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How to Step Up and Learn How to Lead

By Sandy Schroeder

Making the leap to a more important role at work may seem difficult, but leadership coaches say there are ways to make it happen.

Fast Company says we all have opportunities every day to practice leadership and learn from the results.

Here are some of their suggestions. See if they fit you.

Use Your Decisions to Grow

When you make more intentional decisions about everything that you do, you may be learning how to lead. Practice making key decisions by focusing on your workload, financial situation, health or other issues in your life. Assess where you are and work on areas that need improvement. Each time you cut through to a winning choice you will be strengthening your identity and your confidence in your abilities.

Reach Out to Broaden Your Network

It is usually way too easy to stick to your own group where everything is comfortable and familiar, but the people who can help you grow are out there. When you break out, researching new areas, reading more widely, and attending conferences or meetings beyond your field, you may be opening the door to some interesting job growth opportunities. Step out there and learn more about yourself as you learn more about the world.

Learn to Listen Better and Communicate More

At work we may develop a shorthand mode of communication to get the work done, but when we step out in the world we really need people skills to get along with a huge range of people. Practice wherever you go to really listen, ask good questions, and try to read those around you. Everything that you learn will help you be a better leader at work too.

Practice Leading

Often there are opportunities out there in church, school or other community groups to get involved and help lead the way. Many of the skills that you will need to be a leader at work may come up when you lead a small group in your community. Do your best and learn from everything that happens. Accepting responsibility, motivating people, planning effective programs, and following up to make the job happen are all leadership skills that transfer from one situation to another. There is nothing like on-the-ground training to make leadership very real and challenging. Whatever happens, stay positive and learn from the experience.

Leaders don't become effective overnight. Most of them will tell you it takes a lot of practice, and a little luck too.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Houston, Tex.

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