How to Effectively Demonstrate Leadership Qualities at Work

In order to become a leader in the workplace, there are certain qualities that you must ascertain and be confident in using. For those who have been in their job role for a few years and want to advance to the next stage of their career, showing management that you can be a leader can help gain you that promotion and will provide you with the required knowledge and confidence to be a leader. No matter what stage of your job you are in, here is how you can begin to effectively demonstrate leadership qualities at work.

What Makes a Successful Leader?

There are many skills that a successful leader needs in order to be followed by the whole team and bring out the best in people. You need to have a strong work ethic and always set an example for others around you to follow. As a leader, you shouldn’t simply be telling someone what to do. Instead, you should be looking at the person as a whole, finding their particular strengths and weaknesses, and then setting them to a task that will bring out their very best skills. Those leaders that do well in the workplace can communicate effectively and are able to listen to what others say, rather than just talking over them. Below are some of the ways you can begin to gain these important qualities to become a successful leader.


Being able to communicate with every member of the team, as well as clients, customers or patients, is key to being a great leader. When you are in a leadership role, the need for clarity in your communication is essential. This means providing other staff members with tasks in a way that is both cooperative and clear. You also need to be able to have the confidence to speak to a colleague when they have made an error. When becoming a great communicator, it is not just about what you say, but how you say it. 

Most communication is non-verbal, and so you need to be very aware of this at all times and ensure that you stand in a neutral pose, especially if dealing with conflict. Always use eye contact, as this shows the person you are actively listening to and exerts confidence in what you are saying. Use your body language and hand gestures to emphasize your points and to bring greater impact to the message you are giving. 

Always Strive to Do Your Best

A leader is constantly looking to be the best they can be so that their team is the best they can be. If you do not strive to do your best, how can you expect the rest of your colleagues to do so? You must be a role model when you become a leader in the workplace. Those who have been in the workplace for longer are often looked at by junior staff as role models, so you need to be aware of this at all times. 

Seeking out new ways to complete tasks or improve your own skills is essential. This may mean looking for additional learning opportunities and reading around what is important and current in your field of work. For example, nurses can read nursing journals to discover what is current in the nursing world. This enables them to look out for this in practice and educate colleagues. Those who always strive to do their best are more likely to be noticed by management and be promoted as this shows a powerful work ethic.

Watch and Learn

The best way to improve your own leadership skills at work is to watch how others do the same. This means taking in what your seniors have to say and how they deal with situations. It may be that your manager has dealt with a situation in a way which you would have not – this is a valuable experience in what to do if the situation arises again as you would understand what to do and what not to do. Take any ideas on board and ensure that you listen during your annual performance review. Here your managers will speak to you about what skills you should improve and what you are doing well. 

When you begin to watch and learn from others, you will find ways that work best for you, taking in other colleagues’ strengths and weaknesses to build yourself into a leader. We all deal with situations differently and being able to see how a variety of people do this enables you to deal with situations better if they should arise.  

Be an Example

Setting yourself the task of becoming a great example for your team will improve your leadership skills massively. This can really boost team morale, especially in difficult situations. Always being that person that other colleagues are motivated by will mean that they are likely to come to you for advice and will automatically flock to you. 

No matter what task you are delegated, constantly striving to set a good example provides you with the mindset needed to be a strong leader. Even if you think nobody is watching, doing this for yourself enables you to be proud of your own work and what you have achieved, bringing you more job satisfaction. If you are not satisfied with your job role, you can’t expect to be a leader. Always look at the best ways that you can improve your own performance as this will motivate others to do the same. 

Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes

A good leader will take responsibility immediately for any mistakes they have made. The road to leadership is not an easy one and we are all humans and capable of making a mistake. What sets apart great leaders from the rest of the team is the ability to hold your hands up and admit a mistake. We will never learn unless we make errors and find a way to correct them. What will show the most strength is admitting the mistake and finding the best way to produce a successful outcome from this. 

You should always be accountable for your own actions, even if the result leads to be a poor outcome. Leaders need to be able to take constructive criticism just as well as praise. This shows stability and is how you will successfully advance in your career.

Be a Team Worker

Everyone needs to be able to work as part of the team and those colleagues who cannot do this will stick out like a sore thumb to management. This means including everyone when making decisions and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the team around you. Being able to do this means that you can delegate tasks effectively and enable others to work to the best of their abilities. 

Embrace the diversity of your team and make sure new starters are always made to feel welcome. This way, they are more likely to come to you for support, improving your leadership skills further. Always be adaptable to how your colleagues work and consider the viewpoints of every team member – a good leader knows that they aren’t always right and won’t always have the best ideas. The better you get on with your team, the more they will follow you when you advance into a leadership role. Remember to always maintain a good professional relationship with your colleagues.

Seek Additional Training or Qualifications

Once you have begun to develop your own skills and you are working to the best of your abilities, it is time to put those leadership skills into action. Showing your management team that you are ready to climb that career ladder and are seeking out your own opportunities to do so shows passion for your role. There are many leadership courses that you can take, or you may want to study for a master’s in your specific field of work.

For nurses who want to become a leader in healthcare and make a difference in the nursing world, choosing to study one of the online DNP nurse executive programs provides you with the necessary attributes to become a nursing leader. Choosing this degree will enable you to work while you study online and can open up many amazing job opportunities, such as Chief Nursing Officer or even Vice President of Nursing. Studying and working will also show your strong work ethic as well as provide you with better organizational and time management skills. For those looking to become the next nursing leader, studying for this course can help you to do so. 

Becoming a leader in your workplace doesn’t happen overnight, but knowing how to contribute effectively to your team and understanding the qualities that are needed to be a successful leader is a great start. Begin looking at ways to implement each of these qualities into your job role – it may take some time, but people will start to notice as you become a mentor to new starters and endeavor to be the best that you can be.

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading