How to Develop Leadership Skills in the Workplace

Do you want to become a leader in the workplace but feel unsure how to do it? Leadership roles are not assigned, they are developed over time with hard work, dedication and self-growth. You don’t have to be born with innate leadership skills – anyone can develop them for their own career development and success.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the key areas necessary when learning how to develop leadership skills: leadership role, understanding different leadership styles, developing emotional intelligence and honing good leadership skills. Everyone has potential; now is your time to unlock yours – read on!

Understand the Leadership Role – Defining a leader, personal traits of successful leaders, and the importance of setting a good example

As a leader, it’s important to understand your role in the workplace. Being successful as a leader means understanding your strengths, building relationships, and setting an example for those around you. Leaders need to be knowledgeable in their field, but also demonstrate personal traits like compassion and self-awareness.

Having emotional intelligence is key to making effective decisions that benefit both yourself and the group of people you manage. Setting a strong example of fair and reliable behavior will help build the trust of the people you lead, inspiring them to follow your lead.

Becoming a good leader requires practice and dedication; developing great leadership skills is not something that can be done overnight. With hard work, dedication and understanding of your role as leader, you can create a team able to take on any challenge.

Woman leader in front of team

Develop Your Leadership Style – Identifying your strengths as a leader and adapting your style to fit different situations

Leadership development is an important skill to cultivate in the workplace. When it comes to developing leadership styles, it’s essential to identify and appreciate your individual strengths as a leader. Every work environment is different, so it’s helpful to be flexible when adapting your leadership style in different situations.

Below are 13 types of leadership styles:

  1. Authoritative
  2. Affiliative
  3. Bureaucratic 
  4. Coaching
  5. Democratic
  6. Laissez-Faire or Delegative
  7. Emergent
  8. Pacesetting
  9. Servant
  10. Strategic
  11. Transactional
  12. Transformational
  13. Visionary

Consider which style best suits you and use it as the basis of your own unique leadership approach.

1. Authoritative leadership is best suited for situations when quick decision-making is needed. This style involves giving clear instructions and directives that employees must adhere to. It can be effective in crisis situations and when the team needs decisive guidance.

2. Affiliative leadership emphasizes building strong relationships with team members. This style puts a lot of emphasis on creating positive atmospheres and fostering collaboration between colleagues. Leaders who use this approach are usually very good at motivating their teams to work together towards common goals.

3. Bureaucratic leadership is more focused on following rules, processes and procedures. These traits make it a great choice for organizations that are looking to adhere strictly to regulations or have an extremely complex workflow. Leaders using this approach are adept at ensuring that all tasks get done in the most efficient way possible; however, they can come off as inflexible and uncreative.

4. Coaching leadership is all about helping team members develop their skills. Leaders who use this style focus on providing feedback, resources, and advice to help employees reach their full potential. This style is ideal for one-on-one interactions or team training sessions.

5. Democratic leadership is all about empowerment. Leaders who use this style are focused on engaging their teams in problem-solving and encouraging everyone to contribute ideas. This style is great for brainstorming sessions and other collaborative projects.

6. Laissez-Faire or Delegative leadership style is a type of leadership that delegates authority and responsibility to subordinates, allowing them to make decisions on their own. It is based on the assumption that employees will be more motivated and productive if they are allowed autonomy in decision making. This style works best in situations where team members are experienced and knowledgeable, as they can handle tasks without direct supervision or guidance.

7. Emergent leadership is a style of leadership that focuses on creating an environment in which employees can develop their own solutions to problems and take initiative. It emphasizes the importance of collaboration and trust, as well as giving employees autonomy and responsibility. The leader is seen as a facilitator or coach who provides guidance while allowing team members to make decisions and take action independently. Leaders using this style are usually open to new ideas and trust their employees to come up with creative solutions. This approach has proven successful in many organizations as it encourages employees to be more engaged and motivated, while promoting innovation.

8. Pacesetting leadership involves setting high standards for yourself so others will follow. Leaders who use this approach often take on a more hands-off approach and expect employees to meet the set goals without any additional guidance or support. This type of leadership can be successful if the leader is able to provide clear guidance, communicate expectations clearly, and trust employees to do their best. Additionally, the leader should provide support and encouragement to those who are struggling or need help. Pacesetting leadership can be an effective tool for motivating employees and helping them to reach their goals. It can also encourage higher levels of achievement, as employees strive to meet the standards set by their leader.

