7 transferable leadership skills you should develop

Upon entering a new leadership position, the skills that you have developed to attain your role may seem sufficient enough, however there are countless skills that you can refine to improve your leadership style. A greater emphasis on workplace diversity and inclusion, mental wellness and technology advancements has changed the communication and interactions between clients, partners and teams. As a result, leaders will need to be more flexible and develop a higher emotional intelligence to manage these changing workplace relationships. Here are seven transferable skills that you should develop to become a sustainably successful leader.

Taking initiative

As a leader, you will not simply just wait around and expect results to occur – you will take action! By taking initiative, not only are you pushing forward your team and yourself towards success, but also demonstrates your passion and effort. Set clear vision and mission statements of what you wish to achieve and set a path for your team to follow.

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Display your company’s statements on a physical poster or on an online board that allows yourself and your team to be inspired to every morning they walk into the office. Set goals and objectives to achieve that vision without putting unnecessary pressure on your team. Ensure that your team is capable to take on new tasks that you are planning to set for them and that they agree with passion.

Taking initiative does not necessarily involve the simple delegation of tasks. Give the opportunity for your team to be creative and brainstorm new ideas that you can integrate into future projects. Use an online or physical pinboard to encourage your team to formulate ideas and topics through accumulated sticky notes.

Motivating others

Although you may be highly motivated and driven by your passions, you must also ensure that your team maintains the same drive. Motivate your team through demonstrating your enthusiasm for the project and achieving its goals. As the leader, you serve as the role model where your team will look to you as an example, as a person they compare against. Become the influence and aspiration for your team to reach higher goals.

Recognise your team’s individual capabilities and their combined strength as a team to take advantage of their strengths. Provide your team with resources to remain motivated, sustain their engagement and be empowered to make their own decisions. Provide incentives such as healthy snacks in the office, allowing a pet-friendly environment or offering team sporting activities that can improve employee morale. Another great way to motivate your staff is to award them of their achievements through recognition titles, trophies or stickers and paying your staff for what they are worth.


A critical skill that must be developed as a leader is knowing effective methods to handle and resolve conflicts. This issue may arise among team members, clients, partners or even between yourself and a co-worker. The complexities of workplace conflict can be difficult to navigate, especially as they differ from workplace to workplace. Ensure to remain an impartial and unprejudiced actor by equally acknowledging all sides to the conflict.

Managing workplace relationships requires high EQ and is greatly required to be a successful leader within the team. You must first listen to both sides of the conflict as well as the comments of witnesses and other involved staff. Before making your own judgement, ask whether each party can suggest their own solutions to the issue. This is where you can then combine the needs of both sides and come to a mutually agreeable solution.

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Management skills

A leader requires various management skills that not only limits itself to scheduling. People and relationship management is another skill that is greatly required when leading work teams. Organisational skills are also critical to enabling effective leadership, specifically when completing tasks and project within a particular time frame. Develop your management style through taking an online course that will allow you to develop knowledge and skills on how to manage people to optimise performance within a team. Ensure that all your staff arrive to work at the specific times and that they will be able to makeup for the work time that has been lost if they have arrived late.

Depending on your business, you may choose to manage in a highly supervised and guided approach or rather allow your staff to take initiative of their own work. Regardless of the approach, ensure to allow your staff with flexibility in work times that align to their personal lives for them to work at their optimal capacity.

Learning attitude

Develop an attitude that allows you to continuously seek education and learn new things. By actively communicating with your team, you will be able to gain greater insight into the various perspectives, advantages and criticisms of the project. Ensure that you are continually striving to look for new ways to foster new ideas through being open to new opportunities and methods. Admitting to and learning from failures and weaknesses will enable continuous to improvement to success as a leader.

Another way to develop a learning attitude is by keeping updated with the latest industry news by actively sharing useful information to your team via email or workplace forums and encourage them to do the same. You may also invite your team to industry workshop panels, conferences and networking events.

Communication skills

It is important to be able to communicate thoughts both verbally and also through actions. Ensure that you effectively explain to your team about changes or new initiatives and keep them in the loop. Be transparent to develop trust and bond so your team can trust you and openly convey information and thoughts to you. Provide the opportunity for your staff to communicate to you through the avenues that they are most comfortable with expressing information and conveying ideas.

You can create a workplace chat group where you can foster ideas and discussion on an online platform. Communication and collaboration platforms such as Flock and Slack are effective online tools that can. An anonymous survey or question box is also helpful to express workplace concerns or issues. You can also learn greater communication skills by developing your skills outside of work. Take on team sports and take a leadership role, such as team captain to engage in teamwork and communication skills that are essential for both competitive sports and also in achieving effective workplace morale.

Positive attitude

A skill that is often overlooked is the ability to maintain a positive attitude. As a leader, you will experience stress and pressures from deadlines and expectations that can be overwhelming. However, a positive mental state and perspective will allow you to effectively progress from your current situation. Regular words of encouragement and praises to your team will boost your employee morale as well as productivity. In the event a team member seems to be struggling, rather than criticising, offer further support through development programs or training, to enable improvement. For a task that has been completed successfully, reward your team with an outing such as a work dinner and drinks or you may even have extra funds and splash out on a corporate cruise!


No matter which industry or context that you are leader, being empowered to become one is only the first step! Which skills are you looking to refine to become a successful leader?

Cassie Phillips is an experienced In-house Editor at Upskilled. With a background in online marketing, Jade runs some successful websites of her own. Her passion for the education industry and content is displayed through the quality of work she offers.