The best way to become a better leader is to work intentionally on developing your leadership style. Each manager may have their own default leadership style, but a truly effective leader will be able to move outside of their comfort zone, rise to the occasion and support their team no matter what might be at stake.
Steps to Develop Your Leadership Style
Determine Your Default Leadership Style
The first step in developing your leadership style is to determine what your leadership style is, exactly. If you’re unsure what your style is, here are some ways to find out:
- Take a leadership quiz. You can find reputable quizzes online, and they are even free to use. Be sure they are science-backed and well-respected.
- Consider how you react under pressure and stress.
- Reflect on a few questions like, “Do you ask for your team members’ opinions? Or delegate right away?”
Understanding what leadership style comes naturally will help you further strengthen this style and also give you direction to enhance your leadership abilities by growing outside your comfort zone.
Amplify Your Strengths
Playing to your strengths is important, so you need to decide which strengths you have in your natural leadership style. One of the ways to help you determine and maximize your strengths is to consider what went well each day. By seeing what went well with leading your team, you may discover that your communication style or organizational skills create an environment that helps lead your team to success. When you determine your strengths, find ways to amplify them even more. Maybe it’s using your organizational skills to restructure team documents or to streamline a process that is utilized regularly.
Work on Your Weaknesses
Now that you understand your strengths and how to let them shine, it’s also important to reflect on what areas need some improvement. From reading books to taking courses, there are several ways to improve on any weakness that you identify. But it is also helpful to be able to learn while watching others. You might find that there is another leader at the company or even within your team who can be an excellent example as you try to expand your leadership style to include qualities that may not come naturally.
Identify the Strengths of Others
The best leaders know that they can’t do everything the best. Leaders should rely on the strengths of their team members to take the lead on projects or tasks when it’s their strongsuit. Not only does this help lead the team to greater success, but giving team members the chance to act on their strengths leads to their development and professional growth.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Even in your personal life, trying something new can translate to greater confidence in uncomfortable scenarios in the workplace. Choose something that’s exciting to you, then take the risk and try it. It could be a sport or it could be a new hobby.
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