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Leadership and followership
Leadership and followership

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5 Developing key skills

In Week 3, you looked at the skills and abilities a good leader needs. In this section, you’ll focus on some of those that a poor leader can lack and how to develop them.

Mind the gap is written in yellow paint on the ground next to a railway track
Figure 5 A gap in your leadership skills?

Activity 6 What skills were lacking?

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

In Activity 1, you thought of a negative experience of leadership and considered what that leader did wrong and how you might have behaved differently. Go back to that example and think more specifically about any skills or abilities the leader didn’t demonstrate. Use the list of leadership skills from Week 3 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   as a useful prompt.

List the skills in the space below:

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What did you come up with? Many instances of poor leadership relate to a lack of empathy or poor communication. Did you identify other areas for that individual’s development?

Some of the skills and abilities you have listed might seem fixed, for example, the ability to empathise. Experts agree that even the least empathetic individual can learn how to demonstrate empathy even if it doesn’t come naturally to them.

While there are many different skills that could be listed here, those that have the most impact on leadership often involve how an individual relates to, is perceived by, and communicates with other people. You will explore some of these issues in the following sections.