The 4 traits of good leaders to be empathetic and achieve good results in teamwork

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This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

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Leading is one of the most important functions that a person can develop in front of a team ; however, the challenges of being able to do it properly are many and varied.

It is common to hear those who are directed speak saying that they feel excessive pressure or harshness from their superiors; and these, in turn, qualify them as that without this type of management the teams do not work as they would like and the companies need.

Working with leaders from different industries, I have noticed that many times they confuse firmness with hardness or rigidity, and they are different things. You can be a firm empath, although you will rarely be rigid.

There are several things to do in this regard, especially in this age of the growing shift from the typical, top-down, authoritarian boss model to diverse leadership styles based on values of closeness, collaboration, and empathy.

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One of those challenges is being able to measure the way in which each leader connects with the people within the organization, that is, knowing when to press and when to accompany so that each one knows that they have that support, although you are also aware of that results are expected from each of the members, and this is central to understanding the dynamics of interpersonal relationships at work.

Here are these 4 traits that good leaders apply to achieve effortless results. As you will observe, they know how to be kind, empathetic and powerfully human, and also firm, focused and determined, all in its appropriate measure:

Trait # 1: Accompany and Release

Good leaders know that in order to achieve goals, you need to go alongside those who are going to seek those results and make things happen. Knowing how to accompany and how far to do it is one of the leader’s strategic functions.

There will be team members who will need more guidance than others, and knowing how to recognize what you can contribute to each of them is key to regulating the good investment of time and res that you make available to the members.

The leader who is successful is the one who is on par with his teams; he knows that it has to function like the training wheels of a beginner, until he achieves what he wants, and then steps away to continue pedaling alone.

Trait # 2: Give good feedback permanently

Something that also characterizes good leaders is that they can modulate the style in which they give feedback in the form of feedback delivered on time and in good shape. It is not the same to say “you did everything wrong” to saying “this can be improved and this other is well executed, although if you do it like this it may be even better because …”. Better yet, it is to ask directly: “I trust you: What could you do to make your result noticeably superior?”

Giving good feedback implies adjusting deviations and transmitting them appropriately to each team member, while using assertive communication and active listening, both to calibrate and rectify what may be wrong or away from the purpose they pursue, as well as to detect particular needs of that person, always focused on awakening their potential.

When it comes to giving feedback, it is necessary that you do it with: a) precision in the information you want to make clear, b) consistent between your saying, doing and feeling so that there is total agreement; c) acknowledge, congratulate and encourage before and after, d) And also be flexible in the way you say it.

The suggestion is that you manage to be explanatory, not imposing, and use the feedback as a bridge to a generative conversation for both parties.

Image: Shane Rounce via Unsplash

Trait # 3: Point and Adjust

Notices about the situations or events that you detect as critical to the team’s performance will allow the people who work with you to become aware of the opportunities for learning and improvement.

Good leaders know that making timely signals prevents errors in the execution of a task from being perpetuated; instead, they take them on time, and they strive so that people can recognize that there is a new learning that will allow them to develop. It’s about using everything to grow, learn, and advance.

The external adjustments that you make can help the awareness to become self-corrections, and that is one of the most important advantages of making value statements for each member.

Marking the improvements implies having firmness and determination, along with the openness and power of listening to receive the suggestions of the other party. And here is a sensitive aspect: the reception of the information will depend on how kind you have been when giving your vision, considering the needs of your interlocutor.

It is possible to achieve high involvement by providing the appropriate information for the other person to act to improve themselves.

Remember that the result of concrete action of each person will be directly proportional to your level of empathy. That is, low empathy, poor results; and with high empathy, significant achievements.

Trait # 4: Mark the Times

Achieving results is a matter of time. Postponing, shortening or lengthening the achievements depends on the dynamics that you implement within the team.

As a leader you need to make things happen in the best possible way that someone can do it, taking both their technical and emotional skills to achieve it.

Deadlines are often set in advance through strategy and planning. If so, when you must, you have the choice to be firm in keeping them if you know that as a team they can pull it off.

Although you also need to have sensitivity to be flexible and kind enough to consider setbacks that have not been taken into account in that initial planning, for example, changes in organizational dynamics, replacements in the team, personal issues of its members and even, alterations in business decisions.

As you can see, from these four traits, complementary to each other, you realize that kindness is not just a matter of form in the treatment , but it contains a profound difference with imposition and rigidity.

On the other hand, firmness is knowing how to demand when necessary, considering the needs of the other party. Right there lies the difference between being rigid and working hard, versus the excellence you aspire to achieve. And this is indeed an overcoming path for the performance of your team leadership.

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