Human Resources

Top 5 qualities of a better leader

3 November 2021



If you want to build a better business, you should be working on becoming a better leader.

So, what qualities do better leaders have in common? Where should you start on your journey to becoming a better leader? Here are my top 5 suggestions.

  1. Build your personal brand

To be a better leader, you need to understand who you are. If you stay true to your personal values, you’ll find it easier to be your authentic self at work. This, in turn, allows your team to understand what makes you tick – both at work and, to some degree, in your personal life – which will help to build trust.

No-one is perfect and your team isn’t expecting you to be. Acknowledge your flaws and weaknesses and improve them to become a stronger, more confident leader. Being a better leader is about nurturing your team so they can be the best they can be – and this should start with yourself. Continual self-development and learning should be a part of your personal brand as a better leader.

  1. Build a culture of trust and transparency

Trust is important in the workplace. According to the Harvard Business Review, people who work in a business with a culture of trust report “74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, 40% less burnout”.

Pretty impressive statistics!

Your job as a better leader is to help cultivate trust in your business. Make sure that your people can trust you to keep your word, even if it’s not always the easiest option.

It is also important to be transparent. Most people will appreciate you for telling it how it is, especially if you are also empathetic (another key quality of a better leader).

And make sure your team are kept in the loop as much as possible. Communication is integral to this. See below for some tips on ensuring communication is not overlooked in your business.

  1. Better leaders cultivate Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence at work is the art of understanding what motivates your team and how to get the best from them. You are aware of your emotions and can use them in a positive way to build your team up, resulting in a more productive, profitable organisation.

Being aware of, and working on, the 5 elements of Emotional Intelligence as proposed by Daniel Goleman is a great place to start when it comes to becoming a better leader. These 5 elements are: ⁠Self Awareness⁠, Self Regulation⁠, Motivation⁠, Social Awareness⁠ and Relationship Management⁠.

For a full explanation of Emotional Intelligence and how it relates to the workplace, read my blog on the topic here.

  1. Better leaders communicate, communicate, communicate

If you consistently hear the phrases ‘I didn’t know about that’, or ‘Nobody told me’, chances are you need to up your communication game.

Better leaders communicate with their entire business, not just other leaders.

Internal communication tools can include:

Staff newsletters – these are a great way to help communicate any changes in the organisation, break down barriers between colleagues and inform them of any social events.

Teams – this Microsoft program is an easy way to bring people together. You can set up different channels for your different teams and it also allows for more informal interaction (using emojis and gifs, for example).

Regular face-to-face meetings – be sure that any decisions made at the top level (that your team should be made aware of) are filtered down throughout the entire business. An effective way to do this is to have each leader or head of department hold their own team meeting to encourage two-way conversations with employees.

  1. Treat your people as individuals not robots

In a world where we are becoming more isolated (thanks to many of us now working from home, social distancing and the like), the need for human connection is more important than ever.

And, as many of us spend as much, or more, time at work as we do with our family, it’s important that we get that human connection in the workplace – whether it’s remotely or in an office.

Not to mention that being treated as an individual is a simple matter of respect. Better leaders treat their people as individuals, not money-making machines. Emotional Intelligence and communication are key factors here.

It’s about making someone feel valued at work. Those employees who feel heard, valued and understand that they are making a real difference to the business will stick around longer and be more motivated in their role.

Plus, embracing individuality can help formulate new ideas – which just might boost your profitability.

Need a little help with the strategies outlined in this blog? Book your free consultation with me here.