By Kim Hegeman
What are your strengths as a leader?
Write down what you think your top five leadership strengths are. Then, ask a few of your peers to share what they feel your top leadership strengths are. Do they match up with what you identified?
This simple exercise can uncover a lot for leaders. Maybe you’ll learn that what you thought were strengths your coworkers did not see as your top strengths. Or maybe your coworkers see strengths in you that you didn’t realize was one of your strong points.
Another way to help identify your leadership strengths is to consider any awards or recognition you have received. What traits or skills helped you achieve those? Do you incorporate those recognized skills into your leadership style?
It’s important to remember that leadership strengths are different for everyone. Being able to identify your strengths, and the areas you can improve, will help you identify what skills you need to seek out from others on your team to make your organization its most successful.
Assessing Your Leadership Strengths
To fully round out this exercise, we recommend completing the Human Synergistics International Life Styles Inventory assessment offered in Leadership Beyond Management.
Human Synergistics International Life Styles Inventory (LSI) assessment has been used by millions of individuals to identify how they can contribute to the success of their organization. The assessment is designed for managers and leaders to understand their thinking and behavioral styles and increase their managerial effectiveness. It also provides the opportunity to step aside and discover new or different ways of thinking and behaving both in your leadership role and as an individual.
The LSI is an individual development tool that uses both self-assessment and feedback from others to identify individual thinking and behavioral styles. For the self-assessment, you are asked to describe your thinking styles, personal effectiveness, and satisfaction at work and home. The second part is to have your peers, managers, and direct reports provide feedback on your behavioral styles and effectiveness.
Once complete, individuals receive a confidential, comprehensive report that includes feedback on 12 important thinking and behavioral styles, confirmed and unrecognized strengths, blind spots, and stumbling blocks. The assessment identifies both areas of strengths and improvement opportunities.
If you’re interested in truly advancing your leadership skills, Leadership Beyond Management will help you implement what you learn from the LSI. This program provides a self-reflective journey where you will acquire real-world strategies to positively impact and influence your peers and teams.
Making Soft Skills Your Strength
When you think of your leadership strengths, how many of them are what are considered “soft skills?” A well-rounded professional has a combination of hard skills – those relating to your technical knowledge and training – and soft skills – those relating to personality traits and habits. Hard skills are needed to complete a task while soft skills are needed to create a positive, functional work environment. While both are necessary, soft skills are of particular importance for those in leadership positions.
For leaders, soft skills are often employed in difficult situations and conversations. That is why we need to continually work on developing and improving our soft skills. Being able to practice using soft skills in a controlled environment, like a classroom with your peers, is a great opportunity to work on turning your soft skills into some of your best leadership strengths.
If this is an area you’d like to focus on this year, we highly recommend: Coaching and Motivating in the Workplace, Effective Negotiations in the Workplace, Manager Boot Camp, Managing Teams Effectively, and Project Leadership Communication.
Putting Leadership Strengths to Work
Once you’ve identified what your leadership strengths are, make sure you are using them in your leadership role. But even more importantly, once you know what your strengths are you can work to identify areas of improvement.
Knowing both will influence your path for continued growth and help you create a leadership development plan that leverages your strengths while closing gaps in your soft skills set.
Ready to get started with your leadership skills development? Enroll in one of our programs today. If you think your organization would benefit from a team-wide LSI assessment, set up a Discovery Session, and one of our Solutions Advisors will work with you to identify how this assessment can benefit you and your organization.