The Most Important Skills You Need to Lead Your Team Effectively

To lead your team effectively, you must possess a number of skills: organizational skills; decision-making skills; problem-solving skills; communication skills; project management skills; time management skills, etc.

All these skills are important to your effectiveness as a leader (or manager) and, as a general rule, you must commit to sharpening all the skills you need to succeed as a leader.

However, from my experience, there’s a set of skills that seem to rise above all others when it comes to leading (or managing) a team.

Before I tell you what these are, let me ask you a question: As a leader, what is expected of you? I mean at the core? One word: RESULTS. In fact, you’re expected to deliver results: you have projects to finish, goods to ship, goals to reach, or whatever “results” means in your leadership context.

Here’s another question for you: As a leader, how do you get results? I mean at the core? One word: PEOPLE. In fact, as a leader, you achieve results through people, otherwise, you wouldn’t be the leader; you would be a worker. What makes you a leader (or manager) is that you are responsible to achieve results through people: through your team.

This highlights an important truth about leadership (and management): leadership is first about people. Build the people and they will build the business. Conversely, neglect the people and they’ll neglect the business; abuse the people and they’ll abuse the business.

The leadership “gig” is all people. The most important skills you need to lead (or manage) your team effectively are “people skills”. These skills affect your ability to relate with your team members—and other stakeholders for that matter—in a way that promotes results.

This is the cause of many leaders’ misery; they struggle with the people side of their job. Performing tasks, no problem. It’s the “people issues” that drive them nuts. But that’s what the leader signs up for: dealing with people.

To lead your team effectively, you must cultivate healthy work relationships with people, in particular, with members of your team. I don’t mean that you have to be “chummy chummy” with everyone and braise your fish on the barbecue together on weekends. That’s not what I mean—although it’s nice to be able to “chill out” with team members outside of work. What I mean is that you must develop with people the type of professional relationships that promote results.

Sure, you can get away with weak people skills, but you’ll be seriously handicapped, and your team, your organization, and your results will suffer for it.

There’s no way around it, as a leader, you must hone your people skills.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.