When times are tough, it is natural for employees to look to their leaders for motivation and inspiration. Even if you aren’t directly involved with the day-to-day management of every member of staff, your leadership style affects the mood of the whole company. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your own style of leadership ensures you will be the inspiring role model your employees need.
Understand how you lead
The first step is working out your leadership style. Do you easily take control and give confident orders? Then you may be an authoritative leader. Are you always pushing your employees to reach new heights, the trademark of a pace-setting leader? Or do you take a more laissez-faire approach, delegating easily and trusting your staff to meet their own goals? Perhaps you are an affiliative leader, working with the individual strengths and weaknesses of your team to get the most from them? Read our post on leadership styles to identify your personal style.
You might find you have a mixture of different leadership styles, or even change your approach depending on the situation. The more you understand about yourself and your natural leadership style, the more you can identify areas to improve.
Uncover the strengths and weaknesses of your style
Once you have reflected on your personal leadership style, you can use this knowledge to identify areas where you can improve. Authoritative leaders are reassuring in times of crisis because they give clear instructions and give a strong sense of being in charge. But they may miss out on insights and creative solutions from other staff members. If this is you, look at how you can bring in chances for collaboration without losing the reassurance of your calm authority.
Pace-setting leaders inspire their staff by creating an atmosphere of excitement and constant progress. But the need to continuously innovate may leave employees feeling worn out or stressed. Be sure to praise past achievements and celebrate your staff’s contributions to combat burn-out.
A laissez-faire leadership style lets your staff know that they are trusted to manage their own workload and that their decisions won’t be second-guessed. However, be careful that your employees don’t end up feeling overwhelmed or lacking in firm leadership. When asked to make a decision, be clear and confident in your choices to reassure staff that you are still comfortably in charge.
Finally, affiliative leaders always have their team’s backs. Their employees feel secure in the knowledge that they will be given opportunities to grow. The risk for an affiliative leader is that they will be so focused on the personal needs of staff that they lose sight of the big picture. Block out time to focus on your overall strategy and inspire your staff by showing them how their work fits within the company as a whole.
For more help and advice in adapting your leadership style to inspire your team, contact Anthony Gregg. We specialise in coaching and mentoring leaders to become the best they can be.