Not everyone wants to climb the corporate ladder to a leadership position, but those that get this opportunity should not take it lightly.
Being a manager requires a new set of skills that wasn’t necessary in previous roles, and not everyone who gets this role is trained or qualified to lead others.
Although time will help you hone your managerial skills, you need to decide what type of leader you want to be right away, so that you have the best chance of getting your team’s respect and trust early on.
Ask yourself these three questions before choosing a leadership style:
What leaders do I look up to?
When choosing the type of leader you want to become, it is advantageous to consider your experience with other successful leaders.
It doesn’t have to be an individual you worked with, but can be a person you read or even heard about.
The best way to make this choice is to research innovative and highly respected managers, and learn what qualities helped them to lead their teams.
Then, you can make a list of different styles you are considering before narrowing down your choices.
Which leadership style would fit with my skills and abilities?
After picking several styles that you admire, you must consider your own skills and abilities, and how they can help or hinder you in adapting a specific style.
For example, if you are aware that you are not the most detail oriented person, than perhaps a micromanaging leadership style is not for you.
If you know you don’t have the ability to constantly look over your employees’ shoulders to make sure every detail of their work is done correctly, you need to pick a different style.
On the other hand, if you know that you are highly invested in the happiness of your employees, a people-oriented leadership approach may be right for you.
These types of managers place the success and personal happiness of their workers above all else, which may be your priority in this role.
What style is most appropriate?
The third step in this process is to consider the company you will work in, its traditions and goals, as well as the people you will be managing.
A certain type of leadership style may be more or less appropriate for different situations.
For example, if you will be managing apprentices or interns, it will not be appropriate to be a laissez-faire type of leader that allows employees to work independently.
Individuals who are not experienced in the field will require more of a mentor than a supervisor.
Consider your leadership role models, your own qualities and skills, as well as the work environment and your staff before picking a leadership style.
Head of Training and Development
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Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.