Welcome to the third article in the series! In this article, I will focus on how each skill can be useful to boost other skills.
In the image on the right, you will see every skill we talk about until now: the leader’s foundation. If you have all the skills mentioned until now, sure you will be a good leader, but if you have the ones listed below, you will be an excellent team leader! So let’s look at how different skills can support each other or how they originate new skills!
Communication to the next level
In the previous articles, I talked about how communication is essential to leading for various reasons. However, there is one thing that can make the difference between a good communicator and an excellent communicator: the ability to motivate and coach others. Everyone can be a good leader by being a good communicator without motivating others, and it is okay. However, if you can make them passionate about what they do, this can make the difference. If you can motivate your teams, with words and by examples, they will be more responsible, passionate, and less stressed.
All the next skills need good communication ability; without it, they are almost useless.
Problem-Solving + Managing skills = Organizational skills
Suppose the leader can logically reason through a problem and manage people skills. In that case, he should be able to achieve two critical objectives for every company: maximizing the work output and maximizing employees’ happiness.
Let’s see how: for maximizing the team play, a technical leader should be able to understand what are the strengths and the weaknesses of his team members. By knowing these characteristics and an employee’s work history inside the company, he will understand which job is better suited for every team member, and this will lead your company to achieve a faster completion of tasks and/or a better quality of work.
At the same time, if a leader knows what an employee likes and dislikes about the everyday job:
- He can responsibilize an employee and give him a tedious task he hates when there is no other solution, e.g., there is no time to waste, so only a specific employee is suited for doing this, so he should do that.
- He can be aware of when an employee is too frustrated and lacks productivity, so he can give him some task that he likes.
- He can distribute the workload based on the employees’ preference when no priority goes in the way.
- In the long run, the technical leader can slowly train a member in an area he likes, so he will work more usually on what he wants, even when in moments of urge.
- He can understand how to usually check-in with an employee to keep him on track without frustrating him with time loss.
Communication + Problem-Solving = Agreeable decision
As already said in the second article, when a leader can solve the problem logically and communicate properly, he will build up trust and respect even when his last word on a matter is not what the entire team thinks it is best. Sometimes, a technical leader should make a decision that seems terrible by looking at it technically through your professional lens, but for company reasons, you cannot use other strategies. In these cases, if a leader has excellent communication skills, he can make his team members work with less frustration by honestly telling them the truth. A typical example: “guys, I understand it will not be as good as we wanted, but the deadline is coming, and we will lose money if we do it the right way, right now.” He can also honestly talk with them and “negotiate” with them when he needs it “if you are with me, then we will change it later and make everything the best way.”, but then he has to keep his word.
Teaching Skills + Job Competence = Constructive Feedback
I already said this, good at communication, and finding recurring employee errors leads to excellent teaching and honest discussions. Don’t forget this also helps when talking about the career path your employee wants to follow: you can help him grow faster in the right direction.
Job Competence + Teaching Skills + Company Knowledge = Teaching Excellency
Yes, everyone with excellent knowledge can teach if he has good communication skills. However, I’m sure your company has its exceptions for the general best practice in the industry. When you have a leader proficient in his field that also knows all the caveats your company has, you have a perfect teacher for every newcomer in your company that will save much time wasted in understanding already known deadends.
In this image, you can see a small recap of what I’ve explained with this article, and that’s all I had to say about the skills that can make an excellent leader. Now, how will we find and create a new technical leader and a leader for your company? First, you hire a person or look for an employee in your company who fits the skill set to a reasonable degree. Second, you check if he can bring something new to the table (new energy, new passion, one of the soft skills in the image above that is more developed than anyone else in your technical leaders’ team). And, third, you test him on the field.
How do you test him on the field? You place him side-by-side with one of your leaders. You gradually give to your trainee more responsibility, and you gradually introduce him to all the decision processes a technical leader in your company goes through when he works.
And that’s everything for this article, in the next article we will build on these conclusions, and we will see how to train a new team leader, how to create a training program and how to evaluate your trainee training period.
For any question or talk, you can find me at my work email firstname.lastname@example.org and on linked-in.
Image made by Pablo Stanley. Free for commercial or personal use. CC0 Public DomainLicense. https://www.humaaans.com/