Transform Your Team: How Do You Fix Poor Leadership Skills in 5 Actionable Steps

Facing challenges with leadership and wondering, how do you fix poor leadership skills? This no-nonsense guide offers five actionable steps to refine your leadership and strengthen your team. We cut through the fluff to provide direct solutions that will put you on the road to becoming a more capable, confident leader.

Key Takeaways



    weaknesses through self-assessment, feedback from teams, and analysis of team performance to determine areas for development and enhance overall effectiveness.

  • Effective communication, including active listening, clear articulation of expectations, and direct addressing of grievances, is crucial for preventing misunderstandings and fostering a productive working environment.
  • Continuous leadership improvement relies on cultivating accountability, conflict resolution skills, and investing in ongoing training, mentorship, and development to adapt to changing business landscapes and improve team management.

Identifying Weaknesses in Your Leadership Style

A leader listening to team members during a meeting

Improvement begins with an understanding of your own leadership style and leadership qualities. The way you lead significantly impacts your team’s morale, productivity, and overall success. Recognizing this fact is a powerful catalyst for personal and professional development. It’s important to remember that everyone has weaknesses, and leaders are no exception. The key lies in identifying those weaknesses and working proactively to address them.

The process of identifying weaknesses involves introspection, gathering feedback, and analyzing your team’s performance. Each of these steps provides a unique perspective on your leadership abilities and offers valuable insights into how you can improve. Each of these steps warrant a detailed examination.

Self-Assessment and Reflection

In diverse work environments, effective leadership greatly benefits from self-assessment. It involves introspection and reflective practices, which allow leaders to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Leaders who regularly engage in self-assessment are able to identify areas for skill development and recognize weaknesses that could be delegated.

Practicing self-assessment not only enhances self-awareness but also guides leaders to make better career decisions. It allows leaders to:

  • Reflect on their past professional and personal events
  • Adjust their approaches for better alignment with goals and values
  • Enhance overall leadership effectiveness

Gathering Feedback From Your Team

Your team stands as a valuable resource in your leadership journey. Your team members can provide you with honest feedback about your leadership style, helping you identify areas of improvement. Establishing a feedback-positive culture is key to letting employees feel valued and ensuring their ideas are recognized as part of the collective success.

Maintaining open two-way communication, vital for continuous improvement, is facilitated by fostering honest feedback loops between management and staff. Offering anonymous avenues for feedback enables team members to candidly share their thoughts and ideas without fear of repercussions.

Analyzing Team Performance

Your leadership is mirrored in your team’s performance. Leaders with a clear and compelling vision inspire their teams to work together towards that vision, which is often reflected in the team’s performance. When team performance varies under different leaders, it often highlights the distinct leadership styles and their effectiveness in guiding the team.

Enhancing Communication Competence

Improving communication skills in leadership

Strong leadership is underpinned by effective communication. It is through communication that a leader conveys the company’s mission, values, and goals, directly affecting team productivity and success in meeting deadlines and completing tasks. However, a poor leader with bad leadership, characterized by poor leadership qualities such as poor communication skills, can lead to:

  • misunderstandings
  • bottlenecks
  • project failures
  • dissatisfaction among customers and employees.

Clear instructions in communication prevent misunderstandings and disputes, contributing to a respectful and efficient working environment. But how does one enhance communication competence? It involves active listening, conveying clear expectations, and addressing grievances directly.

Active Listening Techniques

Despite often being overlooked, active listening remains an essential skill for effective communication. It involves:

  • Prioritizing attention during conversations
  • Withholding judgment
  • Implementing reflecting techniques such as paraphrasing and asking clarifying questions.

By practicing active listening, leaders can achieve a deeper understanding of the conversation and promote collaborative problem-solving. Summarizing conversations and confirming mutual responsibilities establishes shared comprehension, while recognizing grievances demonstrates attentiveness to team member concerns.

Conveying Clear Expectations

For a team to function smoothly, clarity in communication is vital. Being clear and direct in both verbal and written forms of communication ensures that team members understand their roles and responsibilities. Communicating expectations that are measurable and have clear deadlines helps team members to prioritize effectively and meet their targets.

Regular team meetings and one-on-one discussions provide opportunities for clarifying expectations and making necessary adjustments, facilitating better understanding and alignment with goals. Leaders who encourage employees to document their task understanding are fostering commitment to goals, which, along with setting clear and transparent objectives, exemplifies personal accountability.

Addressing Grievances Directly

A healthy work environment is maintained by addressing grievances directly. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Implement an open-door policy
  • Provide anonymous suggestion boxes
  • Promptly address miscommunications
  • Identify the roots of grievances

By taking these steps, you can prevent escalation and find lasting solutions to workplace issues.

A well-defined grievance policy detailed in the employee handbook, combined with an appeal process, provides a clear and fair framework for addressing employee concerns. By confronting issues directly, leaders can foster a trustworthy work environment, as avoiding confrontation creates an artificial atmosphere.

Building Accountability in Leadership

A leader taking responsibility for a mistake

Influencing overall organizational health, accountability in leadership is pivotal for aligning company performance with its strategy, values, and goals. A lack of leadership accountability can lead to:

  • Misalignment
  • Loss of ownership
  • Failures in executing strategic initiatives
  • Adversely affecting company culture and performance.

Leadership accountability entails:

  • Taking responsibility for successes
  • Taking responsibility for failures
  • Taking responsibility for team mistakes
  • Taking responsibility for missed goals

This can be achieved by owning up to mistakes and setting an example for the team.

Owning Up to Mistakes

Accepting personal ownership involves a crucial part of owning up to mistakes. Accountable leaders establish a positive team climate and promote accountability by being willing to admit their own mistakes without shifting blame. Admitting mistakes is seen as an opportunity for growth and learning, adding value to the trust-building process.

