“Leadership is a behavior, not a position or a title.”

mask-3829017_1280The above quote has been around in one form or another. I fell upon this quote again recently and it made me think how relevant it is in these current times of crisis, and that the time for any leader to step up is now.

Leadership does not come just from a title or be reserved solely for the masters of business or politics.  Leaders come from all walks of life be it teachers, soccer coaches or traffic wardens.  A leader’s ability to inspire will really derive from how well they can articulate their vision and  communicate it with others.

By adopting the following communication skills this can help you become a better leader;

  • Knowing when to praise – I once had a former boss who taught me that if people do well, they should be praised in public and if they aren’t up to the task then criticized in private. Generally, people thrive on praise so if you can, do it in public.
  • Look at things from your colleagues’ point of view – it has been said that it can be lonely at the top and that often leaders are out of touch, therefore it is really important to see an issue from your colleagues’ point of view.  This could be something as simple as how the photocopier is replenished, whilst this may be unimportant for your job, it could be the most important thing for your colleague, so try to give it the respect it deserves.
  • Show Empathy – to show empathy is not a sign of weakness, it just shows that you feel for their situation. In a situation where say a hundred people had to be made redundant, this is a never going to be a pleasant situation, however if empathy is shown, then the corporate message may be received in a more positive manner.
  • Have a sense of humour – If you can, a good sense of humour and laugh at yourself when the need arises and tell anecdotal stories, it can go a really long way to building up rapport and camaraderie with staff.
  • Listen to you colleagues – to truly listen to your colleagues can often take more focus and concentration than to speak, therefore this is an action that should be practiced as it indicates a genuine interest and makes your colleague feel valued.  If we care we listen. We should listen to understand rather than formulate a response.

While titles may bring position, they may not earn loyalty or trust – it is behavior that does this, and communication is one of the best behavioral traits to cultivate when developing our leadership skills.

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    Posted on June 25, 2020 by Cooney Carey