If you ask any group of leaders about what they think are important leadership skills, much of the discussion will focus on capabilities such as strategic planning and budgeting.
In my work as a leadership coach, I understand how important qualities are in these areas of management, but I am also aware of the fact that the humanity of a leader is a source of many key skills. With this in mind, how would you rate your abilities in the following areas:
To be a good leader, one should not be afraid of one’s vulnerability. This means that you need to be able to express your emotions and connect with others on a purely human level. When leaders are not ashamed to show their feelings, they encourage others to do the same. This creates a better work environment in which everyone can be themselves.
You cannot become a great leader if you cannot put yourself in the shoes of others and see things from their point of view. Empathy allows a person to make decisions based on different perspectives. It gives you the strength to build relationships based on mutual trust and respect.
People often associate leadership with quick and decisive action. The ability to make short-term decisions is very important, but patience is no less important. The leader must be patient in his dealings with his employees and clients, as well as with himself. He must be patient with factors beyond his control and not make hasty decisions that he later regrets.
The ability to listen without interrupting the other and to think about how to respond to his words is the secret weapon of every good communicator, and therefore of every great leader.
The best leaders never stop thinking about trust – how to gain it, how to strengthen it, and how to maintain it. Building trust is a two-way process. To do this, you need to get to know people, understand them and give them the same respect you would like to receive from them.
To tell the truth, even when it is difficult, is the foundation on which one builds one’s integrity. People may not like what you tell them, but they will appreciate your sincerity. Honesty is the quality that allows leaders to maintain their reputations even in the most difficult times.
Support takes various forms – sometimes it is an encouraging word, and other times it is in the form of direct help to perform a task. The leader can also express support in words of consolation when something did not go the way he or she wanted. Your employees need to know that you stand behind them, both in their successes and their failures.