Looking for a Leadership Position? 4 Skills You need Before You Graduate

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Leadership is a quality that many college students endeavor towards gaining. The truth of the matter is that no one is born a natural leader. Effective leadership is a learned quality that must be developed and nurtured throughout time. It involves a combination of skills that work side by side. If you are interested in pursuing a leadership position after graduating, there are four key skills that you can start developing now.
    1. Effective Listening

One of the staple skills that all good leaders possess is effective listening. Being a good listener involves more than just lending an open ear though. You must maintain open body language, eye contact, and acknowledge the speaker throughout the conversation. We often have the misconception that a leader does the “telling” and the followers do the “listening.” However, a good leader is a good listener. A good leader is someone who can listen to complaints and criticisms and find a way to solve those problems and make those in the group feel heard and appreciated. If you can learn how to listen to those you lead, you will not only be an effective leader, but a respected one as well.
    1. Communication

Most people can communicate, but not everyone can do it efficiently. Leaders must be able to communicate their vision, ideas, and needs in a clear and fair manner. They must also keep coworkers informed of business-related events, changes, and requirements. Practicing communication skills now will help you become a better leader in the future. Focus on simplifying your ideas and opinions so they are easy to understand. In today's world, it is also important to be able to communicate with international clients, and understand their culture as not to offend them, or let language barriers get in the way. While language barriers can often present a problem, you need to learn the skill of controlling your body language and communicating with those who may communicate differently than you do.
    1. Confidence

Confidence is another key skill that you must develop in order to be an effective leader. It entails more than just believing in yourself and your capabilities. Confidence and decisiveness are directly related. As a leader, you must be able to make sound decisions without fear of denial, regret, or anxiety. Sometimes you will need to make decisions that your peers will not agree with. In order to feel confident in your decisions and actions, you must exercise critical and analytical thinking.
    1. Genuine Commitment

Effective leaders are genuinely committed to their position, staff, and the welfare of the business they work for. This type of commitment involves showing deep appreciation for coworker's contributions, providing honest and constructive feedback, and getting involved more in the business's well-being. Passion goes hand in hand with commitment. Without it, you will not succeed in a leadership position, or any other position for that matter.

These core skills can help you become a great leader in your future career. These skills take time to develop, which is why it is so important to start honing them now, and putting yourself in leadership positions in your college classes and on campus. There are plenty of opportunities on every campus for leadership positions, in clubs, study groups, student government positions, councils, etc. The only way to get better at something is to practice, right? So get into a leadership position as soon as you can and start practicing for your future career!

Dixie Somers's profile photoAbout the Guest Author:This article was written by Dixie, a freelance writer who enjoys writing anything about business, finance, women's interests, or home and family. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. Employers are looking for leaders who can communicate well with others, especially with international clients. Students who are completing a Norwich University Diplomacy Degree learn how to effectively communicate (and lead) with overseas clients in order to bring two businesses together in agreement.

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