4 Ways to Develop Your Leadership Skills
Hey Career Girl, guess what? You are already a strong leader. Every day you are managing projects and leading teams without even knowing it. You likely already have many leadership skills, but may not know how to demonstrate these skills to your organization and team.
Here are four quick ways to demonstrate and develop your leadership skills
- Interviews. During interviews, use college experiences to answer questions about leadership. Officer positions in student clubs, sororities, and other university-affiliated organizations are a great way to display your skills. Even class group projects can be great examples of how you are a leader. Make sure to be clear about your responsibilities; for example, if you worked with a budget, how many people you were responsible for, etc. Lastly, make sure to explain how your skills will apply to the requirements of the position you are applying for.
- Own Parts of Larger Projects. When not in a management position it may seem difficult to manage entire projects. However, although you may not be managing people or entire endeavors, you can still be in charge of certain aspects of your team’s projects. One way is to take on the full responsibility of one aspect of a long-term effort. For example, volunteer to handle all research on a prospective client, or take-over a new social media venture for your organization. While you may not be present the new client presentation, or manage the entire external branding strategy, owning one aspect of a project will show you can successfully handle tasks from start to finish.
- Manage Interns. Another way to show and grow your skills is to work with interns. This is a way to both build your skills as a manger, as well as show you have the ability to manage people. Interns can be a huge asset to your team during their time at your company, and can help you develop skills such as dividing larger projects and tasking other people. And, as a bonus you can help interns develop their professional skills to be future Career Girls!
- Get a mentor. Learning from someone in a more senior position than you is a great way to learn by example. This person could be within or without your organization, as long as it is someone you respect and admire. Additionally, make sure this person will be willing to give you the time you deserve! Set up a designated time to meet with your mentor and come prepared with questions or topics you would like to discuss. Both your mentor’s time and yours are valuable, so make the most of it!
These tips should serve as suggestions to help you flourish as a leader in your organization. As you develop your skills and grow as a leader in your company and professional life, you will find more ways to manage not only projects at work, but also important aspects of your personal life.
Leni Schimpf is a Public Relations Specialist at the law firm Dickstein Shapiro LLP in Washington, DC. She works on a marketing team focusing on business development and growth opportunities for the firm. At the firm, she is responsible for all external and internal communications, social media, and anything related to the press. Leni is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where she majored in Communication, with a concentration in Public Relations, and double majored in Government and Politics.