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6 Ways to Develop Leadership Skills

Some people are natural leaders, but anyone can develop the skill set needed with some practice. Here are 9 strategies to help you develop your leadership skills.

Practice discipline
A good leader needs discipline. Developing discipline in your professional (and personal) life is a must in order to be an effective leader, and to inspire others to be disciplined as well. People will judge your capacity to lead by the amount of discipline you display at work.

Learn to follow
A true leader has no problem yielding control to another person when appropriate. You should not feel threatened when someone disagrees with you, questions your thinking, or puts forth ideas of their own. Keep an open mind and give merit where merit is due. It won't always be easy, but if you learn to value and respect others on your team, they'll be more likely to step up to the plate for you.

Develop situational awareness
A mark of a good leader is someone who can see the bigger picture, and anticipate problems before they occur. This is a valuable skill to have when handling complex projects with tight deadlines. The ability to foresee and provide suggestions for avoiding potential problems is invaluable for a leader. This ability also helps you recognize opportunities that others overlook, which will certainly earn you recognition.

Inspire others
Being a leader means you are part of a team, and as a leader you should be able to motivate and inspire those you work with to collaborate as best they can. When a team member needs encouragement or guidance, offer it. Sometimes, all a person needs is someone to listen and be sympathetic.

Keep learning
The best path to becoming a good leader is to always keep learning new things. It keeps your mind sharp, and your skills fresh. It primes you for new challenges that may come your way, which is always a good thing in a leader.

Resolve conflicts
Instead of ignoring interpersonal conflicts, hoping they will go away, address it by talking to those involved privately. Also, be open to reassigning team members if the conflict can't be resolved.