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8 Habits That Make Some Leaders Extraordinarily Likeable

8 Habits That Make Some Leaders Extraordinarily Likeable

Are you a likable leader? The best leaders are not just wise and intelligent – they are also popular and well-liked by others. Some people are much more likable than others, but this isn’t a natural trait. Anyone can become more likable and pleasant by changing their habits.

Check out these 8 habits that make some leaders extraordinarily likable.

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1. They can read people well

A very important part of being likable is being able to read others well. From body language to facial expressions, a likable leader is always looking out for silent indicators of how others around them are feeling. This means they can often predict the moods and feelings of others, which helps them to make decisions that others are happy with.

2. They form connections with the people they lead

A likable leader doesn’t alienate anyone – instead, they take the time to form connections with the people that they lead. They understand that the people they lead are real humans too – they are emotional, intelligent and important. They can make useful, innovative suggestions that will improve the company. This means people feel like they can bring up important issues with the leader without fear, as their leader sees them as an equal.

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3. They have integrity

Not all leaders are trusted, liked and admired; these qualities need to be earned. Likable leaders earn the trust of their employees through their actions as well as their words. They don’t make promises that they never intend to keep to placate their employees. Instead they follow through with everything they commit to doing, and they aim to be honest rather than charming.

4. They take their accomplishments in their stride

A likable leader is never rattled by the highs and lows of life. They are proud of their accomplishments without bragging, and they don’t lose it when something bad happens. They understand life is full of both successes and failures, and to expect a life without any failures is unreasonable.

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5. They are not arrogant

Most people dislike arrogance – especially when it is their boss who is being arrogant. A likable leader sees their employees as equal, and they would never think that they are better than anyone else. They don’t believe being a leader is a chance to do as they please and make their life easy – they believe being a leader means you have extra responsibility to make sure their employees are both happy and productive.

6. They are positive

A leader has a responsibility to maintain a positive outlook for their employees. This isn’t about being fake or pretending; even in negative situations they are working on finding solutions while staying optimistic. They don’t need to hold countless meetings and presentations to show their passion for the company – it is obvious to anyone who works for them. This shows their passion for their work and their cheer, which helps other employees to be productive and happy while at work.

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7. They have substance

A good leader doesn’t lead because they are charming and loud; a good leader leads because they have essential knowledge and information that others don’t have. A likable leader is intelligent and puts in a lot of effort at work to improve the company for everyone. They don’t pretend to be better than they actually are – instead they win people over with their enthusiasm and commitment to their job.

8. They are generous

A common trait of a likable leader is being generous. Many bad leaders hold back information and resources from their employees because they worry their employees may take advantage of the kindness – or outshine them. A likable leader is happy to help their employees because this gives them the opportunity to shine and improve their skills.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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