Psychological Traits of an Effective Leader

While every leader is unique, science has found that most leaders possess many of the same psychological traits. Let’s explore four of the most common traits among effective leaders.


Being self-aware is a critical trait of any leader. Why? An effective leader builds a team based around his or her own strengths and weaknesses. If you aren’t aware of your own needs, you will be unable to build an effective team around you. If you are unsure of your strengths and weakness, do an anonymous review with your team and take their feedback seriously.


Effective leaders are humble. As a leader, you need to resist the urge to constantly offer direction, especially if you’re not entirely sure what the best solution is. Remember to keep your team involved by asking for their input. Then, demonstrate your willingness to take their advice by implementing measures that reflect their input. This humility in a leader is a quiet confidence that employees will appreciate.


Effective leaders are naturally curious people. Although business can be consuming, it is important that a leader indulges in their curiosity and engages in activities outside of work. For instance, if you are interested in Norse mythology, attend a lecture about it. Inevitably you will gain knowledge and insights through your curious and creative endeavours that you can bring back to work. Leaders who immerse themselves purely in their business can miss emerging issues or opportunities, as well as connections with other industries.


Let’s face it. Work is difficult, and can become monotonous sometimes. When a leader displays a sense of humor, it lightens the mood for everyone. A little humor can go a long way in keeping your team motivated. Obviously you don’t need to strive to be a comedian everyday, just show your true colors and expose your own brand of humor and your team will appreciate it.

As you strive to move up in your company and be a more effective leader, it is important to step back and evaluate yourself and your traits and how they are affecting your team. While you may not have been born with self-awareness, humility, curiosity and humor, you can certainly work to hone those skills. By displaying these traits, you will be seen as a bold and efficient leader.


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