Recognizing and admitting mistakes promptly enables leaders and teams to focus on solutions and fosters a climate of forgiveness and understanding. A leader’s transparency about their mistakes can reinforce a culture of accountability within the team, as it demonstrates openness and integrity.

Setting an Example for the Whole Team

Leadership involves as much demonstration as it does communication. By demonstrating accountability, leaders empower employees to take ownership of their performance and decisions, fostering a supportive and confident team environment.

Accountable leaders cultivate a climate of responsibility within the team by:

  • Encouraging members to reflect critically on the company’s needs and their contribution
  • Setting a precedent for the team by taking responsibility themselves
  • Influencing team members to adopt similar standards of accountability

Cultivating Conflict Resolution Skills

Resolving conflicts in a team

Conflict is inevitable in any team. The leader’s response to conflict can either fortify or impair team dynamics. Facing difficult situations head-on and seeking to understand various perspectives indicates strong leadership.

Leaders who choose to avoid or not confront sticky situations reveal a weakness in their leadership, often being perceived as bad leaders. To cultivate effective conflict resolution skills, a leader needs to approach conflict with confidence and strive to create solutions collaboratively.

Approaching Conflict with Confidence

Every business leader needs to master the art of approaching conflict with confidence, just like great leaders with strong leadership skills do. It involves displaying positive body language, such as maintaining eye contact, using a firm but friendly tone, and keeping an upright posture.

Investigating grievances with a structured approach, such as reviewing validity and gathering information, showcases a leader’s confident handling of conflict situations. Acknowledging errors is a demonstration of a leader’s confidence and integrity, which in turn builds respect and trust within the team.

Creating Solutions Collaboratively

Effective conflict resolution is marked by the creation of collaborative solutions. It involves:

  • Sharing personal experiences or suggestions after understanding others, which can shift discussions towards collective problem-solving.
  • Holding formal meetings to enable employees to discuss evidence and desired resolutions.
  • Ensuring subsequent written documentation to record and follow up on actions.

Collaboration, distinct from compromise, involves finding solutions that are truly win-win, without needing parties to sacrifice their interests. This approach fosters a supportive and confident team environment, where every member feels valued and heard.

Investing in Ongoing Training and Development

Leaders participating in a workshop

Just as the world constantly evolves, so should leaders. Continuous learning is essential for leaders due to the accelerating pace of change and the need for leaders to adapt to new business models and technological advancements.

Keeping leaders abreast with the latest trends and practices, investing in ongoing training and development also equips them with the necessary skills for effective team leadership amidst change. This can be achieved through personalized learning paths, mentorship, and attending leadership workshops and seminars.

Personalized Learning Paths

Critical aspects of leadership like emotional intelligence and personal branding can be developed specifically through personalized learning paths. These paths acknowledge the various learning styles of a diverse workforce and provide learning experiences tailored to individual preferences.

Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs) facilitate personalized learning paths, aligning a leader’s personal development with organizational goals. Learner profiles in personalized learning paths provide insight into an individual leader’s progress, skills, and interests, reflecting their development needs and engagement levels.

Mentorship and Coaching Opportunities

Good leaders gain stability, preparedness, and guidance through mentorship and coaching, which enables situation navigation with incomplete information and fosters a culture of transparency and collective expertise. Guidance from experienced mentors enables leaders to enhance task efficiency and job proficiency, minimizing concerns about the correctness of their work as they assume a leadership position.

Research indicates that strong mentorship programs correlate with high job satisfaction and retention. In fact, 91% of mentored individuals report job satisfaction. To develop a robust mentorship program, follow these steps:

  1. Clearly define the objectives of the program.
  2. Carefully pair mentors and mentees based on matching qualities and interests.
  3. Provide ongoing support to both parties to ensure reciprocal benefits.

By following these steps, you can create a mentorship program that is effective and beneficial for all participants.

Leadership Workshops and Seminars

Leaders can develop and improve their leadership skills for guiding their organization and team members towards success through leadership development workshops and seminars. These platforms provide a golden opportunity for leaders to learn from different perspectives and network with peers, thereby sharing the unique challenges they face in their roles.

For senior executives and C-suite members, leadership workshops and seminars offer:

  • Time for reflection
  • The opportunity to learn from different perspectives
  • A platform for senior leaders to network with peers
  • The chance to share the unique challenges they face in their roles.


Leadership is not about being perfect; it’s about constantly learning, growing, and inspiring others to do the same. This journey begins with understanding your leadership style and its impact, improving communication skills, fostering accountability, cultivating conflict resolution skills, and investing in ongoing training and development. Remember, it’s not about where you start; it’s about where you’re heading. So, are you ready to embark on this transformational journey?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you change bad leadership?

To change bad leadership, it is important to acknowledge the previous leader’s shortcomings, reaffirm your own vision, and seek feedback from your team on their needs. By doing so, you can transition away from ineffective leadership and become a stronger leader yourself.

What is the root cause of poor leadership?

The root cause of poor leadership often lies in internal factors such as poor communication skills and excessive pressure on leaders and their teams. Failure to address these factors can lead to disengaged employees and fractured teams, ultimately causing a loss of confidence in leadership.

How can I identify weaknesses in my leadership style?

Identifying weaknesses in your leadership style involves self-assessment, collecting feedback from your team, and assessing your team’s performance. Period.

What is the importance of active listening in leadership?

Active listening is important in leadership as it promotes better understanding and collaboration in conversations. It involves prioritizing attention, withholding judgment, and implementing reflection techniques.

How can leaders build accountability?

Leaders can build accountability by owning up to mistakes and setting an example for the team, which influences them to adopt similar standards of accountability.

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