What makes you an "attractive" leader?
have many aspects in how they enact their role. One that
particularly interests me is the qualities that make a leader someone
who is "in tune" with the people around them and what is going on in
their organisation; someone who hears what's really going on; can
foresee potential problems in the organisation; and is chosen by their
peers and staff as wise counsel.
has a useful way of looking at the quality of relationships called
"tele". Tele is what I think of as the magnetic force between
people. It's the force
present in all relationships, with us being drawn to some people, moving
away from others, or simply having a neutral response. It's
what makes us "hit it off" with someone without even knowing them, or
creates those personality clashes that just seem to happen for no real
is this interpersonal chemistry, and there is extensive literature on
the telic qualities that affect relationships between two people, or
between a leader and a group. I've given an overview about how
tele works and can be harnessed on my website
positive tele that attracts others to you is a powerful force for
effective leadership. Two telic qualities that come to the fore in work settings are socio-tele and psycho-tele. Socio-telic
qualities are related to the role we have - whether that's as a parent,
manager, doctor, chef, poet, leader or engineer - and involve
knowledge, skills and intelligence. The role doesn't say anything about
the personality or presence of a person, but the role itself still has a
powerful effect on how a person is seen and why people approach them.
example, when someone is head of the Finance section, people will go to
them expecting, and most likely receiving, expert knowledge and advice
on finance matters. But what explains the head of Finance who
always seems to attract peers and staff to talk over everything from IT
projects to the organisation's PR? Who seems to know what's going on in
every business unit, and who gets chosen to lead projects beyond the
scope of Finance?
These people have what's called positive psycho-telic qualities.
you sat near them, you would notice they have a great capacity to
listen and that their visitors are talking about more than the financial
part of their project or work group. They may be talking about
what they would like to achieve with their work group, what they are
noticing is happening in the organisation, their view on who they think
is likely to get that new Marketing role, or something else that is
going on. Both the visitor and the leader part with a positive
regard to the experience of being together, and both are likely to
benefit in unexpected ways from the interaction. The relationship is
you are often chosen as a listener or as a source of "wise counsel",
both socio- and psycho-telic qualities are likely to be at play.
If you feel under-chosen in areas beyond your specific role, it
could be useful to get to know, or re-assess your psycho-telic qualities
and consider what may be helpful to bring to the fore.
notice that the effective leaders I work with have 2 - 3 attractive
psycho-telic qualities in addition to the socio-telic element of their
Attractive psycho-telic qualities include being :
- Empathetic, interested in and/or involves people
- Results oriented
- Calm under pressure
If you would like to know more about tele and telic qualities, see my website or just get in touch with me.