When it comes to bringing out the best in your staff, you need a variety of attributes, including an interest in individual needs and points of view; the readiness to direct time and thought to analyzing attitudes; a sense of justice or fair dealing; and a healthy respect for the personalities of others.
But good human relations alone are not enough. A great leader also cultivates the following abilities:
- Analytical Ability. The information provided to managers ranges from verifiable fact to rumor. It is important to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff, to see the relevance of items of information to one another and to draw conclusions that seem to fit the facts. When a problem arises, a manager must analyze it to seek its cause (is it a symptom of something wrong elsewhere?) and establish its true importance.
- Judgment. Each decision expresses a manager’s judgment of a situation or a person. Having analyzed the available information, a manager must then judicially weigh the evidence in order to decide on the best course of action. It’s important to remember that few decisions can be wholly right or wrong. Most involve a balance of advantages and disadvantages.
- Communication. What is clear to a manager must be made clear to other people also. He should ask himself what every individual needs to know and why they need to know it as well as how he expects people to react. Good communication is not only a matter of clear thinking and expression but also involves the other’s comprehension. Since communication takes place between at least two people, the communicator needs to be able to see his communication through the other person’s eyes.
If you find yourself struggling with personnel issues, take the time to really analyze the situation. If you take care in the way you communicate your judgments, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great leader.