Stepping into Management

Yesterday, I started my first leadership course with APSCo. It was a very dynamic and engaging training session that helps to widen skills such as communication with teams, influencing others and balancing priorities at work.

Although no single leadership style is better than another, each person needs to adapt to different situations and know when to exhibit a particular approach. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all want to be the kind of person others want to follow, and the good news is that almost anyone can improve the skills necessary to become a ‘follow-worthy’ leader. In my opinion, a leader can be anyone on the team who has a particular talent, offers example and is a creative thinker that can inspire the best in others. The success of a leader depends on your approach, style and attitude.

In most of my posts, I speak about Daniel Goleman’s books and again, I’d like to highlight his 6 leadership styles as well as a brief analysis of the effects of each style:

  1. The Pace-setting leader: “Do as I do it, now” this style focuses on performance and achieving goals. Everyone is held to high standards.
  2. The Visionary Leader: “Come with me” focuses on end goals. This style works best when the team needs vision. Visionary leadership is most effective when your organization needs a new vision or a dramatic new direction, or for helping your team to manage changes.
  3. The Commanding or Authoritative Leader: “Do what I tell you” this leadership style is most effective in times of crisis although is often misused and it can have a profoundly negative effect on a team.
  4. The coaching Leader: “Try this” this person builds lasting personal strengths that make the team more successful overall. It is least effective when teammates are defiant and unwilling to change or learn, or if the leader lacks proficiency.
  5. The Affiliative Leader: “People come first” this style works best in times of stress, and it provides harmony and trust when teammates need to rebuild belief.
  6. The Democratic leader: “What do you think?” focuses on collaboration. Leaders using this leadership style actively seek input from their teams, and they rely more on listening than directing. This is a great way to benefit from your team’s knowledge, ideas and skills.

In summary, which style is best? Not one approach alone is the answer; a mix of all the 6 ingredients will make you an engaging and inspiring leader!

Isabel Ruiz Halter, Senior International Consultant, Foundation Recruitment

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