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If you want to lead, you need these skills

by Beth Weber on Mar 16, 2022

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Successful boardroom leaders are confident and able to clearly articulate goals. They have good business acumen and understand how to negotiate win-win compromises. Leaders need good organisational skills, decision-making abilities and the ability to work effectively with a broad range of personalities. Successful leaders must have time management skills and the ability to prioritise tasks. They also should be able to recognise the value of diversity on their team.

If you are a leader and board member, you know that implementing and monitoring your organisation’s rules and practices is complicated. Effective corporate governance requires quite a specific skill set along with unwavering dedication. 

Company directors and board members are judged on their knowledge, performance, and presence. 

Other members will form an impression of you within seconds of your first meeting in the boardroom. You will undoubtedly make an impact, but will it be the one you want? 

Director training is also necessary for success in this area. The following tips will help you make a good impression and build your leadership reputation. 

Rely on feedback

You need to solicit feedback and offer it to your colleagues, including company directors, senior executives, and CEOs. 

No one is objective about their performance, and everyone can work to improve the soft skills necessary to lead. 

Of course, giving and receiving feedback is a sensitive process. The goal is to improve leadership skills without disrupting the boardroom’s collaborative culture. 

An effective leader learns how to deliver feedback that doesn’t attack individuals but allows for enhanced performance. Learning to do so is one of the vital boardroom skills. 

At the very least, the board and director should participate in a yearly formal evaluation with ongoing discussions on improving company performance. 

How do you communicate?

Awareness of your communication style is essential in boardroom leadership. 

You may be someone who prides themselves on blunt honesty, but that method can alienate some people who will tune you out as a result. 

Or, you may be a board member so concerned with offending others that you are too indirect, which can lead to your colleagues misunderstanding your position or disregarding your ideas completely. 

Some effective communication strategies include: 

  • Observation – watch and listen before speaking
  • Prepare – have your facts and figures ready
  • Body language – remain physically relaxed and natural to portray confidence
  • Voice – cultivate a speaking voice that sounds authoritative
  • Be direct – deliver your message without unnecessary verbal detours. Be polite but to the point. 

You might feel self-conscious about practising these soft skills, but you shouldn’t. All good communicators rehearse what they will say and how they will say it, either out loud or internally. 

Experiment with new behaviours

When you receive feedback, analyse it and determine how to implement two presence-building behaviours to practice. 

Frequently, something as simple as appearance can be holding you back. While you need to wear appropriate and professional clothing to work, you also need to eliminate poor body language such as slouching or fidgeting. 

Long meetings can test the patience of anyone, but you need to develop the ability to sit up straight and be attentive for long periods. 

Learning how to be a leader means projecting a confident demeanour. Cultivate an image of gravitas so that people will listen to your ideas and seek your advice. The boardroom does not need to be tense, but it certainly is not a place to be funny or irreverent. 

Be present

Executives, in general, have difficulty being fully present in any meeting. The practice of multi-tasking has made this problem worse. People feel the need to work on several things at once, which distracts them from the task at hand.

You need to train yourself to focus on your boardroom skills and stop worrying about the other work you could be doing.

It is common to let your mind wander, but this habit is particularly harmful to business leaders. You will miss valuable information and insights if you do not stay laser-focused, even in rather tedious meetings. Plus, you need to set an example for your peers.

This advice also applies to one-on-one meetings. It would help if you learned to stay in the moment to take in essential information while letting your colleagues know that you value their input.

Improve your governance skills

Great board members and directors are made by experience and education. You can improve your corporate governance skills with the help of The Corporate Governance Institute

This Diploma in Corporate Governance will help you develop new skills, whether you are a board director, board member, or senior executive. 

Directors designed and built this diploma for directors and aspiring directors. When you enrol in this program, you will join a diverse network of experienced professionals who share their years of experience. You will learn more about the duties and responsibilities of board leadership while you explore the latest leadership theories and practices. This director training will make you a more effective board director, board member, or CEO.

For more information, download our course brochure

Download the brochure for the Diploma in Corporate Governance
Tags
boardroom skills
Leadership
Skills
soft skills

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