Not everyone is cut out for being a good leader. There are a lot of traits that we associate with good leaders, such as integrity and being encouraging. However, some qualities that make for a good leader are less obvious. Below, we’ll look at a few of these traits and how they relate to leadership skills.
Prioritize Personal Development
While leaders need to invest in their subordinates, it’s just as crucial that they invest in themselves. Taking time to develop your own skills and foster your own personal and professional development will better equip you to lead others. Failing to take the time to evaluate yourself may lead to getting stuck in ineffective routines and falling behind in industry developments.
Solid Cultural Competence
Another often overlooked trait that makes for a good leader is cultural competence. Due to the increasingly diverse workforce and globalization, being able to tactfully handle interactions with people from cultures different from your own is critical. Make an effort to learn from the people around you and seek educational opportunities to increase your cultural awareness.
Even if you have everything else going for you, if your employees aren’t comfortable approaching you with questions or concerns, you won’t be able to lead effectively. You should strive to make your subordinates feel valued and heard, as well as to make yourself available and welcoming. A leader that is constantly locked in an office or only interacts with employees to offer criticism or project deadlines is intimidating. Make sure you take time to encourage your employees and build a positive rapport so they feel like they can come to you when needed.
Have a Sense of Humor
Finally, one other unlikely trait is having a sense of humor. Whether you’re a leader or not, things will go wrong, and people will make mistakes. Sometimes those things are serious, and as a leader, they may call for disciplinary action. However, sometimes those things are small and inconsequential, and laughing about silly mistakes makes a big difference in relieving stress, both for you and your employees. Presenting an exclusively serious demeanor will only make you more unapproachable.
Are these things true of you? If not, these are great opportunities to develop your leadership skills. These may not be traditional skills listed on a resume, but they are valuable to anyone in a leadership role.