Top Skills That Make a Good Leader

Many employers are interested in job candidates who possess leadership qualities. This is good indicator that you can take on more managerial responsibility as you grow with a company.

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So, what does it mean to have good leadership skills in the workplace?

Here are top leadership skills with tips about how to improve these skills to become the kind of leader that others are proud to know and work with.


Strong written and verbal communication skills are immensely important for good leadership. Communications that are clear, appropriate, and useful are the way you colleagues understand what you are asking of them. If you make it easy for people to understand you question, instructions, comments, and guidance, they can easily follow your lead.

Read more about communication skills here.


Good leaders understand the importance of their team. Collaborating helps to forge partnerships to get the job done and promote inclusion, ensuring that everyone is heard equally.

Asses your current approach to collaboration. Ask yourself:

How well do I partner with team members?

Do I work with everyone equally or only the people that I know well?

Do I have strong people skills?

If you find that you need improvement, the best thing to do is be mindful to practice better habits. For example, before the close of your next meeting, ask if everyone feels that they have been heard. A collaborative leader employs a purposeful effort to help the team work well professionally and socially.

Active Listening

Make a conscious effort to understand what people are saying. This is an integral part of what makes a good leader and among the top people skills you can have!.

Dedicate greater attention to conversations you hold throughout the day and clarify when necessary. True leadership quality is demonstrated by a leader who is fully engaged in conversation.

Read more about how to practice active listening here.


The ability to speak from deep understanding of a subject is crucial to strong leadership. Learn as much as you can about your industry (including best practices and trends) then determine how to use that information effectively.

Participate in conferences and classes that are designed to increase your knowledge. Also, consult self-paced resources, such as, for more than 6,000 cost-effective tutorials on a range of key topics.


Humility means understanding that no matter how much you know, there is always more to learn and other may have insights our knowledge that are valuable.

Practice humility by seeking feedback from friends and colleagues. Challenge your own outlook by reading literature with an opposing view or doing research about a culture that is different from your own. Few things are more humbling than finding out that what you thought you knew about the world is actually quite different.


Strong leadership require decisiveness. Leaders are constantly faced with making decisions both touch and simple. Strong decision-making is well-supported, timely, inclusive, and specific.

You should learn to recognize and trust your own instincts band have a more deliberative process. You can conduct research, explore your options, and consult colleagues for advice. This will help to ensure firm decision-making that is effective and informed. A strong leader will be able to explain the reasoning behind a decision.


The strongest leaders are conscious of their own patterns and behaviors, remaining self-aware of how they interact with the world. When you notice that you feel grumpier without your morning coffee, you are practicing self-awareness. You recognize that without that energy boost, you do not feel as energized to take on the day. Leaders who are self-aware will understand how their own behavior patterns and mood affect their interactions with other people. A good leader won’t take their bad day out on their co-workers.


Nothing prepares you for the demands of leadership quite like experience with leadership! Reflect on the kinds of leadership that you have observed in others throughout your career. Think about what has worked for you in leadership roles.

You can gain experience as a leader and exposure to other leadership styles by expanding your exposure. Consider becoming a member of a professional association, working with volunteer organizations, the PTA, or even a club sports team. All organizations need leadership in both formal and informal ways. The experiences you gain now will help you to be a more informed leader in the future.

Written by Kaila Kea.

Written by

Kaila Kea is a career coach and former contributor to the ZipRecruiter blog. She is based in Hampton, Virginia.

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