There are many domains of learning. We learn most of our facts in school, with social and cooperative skills on the playground, and other places and cultures from books, movies, and television. But most everything else, we learn from home. We learn from our parents and siblings. We learn from the rules that are and aren’t enforced. And we learn from our mistakes. Ideally, home is a safe place to try new things and make mistakes.
As with the above, learning how to be a better leader, and picking up solid leadership skills also begins at home. There are many opportunities to hone your skills all the way from childhood. Once we enter higher levels of learning and the workforce, our learning arena shifts.
Companies, for instance, spend a lot of money on leadership training, getting people up to speed on the basics, and providing tools for employees to improve and grow up the corporate ladder. However, leadership is not just for the corporate world. Even if you work from home, you need to develop leadership skills that come through in your virtual meetings and relationships.
However, once you’re out of school, the general thinking is that you either learn on the job or back to school for a business degree (MBA) or obtain some sort of training. Here, we’ll discuss refocusing on learning and developing leadership qualities from the comfort of your home.
Here are a few ways to do so.
How To Be A Better Leader
1 – Create & Fulfill Fitness Goals
Exercise is a great way to start developing discipline and get into the habit of starting a task/goal and seeing it through.
Start by assembling your home gym with whatever you think you’ll need. Start your project with some dumbbells and work your way up to a 35 lb barbell. Next, get some equipment that you think will be most useful for you and your fitness goals.
Whatever it is that you do, and however much you invest in it, take it on like you would a work project. Have a plan, a budget, a timeline, and then start using it! Sticking to a regimen builds discipline, and then you get all the side benefits of reduced stress, improved sleep, better health, and clearer thinking for all those work decisions!
Plus, if you can motivate yourself to do something like this, think of how it affects your ability to motivate and inspire the people you work with.
2 – Study Successful Leaders
One of the qualities of a successful leader is that they study the habits of other successful leaders. Few people have the time to read as much as they would like. However, it doesn’t take a large commitment each day to read. Set aside 20 – 30 minutes of time to read something that relates to your work, leadership skills or that’s just a little more mentally inspiring. You never know where a skill or lesson will come from.
In addition, pay attention to the different leadership styles of the leaders you are learning from. Everyone is different and their approach will vary depending on where they worked and what they were trying to accomplish. Understand what it took for them to gain credibility and build trust so that they could be effective.
3 – Teach What You Learn
If you want to make yourself a better person, learn as much as you can. If you want to make the world around you a better place, teach someone else what you’ve learned. Everyone has something to teach and great leaders share their knowledge with others. Truly, it is one of their most important functions. It partly explains why companies are hesitant to promote their top salespeople. What they want from that sales leader is to duplicate themselves by training others. If that person can’t teach, they shouldn’t be promoted.
So whatever you learn, and from wherever, be sure to put it into action and share with people in your life outside of work (as well as at work). It’s a great way to practice your speaking, become a better communicator, test your depth of knowledge and further hone your skills.
4 – Be a Peacemaker
Another thing a leader does far more often than they would like is to resolve conflicts. Whenever you manage other people, there will be conflicts. Those conflicts can range from cubicle turf wars to companywide schisms that could destroy the business. Those battles between teammates are common, and if you don’t know how to deal with them, they can destroy the productivity of your department/business.
Learn to be a peacemaker at home, and practice those problem-solving conversations. It’s important for leaders to build great teams, and every great team will have its conflicts. Your peacemaking skills will serve you well and create a fruitful and productive environment for those you work with.
5 – Volunteer Your Time
One of the hallmark traits of influential and authentic leadership is the ability to get into the trenches and lead by example. Rolling up your sleeves to help your team to get things done. Volunteering your time outside of work is one way to hone this skill.
Get involved in your community or with local schools to help out with whatever is needed. The time spent will help you gain perspective, allow you to interact with many different types of people and personalities, and give you some practice in rolling up those sleeves!
Not all people are born leaders. Leadership skills are learned from an early age from within our environments and from our parents. For some, these skills come naturally and for others, they gain experiences quickly that allow them to solidify themselves in leadership roles.
No matter where you are in your career, these five simple areas can help you to improve leadership & management skills, teach you, and prepare you for how to be a better leader right from the comfort of your home.