Do You Possess These Critical Leadership Skills?

Throughout your career, you most likely will face unplanned obstacles, as well as run-of-the-mill managerial setbacks. Depending on professional development, training, and experience, the mountains you face as a leader can be merely molehills. Specific skills, either innate or obtained, will help you cross over from average boss to successful leader. Check out these excerpts from Refresh Leadership articles to see if you possess these five critical leadership skills!


According to a Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Interact, 91% of employees say communication issues can drag down executives, yet 69% of employers feel uncomfortable communicating with their workforce. As more employees correlate communication with overall leadership effectiveness, leaders must continue to advance their communication skills to have difficult, yet crucial conversations and to build a strong culture of open communication within the organization. Effective communication is key in recruiting, retaining, and engaging a productive workforce. Explore more about effective communication in this article.

Conflict Management

According to a workplace conflict study, 85% of people experience conflict at work, with the average employee spending 2.8 hours a week dealing with workplace conflict. Over the course of a month, the average employee wastes a full day of productivity spent in conflict, amounting to 2.5 weeks of lost productivity annually. The study also found that 25% of employees have seen conflict result in absence or paid leave, and 9% have had a project fail due to conflict in the workplace. While conflict may not be avoidable, talking through the issues and working toward a resolution not only raises employee morale and productivity, but it is also the first step in building a culture of open communication. Read more about conflict management.


According to a recent Gallup survey, only 45% of men and 50% of women are satisfied with the recognition they receive at work for their accomplishments. With more than half of the workforce unsatisfied with companies’ recognition programs and management’s acknowledgment of achievements, there is an obvious disconnect between leadership and staff as to what drives an individual’s satisfaction within a position. Humans need to feel appreciated by those around them – and you spend the majority of your time during the week with your employees. Having low work satisfaction directly affects the ability to be creative, innovative, and productive. Learn more about the Importance of Recognition.

Emotional Intelligence

According to Oxford’s Dictionary of Psychology, “Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.” The five characteristics of EI are “Self-Awareness,” “Self-Regulation,” “Social Skills,” “Empathy,” and “Motivation.” Just like any skill, EI can be developed if one puts in the time and effort. As leaders, developing these five characteristics is essential to effectively lead yourself, your team, and the organization. Check out this article on EI to learn more about the characteristics and how they affect your leadership.

What key leadership traits did we miss in this list? What specific skill has helped you become a better leader? Let us know in the comments section below!

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