In leadership, the values and the characterisation of the leader are vital. Since leaders tend to be role models and people who their subordinates look up to and respect, they need to showcase the right credentials as people. Leaders are supposed to be mature, intelligent, reasonable and open-minded people. They are listeners as well as teachers, and they take the time to fully appreciate and understand the viewpoint of all sides in any debate.
That’s incredibly important in the modern world, and a major part of what makes a leader today so vital. If a leader can showcase these qualities, then they absolutely can help to inspire and improve those around them. A leader who showcases a team-minded and group-based mentality is far more likely to be a successful leader than those who do not. The most important leadership trait, though, is empathy.
A leader who can show an empathetic mind-set for those who he works with is vital. A leader is expected to help people improve and change who they are, to get over the limitations that hold them back as people. However, if a leader lacks empathy, this stops being possible. To get the most out of a leader, they need to be able to listen to those around them and fully understand where they are coming from.
The key difference is that an empathetic person does not have to agree with someone to see their point. When you start working with someone, especially as a leader, you have to understand their viewpoints and perspectives. They could be wrong and they could be making mistakes, but the best leaders can see how this occurred.
Only by seeing the problem and the solution through the eyes of those who are in need of answers, can a leader improve someone. A person is only likely to listen to you and deem your suggestions worth investing in if they know that you understand what they are saying. This kind of factor is incredibly important for making sure people can begin to have some fun and engage with a leader on the right level.
A leader who lacks empathy is one who will struggle to make a change and an impression on the people that they work with. If you cannot inspire someone, they are not going to improve under your leadership and thus your leadership skills are not up to the standard.
It’s basic human emotion, though: we listen to those who do their best to understand us. Being told to improve is one thing – but can the leader see where you were coming from when you failed? That’s the difference. A leader who helps someone to succeed is one who is emphatic in their thinking, and does not mind listening to the challenges and the thought processes of those around them.
That can be the major difference. So, for anyone looking to find the number one trait in a leader, it would almost certainly be the importance of empathy. Without understanding the mind-set and emotions of those around them, a leader can never improve others. And without understanding their subordinates, a leader can never inspire people to stand behind them and make success possible.