Wouldn’t it be great if every workplace had a strong leader—one who prioritizes your professional success as much as hers? A leader who counsels, teaches, and inspires you to become self-actualized? Which begs the question: What are some of the characteristics shared by those who exhibit true workplace leadership?
Whether you’re currently in the top position of a company or aspire to it one day, here are five characteristics that many individuals who demonstrate authentic workplace leadership have perfected.
Personal and entrepreneurial coach Barrie Davenport believes “Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered—just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.”
In other words, self-confidence is not restricted to those in positions of leadership. However, confidence is an important characteristic of effective leaders.
If you’re uncertain about your decisions and yourself, your employees will know. Without confidence in yourself, the rest of your staff will find it difficult to have confidence in you.
Great leaders are inspirational. They themselves are inspired, so it is not difficult to share that emotion with co-workers, clients, family, and friends. They see possibility and potential every single day. What a great characteristic for those who wish to exude workplace leadership.
Leaders are by nature optimistic people. This is why they see possibilities where others see none. Optimism is both the cause and the effect of seeing good in all situation and people. Those with positivity know there is a silver lining each and every time there is a setback.
Positivity is also the cause and result of a deep seated sense of meaning and purpose in life. Leaders know where they are going and how they are going to get there. Positive leaders are viral, they infect the outlook of the entire company.
Even if you are the boss, the ability to be a team player is another important characteristic for those who need to exhibit leadership.
Never allow your employees to entertain the thought that you consider yourself a bit noble—sitting on your throne all day while they work away. True leadership at work often requires leading by example. Getting your hands dirty. Modeling hard work.
Teamwork also demonstrates your willingness to make mistakes. It’s invaluable to show your staff you’re far from perfect, perhaps that you may even have a tendency to make mistakes. These mistakes allow others to see you do not take yourself too seriously.
Ability to Effectively Communicate
Communication is key in any relationship including workplace relationships. As a leader at work, quality communication can affect all aspects of a company, several of which include: productivity, morale, frustration, and efficiency. Here are the six Cs that help guide effective communication.
This can be a huge roadblock to effective communication. Oftentimes, the communicator does not convey everything in his or her head, which is a natural tendency. Therefore, the communication is incomplete. Effective communication needs all information (including context) for true evaluation. It then requires the expectation the communicator has for relating the information.
Just like a traditional outline, communication needs a clear and concise point with supporting information—no redundancy, no irrelevancy.
Communication should be tailored to the target audience. Different types of people are receptive to different types of messaging.
Examples, facts, and figures can help clarify and guide the recipient.
Have you ever read or heard communication that was too clear?
Most everyone is more receptive to courteous versus curt communication.
As a leader, you must always exude the behavior you wish to generate in your employees. Strive to treat others the way you would like to be treated.
Understand that a successful team is often the engine of a successful company. Acknowledge your employees hard work and recognize them for it.
Practicing Leadership at Work
Everyone’s different and possesses different traits that can render success or failure in leadership roles.
These five traits provide some thoughts as you continue along the leadership path.
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