There are a few key qualities that set highly effective leaders apart. These qualities apply to both remote and in-person leadership, and are important for leaders at all levels. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, these are the top qualities that all effective leaders share:
Excellent communication skills.
Communication goes far beyond just talking. While speaking is one major component of communication, listening, writing, body language, and other nonverbal cues are all equally important. For a leader to be highly effective, each and every one of these parts of communication have to be mastered.
Speaking skills for leaders to perfect include being able to articulate a point in a clear and concise manner, being able to speak confidently to both your employees as well as your bosses, and being able to control your emotions when you speak. You should also be able to do all of this in writing as well.
Perhaps the most overlooked communication skill for leaders is listening. Leaders need to practice active listening, which is where you’re fully engaged and paying attention to the person who’s speaking, rather than already thinking ahead to what you’ll say next.
It’s also important to pay attention to your body language and tone of voice when you’re having a conversation.
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Empathy is a very powerful tool. Simply put, empathy is the ability to understand someone else’s situation, thoughts, or feelings from their point of view rather than yours. It’s about being able to truly put yourself in another person’s shoes to see and understand where they’re coming from.
Empathetic leaders are able to more easily build trust, rapport, and deeper connections with their employees. This in turn allows employees to feel respected, heard, and trusted at work leading to greater productivity, engagement, and company loyalty.
Not being afraid to admit when you’re wrong.
Just because you’re a leader doesn’t mean you’re immune to being wrong. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. The difference between effective and ineffective leadership is how you handle a situation when you’ve made a mistake.
It’s important to admit when you’re wrong and take action to rectify the situation. If you told an employee something and later you find out it wasn’t correct, you need to let them know and provide them with updated information. By doing this, you’re building trust with that employee and paving the way for them to feel comfortable coming to you if they make a mistake at some point in time.
It’s this act of leading by example that’s such a powerful tool. If a leader isn’t willing to admit that they’re wrong or they’ve made a mistake, employees won’t admit their mistakes either. On the flip side, if a leader is open about their mistakes, they can create a safe space where employees feel comfortable speaking up about their mistakes as well.