When we think of a strong leader, someone that we admire, respect, and enjoy working with, a list of common character traits comes to mind. We might describe these people as patient, supportive, empowering, credible, or fearless — all important leadership traits that inspires teams to loyalty and high performance.
Do you want to become a strong leader? If so, it’s important to starting building these traits today. Here are some actionable tips to help you:
If you want to be perceived as Patient: Improve your active listening skills, and work on any interruptive tendencies. Patient people listen closely to the people who are speaking with them and avoid jumping in and interrupting. The two obviously go hand-in-hand; when you are truly listening to another person, you are more in tuned to the flow of their speech. Let them know with a head nod or small, uninterruptive vocals (“Yes” “Right”) that you are giving them the floor. Additionally, be forgiving of of mistakes. No one is perfect. A patient leader is one who will give credit to the team for successes and take responsibility for the team if there are any unforeseen missteps.
If you want to be perceived as Supportive: Don’t be afraid to do a temperature check with those around you. Simply asking how they are doing on a certain project or if you can assist in any way is not only important for the overall success of your team, but shows the person that you are interested in their needs, as well. Our own Dawn Stanyon likes to ask us this simple question: “How can I help?”
If you want to be perceived as Empowering: Try this mantra before you speak to your team or colleagues:
“I want to empower everyone to…” and then complete the sentence. In all communication, knowing how you want your audience to feel about your message informs your delivery physically, vocally, and visually. And an empowering leader actively knows he wants to bring her/his audience along to bigger and better things.
If you want to be perceived as Credible: Remember that much of your credibility comes from how you present yourself. Credibility, consistency and confidence go hand in hand. (Incidentally, they are also the tenants of personal brand…) Poor eye contact and jittery physicality will undermine your best efforts and make you look untrustworthy or unsure. Work on both to up your credibility with your colleagues and team.
If you want to be perceived as Fearless: Fearless leaders are boldly, uniquely themselves. They aren’t afraid to take a risk or put themselves out there. Ask yourself these questions: Am I authentically myself in the workplace? Do I over-think or over-analyze? Am I afraid to try new things? If so, challenge yourself! Remember, fearless behavior isn’t necessarily risky behavior. You can embody fearlessness by boldly making good choices.
Your comments: Which one of these qualities do you possess? What other leadership qualities do you admire? Share your comments below
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This is guest post with edits by Lei Han
Guest Author: Bridget Beirne – Bridget has a background in Theatre and in business. She currently works in marketing and social media for Ovation Communication, and is also the acting chief editor of the OC Blog.