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Why Some Leaders Are More Admirable Than Others

Why Some Leaders Are More Admirable Than Others

The term ‘leadership skill’ is not a new term for any of us. Leadership does not have a singular definition, but it is easy to identify someone who is referred to as a leader by examining how they approach life.

An individual with good leadership traits can easily influence others’ decisions. To become a successful leader, there are different types of leadership skills you need to know.

These skills are applicable to anybody, whether it is becoming the chairman of a company or becoming a father for a family. Below are different types of leadership skills.

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1. Building trust with the people around you is hard but important.

Trust building is a very important leadership skill, as this shows the leader’s competence level. Convincing someone to trust you is not an easy task, as a lot of people have different perceptions of others. For you to achieve this skill, you need to be open to people around you and always welcome their ideas. Make sure you handle situations fairly and always ask people how they feel about certain circumstances.

2. You need to know how to communicate with others.

Communication is very important in life and is among the most important traits for any leader. The way you communicate matters a lot, as you will either gain respect or damage relationships depending on the approach. As a good leader, you need to use appropriate language and tone depending on the situation. It is important to cater different communication strategies based on the audience you are communicating to.

3. A good leader cooperates with others and doesn’t bark out orders.

Cooperation is very important when it comes to coordinating individuals within groups, teams, or departments. If the leader cooperates with other team members, it will boost both collaboration and success. In addition, the work will be completed a lot more efficiently when the team members leverage each other’s skill sets.

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4. It is so crucial to know the ways of managing risks.

As a leader, you must know how to manage risks. For every project you will be doing within your team, always brainstorm potential risks and write them down so you know how to take action. Based on the trust you have within your team, always tell them to report any potential risks that may arise. It is also important to draw information from different sources so that a comprehensive solution may be reached.

5. You need to understand the issues in order to resolve them.

Upon hearing any issues, it is vital to understand the issues thoroughly and to look for ways to resolve them. To solve the issue at hand, you will need to gather ideas from other team members and identify the different perspectives. This simply means that you maintain an open mind when formulating conclusions.

6. You should focus on finding the solutions.

As a leader, you need to let your subordinates know that there is always a solution to a problem. You need to be a problem-solver and build trust between you and your team members. Make use of the information you have gathered and continue to develop solutions for potential long-term risks.

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7. Influence others with your trust and charm.

As a leader, you are the primary individual to directly influence the decision of your subordinates. Always persuade them by presenting your point of view in a democratic way. By building relationships with each individual, it is easier for them to gain your trust and makes them more comfortable with providing any input.

8. You aim to inspire people.

Good leaders inspire their subordinates. Always be ready to share your values with those around you. Let them know that you welcome new ideas. To achieve this, you need to show people that you trust them and are capable of succeeding in any given task. Always share successful stories with others, as this will empower your team members to work even harder.

9. You also need to develop people and help them grow.

As a leader, your subordinates have the expectation that you will help them grow. They will respect you when you provide them with professional growth. Always offer coaching, regardless of the skill level of the team member; but, remember to be positive and encouraging – even negative situations have a positive side.

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10. You constantly find ways to improve.

An important skill set of a leader is their ability to improve the circumstances of any given situation. First, you need to improve yourself as a leader, as well as your presentation around others. Exceed the expectations of your job by doing things beyond your job description. This will show that you are capable of improving the overall work environment. By inspiring others and remaining diligent, you are ultimately changing the lives of families, friends, and those around you.

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Joseph Chan

Freelance Writer

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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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