5 Essential Traits to Influence and Motivate Others

5 Essential Traits to Influence and Motivate Others

A children’s hospital chief nursing officer shares her most important advice for leaders.

“The term leadership is so broad and, in many cases, convoluted. There is no one size fits all manual on how to be a great leader, and it takes many failed attempts to be successful,” says Theresa Martinez, M.S.N., NE-BC, CCRN-K, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Martinez has been a nurse for 30 years, starting at the bedside and working her way up to CNO.

“My best advice seems very basic, but they are the foundation of trusting relationships that influence and motivate others to achieve something new. After all, that is what leadership is all about.”

Here are Martinez’s five basics every leader should practice.

Humility. Leaders are human and make mistakes. Mistakes are okay but you must own up to them.

Communication. This also means actively listening. Communication is not a one-way street.

Emotional intelligence. Manage your own emotions and understand the emotions of the people you lead.

Reflection. As the American philosopher John Dewey states, “We do not learn from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience.”

Kindness. It makes us happier, builds better relationships, and is contagious.

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