When it comes to personal development goals, you have probably established and achieved many things in the past without really realizing you were trying to improve yourself. The great thing about this is, many personal development goals can also be used to help you help others succeed as well.
Are you, or do you plan on becoming, a leader anytime soon? Here are seven personal development goals you can adopt to improve your leadership capabilities for the near and distant future.
Learn how to be a more effective listener
One of the most important parts of good leadership is being able to listen to what other people have to say. Before you are able to communicate your thoughts and desires to other people, you first need to let them know that you are both willing and able to hear what they have to say.
It is important to always be attentive and never to interrupt someone who is speaking. These and other tools for more effective listening will help you take in what your team members and/or employees are trying to communicate and communicate an appropriate response in return.
Practice being a better coach
Coaching is not just about teaching someone how to do something or telling someone what they are doing wrong and that they need to fix it. It is a combination of motivating, inspiring and helping someone use the skills they begin with to create something better than they could have done on their own.
Both individuals and entire teams need coaches to help them learn, grow and develop. As a leader, one of your roles will also be that of a coach. You might also need to coach yourself at times, which is a great place to start.
Learn how to be a more effective communicator
Effective communication is essential no matter what part of a team you are on, but if you are the leader, communication skills matter even more. A team that cannot communicate effectively within itself cannot ever hope to function and reach success, especially if you cannot lead by well communicated example.
Do what you can to develop effective communication skills. This will help you be a much better communicator both at work and at home. Learn the appropriate ways to respond to people and how to make known exactly what you want and need. Saying things clearly is an important part of getting more accomplished, which leads to greater success.
Adopt better time management skills
Time management is an essential skill both on a personal and professional level. If you cannot manage your time, you cannot manage yourself, and you most definitely cannot manage a team within any kind of business.
As a leader, you need to know how to manage your own time before you can expect others to figure out how to manage theirs. Learn how to prioritize, organize and conquer tasks with time to spare, without having to rush or put things off until the last minute.
Learn best practices for managing and motivating teams
Managing teams is hard enough, especially when group dynamics almost always leaves some team members doing more work while others somehow manage to get away with doing less. Motivating teams is even harder. Both methods, however, are essential.
Learning how to motivate teams you are leading is an important part of setting and achieving both short- and long-term goals. If you know how to inspire people and give them an incentive to do good work for the good of the end goal you are leading them toward, they will do it, and do it well.
Figure out the productivity tools that do and do not work
Not every single productivity tool, like apps and web browser extensions, will work the same way for every single team. As a leader, you might have to take the extra time to test out and decide which tools work and which do not.
Don’t just adopt and use a productivity tool because you have heard it will make you and your teams more successful. Test out different tools to see which ones do and do not work best for you and your teams, and re-evaluate at regular intervals.
Learn how to delegate tasks to the right people
For your own sanity, you are going to have to take things on your to-do list that you do not have the time to do and hand them off to those who do have the time. In doing this, however, you also need to learn how to delegate tasks to the right people.
This means you have to know your team members well enough to know who has the appropriate skills and experience to handle specific tasks. Also, it is good to know who can benefit from gaining more experience doing a certain task they do not have many other opportunities to try.
Practice managing and resolving conflicts
It does not matter if you own your own business or work for someone else: there is always going to be conflict. It is never something you should, or will be able to, avoid completely, and knowing how to resolve it effectively is essential.
As a leader, you will have to manage and resolve conflicts quite often in your position. This involves a combination of effective listening and communication skills as well as the ability to motivate people to put the best interest of the company or cause before any personal issues. It is a skill you may come to use in your personal life as well.
Personal development is an important part of leadership. If you can develop skills that can help you succeed in both your personal and professional life, you are then therefore equipped to help other people develop and utilize those skills as well.
Leadership means effective listening and communication. It means you will have to know how to manage teams, everything from motivation to conflict resolution. It means you have to know how to decide what is best for your cause or organization. If you can practice these things within yourself, you are destined to become a great leader in the very near future.