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5 Characteristics of a Poor Leader and How to Steer Clear of Them

1. Lack of Communication Communication is a key component of being a leader. You need to get your point across to fellow team members, be clear and precise, as well as sharing important information with the group. If you lack these prime communication skills, people will often struggle to follow along with what you are trying to say. Your poor communication could be the cause of an information gap among your team. To be a good communicator, be sure to be educated on what you are trying to say. Be confident in your thoughts as you share them with your team. As far as passing along important information, I find making a checklist to be helpful. When you are done communicating that information to the group, you receive the satisfaction of checking it off! 2. Lacking Compassion People tend to follow a leader that cares about them. People typically avoid others who bring them down or make them unhappy. By lacking compassion, people may perceive you as a rude, self absorbed person who could care less about helping them. Your team will appreciate you more if you care about their problems and are willing to listen to them.

If you struggle to find your compassionate side, try putting yourself in the other person’s position. Put yourself in “their shoes”. How do they feel? How would you feel if you were him/her? What would help you feel better? By doing so, you will be able to understand what they may be needing from you. People want to be recognized, they want things to be about them. If you show compassion towards them, they may contract a liking towards you. 3. Being Overbearing Everyone knows that one person who is a control freak. They want to be in control of every aspect of the situation. People tend to get annoyed when someone is watching over their shoulder, breathing down their neck, telling them which button to press. By being a nit-picking leader, people are less likely to follow you.

The biggest step for getting rid of that control hungry aspect is trusting your team. Have faith in their work and ideas. Afterall, you are a team. You can also try looking at the big picture. Instead of obsessing over the small details, try taking a step back to see the whole picture to get a better understanding on your team’s perspective. 4. Poor Listening Listening ties in nicely with being compassionate. People want to be heard. When you are a strong and active listener, people will begin to trust and respect you as a person and as a leader. If you don’t pay attention when a person is sharing ideas or thoughts, they will get the impression that you don’t care. And if you don’t care about them, why should they care about you? To be a good listener, you first want to eliminate distractions. This will help you to be more focused on what the person is saying. Using eye contact and giving the appropriate facial expressions will show the person that you are listening and comprehending what they are saying.By asking questions you show the speaker that you do care about what they are saying. You will want to keep an open mind while listening. Be open to new ideas and feedback. This can help you improve your leadership skills! 5. Irresponsible Being responsible is a key part of leadership. Not only must you be responsible for managing items of business but you must also be responsible for your actions. By forgetting an assignment or project, you can put your whole team at risk. Responsibility is needed to keep a team well rounded and on task.

To be responsible, it helps to have interest in what you are doing. If you have a strong passion for something, you are likely to try harder to excel at it. Being organized can help you to be more responsible. Rather it be a planner or a Post-It note on your laptop, remembering things is a large part of being a responsible member of your team. Lastly, take credibility for your actions. Recognize your mistakes and allow them to help you grow. Growing is a huge part of leadership.

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