By: Kathy Kent Toney, CEO & Founder of Kent Business Solutions
Many experts have written articles on the best traits of good leaders over the years. As a business leader, sometimes it's a challenge to know what characteristics are best to focus on for upping your leadership game.
For that reason, it's helpful to boil down these characteristics into just a few. So, here are five commonly cited best traits for leaders:
1. Effective Communicators
Good communication skills are essential for effective leadership. Good leaders can clearly and concisely communicate their vision and goals to their team. This ability also includes providing timely feedback and guidance to team members.
If this is a weak area, consider teaming up with a peer or mentor to help you improve. Practicing active listening, being aware of the impact of your body language, and receiving feedback on your day-to-day progress are a few ways to become a more effective communicator.
Influential leaders can understand and empathize with the needs and concerns of their team members. Their ability to build relationships based on trust and respect and to create supportive work environments where everyone feels valued and heard is also essential.
This aspect can stretch some executives if they are not naturally empathetic. In this case, it may involve a daily decision to practice showing care to their peers and employees. If this is still a stretch, a mentor or coach can provide valuable help in this area.
The ability to adapt to changing circumstances and to pivot when necessary is a highly valued skill. Leaders who can quickly think on their feet while recognizing when it's time to change course set them apart from other executives.
To improve in the area, work towards developing a mindset where you envision challenges and setbacks as opportunities and not view them as negatives. Developing contingency plans is also helpful so you can quickly pivot when necessary.
Exceptional leaders take responsibility for their actions and decisions and hold themselves and their team accountable for meeting goals and achieving results. They can provide constructive feedback and coaching to team members when needed while recognizing and rewarding their achievements.
For those who may be weak in this area, a mentor or coach can prove valuable where accountability becomes a natural part of the coaching relationship. These newly learned skills can then become transferable to the business world.
Great leaders have a clear and compelling vision for the future. Such leaders see the big picture and can guide their teams toward achieving long-term goals. It's also essential that they can communicate this vision to their team in a way that inspires them to work toward it.
If this is a challenging area, set aside time in your schedule for creative thinking or even schedule brainstorming sessions with your team to help create your company's vision.
Speaking about vision, do you have any projects in mind towards accomplishing your vision but need internal resources to spearhead them?
I'd love to chat with you if you're in that boat!
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