Surrey (PRWEB UK) 20 May 2013
Sheffield-based life, executive and business coach Karen Perkins has over 20 years experience in public sector management and strategy development . She coaches clients hoping to develop their leadership skills in order to gain more confidence, respect and efficiency in the workplace. Leadership, Karen claims, is something we can all achieve if we really want. Now online network Life Coach Directory asks: what does it take?
A booming voice, authoritative demeanour and no-nonsense attitude might get a person noticed in business, but it doesn’t automatically make them a good leader. Leadership, Karen explains, requires a certain level of emotional intelligence and selflessness. Leaders have to think about the team’s improvement, not just their own personal development.
“Leadership is NOT about you,” says Karen. “It’s about the needs of the team, organisation and individual.”
You don’t have to be a manager or top executive to be a good leader. Even team members can support and encourage their fellow members by leading by example and offering guidance. Karen finds that many of her clients come in believing leadership is ‘a role for a boss’, which stops them seeing the potential of their own personality.
A big aim in coaching is to give clients the confidence to break out of their perceived roles so they can finally stop imposing limits on themselves. Karen believes there are five core leadership skills anyone can practice:
The ability to envision an end point and devise a strategy to get there is an important part of being a good leader. Karen says – “If you don’t know where you want to be, how are you ever going to get anywhere?”
2. Good communication skills
Good communication is as much about listening and understanding as it is about talking. While some people seem to be naturals at communicating with people from all walks of life, others could benefit from the help of a business coach. Often, it’s a lack of confidence that prevents people from communicating effectively. Karen says the confidential setting of the coaching process can help clients get their fears and weaknesses out in the open. This can help them address common communication barriers, including issues around public speaking, confrontation and likeability.
3. Emotional intelligence
A recent Cass Business School study of 100 senior executives from 24 different nationalities found that ’emotional intelligence’ was listed as the most important leadership skill after people skills and flexibility . Emotional intelligence is usually seen as a more ‘feminine’ leadership trait because it involves understanding and managing one’s own feelings, being perceptive of others and having social awareness. Leadership is not just about giving orders, it is about understanding that each team member has something valuable to offer and that with the right kind of guidance, this quality can be developed and utilised.
How can a person ever improve if they never break out of their comfort zone? Leaders must learn to put their fears aside for the good of their team. Whether this means taking a risk, standing up for a cause, or going against the grain – having the confidence to be brave is, according to Karen, one of the most important leadership skills clients learn.
5. Decision-making skills
Leaders are often trusted to make decisions on behalf of their team. For this reason, the decisions have to be good. A business coach will use techniques such as questioning, visualisation and NLP to help clients build the confidence and clarity to make considered decisions that get results and gain respect.
Karen is one of many life, executive and business coaches working across the UK. People from all roles can learn leadership skills from a business coach, from team members to top executives. Coaching is always tailored to the client’s particular needs and the main objective is to take people from where they are, to where they want to be.
 View Karen Perkins‘ Life Coach Directory profile to find out more about her rates, services and experience.
 Odgers Berndtson and Cass Business School, 2010-2012, ‘After The Baby Boomers – The Next Generation Of Leaders’ – http://www.odgersberndtson.com/en/after-the-baby-boomers/