The Competent Leadership manual is the basis of the leadership track. It contains ten projects, focusing on a different leadership skill, teaching you how to listen, think critically, give constructive feedback, manage time, plan, organise, facilitate, motivate, mentor and build an effective team. An evaluator will give you written feedback on each project to help you improve.
You can complete the manual at the same time as you are working on the Competent Communication manual or Advanced Communication Series manuals. On completion of the Competent Leadership manual, you are eligible for Competent Leader (CL) recognition.
Listening is an important leadership skill that enables you to acquire information, identify and clarify issues, make decisions and resolve conflict. Listening skills also play a major role in team building.
• Evaluate your ability to listen
• Identify and apply effective listening skills
2. CRITICAL THINKING
A leader gathers information, then analyses, interprets and understands it before acting. Critical thinkers question what they read and hear. Then they determine the quality of a piece of information and use logical reasoning to reach conclusions. Critical thinkers generally make better decisions.
• Evaluate your ability to think critically
• Identify and apply successful critical thinking practices
3. GIVING FEEDBACK
Team members need to know what they are doing well, what they are not doing well and how they can improve. Giving performance feedback is a necessary leadership function. When done properly, feedback can relieve stress, improve interpersonal relationships and promote trust and respect for leaders and team members.
• Evaluate your ability to give feedback
• Identify and apply successful practices for giving feedback
4. TIME MANAGEMENT
Time management helps leaders make the most of the time available to them. You can budget your time and accomplish projects and tasks efficiently by identifying long- and short-term goals, making a daily to-do list, prioritising the list, making a schedule and delegating where possible, leaving time for unexpected tasks and managing interruptions.
• Evaluate your ability to manage time
• Identify and apply successful time-management practices
5. PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION
A plan provides direction for the leader and the team. The planning process involves setting goals and objectives and preparing plans and schedules to accomplish them. The process forces leaders to look beyond their everyday activities and think about what they want to happen in the future. Involving team members in the process encourages commitment.
• Evaluate your ability to plan and implement
• Identify and apply successful planning and implementation practices
6. ORGANISATION AND DELEGATION
Leaders must ensure the team is organised enough to accomplish its goals and objectives and to provide the structure in which the team operates. Delegation plays a major role. A good leader performs functions that only s/he has the knowledge and authority to perform, delegating all other tasks to team members.
• Evaluate your ability to organise and delegate
• Identify and apply successful organisation and delegation practices
A facilitator’s primary job is to make the team’s job easier. More specifically, a facilitator guides discussions among group members and manages and resolves conflicts. Conflicts are not unusual any time two or more people are required to work together and good facilitation skills can help the group reach a resolution.
• Evaluate your ability to facilitate
• Identify and apply facilitation skills
A motivated team overcomes obstacles of all types to achieve its goals. A leader creates and maintains an environment where team members are likely to become motivated. Leaders uncover what motivates team members; then they develop reward systems that match what team members value. They also look for ways to reward team members for doing the right things.
• Evaluate your ability to motivate
• Identify and apply leadership practices which effectively motivate people
A mentor recognises an individual who has less experience, cultivates their talents and potential and helps them succeed. Leaders are mentors. You can be a mentor by offering opportunities for skill development – pointing out areas needing improvement, providing helpful advice, being a role model and encouraging the person to think for themselves.
• Evaluate your ability to mentor
• Identify and apply effective mentoring skills
10. TEAM BUILDING
Teams offer great benefits. Team members have a variety of knowledge and skills which result in more creativity and greater productivity. When a good team is in place, a leader has more time to devote to leadership issues. Team members must be carefully chosen, trained and encouraged to openly discuss issues.
• Evaluate your ability to build teams
• Identify and apply successful team-building practices.