While managers might not know all the goals or aspirations of their employees, it is still vitally important for them to equip their team with leadership skills. If you are a highly successful manager, there might come a day when you receive a promotion and need to have an employee who is prepared and ready to fill your role. That said, managers should be preparing their employees with leadership skills that will help them now and in the future. Part of being a good manager means instilling leadership skills in your employees so they will be able to make more informed decisions, guide their peers, and be more qualified for any opportunity that might be presented to them. These are some helpful strategies for helping non-managers develop strong leadership skills.
Teach Them How To Forge Relationships
In order to advance in business, employees must know how to network and build relationships. Learning how to initiate conversations with strangers and providing them with value or something they need is a key skill for any leader. It is important to teach employees how to network effectively as soon as possible. Teach them how they can use these connections to build their business. Initially, this can be done at small events within the company such as after-work events, dinners, etc. As they become more comfortable they can branch out into community events and eventually represent the company at industry-wide events. This will give them valuable contacts as they progress into a leadership role.
Provide Them With Experience
As you divvy out different projects among your team, take into account some of the duties you have as a manager. Although these are skills that your employees might not be familiar with, the experience of giving them such responsibility can help them learn to gain new leadership skills. This can include asking them to make presentations, run meetings, or oversee projects, etc.
Allow Them To Take On More Responsibility
As a manager, your employees come to you when they need help with a task. Typically, it would be perfectly acceptable to help them accomplish the task, but if you are training them to become leaders it can be beneficial to encourage them to figure out how to solve the problem on their own. This might involve introducing the employee to the head of other departments that can help them with their task. It doesn’t mean you have to sit back and do nothing to help, but rather allow them to take on more responsibility and learn how to solve problems on their own.
It is important for managers who are helping employees gain leadership skills to take on a mentor type relationship with them. Managers should seek opportunities to meet with their employees, discuss goals, identify any struggles, and provide good advice and positive feedback. Empower those employees with encouraging words and by showing them that you trust them. Developing employees into leaders takes time, so it is important for managers to start now and build leadership traits day by day.