Leaders need to speak well and communicate succinctly.
While developing your skills with prepared speeches may be the most common reason for joining Toastmasters, we offer leadership development as well. The first level of achievement in the Leadership track is Competent Leadership recognition, which you complete while serving in various club meeting roles. There are other significant leadership roles such as hosting meetings, serving as a club officer, chairing the annual banquet committee, and being a contest chairperson.
At our club meeting, find a member to give you written feedback on a leadership project in the Competent Leadership (CL) manual. When you complete the manual, you are eligible for Competent Leader (CL) recognition.
To guide you towards your leadership goals, the Competent Leader (CL) manual has various projects:
1. Listening and Leadership
Listening is an important leadership skill that enables you to acquire information, identify and clarify issues, make decisions, and resolve conflict. Listening skills also play a major role in team building, You can learn to be a better listener by following a few simple suggestions.
2. Critical Thinking
A leader gathering information, then analyzes, interprets, and understands it before acting. Critical thinkers question what they read and hear. Then they determine the quality of piece of information and use logical reasoning to reach conclusions. Critical thinkers make better decisions.
3. Giving Feedback
Team members need to know what they are doing well, that they are not doing well, and how they can improve. Giving performance feedback is a necessary leadership function. When done properly, feedback can relieve stress, improve interpersonal relationship, and promote trust and respect for leaders and team members.
4. Time Management
Time management helps leaders make the most of the time available to them. You can budget your time and accomplish projects and tasks efficiently by identifying long- and short- term goals, making a daily to-do list, prioritizing the list, making a schedule and delegating when possible, leaving time for unexpected tasks, and managing interruptions.
5. Planning and Implementation
A plan provides direction for the leader and the team. The planning process involves setting goals and objectives, and preparing plans and schedules to accomplish them. The process forces leaders to look beyond their everyday activities and think about what they want to happen in the future. Involving team members in the process encourages commitment.
6. Organizing and Delegating
Leaders must ensure the team is organized enough to accomplish its goals and objectives, and provide the structure in which the team operates. Delegation plays a major role. A good leader performs functions that only he has the knowledge and authority to perform, delegating all other tasks to team members.
7. Developing Your Facilitation Skills
A facilitator’s primary job is to make the team’s job easier. More specifically, a facilitator guides discussions among group members and manages and resolves conflicts. Conflicts are not unusual any time two or more people are required to work together and good facilitation skills can help the group reach a resolution.
A motivated team overcomes obstacles of all types to achieve its goals. A leader creates and maintains an environment where team members are likely to become motivated. Leaders uncover what motivates team members; then they develop reward systems that match hat team members value. They also look for ways to reward team members for doing the right things.
A mentor recognizes an individual who has less experience, cultivates her potential and talents, and helps her succeed. Leaders are mentors. You can be a mentor be offering opportunities for skill development – pointing out areas needing improvement, providing helpful advice, being a role model, and encouraging the person to think for herself.
10. Team Building
Teams offer great benefits. Team members have a variety of knowledge and skills, which results in more creativity and greater productivity. When a good team is in place, a leader has more time to devote to leadership issues. Team members must be carefully chosen, trained, and encouraged to openly discuss issues.
Just as Toastmasters acknowledges achievement in speaking with the Communication (CC) track, the Leadership track provides more opportunities to improve your skills as a speaker.