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5 Top Leadership Skills For Leaders In 2023 

In the ever-changing business landscape, leaders are consistently required to adapt. This often requires them to learn new skills that support themselves, their people, and their organisation.

Vital for success, leadership skills enable leaders to make effective and efficient decisions. Leadership skills also support leaders in:


  • Understanding others.

  • Prioritising organisational requirements.

  • Navigating change. 

  • Considering the impact their decisions may have on their talent.

However, the leadership skills leaders need frequently change. Whilst we may be coming out of the pandemic having adapted over the last two years, ongoing uncertainty, changes to employment law, flexible working policies, and the cost-of-living crisis require leaders to continue to develop and adjust.

To thrive as a leader this year, what leadership skills are required? We share our thoughts on the five top leadership skills for leaders in 2023 here.

Emotional Intelligence

“Emotional intelligence is your ability to recognise emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behaviour and relationships.” – Travis Bradberry.

Defined as “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships empathetically” by the Oxford Dictionary, emotional intelligence is a crucial leadership skill. The theory by Daniel Goleman shares that all change starts with self-awareness.

Leaders who demonstrate emotional intelligence better understand and empathise with others. They see and understand things from differing perspectives and develop trust-based relationships with other people.

As emotional intelligence influences relationships in the workplace and how leaders lead, it’s no surprise that employees are more likely to remain in their roles if they believe their managers are emotionally intelligent. In fact, emotionally intelligent leaders are four times more likelyto retain their top talent.

Empathetic Leadership

Empathetic leadership is one of the top leadership skills for 2023, and it’s clear why. In 2021, a survey by EY Consulting highlighted that almost90% of employees believe empathetic leadership increases job satisfaction and decreases employee turnover.

Empathetic leadership enables leaders to understand and resonate with their people's feelings better. It additionally supports leaders in developing higher levels of trust and inspiring and motivating those within their team.

In the last few years, leaders have demonstrated this essential leadership skill. However, some leaders are yet to excel in this area. Empathy is different from sympathy, and this is where the line often blurs.

Leaders hoping to enhance their empathetic leadership skills this year can do so by asking questions, understanding what they/the organisation could do better to support their people, and listening. Developing self-awareness and emotional intelligence (see above) can also support leaders in becoming more empathetic.

Conflict Resolution 

How easy do you find resolving conflict within the workplace? How challenging do you find navigating conflict between your people? How has conflict resolution in your organisation changed since the start of the pandemic? What differences are you noticing as we continue to adopt hybrid workforces?

Conflict in the workplace can have an immense impact on an organisation. It can reduce productivity and impact employees’ health and well-being. Conflict can also increase staff turnover, with People Management reporting thatconflict at work is responsible for almost half a million resignations each year. 

In aprevious blog, leadership coach Ian shared that conflict resolution requires different skills and processes, especially in the hybrid workplace. As employees work from various locations, such as at home, conflict can be more challenging to resolve.

One of the top leadership skills for leaders in 2023 the ability to resolve conflict in the workplace is vital. But how can this skill be developed? 

In addition to encouraging employees to get to know each other better, leaders can create psychological safety and make time for people to build better working relationships.

Understanding that leaders and managers often need additional support and expertise in this area, ourManaging with a Coaching Style coursesupports leaders in having honest and non-judgemental conversations. 

Empowerment 

Gone are the days when leaders tell their people what to do, when to do it, and how. In are the days that leaders encourage and empower their people to make decisions and refrain from trying to have control and power over them.

Being a leader was once about having a specific title and being the person people turned to for permission. Nowadays, being a leader is about nurturing top talent, encouraging people to try things, and supporting people in learning from mistakes that may be made. 

As employees who feel that their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work, empowerment is a vital leadership skill for leaders in 2023. Leaders who do not empower their people risk controlling their talent, which could lead to a lack of trust, high turnover, and decreased productivity, not to mention reduced self-confidence and withdrawal.

Adaptability 

From adapting to working from home to embracing the hybrid workforce and learning how to navigate challenges that arise, adaptability has been a critical leadership skill for many years. As we enter the new year, this skill remains one of the most influential. 

Leaders who embrace change can adapt accordingly when faced with specific situations. They additionally empower their people to do the same. Leaders who display this skill also foster more significant levels of trust with their people, meet the needs of their people, and are frequently seen as emotionally intelligent and empathetic leaders.

Incorporating Leadership Skills

The five top leadership skills for leaders in 2023 shared above are skills many leaders already employ in the workplace. As employees value empathy, emotionally intelligent leaders, adaptability, and empowerment, leaders who possess these skills are well-positioned to create positive and productive workplaces.

In contrast, leaders who fail to prioritise these skills may find that their top talent disengages and looks to take their skills elsewhere.

Developing the leadership skills noted above is essential. But it’s normal to question whether these skills are already present, how to employ them, and how leaders can do this.

In this instance, leadership coaching can help leaders develop their skills and understand how they can be better leaders, make better decisions, and enhance their communication skills.One-to-one leadership coachingis particularly beneficial for leaders hoping to strengthen their leadership skills.

During one-to-one coaching, coaches listen, provide support, and offer feedback to help leaders review their strengths and any areas for improvement.

Contact Us Today

Having reviewed the five top leadership skills for leaders in 2023 mentioned above, we welcome you to contact us today to discuss how we can support you and your leaders with coaching.

To contact us, call 03450 950 480 or emailzoe@theleadershipcoaches.co.ukto arrange a no-obligation consultation with Director of Coaching Zoé Lewis today.

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