Everyone is a Leader: Seven Critical Leadership Traits
5. Listening Skills – An effective leader is a person with excellent listening skills. When we talk about listening we mean more than hearing the sound of the speaker's voice and courteously nodding your head every now and then. Listen closely to what the speaker is saying; ask questions when you are unclear what he is talking about. If needed, paraphrase what your client told you back to them to ensure you heard everything correctly. I also second Willie Davis' advice given on our website about giving the client 100% of your attention. By exhibiting this type of respect toward your clients their confidence and trust in you will grow and they will listen, to and follow your advice more closely.
6.Immediate Follow Up – Most people do not have a terrific memory. The best way to “memorize” your client’s information is to review your notes immediately or shortly after a session with a client. Write it down! Whatever you promise the client you will do, immediately following the meeting - write it down! If there is something important about this meeting that you want to be sure to remember, for example, that this client cannot work more than five hours a day due to a physical condition - write it down! If you happen to see the client outside of work and recall the details of their (last) visit their confidence in you will grow which will result in he/she listening to and following your advice. On the other hand, if you forget what they had told you or fail to follow up, the client will naturally lose confidence in you. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, "I forgot", I could have retired a long time ago. You don't need an expensive laptop or a blackberry. In many cases, a free pen you picked up at the casino and a pad of paper you bought for 39 cents at Wal-Mart could go a long way toward increasing client services.
7.Self Esteem – High self-esteem is a critical trait for anyone in a leadership position. Work on keeping your self-esteem high when you are in public and/or meeting with your clients. When your self-esteem is high you tend to see the positive in individuals rather than their negatives and you will come across as a much more pleasant, enjoyable person. Often, staff members with low self-esteem will feel the need to tear down their supervisors and co-workers. For example, in hearing these suggestions, they could criticize all of the things I didn't talk about, such as IPEs or the ADA, then satisfied that they have proven that the speaker is "no better than me" they move on to criticize the next person's efforts. The sad impact of this scenario is that those workers with low self-esteem do not benefit from others by learning from them, they are too busy trying to reassure themselves that they are "just as good".