6 Essential Traits of Inspiring Leaders

Many people in leadership roles freely discuss the shortcomings of the employees they manage. However, they rarely take a closer look to figure out what habits they need to change to become better leaders. While some people appear to be born leaders who innately understand what it takes to inspire employees, most leadership skills are learned behaviors. Anyone strongly motivated to improve their management style and interactions can do so.

Leadership can be costly for a business and its employees. Most of us are aware of the phenomenon known as the “great resignation”. Millions of employees who are fed up with the status quo are quitting jobs where they are unhappy. The reasons vary, but bad bosses factor into the equation. The results of a Gallup poll titled “State of the American Manager Report” indicates one in two employees have quit their job because of a bad manager, and seventy percent are seeking a new job because they receive little support or recognition.

It takes work to become a great leader. Even becoming a good leader by employees’ standards requires daily work and commitment. The transformation often starts with a change of heart and the willingness to embrace traits that should be essential characteristics of every leader.

Exhibit Integrity
One criticism often expressed by employees about their managers is actions that indicate a lack of honesty and integrity. When a significant number of people shares perceptions, they negatively impact the organization’s culture. Leaders need to have integrity. Especially in cases of top-level executives and anyone the organization designates to manage people. Unfortunately, some research indicates that employees may be right in believing that many companies fail to recognize when their organizations fail to model honesty and integrity.

Express Gratitude
Good leaders know how to say thank you and show gratitude for a well-done job. The ability to express these traits results in higher self-esteem, fewer sleepless nights, and less anxiety. Employees say they work harder for bosses who make them feel appreciated.

Be a Quick Study
Being able to think on your feet and navigate unfamiliar territory is the mark of a great leader. The ability to learn and quickly absorb information shows agility. Providing solutions amid change requires identifying the best options.

Show Courage
Being the only person who disagrees with everyone else in the room is tricky. Sometimes that’s what it takes to share a new idea, inform your boss about an unpleasant situation, or fight for something you value. Leaders sometimes spark conversations that pinpoint divisions and opposing points of view. Bringing problems to light, rather than avoiding issues, is the courage required of leaders.

Communicate Effectively
Skilled communicators have a knack for transmitting information in a way that inspires others to listen and act. Leaders engage a wide range of individuals who have different roles, ethnicities, and cultures. It’s essential to adapt communication styles to ensure recipients process messages as intended by the sender. There is a correlation between effectively communicating with employees and operating a successful business. Keeping people informed dispels rumors by keeping everyone on the same page.

Embrace Empathy
Inclusive leadership requires expressing empathy about your employee’s situations. People who feel their boss can relate to them and understand their challenges are typically better performers since they are willing to engage in candid dialogue and more open conversations.

Becoming a good or great leader is a work in progress. They’ll always be something new to learn and adjustments that must be made. However, being a good listener and keeping an open mind will help get you to the place you want.

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