The subject of leadership is a hot topic in the world of business. Many businesses go through a rigorous process to prepare their budding leaders for success, whilst others promote individuals with potential into positions of leadership, on the grounds of their technical ability. In either case, many training programmes overlook the softer skills that are required of a truly great leader, such as empathy, nurturing relationships and dealing with difficult emotions.
The path to leadership is not a simple one; staff will go through good times, bad times and terrible times, but regardless of the situation, a great leader will be able to inspire, motivate, set an example and ultimately lead the team to victory.
6 Key leadership traits
Good leadership is hard to come by. Good leaders get results by personalising their leadership style to the business they work for, the needs of that business and the individuals in the team that are following them. Here are 6 key leadership traits:
- Communication – consistent, clear and concise communication with your team members is vitally important. This extends to feedback; let them know how they are doing, so that they recognise that they are a valued and respected member of the team.
- Honesty – as with our personal relationships, the foundation of a good and lasting relationship is honesty. A leader that has integrity and an honorable reputation is one that people will want to follow. Set an example to the team by establish your core values and living by them consistently so that they trust that you will find the right path, even in unknown territory.
- Giving your time – your staff members need to be able to look you in the eye and feel that they have your support, encouragement and that you are genuinely interested in them. Make time for one to one meetings, even if you feel you have nothing to feedback. It’s important that there is space for your team members to air any concerns or queries away from the wider team. And make time for small talk; genuine interest in your team member’s hobbies and activities outside of work will go a long way to building trust, respect and rapport.
- Positivity – bringing about an air of positivity to any situation will ensure your team remains happy, productive and motivated. Do not underestimate the impact that your demeanor can have on the rest of the team. They will quickly pick up on negative energy which may directly affect them. Bring in some light-hearted conversation, perhaps some ‘de-stress’ lollies, or have a 5-minute chat about something engaging and interesting that you recently read. Even if there is a difficult situation at hand, it’s always important to bring a positive energy and to look on the bright side.
- Listening – It sounds so easy, yet so many leaders manage to do it effectively. Listening is about stopping everything you are doing and giving 100% of your time and attention to the individual who needs to speak with you. Try not to form your response as they speak, it will be obvious in your body language. Be completely silent and attentive; allow them to talk and actually hear what they have to say.
- Sensitivity – a great leader has the ability to employ sensitivity in all situations. To be truly compassionate and empathise is a difficult skill to master and it takes practice. Be sure to ensure that every member of your team is respected and treated appropriately; consider their perspective and recognise them as an equal, as a human being.
Invest in your leadership skills
Leadership skills, like any other skills, can be built and improved upon. Our Leadership Masterclass helps delegates to understand themselves as a leader; developing the mindset and communication skills to improve their leadership skills. It will also give them the tools and techniques to get the best from their team.
Call us today on 020 7060 4375 to book your place.