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Are You an Effective Leader? Here Are 5 Must-Have Traits

Being an effective leader isn’t just about telling people what to do.

When you’re in a high-level position like a Director or Manager, it’s about how you’re able to balance a bunch of qualities together like: being a strong communicator, a good listener, or how you empower others, in order to effectively lead your team of employees.

Below is a list of important traits we think effective leaders have in common.

1. Strong communication.

An effective leader ensures they have clear and concise communication with their staff. Whether it’s listening and responding effectively to their employees, being open and honest about company updates, clarifying misunderstanding, and being clear about what is expected from your team.

2. Empathy.

This is about creating a connection with your employees. Being an empathetic leader requires understanding and awareness about what is going on around you. Ask how your employees are doing – are they facing challenging circumstances? If so, how are you able to help make the situation better or provide adjustments and improvements.

3. Inspires.

Ensure you reinforce the efforts of your employees and encourage them to continuously come up with new ideas and concepts. It’s also important to understand how to motivate each staff member. Every employee is different, so it goes a long way to try and figure out what methods work well with everyone.

4. Recognize your employees.

Take the time to recognize the accomplishments of your team members, even if it’s just a simple email saying, “thank you for all your hard work” or “well done.” It can go a long way in helping your employees feel more confident and more motivated to achieve and do more at your company.

5. Making tough decisions.

Sometimes when you’re the one in charge, you’ll have to make difficult decisions that require quick thinking with limited information. Ensure you weigh out all your options, consider the consequences, and learn from your mistakes if things didn’t necessarily go as planned.

A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting. A boss is interested in himself or herself, a leader is interested in the group.

-Russell H. Ewing

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