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7 Essential Traits That Will Make You an Admirable Leader

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1. You do what you say you’re going to do.

Nothing promotes trust more than keeping your word. Always uphold your end of the bargain. If circumstances change, as they often do, communicate these changes to your team and explain the shift in plans and how you intend to deliver on your promise.

2. You have grace under fire.

No one respects a tyrant. Your colleagues are less likely to trust you if your primary mode of communication involves raising your voice, or humiliating others. When under pressure, buy yourself some time. Take a moment to step back and take a breath before saying something you may regret.

3. You come to the rescue.

Let’s say someone is publicly embarrassed at work, such as in a meeting. Try to find a way to uphold any aspect of what the person is saying, and support it. If you can’t reinforce any part of it at least say, “That just prompted me to consider another idea,” before offering an alternative. In other words, help the person save face.

4. You avoid gossip and cynicism.

Your character becomes tarnished when you gossip. Sarcasm is another characteristic that can engender resentment and animosity. People need to be listened to, appreciated, involved and connected. Transparent and direct communication tempered with respect, is key.

5. You set realistic targets and offer your help.

Allow enough time for a job to be done well — the first time. Remain aware of the progress of a project and don’t overload your associates with an unrealistic deadline. If the task is too challenging or time-consuming, ask how you can support them. Arrange for assistance from other team members, if necessary.

6. You let go of control when warranted.

When you let go of the need to control everything — you open up the opportunity for your associates to take on more responsibility. Employees are still held accountable and given productive feedback when necessary, but allowing them to take the reins on occasion kick starts creativity, and galvanizes them to become more resourceful.

7. You routinely express gratitude.

We all need to hear that our work is valued. Never underestimate the power of “thank you.” Remember, what you appreciate, appreciates.

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