As a leader, you likely have your default way of handling your employees and conflict. Whether it’s effective or not, it’s what you know. Too often, leaders become stuck in how they automatically lead instead of exploring and mastering different styles. Ultimately, the key to an effective leadership style is learning how to navigate between several styles depending on the situation.
Start by understanding your style
Think about how you behave when a stressful situation arises. Are you immediately asking others for help, or commanding a solution? Do you seem calm and cool while fear fills you up? There are quizzes you can take online to help you determine your style, but it really comes down to figuring out how you behave when things get tough.
Know and improve your strengths
Look at what you do well as a leader and ask colleagues for input. Focusing on improving what you do well and chronicling what worked throughout the week as guidance for future situations.
Don’t ignore your weaknesses
As you go through your strengths, your weaknesses will likely be made clearer. Write down what you want to work on and focus on using those skills throughout the week to help you improve.
Elevate your team
Depending on the issue or project, someone else on your team might have a better leadership style. Instead of holding tight to your power, allow them to use their skills. By choosing the right person for the job, you’re helping your team succeed. Plus, you can watch how they lead and learn from their style.
When you want to develop a different leadership style, finding an activity that more aligns with it can help you fill the role easier. For example, if you want to become more assertive, a competitive sport might help you face the challenge. If you’re looking for a calmer demeanor, an art class, like pottery, may help you learn patience.
Always seek feedback
As you’re developing different styles, you want to know if they’re effective. Talk to your team and colleagues to see what they think and learn how you can improve to make sure you’re being the best leader possible.
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