5 traits of uniquely charismatic leaders

Hospital and health system leaders need to be critical thinkers, creative problem solvers and effective at prioritizing objectives. But leaders in healthcare don't run the show alone — there is a wide range of employees with whom CEOs and other executives interact and count on to make their organization successful. In short, leaders must be more than smart — they have to be people-smart.

Jeff Haden, ghostwriter, speaker, Inc. magazine contributing editor and LinkedIn influencer, says some individuals possess an aptitude for leadership, but truly remarkable leaders are made over time. After learning how to work with different personality types through training, experience and introspection, these leaders learn to nurture, motivate and inspire employees, setting their organizations on the track to success.

Remarkable leaders demonstrate more than just an aptitude for delegation and giving occasional praise. According to Mr. Haden, they are also uniquely charismatic people. Consider these 5 traits of charismatic leaders and their positive influence on their organizations.

1. They really listen. According to Mr. Haden, charismatic leaders listen more than they talk, and give whoever is speaking to them their full attention. This means they maintain eye contact, nod or give other nonverbal listening responses while the other person is speaking. They restrain themselves from interrupting the speaker to comment, ask questions or offer advice until the speaker prompts them to or it is an appropriate time. Along the same lines, they put any possible distractions away. You can't connect with someone if you keep glancing at your phone or computer screen, Mr. Haden says.

Importantly, Mr. Haden points out charismatic leaders don't practice selective hearing. Instead, they listen to everyone and make everyone feel their voice is valuable, regardless of their position or level within the organization.

2. They give genuine praise often. Not only do remarkable leaders give praise to their employees regularly, they make it their job to find out what their employees are doing well ahead of time, according to Mr. Haden. Not only will people appreciate the kind words, they will recognize the fact their leader pays attention to their efforts and successes.

These are the same leaders who give considerate, constructive feedback. Leaders who care about their employees instinctively seek out those who are struggling and help them, not only because they want them to be successful, but because they care about their wellbeing.

3. They put others first. You already know your own thoughts, concerns and opinions, and you can't learn anything new from yourself, Mr. Haden says. On the other hand, you can always learn from the people around you. Remarkable leaders realize the value their team and others in the organization lend them in terms of sharing ideas and exchanging opinions. Exceptional leaders make it a point to let others know they are important because he or she can learn from them.

Additionally, Mr. Haden points out no one is infallible. Charismatic leaders seek help when they need it, and don't try to hide their vulnerability. They instinctively ask questions and show a willingness to listen, Mr. Haden says.

4. They discuss their own failings, but not other's. While everyone likes hearing a little gossip now and then, most people don't respect the person who is doing the telling, Mr. Haden points out. Remarkable leaders never discuss the failings of others, unless in confidential or other special circumstances. On the other hand, a sign of a truly charismatic leader is a willingness to discuss his or her own failings. According to Mr. Haden, remarkable leaders instinctively admit their mistakes and are quick to take responsibility because this is an essential for cultivating a culture in which mistakes represent challenges to overcome, not chances to blame others.

5. They grant autonomy when possible. Narrow guidelines and procedures squeeze the creativity and independence out of peoples' work, and can have negative effects on satisfaction and engagement. On the other hand, remarkable leaders design broad guidelines that challenge and engage their employees by giving them the autonomy to work the way they feel is most productive to them, according to Mr. Haden. Giving employees the leeway to design their own strategies to meet goals at once allows them to use their own unique skills and experiences, as well as shows that their leader trusts they have the competency to be successful on their own.

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