If history has shown us anything, it’s that there are quite a few ways to be a leader. What makes history remember you, however, is how effective (of ineffective) your leadership skills are.
In business, whether you’re leading a corporation or just a small team made up of a few colleagues, knowing your leadership style is crucial. It’s just like in comedy – you need to know your audience. You’re much more likely to be successful if you can connect with your teammates while leading them simultaneously, building trust and support.
Not only are there different types of leadership styles, but there are different situations that will require different leadership tactics. Unfortunately, choosing the way you want to manage people is not a one-and-done practice. Knowing when and where certain leadership styles are appropriate and effective will also be key. The more you know yourself and your skills, the easier it will become to know when to switch things up.
Here, we’ll take a look at a few common leadership styles so that you can find out which style fits you best.
It’s highly likely that you’ve had a boss in a previous job that had a laissez-faire leadership style, although maybe not for the right reasons. Generally speaking, leaders that choose this approach tend to be much more hands off than others. This can be due to the nature of the work or the level of the team’s abilities. While there are plenty of situations that call for this type of leadership, it can quickly turn into an absentee leader where teammates scramble to understand the task at hand and find a cohesive motivation toward achievement of their goals and objectives. Study your audience and you’ll know when to use this tactic.
Taking a more authoritative approach, is the autocratic leader. Those who are drawn to this type of leadership are very in tune with the process and components of every strategy. This causes the team to have a deep understanding of the importance of each step, which can be a driving force when it comes to work ethic and motivation. What can happen, however, is that too much individual team member creativity is lost in the process, leaving little room for empathetic, open minded decisions that could most effectively solve certain problems. Autocratic leaders take note; showing your team that you are the boss is important, but make sure it’s not so important that it taints the quality of your service.
There are some leaders who try to make the best of the world’s described above. That person is the coaching leader. Taking tips from autocratic assertiveness and knowing when to back off and let people work, the coaching leader also tries to elevate their teammates with tips and suggestions. This not only fuels support, but builds confidence and, not to mention, a strong working relationship.
So, what’s your leadership style? Think you’re a mix of any of the above, or does one stand out to you more than others? Please feel free to tweet your experiences with testing out different leadership styles to me and for others to learn. For more information on leadership and management styles, continue to visit my blog at DarleneBerliner.com.