Characteristics of an Effective Leader

Every person has the capability to be a leader. Along with coaching and diagnostic tools, it would be easy to identify obstacles that hold individuals back. There are multiple characteristics and skills needed to be an effective leader. Effective leader characteristics include personal authority, personal qualities and practical approach. Firstly, personal authority means that the leader position only affects and extends downward. With the increase of power, responsibilities increase. Thus, the leader will have the ability to reward and discipline according to individuals’ performance. As well, people who use their former power tend to be less effective.

Characteristics of an Effective Leader

Secondly, personal qualities play an important role in influencing peers as will as superiors to create and maintain relationships inside and outside organizations. These personal traits compose of emotional resiliency, extroversion, learning orientation, collegiality and conscientiousness. Leaders with these traits are characterized by having warmth, assertiveness, imagination and creativity, sensitivity and the ability to be responsible and competent. As a result, they will be able to handle stress and negative emotions, sustain successful relationships, maintain employees’ safety, bring change to the environment and be far ahead of those influenced and others. It is also the ability to understand followers’ concerns and feelings; thereby being compassionately motivating rather than demanding.

As well as characteristics are important, certain skills can be learned to be an effective leader. One of these skills is communication skills. It is important to start with the use of appropriate empathized language. Clear choice and usage of words will identify exactly what is meant and attract the audience emotions to the talk; eliminating chances of misunderstandings and employees’ opposition. As every idea presented is known to be true unless there is a contradicted idea. An effective leader should find a common agreement to keep the audience yes minded by using different tones and enthusiastic manner. Then, he/she can present the new idea. Communication is an exchange process, thus, active listening is important because it influences followers feedback and leader’s chance for improvement. Lastly, the road to an effective communicator is expelling barriers related to the message, sender, channel or receiver, for example, hostility, being impatient, information overload, and sarcastic manner. There is no short way to be an effective communicator rather it is a long learning process.

Lastly, practical approach is the ability of the leader to maintain objectivity and function within cultural boundaries. Subjectivity will impair judgment as well as motivation and creativity. In addition, effective leaders are reliable and consistent with the conversations basing their actions on beliefs. They persuade people about their ideas minimizing the usage of their positional power. They also comprehend situations and people’s opinion to allow a better approach for solving problems.

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