A new year has arrived, which means many business leaders are taking a look at their organization to see what improvements they should be making this year. One improvement that many leaders will be prioritizing in 2024 has to do with themselves. This year, we should expect to see leaders self-reflecting to pinpoint how they can strengthen their leadership skills to successfully manage their teams. Having good leaders in place has an immense impact on the success of any business – especially during the past few years when the business landscape was more difficult than ever to navigate.
So whether you lead an entire enterprise or just a few people, it’s time to hone in on your leadership skills in 2024. We have all heard the idea that ‘leaders are born, not made’, but this is not always true. Many leaders are developed through practice. In fact, according to a Gallup research study, 57% of frontline managers claimed they learned their leadership skills through trial and error. This means that if you put in some effort and work towards being a great leader, you will develop the necessary skills along the way.
Keep reading for some tips to strengthen your skills and be the exceptional leader that your team needs this year.
Tips to Enhance Your Leadership Skills in 2024
1. Communicate more effectively.
Good leadership starts with good communication. It is a leader’s job to communicate with their team to ensure visibility exists throughout the organization. Consistency is key – be sure to check in with your team regularly to see how they are performing and update them on any news within the organization. Good communication also includes setting clear expectations for your team members.
Another important aspect of effective communication includes giving your team the opportunity to provide feedback about the way you are leading them. You should listen to their feedback, truly value it, and make changes based on their suggestions. This will lead to a trusting relationship that fosters seamless communication between both parties.
2. Take training courses.
If you want to expand your knowledge regarding how to be a great leader, consider taking training courses to learn about the latest best practices. Employees might change what they are looking for in a leader from year to year, so it’s crucial that you are continuously learning to ensure you are up to speed on what will be expected from you. Furthermore, if you expect your team members to keep learning and improving, then you should be practicing what you preach.
In 2024, you should also focus on technology trainings. In the past few years, there have been countless advancements in the technology realm that leaders can leverage to efficiently lead their teams – you just need to know which tools exist, and training courses will bring them to light.
3. Be a role model.
It goes without saying that it's your responsibility to be a role model for your team, but actively working to be the best role model possible can be very beneficial. When you lead by example, you will empower, inspire, and motivate your employees to work hard and help the business succeed.
Reflect on how you performed as a leader last year, determine how you can become a better leader this year, and continuously reflect on your progress to ensure you are improving. Especially in today’s challenging business landscape, it’s important to be resilient and confidently face obstacles head-on to show strong decision-making skills. A strong leader will cultivate a strong team.
4. Enhance critical thinking skills.
Someone with good critical thinking skills is able to holistically assess a situation, weigh the pros and cons of it, and decide what the best course of action will be moving forward. If you hone in on your critical thinking skills, you will be able to recognize potential business opportunities and take advantage of them to propel your team forward.
Leading with a critical thinking mindset also means looking for potential problems before they occur and working to prevent them from surfacing. If you develop better critical thinking skills, you will be more prepared for the future and know how to handle any unprecedented event that may occur.
5. Seamlessly resolve conflicts.
It’s inevitable that conflicts will occasionally occur in the workplace – knowing how to manage those conflicts is part of what makes someone a great leader. No one wants to be lead by someone who ignores difficult situations, so if your employees have a conflict, you should have a plan ready to help them appropriately resolve the issue. Practice dealing with conflicts with a positive attitude and solution-oriented approach for the best results.
6. Implement goal setting initiatives.
If employees are mandated to set and submit professional goals each year, the likelihood of attaining them increases. Schedule annual meetings for your team members to share their professional goals with you, and devise a plan to achieve those goals together.
It's also wise to set goals for yourself. Determine what type of leader you want to be and what specific improvements you want to make by the end of the year, and hold yourself accountable for achieving these goals. Find leaders that inspire you, and adopt some of their practices.
Confidently leading your team, especially in times of uncertainty, is necessary for productivity within your team. An employee's perception of their leader has a major effect on employee satisfaction. So if they respect you as a leader and are on support your leadership strategy, they will be happier at work and willing to give their best effort.