Leadership Skills You Should Always Be Brushing Up On

May 25, 2023

Overview: Leaders can’t afford to rest on their laurels. They must constantly look for new ways to develop leadership skills and update their basics. Leadership coaching can help leaders brush up on skills like communication, empathy, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and vision forming.

Due to the fast-evolving nature of the business landscape, leaders cannot allow organizations to stagnate. Treading water is akin to sinking in an environment where new competitors constantly emerge, challenging the ever-feebler status quo in new and creative ways.

Leadership skills are in high demand. In addition to maintaining their arsenal of fundamental leadership abilities, leaders should always look to develop new skills and brush up on the basics in new ways.

Leadership coaching helps leaders maintain and develop skills while exploring new channels through which they can inspire and motivate followers.

Here’s a look at basic leadership skills that constitute the foundations of successful, intelligent leadership.


Effective communication is a tool that allows leaders to translate and deliver leadership to followers. Here’s what communication helps leaders achieve in concrete terms:

  • Premeditated association
  • Persuasion
  • Responsibility
  • Creating, maintaining, and managing a value system and an organizational culture
  • Providing support and motivation

Communication is the key to providing clarity to followers, conveying ideas and expectations, and motivating and empowering people.

Employees need leaders to be good communicators. Poor communication is usually why employees consider leaders to be inadequate.


Bosses push people around and compel them to do things, while leaders inspire. They get others to follow them voluntarily, accomplish common goals, and work towards shared visions.

Having a compelling vision is the centerpiece of a leader’s ability to inspire. Without visions, teams are like rudderless ships, tossed around and carried by currents they don’t control. A clear and well-communicated vision gives employees:

  • Direction
  • Purpose
  • Meaning for their work

Visions lend structure and meaning to leadership. A leader who shares an attractive vision with employees creates shared ownership of goals and objectives. The shared psychological ownership of goals allows employees to collaborate and innovate more effectively.

Executive coaching values visions because it allows leaders to make better decisions, achieve better alignment with organizational values, and communicate more effectively with stakeholders.

Critical Thinking

Effective leaders must be capable of critical thinking. While emotional intelligence and self-awareness allow leaders to inspire reports, critical thinking enables them to make optimal decisions.

Critical thinking lets leaders comprehend the impacts of their decisions on the people they lead, on organizations, and on stakeholders. Good decision-makers consider all sides of a problem and don’t hesitate to take into account alternative perspectives.

Emotional Intelligence and Self-Awareness

Self-awareness and emotional intelligence are inextricably intertwined. They act as the foundation of what executive coaching calls intelligent, inspiration-based, and coaching-focused leadership.

Self-awareness allows leaders to recognize the impacts of their emotions on their thinking and decision-making. Self-aware leaders account for their biases and understand their flaws.

Emotional intelligence lets leaders assess the impacts of emotions on the thinking and decisions of others. Emotionally intelligent leaders know how their leadership impacts others, and they understand what buttons they need to push to elicit positive emotional reactions.


Listening to a person.
Empathy is a basic intelligent leadership ability.

To inspire and motivate reports, leaders must connect with them on deep, emotional levels. Intelligent leaders aim to build meaningful relationships, and empathy can help them do this. Empathy also helps leaders:

  • Build trust
  • Improve decision-making
  • Boost collaboration
  • Facilitate and encourage innovation
  • Increase engagement

Empathic leaders find it easy to understand what others go through and the emotions they experience. Empathy also helps leaders consider other perspectives and respond to needs more effectively.

Executive coaching offers a personalized take on a leader’s skills and weaknesses. Coaches can help leaders discover leadership gaps and address them by developing skills that can have the most significant impacts on their leadership.

Leadership coaching builds solid foundations leaders can build upon.

Contact us to learn more about how you can join the IL Movement as a coach or how you can benefit from partnering with us to bring IL Solutions to you and your organization.

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