9. Servant leadership is a way of leading that places emphasis on the growth and well-being of people within an organization. Rather than using top-down control, servant leaders focus on providing support, encouragement, and empowerment to their team members so that they can contribute their best in achieving the goals of the organization. Effective servant leadership requires strong communication, collaboration, trust building, and active listening. It also means having a clear vision and empowering employees to make decisions that benefit the organization while being committed to their personal growth.

10. Strategic leadership requires the ability to identify, articulate, and pursue a vision of the future. It involves anticipating trends and taking risks in order to create new opportunities for an organization. Strategic business leaders must also have the ability to motivate, empower and inspire their teams to drive change and make decisions that will benefit the organization in the long run. They must be able to think through complex situations, adjust quickly to new information, set objectives, delegate tasks accordingly, monitor progress and adapt as needed. Strategic leadership requires good interpersonal skills and the ability to see the bigger picture.

11. Transactional leadership is often seen with managers and supervisors in the workplace. It involves motivating employees through rewards and punishments, as well as setting specific objectives for them to reach. This type of leadership relies on clear communication between leaders and followers, with a focus on tasks rather than people. Leaders who use this style may set targets that are difficult to achieve, but they provide rewards and incentives to motivate their team. Transactional leadership is effective in situations where there are clear goals and procedures in place, as it allows employees to understand exactly what is expected of them. Additionally, this style of leadership allows for quick decisions and efficient problem-solving.

12. Transformational leadership is a style of leadership that focuses on helping people grow and develop in their roles. It emphasizes developing individual potential, inspiring people to do their best, and creating an environment where everyone feels respected and valued. Transformational leaders strive to create an organizational culture that encourages collaboration, innovation, and continuous learning. They work to motivate their team members by inspiring them with a shared vision for success and providing support and guidance as needed. Transformational leadership can lead to improved productivity, increased motivation, higher morale, better engagement, and greater commitment from team members. With the right approach, transformational leadership can create an environment where everyone contributes their best, ideas are encouraged, and results are achieved.

13. Visionary leadership is the key to success. Leaders must be able to set a course for their organization and inspire others to follow. To be successful, leaders must have a clear vision of the organization’s future and set goals accordingly. They must be able to motivate their team members and make sure that everyone is working towards the same objectives. Leaders must also be able to identify and understand the needs of their team members and incorporate those needs into their vision for the organization. Successful leaders must also be able to communicate their vision effectively and provide guidance and direction to the team. Finally, visionary leadership requires ongoing self-development and learning, as leaders must stay up to date on trends in their industry and adapt their strategies accordingly. Visionary leadership is essential for successful organizations, and with the right soft skills, leaders can lead their teams to success.

Being able to adjust leadership behavior involves understanding the needs of the group you are managing, being aware of your employees’ expectations, and applying emotional intelligence for problem-solving. Ultimately, this will encourage workplace morale, build trust and respect between leadership and their team members – resulting in a productive working atmosphere.

With practice, anyone can become a successful leader who recognizes that flexibility is key when creating an effective leadership style.

Confident woman

Enhance Your Emotional Intelligence – Building up your self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and social skills

Emotional intelligence is an essential skill set for success in the workplace. To become a leader, boosting self-awareness and developing conflict management skills will help you ace your career goals.

Enhancing your emotional intelligence requires mastering self-regulation, understanding empathy and perfecting social skills. To ensure this process goes smoothly, focus on identifying your personality traits, personal values and strengths.

Self-assessment activities such as leadership games, online courses or feedback from colleagues are effective ways to better understand why you respond to conflict in specific ways and how to manage them effectively when necessary. Leverage these resources to gain valuable insights about yourself and maximize your potential for a better tomorrow.

Practice Good Leadership Skills Developing your skills with guidance and support

Strong leadership skills are key to success in the workplace, and are especially crucial for those in leadership roles. While there are different ways to be a true leader, there are standard effective leadership skills that natural leaders possess.

Here are 10 essential leadership skills of a good leader:

Great communication skills

Leaders should have the ability to communicate well with their team, discussing plans and expectations, as well as taking steps to resolve conflicts and disputes. A team leader should be a good listener and provide constructive feedback when necessary.

