On our Management Open Courses, we often find the most interesting discussions revolve around the section on Leadership styles, because many people have heard about them but haven’t really learned enough about them to build their knowledge and awareness of how to change styles when necessary.
On the programme, we discuss that there are many styles you can choose from but it’s generally the situation itself that will dictate which style you should adopt. Here’s a resume of what we discuss:
1) Get to know the various strengths, weaknesses, development areas, wants and needs of each staff member who works for you. This will allow you to have a good personal business relationship with each one.
2) Don’t allow any past negative situations to control how you lead your people. Your attitude will become clear immediately if you bring baggage forward from any past experiences or management positions you may have held.
3) Each team member is an individual and should be treated as such. Provide closer supervision with those who need to improve their performance. Give greater freedom and responsibility to those who have shown ability and perform in a professional way.
4) Communicate your vision and goals and objectives to all in the team. If you play your cards close to your chest, you run the risk of alienating the team and they will become suspicious of your motives.
5) Practice good communication skills and respect for the team no matter what type of day you are having. Consistency is one of the key attributes of any leader, and if you show yourself to be moody or up-and-down in your demeanour, you are less likely to encourage others to approach you with honesty and openness.
By choosing the correct style of leadership with your team, you create the best opportunity to get them behind you and firing on all cylinders in their work.
Originally published: 8 April, 2011
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