- 15 November 2022
- Posted by: M-author
- Category: Leadership
A 2022 employee survey, conducted by Visier, revealed that 85% of workers see a good manager as important for workplace happiness. What’s more, 43% of respondents had left a job primarily because of a poor manager. At a time when acquiring and retaining talent is vital for business success, we explore leadership styles and their impact on workers.
What Makes a Good Leader?
Leadership was defined by Martin Chemers as:
“a process of social influence in which one person is able to enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.”
This can be achieved in a variety of ways, from ruthless coercion to hands-off delegation.
A good leader is someone with a genuine interest in their team members. They identify, use and develop an individual’s skills and strengths, they recognise effort and achievement and they earn respect. A good leader is fair, approachable and willing to listen. They can take the helm when needed, but also know how to empower their team to avoid micro-management.
It used to be thought that some people are natural leaders, born with specific characteristics and behaviours. It is now recognised that leadership skills can be developed and, given the opportunity and appropriate support, many of us could step up to the role.
As a business psychologist at Mindset, I have worked with many teams to develop leadership skills and improve relationships to enhance productivity and positivity in the workplace.
What type of Leadership Styles are There?
Depending on your sources of research, there are multiple leadership styles. Below are 7 examples that you may identify with or recognise in your current or former managers.
This is a commanding, ‘do as I say’ style of leadership that is employed in hierarchical organisations including the military. In most workplace settings, this authoritarian approach has to be used sparingly; it can be necessary when urgent action is required. However, being constantly told what to do, without involvement is demoralising and demotivating.
This focuses on leading by example. It requires the development of respect and trust in the skills, knowledge, experience and actions of the leader, so they become someone that others look up to. An authoritative leader is a mentor or coach, willingly sharing their knowledge and providing feedback that guides individuals and teams.
This is a process of exchange, which depends on clearly defined roles, responsibilities and goals. When individuals meet or exceed expectations, they are rewarded in the form of a bonus, promotion or other perks. These incentives are used to motivate employees, with those who fall short being denied rewards or opportunities.
This leadership style focuses on development and change, helping businesses to keep pace with current and future needs. It takes vision, effective communication and an understanding of the role everyone can play in driving things forward. Transformational leaders share the goal, address concerns and develop strategies that encourage buy-in. They forge connections that help to move the entire team towards the desired outcome.
Also known as Laissez Faire, this is all about handing over responsibility to the team. It requires trust in the employees and depends on them being competent, experienced and fully equipped for their roles. Although seen as a hands-off approach, support networks, communication and training and development are needed to manage consistency, standards and issues.
This is the democratic approach that offers shared responsibility for problem-solving, decision making and achieving goals. It is a collaborative approach, valuing everyone’s contribution and empowering the team to take ownership of organisational goals. The leader needs to be effective at facilitation and able to push forward agreed actions.
The concept of Integrative Leadership was presented by Martin Chemers. It starts with leaders who are self-aware and who strive for self-improvement in terms of desirable traits including integrity, courage and humility. This leadership style engages others with shared values; nurturing insightful and functional relationships. These aren’t contained within the organisation but extend to the wider community, forging coalitions that action positive change.
As we look at these common leadership styles, it is important to note that a good leader isn’t fixed in their approach. Employing elements of a variety of styles is often the most effective way to direct, motivate and manage individuals and teams. A good leader gets to know the individuals in their team and that includes understanding their motivations.
Encourage your Team to Thrive
As a speaker at The Business Show, I will be exploring the relationships between organisations, leaders and employees. I’ll share how business psychology can be used to achieve healthy, productive and mutually beneficial relationships that encourage your team to thrive.
If this is a subject of interest, you can find out more and book free tickets to the event by following this link: https://www.greatbritishbusinessshow.co.uk/welcome.
The Business Show is held at London Excel on 16 & 17 November 2022.