Good role models have a positive effect on the people around them. They’re widely respected, and teams work harder and put in extra effort for people that they admire. Organizations want leaders who will encourage and inspire others to be at their best, so good role models tend to be among the first to be considered for promotion. They also find it easy to build alliances across an organization, as their reputation and personal brand are strong. So, if you take steps to become a good role model, you’ll likely create a more effective team and business, and you’ll boost your own career, too.
Six Traits of a Good Role Model
Good role models typically exhibit the following personality traits or qualities: self-awareness, positivity, humility, empathy, professionalism, and integrity. Let’s look at them in more detail.
Self-awareness is the ability to reflect honestly and productively on your behaviour, and on the impact that you have on others.
A positive attitude can help to develop an energetic, can-do team spirit. No one can be cheerful all the time, but you can look for the opportunities in difficult situations. So, focus on what your team can do in any given situation, not on what it can’t, and help it to build on those successes.
Good role models practice humility. They’re honest when they’re not sure what to do and are happy to ask questions and learn. They are comfortable with encouraging other people to flourish, they give credit where it’s due, and they don’t hide behind rank or experience.
Empathy involves understanding the emotional needs of others. To develop empathy strive to really hear and understand what others are telling you. The more you’re able to identify and connect with team members in this way, the more trust you’ll build, and the stronger those connections will be.
Demonstrating professionalism means holding your actions and your work to an excellent standard. It involves more than just getting the job done – it taps into deeper personal qualities of integrity, honesty and respect for others.
Integrity is doing the right thing for the right reasons, even if that means not taking the easiest option. Living with integrity is one of the cornerstones of being a good role model, as it is among the qualities that individuals and organizations look for most in their leaders.
Four Ways to Be a Good Role Model
You might have the necessary attributes to be a good role model, but how will you put them into practice for best effect? Let’s look at a few day-to-day examples below:
- Communicating effectively with your team. Strong communication skills are important for any role model. They’ll help you to foster quality connections and to build relationships based on trust and respect.
- Supporting your organization’s values. Good role models demonstrate their commitment to their employer’s desired ways of working and guide the behaviour of their team members accordingly.
- Working collaboratively. Good team player put their own egos aside and focus on the good of the group. As a role model, this is an attitude you’ll be sure to adopt.
- Supporting innovation. Take the lead when it comes to acquiring new skills and embracing new technologies that will help your business. As a role model, it’s important that you stay “ahead of the curve.”