Certain leaders stand out in our memories when thinking about leadership. We remember them for their charm and charisma or maybe we remember the way they presented themselves. We remember that important conversation we shared which was so important to us, and that speech that left the crowd speechless and inspired. We recall the leader who picked us up when we were down and the leader who had faith in us when no one else did. Those leaders were special and unique. They were great and had the ability to lead like no other. Great leaders possess many leadership traits that make them exceptional.
A great leader has empathy. He will go the extra mile to gain a better understanding of you as a person. A great leader will strive to find out how your mind works. From there he can become you, theoretically, and place himself in your shoes. His own mind will stop interrupting, and see things through your eyes. He can sense what is in your interest and connect your interest with his ideas. The empathetic leader, through dialogue, has a recognizable ability to connect with you. He will extend his empathy through person-to-person and group-to-group. The leader with empathy can make everyone feel as if his or her contribution is part of the big picture. An empathetic leader also has the talent of effective listening. He will not spend the conversation thinking about how he is going to reply to your piece of the exchange. Instead, he will give you his undivided attention, recall back to you what he thinks you said, and ask you if he is correct in his recollection. By truly listening to you, he has the ability to understand you fully and apply this awareness towards his wants and needs. Judging your feelings is something an empathic leader will not do. A great leader with empathy will never hold your feelings against you. More importantly, he will understand what you are feeling, right, or wrong, and acknowledge that your feelings are valid. Even if the...
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