By Nathalie Ronan
Despite the challenges that come with working remotely, studies have shown that workplace productivity has remained stable for most workers. Much of it has to do with the employers providing greater flexibility, a reliable infrastructure, and work policy adjustments around the new normal. And with a more comfortable space to focus in, it’s a great time for employees to go a step further and start building some leadership skills. This is especially helpful for those who are entrepreneurs, in management positions, or anyone hoping to get guidance navigating a period where one needs to lead from afar.
Here are a few tips that should help anyone trying to develop their leadership skills from home.
Time is of the essence, so managing it properly also means properly allocating tasks for both yourself and your team. Recognize the best hours where your energy and productivity peaks, and work from there. If you can consider the strengths of each team member properly, you can dole out responsibilities in a way that doesn’t overwhelm anyone. Because it caters to each person’s purview, you are able to maximize your schedule and even accomplish more with less.
The Pareto Principle notes how 80% of your results can come from just 20% of your actions. Start listing your priorities, and find which items need to take up the most time. This can also help you prevent wasted hours, and personal and employee burnout.
Find a Trusted Mentor
Just because you’re positioning yourself to lead, doesn’t mean you need to isolate yourself completely and assume that you can take every step without guidance. Part of building good leadership skills is knowing your own limitations and being able to spot good opportunities for growth. Try not to turn away from experienced coworkers or trusted individuals who can give you guidance and have your best interests at heart. Learning from their history and molding your own path forward is a cornerstone in shaping your leadership style.
Having a mentor is also a good way to have a support system that you can gain practical lessons from, both in advice and experience. A good teacher will also give you the tools, but will allow you to have the freedom to enact your own choices. Podcasts by thought leaders, or even audiobooks, have become extremely reliable, if you don’t have a personal mentor to look up to.
Take an Online Course
Building up your skills takes a lot of learning, and the minute you free yourself of the illusion that you already know all you need to know, the better you’ll be as a mindful and driven leader. Being in a remote setup puts you at an advantage to make use of accessible digital tools to improve your leadership skillset. There are lots of online courses available depending on your time, budget, and what you want to get from the courses. Most online learning platforms offer not just business courses but programs directly related to remote work.
For those looking for short-term courses, sites such as Udemy and LinkedIn Learning are considered very reputable and will not only teach you leadership skills but also help you advance your career. For those who want a longer and more in-depth course there are online business degrees offered by the country’s top higher education establishments. Online degrees in business administration are designed to teach graduates how to be successful in careers such as financial management, business analytics, and operations management, all of which are now popular as remote jobs with leadership positions. These degrees are 100% online and can be done while working remotely, allowing you to apply your leadership skills to your current job as well as any future positions.
Hone Your Emotional Intelligence
It’s a given that employee engagement is crucial to having happy staff that is motivated to do well in their work. This makes your work relationships more harmonious and helps you avoid tardiness and high turnover rates. Employee engagement has actually seen an increase in the U.S., and this is largely due to efforts of leaders who care. This takes emotional intelligence, where you are open to conversation and willing to look at your workers’ problems with a willingness to resolve them. Those with a better understanding of their team on an emotional level will be a better leader at a productivity level.
If you can build on all these elements, then you’ll be right on track to becoming a leader worth admiring.