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Traits of Confident Leaders

If you’re an executive leader, you may be surprised to know the skills & traits that confident leaders practice. They really are different from what we see on TV and in movies, or even in the media.

Lisa Zigarmi, who’s an Organizational Psychologist and leadership coach, offers insights into what confident leaders practice. For starters, confident leaders honor vulnerability. It seems counterintuitive to be vulnerable, but they’ve learned not to be afraid to take risks and they’re willing to change their minds.

So, they listen well and ask open-ended questions, like “What?”, “How”, and “Tell me more.” They encourage colleagues to tell the truth, even when it’s not what they want to hear. They know that accepting the truth saves time and money because you can move forward, faster.

Confident leaders practice courage. Lisa Zigarmi defines courage as, “moving toward things that you would rather avoid.” Or, as Brene Brown says, “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, but you can’t have both.”

Self-assured leaders learn to lean into discomfort. And, they admit, “I don’t know.”

And when they don’t know an answer or feel like they’re in too deep, they ask for help from their team or advice from trusted advisors. This openness helps them to connect with their colleagues in a human way and it builds trust.

Finally, confident leaders acknowledge mistakes and they own them. They’ve learned that mistakes are key to innovation and they keep asking, “What did we learn?” If you’re a leader who wants to help your team feel confident about taking risks and getting their ideas on the table to spark innovation and grow the business, then give us a call.

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