By Holly McCarthy
When in a position of leadership, there are many things that need to be conveyed to those who follow your lead. Rather than just being a manager or supervisor, the most important thing is to be an effective leader. Leaders possess a wide array of skills and traits that set them above the rest. What follows is a brief list of some traits that good leaders should possess.
Excellent Communication Skills
If you want to be taken seriously as a leader, your communication in all forms needs to be highly effective. We live in a world that involves written and verbal communication constantly. The grammar and language in an email is just as important as the way you present yourself in person. You are the one in the spotlight most of the time, so the way you speak and how you convey your thoughts to others is something that is always under scrutiny.
Going hand in hand with communication skills, good leaders are very direct people. As a leader you need to know exactly what it is that you want and convey that to those beneath you. It is very important to say what you mean and mean what you say, to quote a cliché. Being direct about what you want without backing down ensures that there is no “wiggle room” in regard to your expectations.
Good leaders are often put in the situation of having to judge or arbitrate between others that work for them. Fairness is something that requires patience and a touch of humanity. The ability to listen to both sides of an argument or situation and be able to make an informed decision that is fair and just is another one of the skills good leaders need to maintain success.
Sometimes you need to lead by example, and this is a great way to demonstrate that you can do anyone’s job that works for you if you have to. You can do this without saying a word; just roll up your sleeves and get in the trenches with your employees for a few hours here and there. Nothing earns respect from people quite like demonstrating that you are willing and able to get your hands dirty once in a while.
Kind, Yet Firm
The benevolent leader is not an anomaly in the business world and is a trait worth cultivating. If you are able to demonstrate through leadership that you can be kind and just to people, you are well on your way to creating a fantastic working environment for your employees. However, when things go wrong, you must be able to be firm and assert yourself. There is no reason to always be harsh or too kind; treading the line between these two types of behavior is what great leaders do.
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