How to Develop Your Leadership Style and Become More Effective

The Importance of Knowing Your Leadership Style 

No one can deny that it is important to be a leader. Without good leadership skills, there’s a high chance that your company or organization will end up with poor performance and low success rates over time.

High-quality leadership skills make people want to follow you, admire you, and respect you.

However, there are many leadership styles. Your natural leadership style is defined by your personality, values, and principles, and is not always effective. 

Different styles have different strengths and weaknesses relative to human connection and engagement with followers. Therefore, it is important for leaders to understand their own leadership style, and to understand the natural behaviors of others. 

By doing this, you will know which style is suitable for different members of your team, and be able to adapt your approach accordingly. This will make you more effective as a leader, improving motivation and driving success.

“What is my style of leadership?”

You must identify your natural leadership style before trying to improve it. This will help you to be a more effective leader.

Leadership styles are not something that you can just choose – they are not like choosing your car or your favorite color. They are innate personality traits that influence how you handle situations. It depends on your emotions, self-awareness, and empathy. 

Four of the most common leadership styles are:

  1. Authoritarianism – power personifies ideas of toughness, strength, and superiority in a leader

  2. Consensus – leaders work with other members of the group to reach decisions together

  3. Individualism – leadership is about building up individuals rather than working with others

  4. Followership – leadership involves taking care of followers while simultaneously leading them

Leaders with high emotional intelligence are more likely to have good relationships with the people they lead. They also tend to be more charismatic, because they know how to connect with others at a deeper level and motivate them.

Consequently, you must understand what makes you tick and what resonates with you the most. This means that self-awareness is crucial to create relationships where trust can be gained and fostered.

The importance of understanding others

One of the most powerful skills that leaders have is the ability to understand how others behave. It’s a skill that can be developed over time and with practice.

Your effectiveness as a leader improves the more you understand how others are feeling, and what they need to be the most effective. This will help you develop a relationship with them that is beneficial for both parties.

People have needs which can be broken down into five categories: 

  • Belongingness

  • Self-esteem/self-worth

  • Achievement striving/achievement avoidance

  • Stimulation seeking/stimulation avoidance

  • Freedom seeking/freedom avoiding

The main goal for leaders should be to provide people with what they need to feel fulfilled while working at their jobs. How you lead individuals is inherent to this: and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. 

To achieve the best outcomes, you will need to adapt your leadership style to suit circumstances and people’s individual needs.

Tips to personalize your leadership style to individuals

Leadership styles can also be classified by the degree of emotional intelligence they require. The more emotionally intelligent a style is, the more empathic it is to others. Therefore, you should look at each situation individually when deciding which style you want or need to develop and use as a leader. How do you adjust your leadership style as needed? Here are six tips to follow:

  1. Understand yourself

  2. Understand your people

  3. Let your people understand you – be vulnerable and human

  4. Lead by example – walk your talk

  5. Ask for feedback and act on it

  6. Remain positive and display optimism

How to capture an individualized leadership style

Leadership styles are complex and personal, and often are worthy of much contemplation. You should not be afraid to experiment with different leadership styles.

A leader with high EQ skills can create a connection with people, have them trust them, and follow them without asking for anything in return. These types of leaders can help those around them grow into leaders themselves, without ever having to make any demands because they already know what works for them.

There is no one way to be a good leader. However, there are some common leadership styles and behaviors that have been shown to be effective in different contexts. By understanding the differences between them, leaders can better determine their own style and most effectively lead their people.

How to find your leadership style? The first step is to take one of our emotional intelligence assessments. This will provide the springboard for you to maximize the benefits of our Leadership Circle.

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