3 Qualities of Authentic Leadership

Excerpt from the article

  1. Show Humility, Humor And Interest

Authentic leaders demonstrate active humility, lighthearted (and often self-deprecating) humor and intentional interest in their team members. They do it often, routinely observing and reflecting on the employee’s engagement and following up with in-the-moment feedback and encouragement. This creates an environment where each can learn from the other.

– Annette Villamil, Working Bridges


Creating a work environment where others are open and honest with one another is what we all strive for but not all leaders apply the qualities needed to create this environment. By demonstrating the three qualities listed below, you will see your employees are more likely to be open, honest and engage with you on another level.


While this quality may infer a leader is weak or unqualified, it can actually show signs of confidence and strength by creating a mutually respectful relationship and a healthy workplace culture. We are imperfect humans, being open about our failures can open the door of honesty and integrity with one another.


While humor is a quality we can all enjoy by breaking the ice and barriers with others, it’s not without risks. Forced, crude, or inappropriate humor are ways this quality should not be used. As we share most of our time together in the workplace, humor should flow naturally through the occurrences we experience together. This quality can pave the communication highway between all employees and at all levels within an organization, not to mention the physical health benefits. Research from the University of Maryland showed that humor can raise the levels of our immune cells.


Ask yourself, “What motivates my employees?” Everyone has a different reason for their motivation such as job security, enjoying helping others in their position, and opportunity for growth. Showing interest by getting to know your fellow coworkers and asking them about topics that are important to them can reveal what drives them to get out of bed every day.

In short, we all can be overwhelmed in our work at times and tend to focus our minds to, “I’m so busy” or “I don’t have time for this.” When we direct our attention to others by showing humility, humor, and interest with those we spend most of our time with, your leadership can become authentic, and it can create a workplace environment you will enjoy.


Richmond, Jason. (2022, March 25). Humility: The Key Leadership Attribute Behind A Healthy Workplace Culture. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2022/03/25/humility-the-key-leadership-attribute-behind-a-healthy-workplace-culture/?sh=198c32a66bbb

Schweitzer, Maurice. (2016, October 4). Using Humor in the Office: When It Works, When It Backfires. Knowledge at Wharton. https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/using-humor-in-the-office-when-it-works-when-it-backfires/

Bahrami, Roz. (2015, October 29) Humor In The Workplace: Why Humor Has A Place In Every Business. eLearning Industry. https://elearningindustry.com/humor-in-the-workplace-humor-place-every-business

Feser, Claudio. (2017, September 4) Leaders must take an interest in their people. HRZone. https://www.hrzone.com/lead/culture/leaders-must-take-an-interest-in-their-people

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