Leadership skills are essential in virtually areas of human endeavor because without them it is unlikely that individuals would be able to benefit maximally. These skills are learned by observation and practice in any place we find ourselves. They are relevant in building relationships in the family, at work and even in our own businesses.
Social workers need to possess leadership skills to enable them achieve the goals of their profession. They are trained to serve others and thus, would always relate with people in the course of doing their work. It is therefore important for them to understand leadership skills play in helping become effective and efficient in carrying out their duties. Let me elaborate more on some of the leadership skills which social workers need to succeed in their work.
1. One basic leadership skill that a social worker should possess is the ability to make right assessments on a case-by-case basis. This is very important because every decision that needs to be made is based on the quality of the assessment done from the beginning. Understanding how to carry out proper assessment will help to distinguish the social worker from those who are not skilled in this. This also determines the type of recommendation that will be made in a particular case. It is an activity that helps the social worker gather adequate information which would help in solving a problem, evaluating outcomes, and assessing various intervention
options to be adopted. It is used in social work practice when working with individuals, families, organizations, groups and communities. An initial assessment is usually carried out to enable the social worker understand the peculiarities of an individual's circumstances and difficulties in order to know what specific action plan is to be followed.
2. Another vital leadership skill that all social workers must possess is the ability to communicate effectively. In social work, there is need to communicate properly either using written or verbal mediums. Communicating clearly makes the process easier and enables the social worker present a concise and professional position on a particular case. It enables them interact well with people from different backgrounds to get the required information for their work. As you know, the people they work with may vary with some of them being highly educated and others with no education at all. It therefore enables the social worker build good relationship with everyone and easily win their confidence. It an important leadership skill for all social workers and makes it possible for people to feel comfortable with them. They should be able to know what style of communication to engage when relating people from different backgrounds or else there would be ineffective communication. In communicating, they need to be able to pay attention to what they are being told as this would make their job easier. They should learn to talk and also listen. Another way is to watch the body language of the individual they are working with in order to decipher what is being said even without words. This form of communication is referred to as unspoken communication. Body language sometimes provides clues to those things that are not spoken out. Apart from this, communication also helps to prevent and resolve conflict even in the work place so that even among social workers, it is beneficial. Above all, note that this leadership skill helps build a strong bond and relationship with everyone the social worker relates with.
3. Social workers also need to be able to build good human relationships with those that they work with. It is important for them to understand that their work deals more with working with people both in the work place and
on the field. Those who possess this vital leadership skill will excel tremendously in their work. They must be able to build trust with their clients and this requires skilful application. If the individual they are attempting to establish a relationship with is not comfortable with them, it would hamper their work greatly. The ability to build good human relationships requires the social worker not to be judgmental when relating with clients. They must be open minded and keep their religious, political, personal views to themselves as their clients come from various settings that are different from theirs. In doing this, the social worker must follow the code of ethics stipulated for them. It is easier to build this relationship if the social worker is empathetic with the situation of the client and willing to help out where necessary. This enables you understand the feelings of the individuals and determine the best course of action to take. It is also important for them to be supportive to the needs of their clients at all times. They would need the social and emotional support of the social worker so this ability should be developed.
4. Another vital leadership skill that social workers need is the ability to organize things properly. They must be able to keep and maintain proper records of the numerous clients that they may have and this would help them to recall information easily when it is needed. The ability to manage their time effectively is very important as well being able to prioritize the tasks that need to be carried out. It is also vital for them to keep accurate records and to be able to organize their work environment well so that things move smoothly. They should be good decision makers and understand the importance of doing things in an organized manner at all times.
5. Social workers need to be patient with their clients as this shows that they are skilled in their job. It is usually not usually difficult dealing human beings especially those who are facing one crisis or the other. They should learn to be patient at all times.
6. They should also show leadership by being strong emotionally. Though their work as social workers can be emotionally draining, it is important to cultivate and develop this quality.