Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! When you became a leader, what kind of training did you receive? Most managers make the mistake of assuming that a high-performing employee will automatically know how to replicate their success in their team. Unfortunately, new leaders tend to become frustrated and disengaged because they are not equipped to manage the demands of leadership. In today’s episode, we outline the five areas senior leaders must focus on when onboarding new leaders. We’ll also give you a list of resources that will help you, or the leaders you manage, develop stronger leadership skills.
Skills to Develop in New Leaders
Communication is the backbone of leadership. New leaders should receive training in active listening, clear articulation, and persuasive communication. Great communicators have well-aligned, trusting, and collaborative teams. Poor communicators lead teams that are confused, frustrated, and on their own to fill in the gaps.
Emotional intelligence is crucial for building strong relationships and managing emotions effectively. Train new leaders to understand and regulate their emotions and empathize with others. The 5 Pillars of Emotional Intelligence are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. When your leaders can master each of these five pillars, they will be better able to manage the many personalities and needs of their teams.
Time Management and Prioritization
New leaders must know how to manage their time efficiently, set priorities, and delegate tasks to optimize productivity. Leaders often have more to do than they have time to do it, not because they are not working hard, but because they are working on the wrong things.
One thing we know is that when humans are involved, there will be conflict. Be sure to help new leaders in conflict resolution strategies to handle disagreements and foster a harmonious work environment.
New leaders quickly learn that not everyone can meet their objectives without direction. Performance management skills will ensure you know how to set clear expectations, give feedback, and hold people accountable.
Q: What skills did you struggle with as a new leader? Who helped you identify your weaknesses and implement strategies to improve? Have you ever worked for a leader who struggled in one of these areas? How did it affect their ability to lead?
By providing adequate development on these subjects, you can empower leaders to succeed and make a positive impact on their teams. Leadership development is a strategic investment that aims to create a strong leadership pipeline, drive organizational success, and cultivate a positive work environment. By developing effective leaders, you can better adapt to change, enhance employee engagement, and achieve long-term objectives.
A great way to become more aware of your time management skills is to time journal for a week. At the beginning of the week, write down what your goals are and what you plan to accomplish. Then, track what you do with every minute of your time. To make this simpler, you can break down your day into half-hour increments, but be aware of even brief periods of social media, responding to an email, or chatting with a co-worker and write those times down. At the end of the week, evaluate how you did. Did you meet your goals? Where did you waste time? Did you find it difficult to prioritize your important tasks? What did you do when you were interrupted or had unexpected work? If you are a senior leader, try doing this exercise with the leaders you manage.
Part of having a good EQ is understanding what motivates your team. To help your leaders get better at this, ask them to explain to you what their team members’ goals are. Then, ask them what they are doing to help their team members meet their goals. What motivation structures do they have in place to help encourage their team based on their desires?
"Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High" by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
"Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman
“Emotional Intelligence 2.0" by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey
"The Power of Emotional Intelligence" TED Talk by Dr. Travis Bradberry
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William L. Ury
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson and Joseph Grenny