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Round Up
#LEADERSHIP

7 Leadership Behaviors Everyone Needs

BY
The Highrise Team
November 10, 2021
"One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes... and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility."
Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt’s words are a perfect encapsulation of what it takes to be a great leader. 

In most instances, words are not enough to define exceptional leadership. Actions make a leader, not words. It is in a leader’s behavior that the art of leading shines through.

Mentoring, executive coaching, and leadership coaching can go a long way in modifying an organization’s culture and getting the best leadership mentality in place.

These programs go against the famous saying that great leaders are born, not made.

With the right mindset, anyone can adopt the right behavioral traits to become a better leader. Slight modifications in behavior can make team members more likely to follow a leader and feel more engaged in their tasks.

While staff morale might sound like a trivial thing to focus on, confidence and happiness can play a massive role in the overall performance of a company or organization.

It is a scientific fact proven through several decades of research and why leading organizations spend a lot of money on employee fulfillment.

7 Good Leadership Behaviors

With this in mind, here are some leadership behaviors one should focus on to become a better leader:

1. Effective Listening

Effective listening is a powerful communication tool that few possess. It is a difficult habit to master; however, it allows one to get more information from people. In addition to information transfer, effective listening makes people trust you, aids conflict resolution efforts, helps you figure out what motivates others, and helps you obtain higher levels of commitment from team members.

A clear sign you have mastered effective listening is the ability to match your responses to a diverse range of contexts.

In leadership, practical listening skills can help a leader navigate the thin line between counseling and coaching. With this skill mastered, leaders can quickly advise how team members can improve skills, recognize emotional problems, poor attitudes, and deal with different personalities.

How can one Practice Effective Listening?

Effective listening is a well-studied subject, and most mentoring, executive coaching, and leadership coaching break it down into the following steps:

  • Probing
  • Deflecting
  • Advising
  • Reflecting

These simple steps help a leader listen more effectively and reap all the benefits of possessing this powerful communication skill. 

2. Honesty

Honesty is a good leadership behavior as it is the foundation of trust. To build honesty is to build trust.

In the leadership setting, honesty comes into play in verifying the information you receive is accurate, proving that you are dependable and that you can be held to your word.

For outside parties such as customers and investors, honesty is critical to upholding a leader’s reputation. There might be an initial instinct to exaggerate a company’s potential, product effectiveness, timeliness, or capabilities; however, failing to meet these expectations will soil a leader’s reputation.

A leader’s or company’s long-term reputation depends on delivering on promises.

In the short term, honesty is not always gratifying, and it can seem like shooting yourself on foot, but lies and half-truths can be a slippery slope that could be difficult to recover.

People detest lies and dishonesty, so a leader should not rely on these vices to get ahead in life.  

How Can You Practice Honesty?

A leader can practice honesty in the following ways:

  • Surround yourself with honest team members
  • Keep you word
  • Hold yourself to high moral standards
  • Thank team members for their honesty
  • Hold team members accountable when they lie

3. Ethics 

Movies often portray leaders as cut-throat operators with no time for ethics; nevertheless, real-world leadership calls for the ability to differentiate wrong from right at all times.

Ethical leadership is an all-encompassing behavioral trait that permeates through personal actions and defines interpersonal relationships.

A leader’s ethical behavior will set the trend for appropriate conduct in the workplace. Ethics are crucial because it helps a company or organization appear more trustworthy in the eyes of partners, vendors, investors and inspires loyalty among staff members.

Ethics promote employee engagement, as they are proud to be associated with a company with moral superiority. This manifests itself in increased productivity and easier staff recruitment and retention.

Ethical leadership means that you have to lead by example and consider ethical considerations in all company operations. Ethical leadership also means that a leader should evolve and adapt to emerging issues. Dealing with issues head-on will set a precedent and allow leadership to steer the company in a positive direction.

How can you Practise Being More Ethical?

A leader can practice being more ethical in the following ways:

  • Define your morals
  • Lead by example
  • Establish a clear code of conduct
  • Beware of personal biases
  • Hire people with ethical conduct
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4. Reward Achievements

Rewarding achievement by team members is a crucial trait used to inspire followership. A leader can only be successful if they can consistently inspire loyalty and respect by team members.

Rewarding achievements makes people feel important and encourages better performance.

To recognize achievement, a leader needs to put in place the appropriate criteria to gauge workplace performance, consider all aspects of operations, foster a frequent recognition culture, align performance landmarks with organizational goals, and incorporate training and career development as part of the recognition.

Typical rewards for achievement include: 

  • Additional pay
  • Group rewards
  • Stock options
  • Profit-sharing
  • Time off
  • Autonomy at work
  • Recognition and praise

5. Accountability

Accountability is a valuable trait for leadership at all levels of an organization or company.

It is a good leadership behavior for the following reasons:

First, accountability builds trust. Trust is essential for good relations between several parties within an organization. Accountability from leadership means that they are responsible for all decisions made and actions.

Secondly, accountability improves performance by eliminating unproductive behavior. Unaccountable leadership breeds ineffective behavior. With accountability, a leader can spot these behaviors before mistakes and errors happen.

Thirdly, accountability inspires confidence in leadership. Accountable leaders provide honest feedback on mistakes and errors then work with other team members to find solutions. When team members know that someone is listening, they are more likely to give their best.

Finally, accountable leadership promotes ownership. Ownership within an organization or company is crucial as it makes team members value their work. Accountability brings positive feedback and direct corrective actions. These learning tools have an impact on the team and make team members feel valued and essential.  

How can you Practice Accountability?

To be accountable, a leader must do the following:

  • Take the lead
  • Communicate clearly with team members
  • Create a safe environment for team members to exercise accountability

6. Consistency

Consistent behavior for leaders is vital in leadership as it lets team members know what to expect. Inconsistency wastes time as team members have to wait before taking action. These delays create additional costs and hesitance at all levels.

To be consistent, a leader must not act erratically, be unprincipled, and a leader must continually evaluate their actions before taking a step.

How can You Practice Consistency?

A leader can be more consistent by taking the following steps:

  • Establishing clear expectations for themselves and team members
  • Communicate clearly and schedule regular check-ins with employees
  • Communicate reasons for actions taken
  • Embrace feedback from employees or team members

7. Commitment to Learning

A commitment to learning often puts one ahead of the pack, and for leadership, this advantage is further amplified.

A commitment to learning by people in leadership is hard to come by; yet, it provides several answers and can see things from other perspectives.

Leaders with a mindset of always learning sets an excellent example for team members in an organization-learning makes a company agile and ready to adapt to dynamic market conditions and different operating climates.

Lessons can also be formalized and can be packaged in leadership coaching and executive coaching. It makes it easier to mold great leaders through a tried-and-tested approach.

Toyota, the Japanese vehicle manufacturer, is a perfect example of a company with leadership that prioritizes learning. Despite its size and success, the company is still learning through a framework that prioritizes learning at the details and strategic levels. 

This approach helps them maintain their technological edge in the extremely competitive vehicle manufacturing market. 

How Can a Leader Show a Commitment to Learning?

A leader can show a commitment to learning through the following actions:

  • Developing situational awareness
  • Take on new  leadership projects
  • Learn from others
  • Embrace mistakes
  • Look for areas of weakness and try to master these areas
  • Approach learning with excitement
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