With the promotion to a managerial position, the question arises almost automatically for many company employees: How do I find my own leadership style? After all, you want to give your new leadership role your own touch, because an individual style has a convincing effect on other people.
There are various ways to find out which leadership style suits you best. Below are some tips for you to quickly develop your own personal leadership method.
1. Self-reflection: which leadership style do you have?
First, a first step would be for you to think about different leadership styles. Consider what type of leadership matches your personality profile and values. These are the most common leadership styles found in practice:
Collaborative leadership style: where the leader creates a work atmosphere where everyone can contribute their ideas and opinions. The workforce is also involved in decision-making processes. The focus is on promoting teamwork and strengthening relationships and communication. The manager takes a supportive role and gives employees the freedom to develop their own solutions.
Autocratic leadership style: In contrast to the cooperative leadership style, the manager exercises strong control over the work environment and processes. Employees have little say and are given little opportunity to contribute ideas and opinions. The manager has the final say in decisions. In certain situations, where it is important to implement decisions quickly, the autocratic leadership style is quite useful. However, in the long run it can restrict the creativity and initiative of employees.
Laissez-faire leadership style: In this leadership approach, the supervisor rarely interferes in the team's work processes and decisions. "Laissez-faire" means that the supervisor allows his or her employees a great deal of freedom and self-determination in getting their work done. However, the leadership style assumes that employees are highly motivated and able to organize and complete their tasks independently. However, the leader should be available to provide support and advice when needed.
Strategic leadership style: as a leader, you develop a long-term perspective and focus on developing strategies and plans to move the company forward successfully. To do this, you analyze the current situation of the business and the environment in which it operates in order to develop and target clear goals. In dynamic and rapidly changing work environments, this leadership style is shown to be particularly effective. As a strategic leader, it is important that you provide your employees with the resources and support they need and show empathy while being able to make clear decisions.
To find your own leadership style, consider for yourself the pros and cons of the styles presented here. In doing so, you don't have to commit to one style that will apply forever from now on. After all, you will develop as a personality over time and your way of leading will change as a result. It may also make sense, situationally, for you to use a mix of leadership styles to ensure that the strengths of different approaches are used effectively.
2. Get feedback
If you don't want to rely solely on your self-reflection, you can also seek feedback from others. For example, from colleagues, employees, or supervisors. Such feedback often shows you sides of yourself that are easily overlooked when reflecting in private.
In order to find the right leadership style for yourself, you should therefore also consider the external impact. This can be done by asking people around you specific questions, such as:
How am I perceived as a person?
What wishes are made of me as a manager?
What expectations do colleagues have of me as a supervisor?
How can I anticipate potential problems in the new position?
Be open to honest communication - criticism is also allowed. Especially if it is meant to be constructive. This will help you gauge in advance what people expect of you as a boss and where there are hidden tensions that could escalate into conflict at a later date. Overall, the feedback can help you to better understand yourself as a leader and make corrections to your own behavior if necessary.
3. Another way to find your own leadership style is to meet with competent leaders and learn from their experiences.
However, such professional exchange does not mean that you adopt or even copy another leadership style. That would be counterproductive - after all, you want to create something of your own.
Instead, try to find out in conversation how the leader developed his or her particular style, what difficulties had to be overcome along the way, and at what point he or she realized that the path he or she had chosen was the right one.
Also keep in mind that every company has different requirements for its leaders. Perhaps it would be helpful to have a mentor, at least in the beginning, who can continuously support you with their knowledge and experience until you have found your own leadership style.
4. In order to be able to grow as a leader, the framework conditions should be right.
In other words, in an environment where difficulties are inevitable, where obstacles are placed in your path or a culture of fear prevails, it can sometimes be problematic to find your own leadership style. This is because you have to deal with too many other things, both mentally and in reality.
If you are applying for a leadership position in a company, it is advisable to gather information about the company in advance. The Internet offers plenty of space for this, in order to get an overall picture of the company.
If you have any doubts, you can pass on the job. This may not always be easy with an attractive position. An alternative would then be for you to decide to accept the challenge and try to give the company a new direction with your leadership style. This may look like this:
You act as a role model. This means that you maintain open communication and are prepared to change the existing circumstances.
You ensure that employees get to know each other better. Because more knowledge of each other leads to more understanding and collegiality.
You introduce a culture of discussion and ensure that all team members have the same level of knowledge and information.
They are prepared to assume responsibility - employees thus gain psychological security. Because they trust that they can rely on you and your leadership competence.
To find your own leadership style, you have various options: from in-depth self-reflection to "learning by doing" in a new professional environment. You have a range of leadership styles to choose from, two or three of which can be used simultaneously if the situation calls for it.
To lead convincingly, you should avoid blindly copying leadership methods. It is better to consult a mentor who will work with you to develop a leadership style that suits your professional needs.