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If you’ve been lucky enough to have a great boss, then you know how big the impact can be on your happiness and job performance. On the other hand, if you’ve experienced what it’s like to work for someone who makes you miserable, you know that having a boss who lacks certain key qualities can be a recipe for disaster! So, what does it take to be a great leader who supports happy employees? While it’s important to know the ins and outs of the job, there’s a lot more to effectively leading and managing a team. Here are four essential components that should be at the top of any company’s list when looking for optimal team leaders:
Related: How to Balance Employee Happiness and Business Expectations
1. Emotional Intelligence
How well do you handle your emotions? Whether it’s a misunderstanding in the office, a frustrated client, or unexpected stressors, life is full of ups, downs, and unexpected surprises. Having emotional intelligence can help you navigate these challenges in the best possible way, and it can also help you be an incredible boss and leader. Promoting emotional intelligence starts with self-awareness.
A great way to develop this is by practicing mindfulness. Be aware of your present moment experience, your feelings and your emotions – free of judgment. When you feel strong emotions, pause and acknowledge that they will pass. Have effective techniques and strategies for managing your stress, and remember to keep things in perspective by remembering that there are many ways to perceive a situation. Try to see things from another person’s point of view.
2. Excellent communication skills
Are you aware of your non-verbal communication? Body language and non-verbal cues are important components for optimizing communication and developing trust, which is a must-have for a great leader and boss. You can take steps to foster a positive and welcoming environment by optimizing your verbal and non-verbal communication. Using body language in an empowering and mindful way can increase confidence and build connections in the workplace.
Your body language can affect how the people around you feel and how they interpret what you are trying to communicate. If your arms are crossed and you avoid eye contact with someone, you may become angry or disinterested. However, if you have your arms open by your side, smile and look someone in the eye, you will likely come across as attractive and approachable. A great leader communicates in a way that motivates and empowers others, while keeping the door open for growth and feedback.
Related: 3 Proven Ways to Keep Employees Happy
3. Promote autonomy
Great leaders learn the unique talents and skills of members of their team and delegate tasks and responsibilities accordingly. Micromanaging is not only a waste of time and energy, but it can also prevent employees from growing trusted, valued and professional. The role of a leader is to give their team space to do their job and to provide constructive feedback and guidance when needed. When leaders recognize their team’s capabilities and then let them do their thing, everyone benefits!
4. Commitment to Personal Well-Being
According to a 2021 Indeed survey of 1,500 US workers on employee burnout, 52% of those surveyed felt burned out and 27% couldn’t pull the plug from work. Supporting and promoting well-being at work is a critical part of employee health and productivity, as well as the success of a business and organization. Leaders and bosses are in a position to set an example for well-being at work. Promote regular breaks, take time between meetings for self-care, introduce and practice stress management strategies, and create a space where employees know they are valued and heard.
Related: This Simple Leadership Tactic Will Keep Your Employees Happy and Productive
During one of my speeches on well-being at work to a group from a large company, I opened the floor to the public to share some of their personal goals related to well-being. After some employees shared some of their struggles and goals, an amazing thing happened: the team leader started working with them on a strategy to see how they could help improve things. Making wellbeing a priority results in happier and healthier employees who are better able to excel at their jobs.
Disclaimer: This content purely represents the opinion of the author and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not medical advice or treatment recommendations. Always talk to your healthcare provider about recommendations that are specific to you.