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12 Signs That You’re A Remarkably Good Leader

12 Signs That You’re A Remarkably Good Leader

A lot of people get trapped in the idea that they are nothing more than ordinary. Salary men, simple teachers, students, office workers and many may feel like their professions or lack of a fancy title may mean they are meant to be a follower.

They couldn’t be more wrong. Leadership comes in many shapes and sizes, its qualities are subtle. Here are twelve signs that show you’re not only a leader, but a remarkably good leader:

1. You lead when you are needed to.

We’ve all met assertive go-getters who feel the need to be in charge no matter the task at hand. Whether it’s a group project, following an itinerary, or even just a brainstorming session, these people need to be in charge and they will make sure everyone knows it. Always being in charge, however, doesn’t translate to good leadership. Good leaders know their areas of expertise–they work for the good of the project and not themselves. They know when to stand aside and hand over the baton.

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2. You lead for a cause, not a promotion.

While it’s important to have ambition, a remarkably good leader dedicates their energies first to the cause, then to the team and lastly to him or herself. Leadership often comes with power, but that’s not its defining characteristic. If you take on a project hoping to reap only self-benefit, it will show in its outcome and be reflected on the morale of your team.

3. You break the rules.

Leadership is about redefining things, finding new solutions and leading others to bigger and better things. Remarkably good leaders don’t stay in a single place and carry out their activities outside the box. Leadership is about bringing progress and provoking evolution, and none of this can be done from inside the margins of the status quo.

4. You speak out.

Do you spot a double standard? Did you witness an injustice? Remarkably good leaders speak up in the face of adversity and stand up for what is right, not what is popular. Standing up for those who can’t and taking a stand to help others is an important characteristic of a leader.

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5. You know your team.

Imagine taking the wheel on a project but having no idea of who you are working with or what their strengths are. Now imagine working on a project and having the person in charge never call you by name, or worse, call you by the wrong name. Remarkably good leaders know everything they need to know about each and every member of their team, they are personable and always have their preferences in mind when delegating duties.

6. You appoint the right people to the right post.

What good is it to know your team and their abilities if you don’t take advantage of them? Remarkably good leaders don’t just know what their team is about, they know how to best delegate their strengths and weaknesses to get results.

7. You give credit where it’s due.

Once a goal is reached, it’s easy for others to place credit on the team leader. Bad leaders reap in the spotlight and are ready to take credit for the end results. Meanwhile, a remarkably good leader never fails to highlight others’ individual work. Using “we” when speaking of triumphs goes a long way. True leaders know they are nothing without the people around them and they are not afraid of showing it.

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8. You are extremely accountable.

Everybody makes mistakes and remarkably good leaders are not an exception. Failures more than successes separate the good from the bad, given that the latter searches for someone to blame instead of taking responsibility. Great leaders often speak of failures in terms of “I” and take responsibility for their team. Remarkably good leaders are not fazed by periods of failures — at least they have a good team to get through it with.

9. You trust your intuition.

When leading a team into uncharted territory, remarkably good leaders trust themselves to make sound decisions. They draw from past experiences or ask for help from mentors or experienced members of their field. Fear of the unknown doesn’t hold them back because they believe in themselves and their team.

10. Your positivity is contagious.

No matter the situation, remarkably good leaders keep their spirits high. They take failures gracefully and successes do not go to their heads. They keep an appropriate sense of humor, show humility, and more than team members, they have friends. Remarkable leaders generate enthusiasm for the work they do, their positivity is contagious and it shows on the quality of their team’s job.

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11. You are a good listener.

Remarkably good leaders don’t want to rule their team, they want to work together. This mans they are open to listening to new ideas or projects and are not afraid of seeking advice and learning from others. Most importantly, remarkably good leaders also listen to criticism and don’t become defensive or upset when a team member or client voices a concern or points out an inconsistency or mistake.

12. You inspire others to change.

Remarkably good leaders know the difference between dictating and leading. Dictating involves scaring team members into getting results. Leading involves inspiring people to give the best they have to achieve said results. Remarkably good leaders inspire their team members to become the best version of themselves that they can be. They build solid foundations, and are not afraid of sharing knowledge. If you are always searching for ways to make the people around you grow, they will be inspired to do so and their work will reflect how proud they are to be part of your team.

Using these twelve signs you can become a remarkably good leader.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

Reference

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