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8 Habits That Make Some Leaders Extraordinarily Likeable

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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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More by this author

Amy Johnson

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

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

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