3 Ways to Improve Your Leadership Style
Some aspect of your leadership style could be holding you back from being a more effective leader. Managerial leaders might not take time to learn employee strengths and weaknesses because they're busy planning and moving resources around. Authoritarian leaders might not be doing enough to listen to their employees' needs. Democratic leaders might not offer strong direction to self-governing teams. The key here is finding your weaknesses and choosing appropriate ways to become a more well-rounded leader.
If you are a managerial leader invested in the day-to-day operations of your business, you want employees to understand their job descriptions and follow established routines. Devote time to learning the strengths and weaknesses of employees and re-assign them, if needed, to tasks that are better matched to their strengths. You also can also create a vision for your business. First, look at where your business is and establish a financial and growth plan for the next several quarters or year. Next, map out a set of goals that would give all employees a role in helping you fulfill the plan.
If you're usually focused on giving orders to employees, you might be overlooking the needs of your staff. To overcome this problem and improve your leadership style, a good first step is to make yourself more available. Schedule a team meeting with each department once a week. Schedule one-on-one meetings with new employees and struggling employees. Create a suggestion box. Take more time to respond to employee emails and phone messages. The more you focus on employee needs and respond with compassion and advice, the more employees will feel that you value them as individuals.
Democratic leaders let employees participate in decision-making and are very attuned to their needs. The problem is, you cannot always count on the team to know what's best for your company. Improve your leadership style by taking some control back from the group in an area that will help the company grow. For example, take charge of opening another business location or developing a new product while the team handles existing operations. Employees can respect a strong leader most comfortable with a democratic style.
It's important for business owners to become aware of their strengths and identify what they still need to learn to compensate for their weaknesses. As you try new techniques, such as listening to your employees more, you will start to see how employees really perceive you as a leader. Take their feedback and continue to evolve while accepting responsibility for mistakes and acknowledging that you're also trying to develop as the business owner.