Leadership Traits – Do You Have Them?

Psychologists have developed a set of dimensions that are used to define the human personality, with every individual falling somewhere on the scale for each trait. Although we are all individuals and we manage in different ways BUT managers and leaders show some similarities in how they work with regard to key traits of behaviour.

The main 5 traits of leadership are;

Stability
Leaders are typically found to be resilient; that is, they are not easily put off by difficult, problematic situations. Taking this a little further they quickly become competent and are able to focus on personal learning to actually become comfortable in new or chaotic situations. In this way they anchor their teams and can guide their staff through difficult times.

Sociability
Rather than isolating themselves from others, natural leaders tend to be highly sociable and eager to talk to anyone in the workplace. A good leader will be able to remember this information and then use it as a means to link into the different motivational starter buttons for each of their staff in order to get the most effort and application form each tea member. Leaders that are aloof and distant frequently only get minimal effort and dedication from their teams!

Originality
The ability to bring something new and a fresh approach is critical to success; bureaucracy depends on the same form of leader following the same form of behaviour and delivering the same outputs as previous leaders have done. Bureaucracy is a dead organisational format! A good leader is a creative thinker who will challenge the status quo and accepted methods and strategies for relevance and practicality, bringing improvements and refinements to the work of the team and organisation.

Agreeableness
The ability to “get on” and to develop systems that are their own is a key leadership trait. Good leaders are not argumentative for the sake of it but have a clear path they wish to develop and will not be afraid to express their views. What sets out a leader from a good leader is the way in which they “sell” their vision rather than just imposing a new system or solution onto unwilling or unaware staff.

Conscientiousness
Leaders are goal-focused and are employed to get things done. This can be a limiting factor in their effectiveness if this is done without reference to the team and wider colleagues; getting snow-blind to the implications of managing the project for other Departments is a foolish way to manage in the wider sense. Good leaders also factor in the effects their projects and changes will have on morale and staff perceptions and take time and care to consider this, plan for it and then how to harness commitment and maintain or improve motivation.

So, how many of the 5 are you currently using right now?

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