Please respond to each prompt in at least 100 words. These are thought responses and will require no references, just your thoughts on the prompts.
From my experience in the workplace, the most important leadership characteristics are strong communication skills, active listening, being able to see the big picture, empowering employees, continued learning, and strong emotional intelligence. I have had my fair share of effective and not-so-effective leaders. My current first line supervisor has all of the characteristics I listed above. The only characteristic he struggles with is communication. He is aware of this and truly makes an effort to try and communicate better. He is the best leader I have ever had. Unfortunately, the second line supervisor doesn’t have any of the characteristics I listed above and it has resulted in low employee morale. It has caused a majority of staff to leave in pursuit of different employment opportunities that offer better leadership. The sad part is, this has been brought to his attention and he hasn’t tried anything to fix it. So, with that being said, I believe self-reflection is a major characteristic needed in leadership. This ties in to the action-observation-reflection model. My first line supervisor uses the model to become a better leader whereas my second line supervisor does not. If he were to use the model to reflect or observe the consequences of his actions, it would allow him to become a better leader, improve employee morale. and vastly reduce retention issues.
In my personal experience, one of the main characteristics required for good leadership is emotional intelligence. This includes both policing and adequately expressing one’s own emotions, but also being empathetic to the feelings and needs of others. Whether I am in a formal or informal leadership position, I have had people look up to and respect me in every job I’ve held as an adult, and the main reason for that is that I go out of my way to build a relationship with individuals and make them part of the “in-group” instead of making them feel like an outsider. Leaders also have to be humble and willing to learn from their mistakes (reflection) as well as the mistakes of others (observation). I do my best to make decisions with as much knowledge as possible, but sometimes the foresight just isn’t there, and those are the situations that require reflection to understand what went wrong and why, and what can be done different next time. I believe that leadership traits can be learned to some extent, but if a person has to be receptive to learning and growing as an individual for it to be effective.
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