Ability to delegate

Leaders must also be able to appropriately delegate tasks to their team members, ensuring that each team member is given the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. Delegating day-to-day tasks to staff members increases employee engagement and allows the project leader to spend more time on the business strategy.

Collaboration skills

A good leader seeks out areas where success can be achieved by creating an environment conducive of achievement. To do this effectively, leaders must also possess excellent negotiation and collaboration skills, allowing them to work together with their team towards a common goal.

Ability to inspire and motivate

Leaders must be able to motivate their team members and inspire them to do their best work. They should also be able to recognize the successes of their team, acknowledging hard work and providing rewards for it when necessary.

Organizational awareness

Good leaders are often well-versed in the organization, knowing its current structure and dynamics as well as being aware of potential areas for improvement.

Responsibility and integrity

Leaders should be responsible for their decisions, taking ownership of their mistakes and ensuring that all team members are held accountable as well. They also need to demonstrate honesty, integrity, and ethical decision-making in order to lead by example.

Creativity and vision

Leaders should be able to think creatively, often coming up with innovative solutions for problems that may arise. They should also be able to develop a clear vision for the team and organization, setting out goals and plans to work towards achieving them.

Decision-making skills

Leaders must be able to make effective decisions based on the best interests of their team and organization. They should also be able to weigh up pros and cons, as well as considering all available options before making a final decision.

Problem-solving skills

Leaders should possess strong problem-solving skills, taking steps to identify and address any issues that may arise. They should also be able to anticipate potential problems and develop solutions for them in order to mitigate risks.


Above all, leaders must demonstrate true leadership abilities, taking the initiative and motivating their team members to achieve success. They should also serve as role models for their team, demonstrating strong values and behaviors that will motivate them to do their best work.

For a good leader, all of these qualities are essential for achieving success. By possessing and developing these skills, leaders can build strong teams and create an environment conducive to innovation and progress.

Professionals walking on sidewalk

Recognize Your Successes – Celebrating accomplishments and reinforcing positive behaviors to motivate others

A key part of developing leadership qualities is recognizing your successes and celebrating your accomplishments. When you celebrate your success, you not only boost your own morale and sense of achievement, but it can also serve as a motivating factor for others.

Celebrating even small wins can be a powerful way to reinforce positive behaviors and encourage those around you to reach for the stars. Taking a moment to recognize and give thanks for progress – no matter how big or small – encourages an open dialogue between teams and creates an environment of mutual appreciation and respect. In this way, celebrating successes can lead to sustained growth and meaningful progress over time.

Lead by Example – Demonstrating the importance of ethical behavior, respect for others and persevering through challenges

The best leaders lead by example, demonstrating the importance of ethical behavior, respect for others and persevering through challenges. They understand that leadership is not just about words, but more so conveyed through their body language and reactions to situations.

They take pride in showcasing leadership abilities that positively impact those they are leading in all aspects. Through these leadership abilities they act as a role model that sets the standard while providing motivation and direction to their followers.

By doing so, it helps create a culture of trust amongst those working together with one common goal. This is what makes someone a good leader – being confident yet humble and understanding the importance of doing the right thing at all times.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, true leadership is about much more than just having a title or making decisions. It’s about having the courage and discipline to lead by example and developing a leadership style that works for you and the people you serve. Leaders inspire other people to take action and believe in themselves, so if you want to become an effective leader, it’s essential that you understand the importance of acknowledging your successes and always working to improve.

By mastering core leadership skills – understanding your role, developing your style, improving emotional intelligence, honing key communication skills, delegating tasks effectively and leading by example – you will be well equipped with the necessary tools to become an inspirational leader. Focus on these aspects of leadership, challenge yourself daily to make an impactful difference in someone else’s life, stay humble while striving for success, and most importantly – have faith in yourself!

Pam Wiselogel
Pam Wiselogel

Hi, I'm Pam! A corporate girl turned entrepreneur who has been working from home for over 20 years and loving it. From a corporate IT Director to an online business owner, I found success while working remotely (sometimes in my PJs). I've been able to find balance in life and career and love to share what I've learned with others. With my master's degree in software engineering and a career in technology, my drive is to help others learn how to bypass the hurdles and technology challenges to gain the confidence to build the dream business they've always wanted to reach financial freedom. My work has been quoted on Forbes, Bloomberg, European Business Review, Hive, and Business Partner Magazine to name a few. Click my little head above to read all of my posts!

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