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Traits of Leaders and Effective Leaders?

There were many approaches taken to discover the qualities which should be present in an ideal leader. The assumption which was considered for these approaches was that, that leadership qualities are personal traits which are inborn in an individual. But as it has been found that these qualities can be acquired by any individual, therefore, the assumption was discarded.

The traits which are common in every leader are the ability to excel, an achievement drive, honesty, integrity, confidence, providing motivation to team members, ability to face setbacks calmly and work on them and having sound knowledge of the work. Successful leaders also give importance to the perception of others. Charismatic leaders, who have the ability to charm everyone, have qualities such as dominance, being influential, being self-confident & really having being ethical.

Competencies are a combination of traits and abilities. Goleman in 1998, carried out an analysis and classified the competencies of leaders into 3 groups, which are, emotional, technical and cognitive and found out that emotional competencies are more important than the other two.

The five major components of any emotional intelligence described by Goleman are as follows:

  • Self-regulation: The ability to think in a positive way and to control the negative thoughts. This also includes the ability to remain calm in tough situations.
  • Self-awareness: Making use of one’s positives and working on the weakness defines the self-awareness of a leader. A leader should work on the present situation while keeping long term goals in mind.
  • Empathy: Including all the members in the process of decision-making and understanding their feelings comes under empathy.
  • Motivation: Having a desire to excel and keeping oneself motivated for the same, without considering the external factors.
  • Social skills: Building rapport with colleagues and being friendly allows a leader to be persuasive and he/she can make the group work efficiently.

After a thorough research, it has been found that, in all the cases, there is a link between personality characteristics & behaviors, with that of emotional intelligence.

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