A good leader should possess a lot of qualifying skills to be worthy of the title. Want to be a leader? It’s time to develop more skills if you’re going to get the role. Amongst all the most essential leadership skills, it’s overwhelming not knowing what to prioritize. To help you, here’s where you DON’T start:
1. Being Nice
It’s a given that leaders should be nice. Besides, it should not be considered a skill at all. We can all agree that a leader’s nature is to have an agreeable personality. According to Fran Hauser, The Myth of the Nice Girl author, “niceness” is an essential leadership quality.
She further elaborated that it should be wrong when kindness isn’t part of a leader’s qualities. And if employees can’t find kindness in the workplace, there’s a high chance that they could see it as a toxic environment.
So as a leader, it’s vital to show your best parts to others. Don’t be the leader you hate and strive to have a more different approach to leadership.
2. Caring About Others
When you’re a leader, it’s inevitable to care about your team. A leader is an authoritative figure who’s placed in the top position to care about others. Whether genuine or out of responsibility, it’s one of the critical defining qualities a leader should have from the start.
Professionally, caring can be seen as a concern for the employee’s well-being in the workplace. The most powerful way to express this concern as a leader is by nurturing your team for growth.
3. Being Empathetic
From the start, empathy is one of the essential skills a leader should possess. Besides, it’s something that leaders should not develop afterward. It’s an ability that a leader should have since the first day of work.
Empathy is not a “soft skill” for the convenience of employees. It’s an ability that enables a leader to figure out how decisions and actions can affect your team.
We can say that leadership and empathy go hand-in-hand. It means to have the ability to understand the team’s needs and be aware of their feelings or thoughts. A leader who lacks the interest in getting to know the employee can’t fully assess their overall capabilities. Which is something a leader should be able to discern in the first place.
Another critical point of being an empathetic leader is recognizing how to empower and motivate your team. It’s the ability to put yourself in their situation and find out the best way to enable the team for the better.
4. Understanding Others
Another critical ability of a leader is understanding others. Understanding is not a one-way street. As employees try their best to understand the management, leaders should also try to understand the varying circumstances of employees.
Besides, it’s the critical responsibility of leaders to know and understand the capabilities of their employees. By having such knowledge, it’s easier to predict what your team will feel in a particular situation or project. It’s also helpful when it comes to delegating tasks to your team. As a leader, you’ll know which employees are best suited for certain types of projects.
Another point of understanding the team is to have a better grasp of the strengths and weaknesses. As you move forward with the team, it’s easier to pinpoint the areas that need priority. It will also be more convenient for the leader to know which skills the team lacks and needs to work on.
Being friendly, caring, empathetic, and understanding others are considered as the apparent qualities a leader should have. The four qualities mentioned above should already be in a leader since day zero.