Crossing LeadershipTRAX

5 Key Traits of Compassionate Leaders

Posted by: jhersey in Leadership

We put labels on people, everyone does. Labels are convenient, and they are also very dangerous. When you label someone, you put him or her inside a small container and automatically hold back the possibilities that your relationship may produce.

See it in your family; take a look at the small containers you and your family members have to cram into when you are together. Maybe your mother is “pessimistic”, your father is”a clown”, your brother is “insecure”, and you are “sharp”. Even after we grow up, we always take up our role when we are around our family. This is why, unless you consciously decide to delineate a new relationship with them, you will never be able to grasp what’s behind your mother’s lack of hope, why your father can’t stop making silly jokes, and why your brother thinks so low of himself.

It demands a conscious effort to see others for who they truly are, with their brilliance and limitations, and it is worth doing, both from a personal and professional point of view.

As one of your leadership goals, include working on your relationships to understand the individuals around you. This is what the best leaders, the compassionate ones, do, and this is how they do it. Here we show you the 5 key traits all of them possess:

1. They believe the best of others
Every person goes to work intending to do the best they can. You see people at work, but often forget that they are also someone’s daughter, son, father, mother, sister or brother; that they pay taxes, coach their children’s baseball team, and volunteer at the community center during the weekends.

If at some point someone is not on the same page as you, this doesn’t mean they “are unable to see beyond their own nose”, “lack motivation”, or “are unsystematic”; they probably just have different goals, life demands, and experiences from yours.

2. They know what makes others respond
It is incredible to see how most people live in their own world, are completely self-centered, and struggle to team up and inspire others they barely know.

The only way to create solid work relationships is to see others as human beings, with a personal history, special dreams, professional goals, and difficulties.

3. They help with the needs of others
In every area of life, you have to help others first if you want them to help you. Exceed their expectations and surprise them. Support them, honor them, and share with them.

Include what “makes them respond” in your process of defining the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of your strategy and methodology so as to ensure they see themselves as an important part of your leadership scheme.

4. They accept responsibility
Every time there is a problem, turn to yourself instead of looking outside.

Of course this is not easy; it is a direct attack on your ego, so make it easier on yourself by asking for feedback beforehand and on a regular basis. In this way, you can make little and confidential modifications instead of big and public admissions of guilt.

5. They believe in best intentions
Strengthen this behavior in you and your team by talking about others’ performance and intentions only in positive terms. When you complain about others, you lose power and seem to be a victim, while if you focus on the positive, you are looking for solutions instead of guilty parties.

In the end, seeing and centering on the negative about people will only set limits for what you can accomplish. Change your way of thinking and go beyond labels, prefer self-assurance to modesty, and inquisitiveness to overconfidence.

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