Whether you're a first-time manager or a veteran CEO, there is always work to be done when it comes to improving your skills as a leader. Growing in this area can help you to enhance not only your own abilities but also the productivity and efficiency of your team, and ultimately your workplace.
To improve your leadership style, spend time on the following three exercises:
1. Know your style
If you want to improve as a leader, you should start by understanding your leadership style. According to the American Society of Association Executives, eight common leadership styles include:
- Charismatic. Your influence is largely through the power of your personality.
- Innovative. You go beyond the normal and create new ideas.
- Command and control. Not only do you adhere to the rules but also expect the same of others.
- Laissez-faire. You monitor work, but trust others to get it done rather than directly involving yourself.
- Pace setter. By maintaining high standards for yourself, you set the same expectations for the performance of the group.
- Servant. The team comes first, and you involve the others in your decision-making.
- Situational. You direct, support and empower your team because you believe behavior is linked with preparedness.
- Transformational. You expect everyone to give their best and transform behavior, even when it's uncomfortable.
Knowing your own style and familiarizing yourself with the other types can give you important insight into the management of your team. Remember, no type is better than any other, but in some situations you may want to borrow from other styles.
The responsibility of managing a team requires putting in time to develop your own skills as a leader.
2. Spend time listening
As a leader, you likely spend a lot of time giving instructions. However, to succeed, you also need to spend time listening to the input of others. One of the most valuable ways you can grow as a leader is to accept feedback from your staff. In addition to gaining important insight into how your team receives your behavior, an openness to feedback will likely also increase their trust in you.
3. Make time
There are probably countless tasks and people vying for your attention every day. But to grow as a leader, you need to put in time, both in developing your own skills and in the future of your business.
"You have to make time for leadership activities," entrepreneur coach Michael Noice wrote for Entrepreneur. "These are dedicated appointments with yourself, where you tackle those strategic items that will establish your long-term vision."
Investing time in your team begins with investing time in yourself.
To improve as a leader in human services or early childhood education, consider enrolling in an online course through ProSolutions Training.