Whether you are recruiting your first employee or expanding your workforce in a time of growth, employees look to you for direction. As a leader, employees expect clear, consistent guidance and respect. According to the Harvard Business Review, employees that feel respected are 55 percent more engaged at work.

It is your job to get the most out of your workforce by keeping them engaged and motivated. Your leadership style is the tool to achieving this. Employers should take the time to identify their leadership style and invest in developing their leadership skills. After all, it is said a leader is made, not born.

1. How Do Your Strongest Personality Traits Apply In The Work Environment?

There are many different leadership styles, all with their defining traits. In the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, each individual has their natural leadership style, which is derived from their personality type. This is based on responses to certain markers, including Feeling versus Thinking, Introversion versus Extroversion, and Judging versus Perceiving. For example, an autocratic leadership style includes little or no task delegation or shared decision-making, and clear reprimands for not following established rules.

Alternatively, if you find yourself leaning towards feeling, intuitiveness, and being more reserved, this could mean you have the character qualities of an advocate and would be a future-oriented leader.

Related Article: 7 Types of Leadership Styles

Linking your leadership style to your personality is critical when establishing your leadership style. This is because it draws out leadership qualities that are already built-in, rather than learned.

While the development of your leadership skills is necessary to explore your true potential, you should use these skills to enhance your overall leadership style, and resolve any limitations you may have identified.

Take some time to identify a few outstanding traits you display. Are you partial to adhering to rules? How do you approach joint decisions at home or with friends? Knowing how to apply these in your work environment will allow you to reap the benefits of them as a leader.

2. What Are Your Opinions On Employee Involvement, Collaboration, and Boundaries?

Certain leadership styles (such as the democratic or coaching leadership style) involve employee input in the decision-making process.

As a leader and employer, you must be clear on the extent to which you wish to include your employees in this process and the ideal process in which you want employee input to be accessed. This will guide you to the kind of leader you wish to be to your employers. 

An autocratic leader involves you retaining all the decision-making power without the need to consult any other management members or employees. On the other hand, other style (like the participative style) allow for team members to contribute to key decisions.

Related:  When Leadership Strengths become Weaknesses - Part 2

It is worth mentioning that leadership styles that encourage employee involvement are the most preferred in workplaces today and promotes employee motivation and productivity. Today’s employees want to contribute to their workplace and be recognized for it.

3. What Styles are Best Suited to Your Business and Employees?

With that being said, your leadership style is also influenced by your employees and the business environment. So it’s crucial that you exhibit the right leadership style for your employees, and your employees respond well to your way of leading. It is also worth noting that there may be times where you will need to switch between leadership styles as situations arise.

One good example is the adoption of task-oriented leadership in a time-pressed situation. In business scenarios where time is of the essence, it may be more suitable to have a task or directive leadership style in place. Meanwhile, a laissez-faire leadership style thrives in an innovative work environment where self-responsibility is the norm. 

You must be careful not to commit one of the cardinal sins of leadership in the eyes of your employees: inconsistent rules and being evasive about changed strategies. Around 22% of employees find it stressful when a leader is not upfront with their expectations and employee roles, or does not stick to initial claims.

Leadership Styles

Once you know the kind of leader you are, it is up to you to develop those skills and weaknesses so that you may access the best from your workforce.

There is no rule that you must stick to the absolute definition of these leadership styles. Just be sure to be clear and communicate with your employees. 

Which Leadership Style Works for You?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Sally Keys
Sally is a freelance writer who gave up a successful career in HR to become a work-from-home mum running her own business. She operates a strict daily schedule, often getting a lot of her work done before the kids get up, and enjoys getting out of the home to walk her pet Labrador, Rosie.
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