people around you. In general, you will make the lives of the people around you become better when they thrive for the best.

It makes a great sense that you strive to enhance your leadership skills. Hence, take a look at this article below for some essential tips on how to enhance your leadership skills.

Understand about different styles of leadership and pick one which suits your personality the most

There are 5 main types of leadership styles and they have their own pros and cons. Knowing about your personality traits and the characteristics of these styles will help you pick up the styles that you will feel the most comfortable with as well as being able to incorporate the styles to the team you lead without any difficulty.

The 5 leadership styles include Authoritarian, procedural, transformational, participative and Laissez-faire.

The amount of control for the Authoritarian and procedural styles is high while the amount of control for the transformational and the participative is medium. The amount of control for the Laissez-faire style is the least.

Here are some brief details about each leadership style:

  • Authoritarian: This style of leadership helps you to achieve results quickly. However, the team members would not be able to gain creativity and much satisfaction.
  • Procedural: This style of leadership makes it clear for each team member as the tasks and roles of each one of them are clearly defined. The main problem of this leadership style is that it makes it harder for the team to cope with the changing environment.
  • Transformational: This style mainly helps the team to be creative and motivated. However, while it focuses on the big picture, the small details might be missed.
  • Participative: When you apply this leadership style to your group, the members would be able to feel motivated and satisfied. However, the overall progress of the group might be slow with a few indecisions happen now and then.
  • Laissez-faire: In this group, you set out tasks and responsibilities for other team members. However, it might lead to a lack of quality and productivity.

As you can see, different styles of leadership have different pros and cons. Each leadership style will surely work out well in certain situations and not so well in others. A bad leader will surely fail if he sticks to one style only. A good leader will use a variety of styles. Hence, you should know about these styles, their strengths and weakness and learn how to incorporate them and change them in different situations.

Besides your own preferred styles and personal characteristics, there are several things that you need to consider when you choose an appropriate style.  You have to think about the nature of the group work. Does it require routine tasks or creativity? If it requires a lot of routine tasks, the styles in which you have a lot of control including the Authoritarian and Procedural styles are two styles that you need to consider. However, in order to motivate other people well and make sure they can be as much creative as possible, go for the transformational, participative or Laisser-faire style. You should also think about other natures of your project such as the competitiveness or the vulnerability of the project to change.

Then think about your team and the experience of your team members in order to find the style that works well for all of them.

Have a clear vision

vision of a leader

All of the true leaders in the world have a clear vision. They know exactly where they want to go and why they want to get there. If you don’t have the vision, you will have to depend on other people to guide you instead.

While you are on a group assignment, it is important to set a clear vision for the whole group as well. Whether you want to deliver a great presentation or achieve a certain grade, you will need to think about it.

When you work in a team, no matter how small it is, write down the vision, the missions and goals for the team before you set foot on other things.  You and your team members should be able to write down a plan at which each goal is set for a certain realistic deadline.

Learn how to communicate with other people effectively

After you have written down all of your team’s visions, missions and goals, you need to deliver these ideas to your team members.

First, they need to know about these things and then learn why these visions, missions and goals are important to them. You should communicate with them well until they fully understand these aspects and how they can fully benefit once these goals are achieved.

You should also ask for their feedback about these visions, missions and goals. You should also adjust and add more to the plan if the ideas from your team are valuable. Once your team members know that they are heard, they are more eager for the benefit of the whole team.

And finally, make sure you establish various communication channels including phone calls, e-mails, Facebook page and other social media channels for the team to be fully connected and have updates from other people.

Be passionate and motivate other people

leadership skills - be passionate and motivate others

You need to be the role model for the team if you want other people to work hard and feel motivated while working in the group.  Hence, you should be as passionate as possible.  Show that you really care for the project your team is working on and truly pay a lot of time and effort working on it. Also, you need to show a lot of care to other people’s progress as well.

In order to motivate other people, as mentioned above, you need to be passionate. Moreover, you need to be able to give credit when credit is due. When some members of your team do a good job, you should praise them. On the other hand, while they fail to meet deadlines or the expected results, instead of criticizing them quickly, you need to find out their problems, the cause of the failures and work with them to find out what they can do to fix any mistake.

Take chance to lead on various projects and learn from them

Finally, you should know that learning from experience is one of the best things that you can do in order to enhance your leadership skills. Hence, you should take as many chances as you have in order to lead on various projects and gain as much experience as you have while leading in these projects.

Keep in mind that no matter how hard you try to avoid, you can still encounter mistakes. You should learn from these mistakes, know about your own shortcomings and from then on, try to fix them. Never stop learning. You can learn from other great leaders as well as other people around you.

In summary, there are a lot of things that you have to learn and do in order to enhance your leadership skills. You need to identify your strengths and weakness, learn about various styles that you can apply to your team and know when you should use them. You also need to set a clear vision as well as missions and goals for your team. In addition, you also need to learn how to communicate with other people well and motivate your team members. Last but not least, it is strongly advised that you take opportunities to lead various projects, don’t fear of failure and hence learn from these experiences.

Leadership skills are a vast topic that relates to many areas and aspects. This article only covers some main points. If you have any questions, feel free to comment on the comment section below. We also aim to provide more helpful information about leadership skills and how to improve these skills in the later articles.

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