Traits of a Good Team Leader: Key Leadership Characteristics & Skills That Drives Business Growth

Who would you rather work with?

  • An authoritative, distant leader who never takes an interest in your life, never admits if they make a mistake, and views you as a worker rather than an important member of the team.


  • A caring, honest leader who is always seeking to improve themselves, willing to admit if they are wrong, and clear that you are a valued member of the team.

The choice is easy but developing these leadership skills takes immense commitment, time, and practice.

In this article, I’ll cover 9 key leadership skills and characteristics to help develop your abilities as a leader and advance your career.

9 Key Leadership Characteristics and Skills

1. A Positive Attitude

A successful leader knows how impactful a positive attitude can be in the work environment, especially during deadlines or stressful periods.

Here are some tips on how to lead with positivity:

  • Avoid complaining in front of team members·
  • Always be quick to celebrate successes, whether it is company-wide or an individual who achieved a new goal
  • Use positive language swaps (for example: saying “challenge” rather than “problem” or saying “we will find a solution” rather than “we will try to figure this out”)
  • Always strive to maintain a peaceful workplace atmosphere

2. Creativity

Last-minute changes and unexpected problems are par for the course when you’re a leader. Successfully navigating and managing these problems involves creativity and flexibility in how you think, lead, and make decisions.

Good leaders often have to ‘think outside the box’ and find solutions to issues that don’t have a black-and-white answer.

To successfully initiate solutions and manage unexpected issues, good leaders need to be:

  • Adaptable
  • Willing to think critically (we recommend this workshop to improve your critical thinking skills: Critical Thinking At Work)
  • Open-minded
  • Flexible
  • Innovative
  • Open to suggestions from team members

3. Ability to Motivate

A strong leader will understand that each team member has their own viewpoints, unique skill sets, and working style. By understanding that every employee is different and getting to know each employee, a good leader will know what motivates each team member and how to encourage them.

Remember to embrace each team member’s unique skills by focusing on their strengths and giving them opportunities that call on these skills.

4. Strong Communication

A good leader will possess a range of communication skills, such as:

  • Verbal communication
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Presentation and public speaking
  • Active listening

You can build open communication with your workers by encouraging regular conversations, always being open to questions, and letting your team members know they can also stop in your office with concerns or connect with you through an email.

5. Willingness to Learn

A good leader understands that they need to be constantly learning, growing, and improving their skills. Good leaders are also willing to identify their areas of weakness and work to improve them.

The best leaders lead by example. This means showing a willingness to accept constructive criticism, dedication to personal growth, good listening skills, and treating others around you with dignity and respect.

By continuing to learn how to motivate your team, honing your communication skills, and being open to constructive feedback, you’ll set an example of personal growth that will hopefully motivate your team members as well.

Browse the workshops we recommend for leadership development here: Leadership Development Training& Development Workshops.

6. Authenticity

Authentic leaders are easier to connect with and trust and are more enjoyable to work with. When your team members view you as authentic and genuine, they’ll respond better to working with you and want to perform at their best.

Here are some tips to help show you are a trustworthy, authentic leader:

  • Live by your values
  • Take a genuine interest in each member of the team
  • Be honest and transparent
  • Be willing to admit your mistakes
  • Stand up for what you believe in
  • Be dependable
  • Don’t say one thing and do another
  • Stick to your promises
  • Practice self-awareness

7. Investment in Relationship-Building in the Workplace

A confident, caring leader who is authentic, genuine, and focused on creating and maintaining a positive working environment will place a large emphasis on interpersonal relationships.

A good leader will also encourage relationship-building between team members.

Maintaining a close-knit team that values the company and each other is one of the best ways to move toward success. Employees who feel valued and important are more likely to be productive and give their all.

If you want to learn more about how to assess team-member strengths, learn how to build collaborative teams, and build positive relationships in the workplace, here are some of our recommended team-building workshops:

8. Problem-Solving

No matter how much you love your job, how well you know your industry, how much experience you have, or how skilled your team is, problems will arise.

Good leaders have exceptional problem-solving skills and know how to identify issues early on and construct practical steps to and identify a solution.

Good problem-solving skills involve:

  • Quick thinking
  • The ability to stay calm even under pressure
  • Following proven problem solving methodologies
  • Critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Identifying clear solutions and practical steps for how to resolve the issue

9. Ability to Give Constructive Feedback

Giving positive feedback is easy. But do you know how to give negative feedback in a constructive, respectful manner?

Giving constructive feedback is one of the more difficult leadership skills, but here are tips for doing it properly:

  • Do it right away — Don’t avoid giving constructive criticism. If there’s an issue that needs to be addressed or something the team member needs to work on, make them aware of it before the problem continues to build.
  • Don’t give too many critiques at once — Listing off a bunch of things a team member is doing wrong will overwhelm them and may even cause them to question their value in the organisation. Rather, make a point to regularly catch up with team members. This gives you frequent chances to address one issue at a time rather than a host of concerns. Remember to include positive feedback in these checkups as well.
  • Be specific and straightforward — Give clear examples of what needs to be addressed and why.
  • Offer a clear strategy — Give your team member a clear action plan for how to solve the issue.

To improve your feedback skills, we recommend the Feedback Conversations Workshop with Claire Seeber. In this workshop, participants learn to navigate difficult conversations, frame negative feedback in a constructive way, and learn how to ask for feedback.

Ready to Build Your Leadership Skills?

These 9 leadership skills and characteristics are crucial for good management. Whether you want to focus on improving one or two specific leadership skills or want to work on improving general leadership skills, our team at Essemy can design a customised workshop solution to help you reach your goals

Contact our team today with any questions or for personalised advice by filling out our online contact form, calling us on 61 8 6115 6373, or emailing us at [email protected].