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Success through Leadership Competencies: 3 Important Skills of Leaders

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

As a leader you have to manage many different tasks: Motivating employees, setting strategies and goals, responding to problems, and more. The many tasks and responsibilities can be demanding for managers. But sometimes also overwhelming. Many leaders share these challenges with me in our coaching sessions. In those coachings, I support coachees in expanding their competencies as a leader to successfully manage the daily work routine. Recently, I realized that we often work on 3 important skills.


This is exactly what this blog post is about! I would like to share these 3 skills for leaders that you can incorporate in your everyday life.

3 Top Skills for Leaders - Develop your competencies with Coco Decrouppe Coaching

What You Should Know as a LeadeR


The idea that one is born a leader is long outdated. Everyone can learn to be a competent leader. You just have to be open to the process of learning and developing skills. Of course, you already have certain skills or a certain leadership style naturally. Nevertheless, you can and should develop in this leadership role and expand your current skill set.


It is important to know that you can only be a successful leader if you can also fall back on good self-management. This means: Only if you lead yourself well, you can also lead others successfully! You will also see this connection in the skills listed below. For example, you can only be empowering for your employees if you have the time and energy to do so. Therefore, self-management is also a big topic when leading a team.



3 Skills for Leaders


Skill #1: Conscious Time Management


Be a conscious time manager! When I talk about conscious time management, it involves 3 different topics:

  1. Calendar management

  2. Email management

  3. Managing conversations

Calendar management means that you consciously plan your working time. This includes managing the tasks and events in your workday with time blockers. You can set blockers for meetings, your current project, a lunch break or even reserving some time for unexpected and upcoming things. When you use your calendar as a tool to effectively manage your time, you will quickly feel a relief.


It is okay to sometimes say: "I am not available for the next 2 hours". This kind of time management helps you to fulfill your role and your different tasks. And yes, a lunch break must also be planned. Not taking breaks in the long run takes away your ability to recharge your batteries. Taking time for yourself and taking a break is important for you and your health (see skill #2).


It's a similar story with email management. During my coaching sessions, many coachees tell me that they receive hundreds of emails a day. There is constant stream of new messages. That means: More projects, tasks and to-do's. Especially when the email inbox is constantly open or the person receives notifications, it is difficult to concentrate on the current task. A leader or employee is quickly distracted but also overwhelmed, because the mountain of tasks only seems to grow and not become smaller.


Method: Set a blocker in your calendar for emails. In this period you only work on reading and answering your emails. This can be 30 minutes or an hour in the morning, depending on how much time you need. Take collected time for it. Afterward, close your email inbox. It may be a temptation to constantly check emails, but remember that emails can also wait for 24 hours. Remember that they sometimes take your focus away from the tasks you are already working on. Therefore, manage your emails clearly and consciously.


Manage your conversations too! That means go into conversations with a clear goal. Think about the following in advance: "What is my goal? What do I want to communicate?". As a manager, you should clearly communicate what you want to get out of the conversation, for example by sharing your expectations. Simultaneously, you should actively listen to your employees. However, always consider to take a bird's eye view and think about whether or not you need to respond to what the others person wants or needs directly. Some things may not be a priority and can be postponed. It can help to say, "I understand why this concerns you and I heard what you said. But let's talk about this again tomorrow."

This is also a valuable step if the other person may be affected on an emotional level. Here, it can sometimes be good to postpone the conversation. In this way, you and your counterpart can adjust to the situation and the topic can be discussed more calmly. Be considerate, actively listen and acknowledge your employee. Clarity and transparency are important for successful communication. Get to the point, communicate what you want and focus on finding a solution together. There may not always be a need for immediate action. Don't forget that you can also bring humor into your everyday leadership and your conversations! :)


Skill #2: Taking time out

As a leader, it's also important to "unplug" regularly. This means turning yourself off by pushing away distracting thoughts. Take the time to recharge your batteries. Here we come back to the topic of self-management. It is not possible to give 110% all the time without taking breaks. Your battery also needs to be recharged regularly. That is why you as a leader should develop methods to calm down and rest. It is about pushing all thoughts aside, reducing stress and tension, gaining distance and taking a deep breath.


One method you can us to take time out is to close your eyes for 5 minutes. You can sit down and imagine your favorite place. For inspiration, you can check out my blog post on inner peace. Alternatively, you can develop a routine in the morning or evening. For example, by doing yoga. Just find your personal method to come down and relax. And make sure you get enough sleep.


Of course, sometimes it's hard to take time out, especially when there's a lot going on. But those are exactly the moments when you need a short break the most. Taking that time out also has many long-term benefits. On the one hand, it strengthens your resilience. On the other hand, it helps your health in the long run if you know how to come down and recharge your batteries.


Skill #3: Empower and develop employees

As a leader, it is important that you communicate with your employees in an appreciative manner. Appreciative means that you speak with others at eye level. You can achieve this by listening to your employees, showing understanding and encouraging especially when they are uncertain. Remember that as a leader you have a coaching role (see blog post on this here). Like a soccer coach, you show your team what the goal is, give them methods and skills to reach that goal and encourage them to score goals.


When you think about the role of a coach, it becomes immediately clear that motivating employees is an important competence. This means encouraging employees and saying, even in difficult situations, "I know you can do it" or "I'm sure you'll manage". Such trust gives your employees confidence and room for their own development. Support them in developing their skills and competencies.


And Now?


Of course, there are more skills that you can have and develop as a leader. It is just that in recent months I noticed that leaders in my coaching sessions were mostly working on the 3 skills. So why not try out one or more of those helpful methods for yourself!

I hope this post inspires and encourages you to think about your competencies and maybe use a method or two in your workdays as leader!

 

If you are interested in talking about your leadership skills in coaching sessions with me, feel free to contact me. You can either book a free initial meeting in the calendar above or send an email to coco@cocodecrouppe.com.


You can find more information about my team trainings here. We can talk about a possible team training in an initial meeting free of charge.


As always, I look forward to your feedback! :)

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