A recent YouTube short by Chris Donnelly looked at the traits displayed by top performers. You don’t need to hire the smartest, these are the traits you need to look for:

1. Control over emotions– they can handle stress well and don’t let their emotions interfere with decision-making and are people you can trust with any task

2.Strong communicators – can express their ideas and concepts clearly and efficiently, they can do so among all kinds of people

3. Simplifiers – quick to understand complex things and break them down into short and simple soundbites

4. Speak up – rather than just accepting things as they are, they want to make a positive change and have no problem speaking up on behalf of their colleagues

5. Time management – they stay on top of tasks through self-organisation and self-management, providing clear updates on their work without having to be asked

6. Ok being wrong – they enjoy being wrong, they can own their mistakes and are happy to be corrected, this is a sign that they have a growth mindset which is essential for high performance

I particularly like the last of these traits – owning your mistakes not only demonstrates maturity and accountability but provides valuable opportunities for personal growth and development. The first step in taking ownership of mistakes is to recognise and acknowledge them. Develop the habit and you’ll find you become more resilient, adaptable, and compassionate. Embrace the habit of taking ownership, and see how it transforms your performance. I believe learning agility is essential for a successful career and for a success business.

Other traits spring to mind that I like to see in peers and colleagues…

Stepping up – invaluable, the people who don’t just talk a good game, but always seem to make things happen. This is a mindset that embraces making a difference, embracing the impossible, asking difficult questions and making doing things better a cause that you invest in. It is about growth, no matter what the difficulties or challenges – I can, we can, and will get better. Having a growth mindset and can-do attitude are key.

Willingness to listen – a valuable trait that not only benefits people in their professional and personal lives but also contributes to their ability to adapt, grow, and make positive contributions to the world around them. This is about your employability, showing that you’re constantly developing your skills and acquiring new ones, and positions you as a worthwhile long-term investment. Actively seeking ways to improve will help open new career paths, keep you sharp, increase work-life satisfaction and ensure you make the most of opportunities as they arise. Good listening skills are in short supply.

Crediting others with success –creates a positive and collaborative work environment. It promotes a culture of respect, trust, and teamwork. Helps build strong relationships in the workplace and shows you are a team player who values the work of your colleagues, which can lead to better cooperation and communication. Giving credit to others is not only common courtesy but essential for building a positive work culture, fostering teamwork, and promoting individual and organisational success. Good leaders get vicarious pleasure from the success of others. I am reminded of Jim Collin’s and Good to Great and the importance of leaders having humility.

Humility – a willingness to view oneself accurately, a displayed appreciation of others’ strengths and contributions, and teachability. Praise colleagues when they actively seek feedback, even in a difficult situation. Acknowledge those who acknowledge the strengths of others. Support people who are eager to learn new things and celebrate employees who are role models.

The ability to laugh at oneself – an effective way to move past incidents and precarious situations. Beyond displaying a sense of humour and humility, it also shows a level of self-awareness, which is such a positive trait. I also think making others laugh is also a good trait to have. Self-awareness is the key to improvement and growth.

I look forward to receiving your feedback.

Michael Moran

Michael is CEO and Founder of 10Eighty. He is passionate about helping people maximise their potential and believes everyone should have job satisfaction and a successful career. He helps organisations design jobs and career paths that maximise employee engagement. As an avid reader/commentator on the world of work and sport, he regularly draws parallels between the two. You could describe Michael as a budding author with “The Guide to Everlasting Employability” already under his belt, and technophile who’s created 2 career management apps to help people manage their careers.

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