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3 Simple Ways To Improve Your Leadership Abilities

August 10, 2018

Leadership is often lacking today in the business world because leaders are using outdated processes. They rely on old-school methods of leadership that haven’t kept up with the evolution of society.

But truly transformational leaders have high emotional intelligence. They help coach their teams. They understand that leadership is a skill that you can develop, and they take intentional steps to improve their skills!

As an executive and a life coach, Siona Henderson has worked at both small entrepreneurial companies and large organizations like Oracle. She’s seen good leaders and bad leaders along the way, but she knows regardless of where someone falls on that scale, she can help them improve their leadership.

Siona originally got into coaching because she has always had a passion for helping people reaching their potential and goals, so working with leaders seemed like a natural fit. Her mission is to help people build a life and career they love. Siona helps people become more intentional about the direction their career and personal life is heading

Improving Leadership Abilities

Siona has developed three steps that those in a leadership role can take in order to improve their abilities quickly:

Step 1: Evolve your definition of good leadership. This concept of developing emotional intelligence, active listening, and empathy did not always exist in the classic definition of good leadership.

If you were to think back to executives in the 50’s or 60’s, most certainly did not display these characteristics, but now we know this is the best way forward.

Unfortunately, leaders today can still be stuck in the past, so they need to change the way they think of leadership in general. Small acts of taking an interest in employees’ lives can go a long way.

Step 2: Look to a coach to help you refine your style. Leaders can often get to a stage where no one can tell them what to do; They’ve “mastered” their role.

Don’t become that person! Adopt a mindset of being teachable. A coach can help you become self-aware to your blind spots in this area.

Step 3: Perform a 360 degree evaluation. This gives you a holistic view of your surroundings and helps you form a plan of action to improve your abilities. It can help you close the gap on your areas of weakness.

Concerns of Executives

Executives can have a lot on their minds and become quickly overwhelmed. In addition to their day to day job, they often are concerned about their employees. One decision they make can impact a lot of people’s jobs. Siona helps executives strike a balance between being empathetic and still carrying on to meet their business goals.

Executives often sometimes get more blame than they deserve and become an easy target for people to vent their frustrations. Siona reminds individual contributors and executives alike that success or failure doesn’t rest squarely on one person’s shoulders. Much like being a quarterback on a football team, an executive makes key decisions, but organizations run best through a collective effort.

What Would Siona Do As A CEO?

Although Siona is not a CEO herself, she has a few thoughts on what she would do in her first few weeks in that hypothetical new role at a company:

First, she would enter the organization with intellectual curiosity. This would involve observing and asking a lot of questions, so that she could get to know the individuals and processes of the company, and that they could get to know her!

Second, she would take a look at qualitative data of the company in both the long and short term. Siona would see what this data says about the upcoming year and the next 3-5 years. She would ask the key questions based on her observations like, “Are we built for the right outcomes?”

Third, Siona would communicate her observations and share the “why” behind decisions being made. She is a firm believer in sharing vision and planning with all employees.

Life Coaching

Siona primarily sees clients coming to her for career coaching, but this often moves to life coaching as well. Through digging through how an executive can become a better leader at work, they sometimes uncover how they can improve at home and in personal relationships as well.

Life coaching is really more about listening than anything else. Siona refers to “Level 2” and “Level 3” listening as listening without the intent to respond. It’s listening just to provide the other individual with an opportunity to let out their thoughts.

Siona’s job is to show the individual that they have all of the tools and motivation they need inside of them already. Coaching is about tapping into that potential!


This post is based on a podcast with Siona Henderson. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to Healthcare Simplified.

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