Finding your voice as a new leader is to create a compelling and unique leadership brand. However, it is easier said than done. The process of transition always comes with challenges and every leadership role requires special skills, and a leader with a strong voice.
This blogpost promises to equip you in finding your own voice, common skills that make some of the world’s greatest leaders, and how you, as a woman, can take up your new leadership role with conviction.
Finding Your Voice
Author and Leadership coach Yvette Ratshikhopha points out that newly appointed leaders should be self-aware. This is important because self-awareness leads to clear communication.
‘’Accept your own leadership style and what you have to offer so that you do not doubt yourself, you are in the position you are in as a leader because there is value in how you lead,’’ shares Ratshikhopha.
According to Leadership coach Paul N. Larsen, leaders learn quickly that to succeed is to “go with the flow” and not make any waves. Ratshitshikhopha says that,
‘’Being a good leader requires flexibility and problem solving ability. Good leaders are flexible in how they lead with the same objective in mind. Changing your leadership style whilst still focused the same objective is a skill that all leaders should master.’’
Common Skills That Build Strong Leaders
Ratshikhopha shares the following skills that many strong leaders possess.
Be specific in your communication, ask more questions to your team and staff to ensure that they understand the task at hand. The biggest part of communication is listening without interruption.
- Conflict resolution
Understand different personality types in the organisation so that you know how to make them feel heard, and understood and how to approach conflict with them.
- Problem solving
This is a little bit similar to conflict resolution, as a leader, you need to be able to find amicable solutions when problems arise. You will constantly have to deal with complex issues and you will be expected to find solutions.
Good leaders know how to delegate tasks, a lot of leaders think that being a good leader means that you have to do everything yourself. Being a good leader also entails being able to work with others, have them carry your vision and allow them to perform their function or role.
- Dealing with failure
A lot of leaders struggle with processing failure, it keeps them down longer than it should. Just remember that failure is feedback that you need to go back to the drawing board and re-strategise, and do things differently.
Key Lessons To Note
Ratshikhopha shares the following lessons for newly appointed leaders:
- Be clear about your vision.
- Work with people who have different strengths than you, it helps the project move forward.
- Learn from your mistakes, remember that there is no failure, there is only feedback.
- Don’t be afraid to change your strategy if the current one is not working.
- Take care of yourself holistically, you can’t lead from an empty cup. Develop yourself mentally, set boundaries, rest when you need to, if you don’t do these things you will resent yourself or the space you lead in.
Ratshikhopha also encourages women leaders to be assertive, clear and validate themselves.
‘’Women deal with a lot of challenges in many leadership roles, just remember to show up fully as yourself and know that your way of doing things is also valid, be willing to learn and unlearn, and seek support when you need it,’’ says Ratshikhopha.
In conclusion, Ratshikhopha emphasizes that learning your environment is an ongoing thing, as a leader you have to be mindful of your micro and macro environment.
She explains that, ‘’micro being within your immediate space such as employees and colleagues and macro such as the economy, the technological and social environment.’’
Be present so that you can make decisions that consider what is going on in the environment, it also allows you to predict behaviour or changes that may need your intervention. Being present also means understanding those you work with and how things function in the space that you function in.