It takes a very special set of skills and qualities to make a great leader and even the most successful managers and directors are constantly finding new things to learn, improve and change as both themselves and their teams grow.

Although you might think that some people are just born with great leadership instincts and everything comes naturally to them when coordinating a team, it’s usually not that simple and it takes a lot of commitment, hard work and passion in order to lead, train and guide others.

Inspiring leadership figures will often admit that they are constantly striving for self-improvement and that the learning process never ends when it comes to understanding how to manage your team.

If you are looking for ways to expand your knowledge on the matter, there are a few things that you can try in order to become better at leading, inspiring and motivating others.


1. Improve your communication skills

Establishing a connection with others begins with communication and knowing more about how your team members think, function and feel will help you find better ways in which to guide them.

Improving your own communication skills will not only give you a more complex understanding of what others are saying but it will also help you voice your ideas, goals, expectations and demands more clearly.

Continuously working on gaining more insight into verbal and non-verbal communication as well as listening skills will help you immensely when giving and receiving feedback.

Non-verbal or body language can give you a lot of useful information about what others are unconsciously saying and about what they feel so learning how to read the signals that they unknowingly send you during a conversation will help you have a more profound understanding of their mindset.

The more you know about the people that you are leading the easier it will be for you to work and communicate with them.


2. Stay positive and calm

It’s easy to become stressed and worried about the many issues that you need to solve on a daily basis and when you are a leader you also have to manage the problems that your team members have on top of your own. Unless you want to give yourself an anxiety attack every other day because of your responsibilities, try to keep a calm and positive attitude.

I know it’s easier said than done when you’re under a lot of pressure, but the reality is that if you have a negative mindset, your problem-solving abilities, self-esteem and confidence can drop considerably — and it becomes harder to deal with your tasks.

So find ways to keep yourself calm and to stay positive throughout the day.

A great way to lower your stress levels is to take on one task at a time and go through as much work as you can instead of making unrealistic to-do lists and worrying about not being able to tick all the boxes.

Putting less pressure on yourself will allow you to work more efficiently and be more relaxed.

One of the best methods of dealing with stress while working is to incorporate meditation into your daily routine. You can find a method of meditation that fits into your schedule and helps you relieve stress and increase focus.

Using such a method will help you improve your concentration and your ability to work well under pressure, as well as maintain a positive attitude throughout the day.


3. Strive for self-improvement

The idea of leading by example is not new to successful managers and business executives and while it may sometimes be easier to overlook it the fact remains that motivating others to work hard and better themselves is much more easily accomplished when you are doing the same.

When others see that you, as a leader, are constantly striving to learn and achieve more they will feel empowered to do the same.

Being a role model can extend to more than just your work ethic and professionalism: being humble and accepting that there is always more to learn about your domain of activity can inspire others to follow in your footsteps and focus on extending their knowledge and skills.

There is always room for improvement when it comes to your business and your team, so the same principle should apply for yourself. Try to stay up to date on the new developments in your field and to keep searching for new ways in which you can improve your professional activity.

Find new information, read engaging books and learn new techniques or resources that you can use to improve your business as well as yourself.


4. Uphold your values

Your personal values and morals will reflect in your work and in your interaction with your team members, so make sure your actions help you uphold them.

Compromising your morals and your beliefs for the sake of business can do more damage than good in the long term, since it can hinder your relationships with others and your success.

Make decisions that are in tune with your values so that you can successfully run your business with a light heart and with integrity.

Not only will that help you gain the respect of your peers and your team but it will also contribute to your professional image and, most importantly, to your own happiness and self-esteem.


5. Motivate others

Recognizing the potential and the aptitudes that others have and encouraging them to develop their skill set in order to improve themselves is a vital part of being a successful leader. Try to get to know and understand your team members as well as you can, in order to discover what empowers and motivates them to work hard and strive for greater achievements.

If you can keep your staff excited, as well as intellectually and emotionally invested in their work, you are bound to have a more productive business and a more pleasant work environment.

Look for creative and successful ways of giving your team members that extra push they need to strive for greatness and keep using the methods that work well for your staff.

People respond differently to incentives and positive reinforcement, but everyone enjoys having their efforts acknowledged so figure out what the best way to encourage your team is and build from there.

Most importantly, try to relate to your staff on a human level and empathize with them: understanding what a person cherishes, thinks and feels is the best way to build a successful relationship, whether it be a professional or a personal one.

Helen Daniels

Helen Daniels

Helen Daniels combines her skills as a business management graduate with her love of writing (read more of her work over at TextMagic) and balances running a small business and updating her on a regular basis. She spends most of her free time planning her next article and researching successful and innovative business models: in other words, she loves being a workaholic.

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