Qualities that make a great leader.

8 leadership qualities you need to manage your team

Great leaders inspire their team members to produce the best possible work. They create an environment that people enjoy working in and are well-liked and respected.

We often feel that we know a good leader when we see one, yet quite what qualities make someone so isn't always easy to define. Everyone has a different opinion and has likely experienced various leadership styles during their working life. Some people seem to be natural leaders, while others have to work hard to command respect and authority.

When it comes to managing a team, leadership is about being able to inspire and encourage. But it's also about being able to manage people, processes and systems.

What are the essential leadership qualities for managing a team?

1) Great communicator

You can't expect a team to deliver on your goals and objectives if you can't communicate them properly. Leaders must be able to use their communication skills to instruct, inspire and motivate their teams to work effectively. It's also important that leaders can have difficult conversations with team members where necessary, such as about performance or attitude. Solid communication skills are crucial if these types of conversations are to be impactful.

Communication isn't all about speaking though, and leaders need a level of emotional intelligence to read other peoples' emotions. They can only communicate effectively if they can see how other people react to them, assess their own emotions and listen to the opinions of others.

Leaders using communication skills to instruct and inspire.Effective communication skills allow leaders to inspire as well as instruct.

2) Sense of integrity

Leaders sometimes have the difficult task of balancing the interests of their team with the wider demands of the business, and may have to defend their team's decision-making and performance when it's called into question.. At times they have to stand up for what's best for their department, even when it isn't what their superiors are asking for. 

Leaders with high ethical and moral standards always win my respect. They have faith in their decisions and those of their team members. A lack of integrity shows very quickly, and employees soon work out that their leader does not have their back, and cannot be trusted to protect the team if needed. Instead, employees will assume their managers are looking out for themselves at the expense of the team.

3) Natural honesty

One of the leadership traits I most appreciate is knowing where I stand. When you can trust your manager to tell you the truth, whether good or bad, you know that when you do receive their praise, it's well-earned and sincere. On the flip side, when something goes wrong, I much prefer to find out from the manager I trust, rather than someone I don't have a relationship with. I know that their feedback is necessary and fair.

4) Confident decision maker

When difficult decisions have to be made, it's down to the team leader to make the call. It doesn't benefit the team if they have to wait days to find out what the new strategy is because their leader couldn't decide. A good leader must be able to assess all the facts quickly and be confident at making a decision they'll stick with. It's equally as annoying for team members to start working on a project only to find that the boss has changed their mind and they must start over. 

Good leaders have faith in their decision making and have the courage to see it through.

Colleague annoyed because a manager did not make a decision.Team members appreciate managers who can make decisions and stick to them.

5) Approachable

The best leaders are people that employees want to follow. They should be engaging, approachable and open to new ideas. High-performing teams often come about when colleagues feel they can approach their manager, and each other, with new ideas, questions or concerns. Being able to talk openly means problems are solved as they arise because everyone feels confident that they can voice an issue or opinion without negative repercussions. 

6) Forward thinking

Great leaders have vision. They want the best for their team and company and are always working towards the end goal. Leaders understand where their team fits into the bigger picture. For them, it's about much more than managing day-to-day tasks. They're looking beyond today, into the months and years ahead and inspire their team to see their part in the overall business strategy they're contributing to.

7) Humility

Those who can admit when they're wrong always win my respect. Being a great leader isn't about always being right or knowing the answer. It's about knowing how to make a call, and deal with any issues in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Humility over arrogance means leaders can continue to learn from their mistakes and become better managers as a result. It's not a sign of weakness, but of the ability to adapt in whatever way is needed. 

8) Hard working

The saying 'lead by example' has never gone out of fashion, and for good reason. Employees respect bosses who show their willingness to do their part and work hard. It shows that they're part of the team and understand that it only works when everyone gets their head down. 

Hard-working managers inspire the rest of the organisation to take the same approach and demonstrate that it's a well-valued and expected attitude.

To find out how we can help you improve your leadership qualities get in touch with the ICML team today for more information.


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