Leaders vary in their styles and how they motivate employees to perform at their best. But good leaders have commonalities that help everyone around them. All business owners and managers can learn from the great leaders, who typically utilize the following traits to be effective:
- Confidence: No matter how you go about boosting yours, confidence is an essential trait that every leader needs. If you’re not confident in your abilities, no one else will be. Being confident doesn’t mean being arrogant or knowing the answer to every question. It does mean knowing what you don’t know and being willing to find out the answers.
- Curiosity: Finding out who you really are and learning more about your team members are important aspects of becoming confident. Knowing your strengths and those of your direct reports makes everyone more efficient.
- Focus: Great leaders know where they are going. They are focused on the goal and how to achieve it.
- Listening Skills: Just as focus on a goal helps you achieve it, listening to people moves everyone toward the objective. People who don’t feel heard will soon tune you out. No matter what rank or level a person is, giving them your full attention will make you soar in their eyes.
- Integrity: It should go without saying that leaders do what they say they’ll do with honesty, so people can count on them and trust in their words. Lack of integrity will sink a leader quickly—and has no place in any reputable company.
- Engagement: The ability to engage an entire team is a sign of a great business leader. By challenging your people, seeking their ideas and recognizing their contributions, you’ll have then engaged and motivated to help achieve the goal.
- Communication: Being a good communicator means being open to sharing both good and bad news, talking about your vision and hopes for your team and your company, and instills trust. It also fosters communication back to you, which all leaders need from their teams.
- Support: Foster a positive environment that helps your teams flourish. Letting people know you truly care can motivate them more than money.
- Collaborate: Ask for ideas and help from your team members, both the best and those who may struggle more. Collaboration makes people feel valued and encourages them to do better.
- Celebrate: Let people know you’re proud of their accomplishments. Celebrating successes helps relive stress that today’s competitive environment can bring, and helps recharge workers’ batteries.
Whether you’re a business owner, project manager or team leader, you owe it to your people to work on strengthening your leadership skills. Not only will your team feel happier at work, but they will be more productive and may even stick around longer!