A quick summary:
Being a great leader requires one thing. In fact, it requires a dozen qualities. But do you know what they all are? And more importantly, do you possess these characteristics? If you’re responsible for other people in the workplace, read through the list below and learn how to become a more effective leader.
The first quality great leaders possess is communication. And this means being clear and concise when communicating with anyone and everyone, customer or colleague.
Communication is one of the most essential skills for all employees, but especially as someone responsible for articulating a strategy, making key decisions and directing a team of employees to success.
Next up, listening. But not just any kind of listening, active listening. See, in an attention-grabbing world, we find it harder and harder to focus on one thing at a time. Leaders need to be effective with how they listen to their team members.
Because when it boils down to it, poor listening leads to poor communication, and this can cause dysfunctional teams that slip up and make too many errors. Instead, active listening is about understanding what it is people really need you to hear and what you can do next.
Empathy is important in every setting. The ability to understand what people are experiencing and how they feel is a key skill to being a leader. That’s because a leader not only paves the way to success for their team but must support them in everyday ups and downs.
As you can imagine, empathy and active listening go hand-in-hand. Understanding your employee's needs and the impact it could have on their experience in the workplace is to be empathetic.
Coaching and mentoring are skills leaders must also own. That’s because people naturally want to progress in life, and by being a great mentor, leaders can help their team become leaders themselves.
Without being a great mentor, employees will suffer from a lack of personal development. Ask yourself these questions…
- What skills have I mastered in my career that I can transfer to others?
- How can I invest more in developing my team members?
Conflict happens everywhere, both inside and outside the workplace. That’s just life. But it’s the duty of a great leader to resolve conflict in the most amicable way possible. When it comes to work, problems will arise and conflict will take place.
That’s because most of us have our own idea of how a project should be played out or what’s best for the company. When these opinions collide, it creates tension and stressed relationships. Leaders must bring people together and ensure all ideas and opinions are heard and respected.
This one is a no-brainer! Decision-making is one of the most important qualities of any leader. Being decisive about which direction to take, what the wider team must focus on and what’s the company’s next move is vital to make progress.
Of course, we’re all decision-makers in a sense. But as a leader, there’s less room for failure and decisions must be more effective. Too many wrong decisions can be detrimental in a business, making this a key ingredient to successful leadership.
When it comes to the highs and lows of business, leaders need to be resilient. Not only for their team members, but to set an example for everyone. Business success is no easy feat, and it requires people go above and beyond.
But that’s exactly the mindset leaders must have, in the face of adversity, conflict, or the edge of achievement. Resilience is a great characteristic for everyone, and by being resilient, progress can further, faster.
Next up, collaboration. This is a must-have for all great leaders. The ability to work well with others, value their ideas and opinions is what sets teams apart. In nearly every workplace, collaboration is must-have.
Leaders that cannot work collaboratively, or promote the quality to their wider team cannot become great leaders. After all, it was Henry Ford who said “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself”.
Penultimately, we have performance management. Now, being able to perform well at work is a given, and for everyone. But not all managers are understanding of the importance of managing performances.
Without rigorous performance management, progress is harder to analyse. This involves setting realistic goals, KPIs and timelines. Imagining a world without those is to imagine slow, unstable progress, causing major disruptions to business growth.
Finally, let’s talk about integrity-based leadership. This refers to being ethical as a leader, and doing what’s right in the best interests of both people and the business.
Unfortunately, many leaders can be bias or judgmental, allowing their beliefs and opinions to cloud their judgement and decision making.
This can lead to poor leadership that causes issues within the organisation. For instance, if a leader values overworking and “hustle culture” these characteristics may create a toxic work environment, where those who choose not to burnout are frowned upon.
Instead, it’s about being ethical, fair and acting with integrity as a leader. That’s how managers can become great leaders.
Final thoughts on leadership qualities
There you have it! Our top ten qualities for people management in 2023. Hopefully, you can now see how these characteristics can make or break teams. Why leaders must take things like communication, mentoring and resilience seriously if they want to create growth and prosperity for their business.
Whilst there are various other skills, it’s these that can really make a difference. The qualities listed above can help leaders become better for both themselves, their colleagues and the success of a business.