Being a leader is something that many people want to lay claim to. If you have strong leadership skills then you will be able to command respect, help to organize people, and come through in a crisis in order to keep a level head and stop everyone from falling apart.
However not all of us are born leaders, and being thrust into a leadership role can be quite stressful if you don’t consider it as one of your skills. In such a scenario it’s time to quickly develop your abilities in that capacity, and fortunately there are some tricks you can use here to quickly improve your abilities. Here are seven for you to give a go.
Do Your Research
One of the quickest ways to become the leader in any situation is to make sure that you know your stuff and that you are well versed in the subject. Often in a crisis it is the person who knows the most about the situation who rises to a leadership position. For instance if you were lost as a group and struggling to read your map, then probably the voice that would come through strongest would be that of the scout or the person with the geography degree. But then again when the computers go down in the office, it’s probably the IT guy that everyone’s going to listen to. And conversely everyone resents the person who takes charge, but in fact doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Make sure then that if you want to be a leader, you know your stuff and can thus take on a position of authority.
Lead By Example
A leader should never ask someone to do anything that they wouldn’t gladly do themselves. In short if you are going to get the respect of your followers then you need to be willing to get your hands dirty from time to time and you need to apply the same rules to yourself that you apply to them. People hate hypocrisy and they will respect your opinion more if you have been in their position at some point and so know what they’re going through.
As a leader you need to inspire the confidence of your followers and you need to make sure that you come across as unshaken and knowing what you’re doing. If you don’t seem confident in yourself then no one else is going to have confidence in what you say either – so make sure that you make decisions quickly and then state them assertively and confidentially.
Acknowledge What People Say
However that said there is a thin line between being confident and being arrogant. You mustn’t come across as being so sold on your own opinion that you ignore everyone else’s and you have to make people feel like they’re getting your attention and that you’re taking what they say on board – there are few things more frustrating than feeling like you’re being ignored. So even if you don’t necessarily agree with what people say to you make sure that you at least acknowledge what they’re saying and that you are going to factor it in to your eventual decision.
If you are constantly telling people what to do, but not thanking them for doing it then people will again quickly become resentful. Make sure then that you acknowledge when someone does something well or for you and that you raise their spirit by thanking them and not taking their work for granted.
Explain Yourself, and Explain the End Goal
People don’t like being kept in the dark and probably won’t do what you say without explanation. One of the best ways to get everyone to work with you when you make an unpopular decision is to explain why you made that decision and how it benefits your group or your organization. This way they don’t feel like they’re being made to jump through hoops or as though they’re being forced to take your word for it – instead they will feel trusted, and they will have a sense of importance and purpose.
In a panicked situation the mark of a good leader is to remain cool and keep everyone else calm as well. Of course you might be panicking and you have the option to go to pieces, but ultimately this isn’t going to help you in anyway and the only productive thing you can do is to keep a level head and start addressing the problems as best you can. People will turn to you for their cue on how to behave, and it’s your job to keep everyone productive so that you can make the best of a bad situation.