When we think of leaders, there are certain characteristics that we associate with leadership. Traits such as charisma and assertiveness come to mind. Leaders are also associated with having extroverted and ‘strong’ personalities. However, the best leadership traits can also be unusual ones.
Leaders can have different personality types and come from different backgrounds. It’s not necessary that leaders are only people who wear business suits and ties. They can also be community leaders, someone who hosts a book club meeting or volunteers at a local charity.
The best leadership traits a person can have may depend on the situation. Let’s look at some unconventional leadership traits that make a good leader.
It’s common for conflict arises in teams. Conflict in an organization can range in severity. A good leader isn’t someone who always steps in to fix everyone’s problems. They know that sometimes it’s important to let people sort out their own issues.
An effective leader can determine when not to bring more attention to a problem. Letting minor and relatively harmless disagreements pass on their own can be the best thing to do. There are many cases where interference can make things worse.
The Ability to Follow
A good leader is someone who knows when it’s time to let someone else take the lead. There are situations where people in your team are better equipped and have more experience. This can revolve around tasks like making presentations or organizing an office party.
A strong leader has the ability to follow others whenever necessary. This also creates the opportunity to lead by example, rather than telling people what to do. It’s also a way to delegate tasks and groom people for more responsibilities.
Good leaders try to get the best from everyone, rather than focusing on formality and rigid structures. They are willing to create a flatter organization and do not insist on pointless formality.
While they enforce respect and authority, it’s not based on the need to maintain the image of superiority. They are comfortable with signs of strength and creativity from different quarters and even reward ideas. They avoid addressing people too formally and welcome a friendly relationship with coworkers.
Great leaders are not afraid to feel empathy at work. It’s easier to keep a distance from people, but involved leadership learns more about their people and feels empathy for their challenges. This is a powerful trait to have.
Empathy can build loyalty, and also puts leaders in the shoes of their coworkers. This will give them the ability to understand problems and come up with remarkable solutions.
Open to Criticism
Some leaders feel that getting feedback and criticism undermines their authority. They do not invite questions, criticism or feedback from people who work under them. A truly strong leader is someone who can listen to suggestions and criticisms from their team members.
They are able to take the feedback impersonally and do not ignore it. Leaders look at mistakes as opportunities to learn and consider other points of view as valid to some degree at least. To make people more comfortable giving feedback, you can ask for it online. Issue blog surveys or use an internal anonymous feedback system to get suggestions.
Free With Praise
Good leaders are eager to build people up and point out their strengths and wins. Leaders praise their team-mates and colleagues personally. They also ensure that the entire company is aware of a job well done through the workplace membership site.
Another way to ensure that praise is shared in a professional manner across a business is to use a newsletter. Many workplaces create and deploy an internal newsletter using email marketing services. You can share ‘employee highlights’ or feature your employee of the month with to show appreciation.
Leadership is Multi-Faceted and Versatile
The image of a charismatic and often intimidating leader is not true for all cases. People can be leaders in different situations and have traits that suit the situation. In the right context, traits that are not usually considered ‘leader-like’ can be exactly what’s needed.
In the end, what matters is that a leader gets the job done in a positive way and keeps people happy. Leadership can be effective in all its forms.