Leadership and followership
Leadership and followership

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3 Reviewing your leadership skills

A skills audit is a useful way to review your skills and gauge how well developed you think those skills are. It could be helpful to refer to a recent CV or application form when undertaking the next activity, as this will remind you of the things you’ve already done.

Described image
Figure 4 A skills audit is a useful way to review your skills.

Activity 3 Personal skills audit

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

In the table below, you will find a list of skills that commonly appear in leadership job descriptions. If you have personal leadership experience, or access to leadership-related job descriptions, you may wish to add your own suggestions to the empty rows in the table. Score your level of expertise against each skill/ability as follows:

  • 0 = no experience yet
  • 1 = basic
  • 2 = competent
  • 3 = proficient

Add at least one example of when you’ve demonstrated that skill.

When you’ve completed the task, ask a colleague, manager, mentor or friend who knows you well whether they agree with your assessment.

SkillProficiencyEvidence
Ability to inspire and motivate others
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Ability to create and share a clear vision 
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Empathy 
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Integrity 
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Diplomacy 
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Resilience 
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Initiative 
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Self-awareness 
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Self-reflection 
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Self-motivation 
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Ability to influence others 
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Relationship building 
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Negotiation skills 
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Team working 
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Verbal communication 
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Listening skills 
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Presentation skills 
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Ability to drive/lead change 
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Problem solving 
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Decision making 
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Ability to take risks 
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Multitasking 
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Planning and organising 
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Strategic thinking 
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Financial acumen 
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Ability to evaluate information 
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Analytical thinking 
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Discussion

If you group your skills by score e.g. all those that scored 3, all the 2s etc. – what are your perceived strengths and weaknesses? Is there an obvious gap in your experience or is your next step to grow your overall expertise from basic to competent?

For the final part of the activity, talking to someone who knows you well can help you to understand whether your perceptions of yourself are accurate. They may also have ideas to add. Many people underestimate their own abilities!

When you are in a leadership role, your employer will also assess your skills and abilities in a variety of ways. If you can, use the outcomes of those assessments to enhance your audit. Rebecca Fielding explains some of the methods that employers use.

Download this video clip.Video player: lf_1_video_week4_section4_fielding_assessment.mp4
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Now that you’ve considered your skills and started to assess where your current strengths and weaknesses lie, the next step is to look at ways to build and develop these skills. In Section 4, you’ll look at the opportunities around you and start to consider practical steps towards enhancing your leadership skills.

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