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Everyone admires a strong leader, especially those who are looking to climb the career ladder and establish themselves in their industry. But being a good leader is about far more than knowing how to communicate and guide others. Leadership is dynamic, and it has to reflect its individual setting as well as its audience.

Although leadership responsibilities will vary, there are a few core qualities and questions you can ask to identify your leadership skills.

 

Do people approach me?

Are you an easy person to talk to, or do people tend to avoid connecting unless it’s absolutely necessary? Sometimes, even just a smile makes a world of difference. Good leaders have to be accessible at all times. People should naturally feel comfortable coming to them, and it’s especially important that they feel at ease revealing unpleasant or challenging information.

Start striking up non-work-related conversations with your colleagues. Make a genuine effort to get to know them as individuals, not just their job titles. When you slowly develop relationships with others, it becomes easier to communicate across all channels.

 

Do I make people feel heard?

Being a good listener is about much more than affirmations. As a strong leader, you must be able to give people a sense of security and empathy during conversations. A good sign that people feel received and comfortable in conversation is the nature of their disclosure. People who trust another are likely to open up about things and share their own thoughts and opinions; if people only share objective facts or relay details, try to become more receptive and encouraging.

 

Would I follow my own leadership?

Respect is earned, not a given. Leaders must live by example at all times. You’re going to make mistakes as a human being; your response to your mistakes is what sets you apart from the competition. Leaders are humble and can recognize their own shortcomings without malice. They welcome constructive criticism, even when it’s difficult to hear.

 

Make sure that you are working and living like the type of leader you would want to follow. Hold yourself accountable for your actions; personal responsibility is the cornerstone of honesty, which is something no leader can exist without.