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There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership, but as a manager, it’s key to understand the basic 6 leadership styles and when to use each one. The more awareness you have around the style you use, the easier it will be for your team to trust your vision and instincts.
Knowing that varying leadership styles suit different teams at different moments, choosing which one to implement depends on a variety of factors. These can include circumstances, personality types, and team productivity levels. You know your team best, so you can determine which leadership style will best apply to your team, and when.
Leadership styles refer to the behaviours that leaders adopt to interact with their employees. It’s also important to note that leadership skills will greatly influence leadership style. A good leader knows how to adopt different styles with different dependencies. These include how to motivate your team, providing a sense of direction, building strength to accomplish objectives and mentorship to empower each team member.
This style is about getting your team aligned towards their North Star! Visionary leaders create momentum with charisma and mobilize people toward a shared vision. This style is also meant to be adopted when the requirement for alignment around a direction becomes urgent. When things shift and change or the going gets tough, visionary leaders can get their people on the right track.
Pausing to reflect on how visionary leadership is defined, it’s clear that this style encourages innovation, experimentation and action. Visionaries welcome failing-forward as a means to enable teams towards trying new things, evolving, and finding solutions.
Unclear direction often results in a lack of motivation and employee engagement. Visionary leadership helps to shape up teams who have lost sight of their goals and increase their understanding about where they need to go next.
As its name suggests, coaching leadership encourages improvement and confidence. Ultimately, you want your employees to feel both challenged and supported in their role. Adopting this approach helps you develop strong connections with your teams because they know you’re on their side, pushing them to be the best they can be.
To put your coaching leadership style to work, be sure to provide the right tools and resources for employees to feel set up for success. And, avoid a micromanaging mentality. Coaching is about helping others find the answers, not giving them away.
Lastly, coaching and 1-on-1s go hand in hand. Officevibe helps managers master their 1-on-1 meetings. Developmental goals are stored in one shared place. Meeting agendas are set collaboratively beforehand. And, you can set direct action items for improvement.
At the base, an affiliative leader is all about relationships. These leaders feel comfortable building connections throughout their company. They focus on creating a harmonious workplace; one where employees can feel as though they have achieved team chemistry and a level of comfort with one another.
Resolving team conflict is a hallmark of the affiliative leader. They support teams, mediate through difficult discussions and develop those who have been working in silos.
This type of leadership also helps to improve environments where there’s a lack of trust and support felt within a team. A good leader knows how to delegate, a great leader knows how to build trust and collaboration within the group.
Democratic leadership requires a strong sense of collaboration. This approach is helpful in situations where everyone’s input is required to support decisions and strategic planning that will affect the whole team.
After all, collective intelligence promotes diverse solutions. A collaborative leader knows how to implement inclusive next steps and focuses on building healthy progress for everyone, at all levels.
A pacesetting leader focuses on concrete goals that are set for their team. These are non-negotiable goal posts which require firm decision making and clear cut expectations. This approach of leadership also requires you, the manager, to exemplify this within your day to day.
Note that this style comes with a sense of volatility and is most effective with short term goals. It’s wise to first assess if this level of pressure is conducive to the success of your team.
While pressures can mount due to unexpected changes that are company-wide, try to balance pacesetting leadership with a strong recognition plan. This way, your team will understand the value they bring and will feel motivated to keep up with the team.
Simply put, this leadership behavior promotes a fear based mentality. These leaders are more forceful and direct in nature. It’s generally recommended to avoid using this style altogether, but there are moments when leaders might need to make quick and even unpopular decisions.
This approach can come across as harsh and typically leaves a negative footprint on a company’s culture. To say it bluntly, those who lead with fear are regarded as ineffective. If this style is ever required in “emergency” situations, it needs to be well-explained and supplemented by a more tender leadership afterward.
Build effective leadership skills with the following
Finding a different leadership style that suits your team will encourage a well rounded and productive team. Below are some key takeaways that will allow you to make your mark as a great leader to bring about transformational impact.
Officevibe empowers managers to build productive teams who enjoy showing up to work. If you’re not sure where to start, our pulse surveys help clarify the needs of your team so you can build an effective, customized experience.
Let us know what styles you’ve used in the past. This post has been updated to reflect current views.
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