Critical things every great leader remembers

09:38 | 24/06/2014
Aside from facts, figures and policy, great leaders make a priority of remembering the soft elements that help their team grow and perform at their best. Great leaders don’t save human reflection for special occasions. They keep these thoughts in mind all the time to keep their teams happy and productive.

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- Remember to offer respect

People on the team need to feel that you value their skills and knowledge. If you treat them like children, they will act like children, or worse. Great leaders remember to let their teams know they are valued, because words, tone and gestures will show it. Everyone from the cleaning person to the top executive deserves certain basic courtesies, including a cordial greeting, a present moment of your attention and the acknowledgement of their efforts.

- Remember to offer truth

No one is served by quiet politeness, or outright lies. It’s hard to hear the truth sometimes especially when you are emotionally invested in a project that is off track. But great leaders know how to deliver truth in a straightforward way that helps people move forward. You can be frank without being mean, petty or harsh. And the detriments of avoidable failure due to silence or candy coating far outweigh the harshness and pain of learning the truth.

- Remember to offer encouragement

Nothing saps energy like the feeling of being lost or out of options. When people are running out of energy or feeling down, great leaders take notice and remember how to get people back on track. You can describe what you like or admire about them. Remind them of the strengths and skills they can bring to the table. If cheerleading isn’t enough, roll up your sleeves and get into problem solving with them.

- Remember to offer gratitude

People feed on acknowledgement. Just saying ‘thank you’ when someone holds the door can affirm that positive behaviour. And when you hold the door tells the other person that you value them and want to meet their needs. Great leaders remember to be grateful for the efforts others make on their behalf. Be watching for opportunities to do small, thoughtful things for others that demonstrate how much you appreciate their efforts.

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