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Leader Qualities: Supportive of Individuals

dog1Research shows there are 11 key Leader Qualities with one having a sub-set of 8 characteristics. Of the 19 Leader Qualities, 7 of them are ‘Trust Factors’. These are listed again below, together with a fuller description for Trust Factor: Supportive of People.The Trust Factor Leader Qualities are:

  1. Reliable & Consistent
  2. Accepts responsibility
  3. Discrete
  4. Walks the talk
  5. Authentic
  6. Supportive of individuals
  7. Interested in individuals.

Trust Factors are special because any lapse in these Leader Traits may lead to intractable relationship- and performance- issues for the leader, their team and those interacting with them.

Supportive of Individuals

Support that is encouraging in words and in action increases allegiance.

Of course, this support needs to be appropriate to each individual. Many of us are used to behaving like this outside work, but fail to take this leadership quality to work. Some people misunderstand the requirements of treating staff equally. Equality of support means treating each person as an individual and using disciplined enquiry to establish what is pertinent and fair to them (and their colleagues). There is no ‘one size suits all’ in good leadership.

Support-skills cross-over with those of listening. To support well, you need to listen well. Your support will be encouragement for their initiatives and can involve physical support – provision of an assistant or a quiet area (or time) for reflection. It is likely that you will check to see how they are doing – this checking needs to be thoughtfully carried out, since it can easily be misinterpreted as over-managing. To get the balance right, have conversations and ask questions.

Tom, I’d like to check with you that you are getting the right level of information and support from me at this time, also to consider any up-coming change as your new project comes on-stream.

The willingness to give support makes a tangible statement about your caring for individuals in a professionally-acceptable way. This attends to the varying ‘security’ needs of people. If they are not worrying about their security, they can work with more focus and higher productivity. Small gestures of support can have long-term benefits!

Interesting? Schedule a Conversation with Angus McLeod.

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