In the Workplace You Need...
Have you ever taken a look at someone who’s successful and wondered how they got there? What qualities do they have that makes them a leader? What is that “it” factor that makes them stand out?
Sure, they might have a degree from an outstanding school. Yes, they may be fantastic at mapping out business strategies. They could be master negotiators and know exactly how to handle the most difficult of clients or customers.
And yes, those things are good. Really good.
But if you dig deeper, you will probably find some other qualities that books and professors don’t necessarily teach.
For me, these are the qualities that truly make a leader stand out in a crowd. That makes them rise to the top.
They may not be the qualities or traits that you’re going to list on your resume – but they are CRUCIAL for your success in the workplace – and here they are!
The Ability to Be Candid With Others
Candidness is one of the most important leadership skills you can develop. It’s easy to say what people want to hear, especially if you want their approval or support for something. But it takes courage and strength of character not only to give an honest answer when asked about your opinion on something but also to speak out against things that are wrong around you without fear of repercussions.
A lot depends on who we surround ourselves with at work. If our colleagues are supportive and encouraging, then it can make all the difference in whether or not we succeed or fail as a leader. If we have negative people in our work environment, it can be very difficult to stay positive and focused. You want to be able to select the right team members who will help you and the team achieve success.
The Right Team Members
The Ability to Be Tactful
Now, I mentioned that you need to be candid – and you do! But you also need to be tactful. Candid doesn’t mean rude, snarky, passive-aggressive – or any of those other negative tones that I’m sure we’ve all experienced in the workplace. I always find that when I have to have those difficult conversations, it’s best to present things in as factual a manner as possible – and limit the emotion.
The Ability to Laugh at Yourself and Situations
Who hasn’t had a day where you just have to laugh because things have gone so far off the rails? Or, you make a mistake – and you own up to it and then laugh? Without a sense of humor – you’re not going to survive. A great leader knows how critical it is not to take themselves too seriously. (And if you follow me on social media – you know I really take this one to heart!)
Know how to Laugh At Yourself
The Ability to Admit You Made a Mistake or That You Were Wrong
By being willing to admit when they’ve made mistakes before and learning from those experiences rather than repeating them again in the future, good leaders show humility instead of arrogance – one of the most essential skills for any successful person! All humans make errors no matter who we are, so why should our success depend solely on whether or not someone else recognizes these as well? As long as there’s enough self-awareness present within ourselves as individuals, then we can still succeed despite our mistakes because they’re part of what makes us human in general!
The Ability to Change Course When Necessary
As leaders, we always want our ideas to be the solution. (Who doesn’t want this?) But there are times when they’re just not. There are times when we need to abandon the path that we’re on and change course. And that’s okay. It’s critical to be able to recognize when things aren’t working (remember that blog about self-awareness) and ask for help to make things right. It doesn’t make you a poor leader – in fact, it’s the exact opposite. It shows courage to do this. It shows that you can put aside your ego for the good of the team and the business.
I’m always going to say confidence is a key skill for leaders. Can you imagine making decisions, changing course, hiring others, leading a team (and the list goes on and on) without it? It would be practically impossible. Have confidence in your own abilities, and you can weather any storm that comes your way. (Check out my blog on “12 Ways to Build Confidence as a Leader” if you’re still struggling with this.)
Success In The Workplace
So, if we’re being real, the list of skills you need to be successful in the workplace is long…like really long. And they don’t just magically appear in your bag of skills (although how cool would that be?). But with time, practice, and the right people to support and mentor you, they can be yours. You got this!