When it comes to leadership, your mind might go to traits like strength and confidence. Yet, did you know other characteristics, such as gratitude and empathy, can serve you just as well or even better when you’re a leader? Here’s why these are important and how you can develop them, so you’re a great leader.
Why These Traits Are Important
Being grateful is important for a number of reasons. Personally, it will boost your mood and outlook. As a leader, though, it will help you to see and recognize the gifts and talents on your team. Gratitude can help you weather through tough times on the job and enjoy and relish more fruitful seasons. It will help you better develop a loyal team that appreciates the recognition and praise you give them.
Empathy is another critical trait that can help you when you’re in charge. When you’re empathetic, you have more emotional intelligence and are therefore able to understand your workers, their needs, and ways to best develop and motivate them. When you’re empathetic, you’ll also be a more effective leader because you’re more inclusive, understanding, and communicative with your staff. This improves the working conditions of those around you and generally boosts on-the-job satisfaction for your team.
How to Develop Them
If these traits don’t come as natural talents to you, there is good news. Just like many soft skills, you can develop them. Here are some tips on how:
- Start saying “thank you” to your team members.
- Praise them for a job well done.
- Set key milestones and celebrate the successes, such as with lunch or happy hour.
- Give your employees perks, like extra time off around the holidays.
- Recognize them publicly on your company blog or in your weekly news updates.
- Spend time with each employees individually so you get to know them on a more personal level.
- Work to understand their personal situations, so you understand the pressures they’re under at home.
- Listen more than you talk and ask questions, before you make recommendations.
- Set a good example and walk the walk.
These are just a few ways you can work to develop these traits. The bottom line, though, is when you’re a more compassionate leader, you’ll bring wisdom and creativity to your team – so you can bring out the best in the people who work with you. By taking these few steps above, you can show your appreciation and respect for them, so they’re more loyal and driven at work.
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