The Leadership Styles – Which Works Best With Your Office-Based Team

Leadership isn’t just about being a good strategic thinker, neither is it about adhering rigidly to an autocratic or democratic leadership style.

Modern leadership demands emotional intelligence, showing your ‘human’ side, and being adaptable. When it comes to leadership styles all of these are important. You never know what challenges or changes you are going to face, so one leadership style does not fit all. It’s up to you as a manager to know which leadership style to adopt and when, for the benefit of your team and the business.

So let’s look at the leadership styles and which works best with your office-based team.

The visionary leadership style

The visionary leader rallies the team behind a shared vision and goals. They remind the team of their ‘why’ and point them in the right direction. I’ve seen this work well. An organisation was set still in long-winded processes and the leaders had a vision of an automated way of working. Projects were set up looking at each area to take this forward.

When will this leadership style help your office-based team?

If motivation and engagement is low and your team seem to have lost sight of their goals. Or if you can see a better way of doing things.

How do I become a visionary leader?

  • Communicate your vision regularly and give clear direction. 
  • Encourage innovation and new ways of thinking.
  • In every task you or the team does, ask yourself: Does this take us closer to our goal, or further away from it?
  • Encourage collaboration and contribution of ideas and perspectives.

The coaching leadership style

The coaching leader believes in developing the strengths of team members and helping them fulfil their potential. The coaching leadership style can encourage staff loyalty-people stay when they feel challenged enough in their role and they are supported to develop.

If you never coach your employees it can be detrimental to you and the business. Often they will struggle with tasks and not be able to see a way when they encounter a problem.

When will this leadership style help your office-based team?

If the team and/or business is growing and tasks are becoming more complex, team members will need your encouragement to develop and have confidence that they can get the job done.

How do I become a coaching leader?

  • Give constructive strengths-based feedback.
  • Get to know your team members’ strengths and have regular check-ins to help them work out how they can better use them at work for the benefit of the team and the business.
  • Ask them how they would approach the task rather than giving the answer.

The collaborative leadership style

The collaborative leader focuses on creating a harmonious workplace, building good relationships, and harnessing the sense of ‘being a team’ for the good of the business.

When will this leadership style help your office-based team?

If there’s a conflict or a lack of connection in the team-this is an important leadership style to adopt if you have a remote team where people are struggling to retain those all-important feelings of connection.

How do I become a collaborative leader?

  • Create a safe and supportive environment where people feel able to voice concerns or share ideas.
  • Set the tone for workplace values, putting openness, trust, and kindness at the forefront of everything you do.
  • Focus on making employees feel valued and supported.

The democratic leadership style

A democratic leader gets everyone involved in processes and decisions which encourages a sense of ownership.

When will this leadership style help your office-based team?

When you have a situation where something feels ‘stuck.’ If you have everyone’s input you benefit from different perspectives that might help you find a solution.

How do I become a democratic leader?

  • Empower people to take more responsibility and make decisions.
  • Encourage people to contribute and show that you value their ideas and opinions.
  • Build in team problem-solving involving all the team.

The goal-setting leadership style

The goal-setting leader is driven, focused on precise goals, and expects a lot from their team.

When will this leadership style help your office-based team?

When all hands need to be on deck to achieve a short-term goal, respond quickly to a change, or implement something new. In the short term, this kind of leadership can be motivating, but in the long term, the intensity and pressure may not be so healthy for the team.

How do I become a goal-setting leader?

  • Communicate to your team that they have to knuckle down and work intensively for the short term to achieve what’s needed. Make sure they understand timelines and that they aren’t expected to work this way forever and a day.
  • Recognise their hard work and share any positive outcomes with them-it can be very motivating to see the impact of your efforts.

The autocratic leadership style- the one to avoid!

The word autocrat has negative connotations and it’s largely because autocratic leaders tend to rule by fear. Ruling by fear does not win you loyalty, trust, or respect, and it can often render a leader ineffective. This type of leadership can also have a very negative impact on a company’s culture and your business might become one of those places where nobody wants to work.

When will this leadership style help your office-based team?

Not very often, which is why I would advise against you adopting it. The only situation where it might be useful is if you are dealing with a full-blown crisis and you have to make unpopular decisions.

How do I avoid becoming an autocratic leader?

I’m changing it up with this one- I want to steer you away from being an autocratic leader as a rule!

  • Don’t hand out orders to your team- inspire them and encourage collaboration.
  • Avoid micro-managing, empower people.
  • Don’t focus on weakness and missed goals-focus on strengths and developing people and their potential.

Maybe you identify yourself more as one type of leader than another, but as we have seen, one leadership style does not fit every situation. It’s up to you to find the most relevant and effective way to manage your team in every situation.

Sounds challenging? It can be.

But whatever your leadership style, start from a position of wanting to help your team members and supporting them to thrive.

Start there and you won’t go wrong.

Sometimes, trying to work out how to be the best leader you can be, feels like you’re getting lost in a maze!

Few of us get it right straight away.  It takes an entire life’s journey, experience, and development to be a successful leader.

One of the things I found helped me was getting a mentor. It gives you time to reflect and explore in a safe place.  A mentor is not there to judge you, they are simply there to help you discover options and different ways of doing things.  

Struggling to justify the cost? Consider this…

What will change if you continue doing the same things?

Want support and a place to develop?

Book a call to discuss the options for working with me.

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