How can you use psychology to get from where you are to where you want to be?

Mastering Leadership Psychology: 3 Essential Skills for Leaders

Mastering leadership psychology is crucial for your professional development. What got you here won’t get you there. Whether you’re starting out, changing jobs mid-career or completing your last decade of work, leadership success depends on how well you manage yourself and interact with others.

While you don’t have to get a degree in psychology, learning a few basics will help you become a better leader. Success depends on knowing, appreciating and accepting who you are.

In my sessions coaching executives, we spend a lot of time reviewing strengths and weaknesses. While most people are aware of their deficits, fewer know their strengths. We have a negativity bias. As a way of mental protection, however, we gloss over our deficits and try to bury them. We hope others won’t notice any shortfalls. Instead, successful leaders are fully aware of their traits and capabilities and develop work-arounds.

You can turn deficits into strengths when you understand them. You can play to these strengths and avoid their inherent traps with sufficient self-knowledge and support from the right people.

Effective leaders also use psychology to understand and motivate others. As you ascend to positions of greater power and responsibility, you’ll increasingly rely on social and emotional intelligence.

A rapidly changing business environment will pose numerous challenges:

  • An increased workload as markets become more complex
  • Situations that require political savvy and exemplary interpersonal skills
  • Time and energy management
  • Unprecedented pressure and stressors
  • An increasingly diverse global workforce
  • Rapidly evolving products and services
  • Unpredictable market changes
  • Technological advances

Whether you work in manufacturing, retail or services, your understanding of human psychology will drive optimal business outcomes.

In this series of blog posts, I will examine three essential psychology skills that every leader must master:

  • Knowing and managing yourself
  • Leading others through engagement
  • Managing emotions in the workplace

What about you, in your career? What are the essential psychology skills you use every day? I’d love to hear from you.

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