Leadership Traits to Use in Your Personal Life

Monday, October 5 2020

You can be a better spouse/partner, parent, child, friend, or community member. Here are seven leadership traits that can have a big impact not only on your professional life, but on your personal life too!

1. Be authentic and live your values

Know your values and choose to make them a priority. For instance, although many of us list spending time with family as one of our values, so often family falls to the bottom of the priority list. COVID-19 has made some of us realize how little time we actually spend with family, even though we say it is a priority.

2. Listen and ask questions

These two traits cannot be separated. Asking good questions is key to building relationships and yet questions are useless if you do not listen to the answers with an open mind and empathy. Questions help people formulate their own conclusions, develop problem-solving skills, and reduce defensive behaviour.

3. Empathy

Walk in someone else’s shoes, appreciating their perspective and feelings. It is okay that not everyone will agree with your views. Find out before making judgements. Imagine being upset with someone, perhaps chastising them, and learning later that something serious, beyond their control, had happened that morning. How would you feel?

4. Treat people with respect

Everyone deserves to be treated with courtesy and respect, especially when something has gone wrong. Belittling or treating others as lesser creates animosity.  No matter how angry you feel, keep your cool. Sometimes we are more likely to keep calm in a working environment rather than with our families and friends.

5. Keep commitments

Trust is key to great relationships and keeping commitments builds trust quickly. If you cannot keep a commitment notify those affected as soon as possible. Imagine how parents, who sign their children up for an activity with a promise that every child has an equal playing opportunity, feel when the games begin and some children sit out most of the time? Where does trust go?

6. Collaborate

Collaboration and working with others as part of a team always generates better outcomes. It enables new experiences and better learning. Consider what the results would be if you did not see your children or grandchildren as part of your team. If you always dictate and never allow opportunities to experiment, you never have a mess, but you also miss the learning and the joy.

7. Be Positive

A positive mindset, a belief that situations can work out well, will allow for better problem-solving, build stronger relationships, reduce stress, and promote overall well being. When my husband had cancer our positive mindset made a difference. We looked for solutions to get through it and tried not to give in to negative thoughts.

There should be absolutely no difference in how we behave at work or in our personal lives. Choose to make both a priority.