by Michael Fino, Marketing Manager
If you want to be an exceptional leader, it is just as important to be approachable and warm as it is to be competent, if not more important in many cases. Here’s why.
Many leaders put exceptional emphasis on strength, competence and credentials; however, according to a recent Harvard Business study, that exactly the wrong approach to leadership and managing staff.
Harvard business professors Amy J.C. Cuddy, Matthew Kohut and John Neffinger say team members react best to leaders who exude warmth, authenticity and understanding.
A high level of competence combined with a lack of warmth elicits envy from others, but it does not create a team environment. A lack of competence and a high level of warmth will more often elicit pity. If the leader is lacking both competence and warmth, it will bring out contempt from the team. However, if the leader possesses both competence and warmth, it will evoke admiration.
If a leader is not lovable, there are ways to improve:
Acknowledge employee fears and concerns. When leaders do this, people’s respect for the leader will continue to grow and they will be even more open to hearing what the leader has to say.
Tell people a personal story occasionally. Choose a story that feels private, but not inappropriate. It is okay for leaders to show they are human, but it not okay for them to compromise their respect.
Smile (and mean it). A genuine smile can be contagious. When we smile, it reinforces our own happiness. When people see us smile, they smile in return and then their happiness is reinforced. When people feel happy, they are more productive.
Stand tall. This does not refer to height, but rather to pose. When we make ourselves known by expanding and occupying space with our arms and legs, it psychologically reinforces our position and our responsibility. When teammates see a leader take responsibility, it has a way of putting them at ease and therefore, attention to their work is undivided.
What kind of leaders are we? Are we as effective as we would like to be? Are we as lovable as we could be or should we? Where can we improve? By following the tips presented in this consolidated study, you can produce a healthy, happy work environment and increase production in your offices.
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