7 leadership traits

The other day, while I was watching the movie Contagion, I got a call. By the time I hung up, the movie had ended and the news had come on. I watched it for the next twenty minutes, thinking it was still the movie. In that moment it hit me how much our world has drastically changed. 

Those changes are big and scary.

But they aren’t insurmountable. As a leader tasked with supporting and guiding your team as you make your way through the rubble and potential minefields ahead, your resilience, innovativeness, strength, empathy and vision will be more critical than ever. 

While rebuilding your leadership style for 2022, it’s important to adopt a change-proof culture: pause (stop, breathe, self-reflect), ask (drop everything you thought you knew) and choose (choose to accept how things are, rather than how they should be). 

Leadership Traits to Embrace in 2022

I’d like to share some traits I’ve learned as a leadership motivational speaker that you can use to help your team navigate this completely transformed world. Although 2022 looks different, and we will need to be innovative in how we move forward, we can still incorporate tried-and-true methods to embrace change and build resilience. 

Let’s dive into some of the leadership trends for 2022 and 7 leadership traits to embrace, build a resilient culture and support workplace wellness.

Be Open with Change

Today’s world and workplace have been forever altered. People have found ways to work from anywhere and everywhere, at any time and all the time. With the ability to connect at our fingertips, parks, coffee shops, homes, restaurants, libraries and even our cars are now our offices. The rise of the career nomad means leaders need to be able to successfully manage remote teams. That may not be what you signed up for, but it is our reality. It’s time to drop outdated expectations, pause for a while and learn to effectively manage remote teams, creating a resilient culture.

Your team needs your guidance to successfully manage and adapt to change. When your words and actions are innovative and open-minded, it reflects your belief that everything is going to be okay and your team will bounce forward with you. 

Although it’s natural to feel anxious or frightened, change is unavoidable, and adapting to a change-proof culture is a crucial step towards resilient leadership.

Appreciating Your Teams

In today’s climate, employees spend more time than ever in self-reflection, with a recurring theme being whether they wish to switch jobs or careers. A new world of opportunities has become available with the ability to work from anywhere, but employees who feel recognized and appreciated and enjoy a work-life balance, are more motivated to stay in their current job.

Motivation plays a major role in employee productivity and the quality and speed of their work. When employees feel taken advantage of or under-appreciated, this leads to a lack of motivation, ultimately affecting the team, your business and your customers. 

What can you do to motivate your employees?

In a study by online career site Glassdoor, around 81% of employees say they are motivated to work harder when their leader shows appreciation for their work, compared to less than 40% who are inspired to work harder when their boss is demanding or they fear losing their job. 

Not only is a positive and motivating environment in the workplace important to encourage enthusiasm and productivity, it also leaves you with an immense feeling of satisfaction as a leader. 

Build Connection Through Empathy

The word “empathy” has probably been used more in the last two years than in the decade prior and there is a good reason for that. Empathy matters, especially during challenging times. 

Being an empathetic leader doesn’t necessarily mean you need to agree with your employees, it just means you need to understand and acknowledge the difficulties they face. Understanding how your team feels and responding appropriately is critical when building a connection, which is one of the most influential things you can do as a leader.

Connecting starts with showing empathy that your employees are living (and working) through the most unpredictable times we have ever experienced. It’s crucial for you to guide them and provide resources to help them avoid burnout.

Elevating your employees’ motivating energy is extremely impactful, but it can be challenging when much of their stress stems from influences outside of your control. We can all learn ways to conquer this from one of the greatest leaders in history, Nelson Mandela.

Mandela is one of those leaders whose success was built on his empathetic leadership style. He developed this empathy through his own experiences. He suffered defeat, abandonment, loss and unspeakable injustice, but despite all of these hardships, his resilience shone through. By willingly and joyfully lifting the world’s pain onto his shoulders, he won the support of millions.

Empathy builds trust, which strengthens relationships and leads to greater collaboration. When your team knows you understand and empathize with what they are going through, it will inspire their productivity and they will mirror this empathy when interacting with customers. This will lead to long-term sustainability for your business.

Strong Yet Humble

As you ask and self-reflect on ways to meet the ever-changing needs of the 2022 workforce, it’s important to evaluate how you communicate. Effective communication is key, and no matter how much effort is exerted in other areas, no relationship is sustainable without it.  

You can start by being strong, yet humble.

When you establish clear expectations for your team, you will avoid unnecessary issues that may otherwise arise. Model strength by showing your team where you are headed, but remain humble by inviting suggestions on how to get there. Encourage your team to come to you with challenges and questions. Help brainstorm solutions, but also establish boundaries. 

When you are strong, yet humble, you will have greater influence, attract quality employees and inspire confidence, respect and loyalty in your team. 

Pay Attention to Your Employees’ Wellbeing

Sometimes the last word I want to hear is “Zoom.” Like you (and your employees), I am beyond ready to connect in real life, but when that isn’t an option, platforms like Zoom make it possible for many of us to remain employed and virtually visit with loved ones. This leads to a love-hate relationship with technology, which is understandable.

Employees are feeling increasingly burned out from long days in front of a screen with limited interactions in the physical world. The pandemic also created exceptionally blurred lines between work and home and an abundance of challenges managing both in the same space.

In order to thrive through change, you must be willing to choose to deal with it. You can’t change the issues created by the pandemic, but you can focus on your employees’ well-being and help them successfully adapt to them.

Invite open conversations about their mental and personal health and wholeheartedly listen to what they say. This will go a long way towards showing your team they matter, which impacts their focus on a job well done. 

In addition to empathy, you can also provide tangible resources to help manage stress, reduce burnout and invigorate motivation. Yoga or meditation classes, stress management sessions, providing additional days off or inviting resilient leadership keynote speakers to team meetings can be extremely beneficial to the resilience of your team.

Believe in Your Team

When you show employees you trust them and believe in their capabilities, they will be motivated to go above and beyond, leading to increased performance and greater productivity.  Employees who feel empowered to complete key tasks have confidence in themselves, their leader and their team. 

Show your employees that you not only believe in the work they are doing now, you are also willing to invest in their future personal growth by offering classes within their field. 

Resilience Leaders

During difficult times, your team needs you to lead with empathy and show vulnerability. By being open with your struggles, your team will feel validated and know they are not in this alone. Being a resilient leader means accepting problems as they are and showing your certainty that you will get through them stronger than ever.

When you model resilience, your team will follow. Show them that the best response to a challenge is not a negative response, but one of resilience and strength. Face challenges head on and use them to accelerate personal and professional growth for you and your team.

Change is inevitable, but by building a culture of workplace wellness and resilience, you will create a powerful and productive team that will elevate your company’s adaptability to change.

How Can A Leadership Keynote Speaker Help?

Now that you’ve discovered some leadership trends for 2022 and gained 7 leadership traits that will prepare you for any challenges, you are ready to put them into action. In addition to embracing the traits shared today, bringing in a leadership motivational speaker will help you create a culture of resilience and show that employee wellbeing matters to you.

If you’d like to learn more about how a leadership speaker with a heart-centered approach can inspire your team to think differently through practical strategies, contact us by calling 877.697.4868 or sending an email to team@adammarkel.com. You can expect a response within 24 hours. 

Pause when you have anxiety, ask yourself why you are heading into negativity and choose to deal with the changes so you can lead your team to greater success than ever before.