There are many styles of leadership and just as many gurus and books touting which style is the best.
What is a leader? Whether you are taking charge of a small group project, heading up a new team, or running an entire department, you are navigating a leadership role.
There are many ways to lead and it’s important to find the leadership style that best suits you and your goals..
What Type of Leader Are You?
If you’re looking to improve your leadership skills, here’s how to work out what type of leader you are:
Self-reflection – Analyze Your Personality Traits
The first step is to analyze your personality. Take the time to think about, meditate on, evaluate, and give serious thought to the dominant characteristics of your personality. Self-reflection should allow you to understand how your personality emerges in different scenarios and environments such as in the office, or around family and friends.
Consider how your co-workers would describe you. How your boss introduces you. And how your best friend would sum you up in three words. Examining your character in these circumstances is a vital part of understanding what type of leader you are or aspire to be. This is because our behavioral traits affect how we make our decisions, interact with others, and manage stress. It is important to study your unconscious biases and how they may affect your leadership skills.
Ask yourself what typically drives you and the choices you make. Are you impulsive? Do you seek feedback? How patient can you be when you have a deadline? Do you intimidate your co-workers without realizing it? Answering these questions honestly will give you a stronger understanding of your leadership thought process and habits, and where you might need to improve. If you need help, try this online personality test.
Understand and Demonstrate Your Values
Our values are our individual beliefs that motivate how we act. Values serve as a guide for human behavior and define reputation. This is because people use values as a yardstick to judge character, evaluate how a person thinks, and gauge how they expect to be perceived and treated.
Values help us to build trust. If a person believes they share certain values, they are more likely to want to collaborate and work towards a shared goal. If an employee struggles to identify the core values of their leader, this can cause confusion and lead to suspicion, mistrust, and a serious lack of engagement.
Consider your core values and how they typically affect your behavioral patterns. By concentrating on your beliefs and values, you can positively build on the cognizance of your leadership abilities. The more aware you are of your values the more you will understand how you will consciously and subconsciously lead a team.
Pinpoint Your Weaknesses
To be a truly great leader you must accept that you have weaknesses as well as strengths. Identifying your weaknesses is essential to figuring out what type of leader you are. If you can pinpoint areas where your skills may be lacking, you can examine how these weaknesses might be affecting your leadership role. Once you identify a weakness you can use that knowledge to improve your leadership style.
Not only will this help you turn your weaknesses into strengths; your team will recognize your integrity, competence, and authenticity. Being transparent about your flaws and openly demonstrating how you hope to overcome them can help inspire your team to do the same.
There are hundreds of leadership personality quizzes out there and while they can be beneficial, you will never truly understand the type of leader you are without asking for real feedback from the people you work with. Requesting your team’s opinions on your leadership style will give you valuable insight into behaviors or actions you may have never picked up on.
You can ask your superiors, your colleagues, and the people you lead. You can meet face-to-face where appropriate, or use a Smart Survey system in the office.
Asking your team to give you honest feedback about your leadership style will give you a better understanding of your personality traits, strengths, weaknesses, and perceived values. The information may not always be easy to process but it will benefit you in the long term.
It may be difficult to get genuine feedback from your subordinates, especially if they are nervous about saying something negative. Building an open culture that encourages feedback can help you improve how you interact with your team. The best chance of success you have as a leader is with the full knowledge of how you can better meet the needs of those around you.
Assess Your Delegation Skills
There’s no escaping the fact that it can be difficult to delegate. It can be hard to let go, especially for entrepreneurs who have grown a business from the ground up. Nevertheless, a strong barometer of leadership lies in your ability to entrust others with tasks you may think you are solely capable of doing.
As you try to determine what type of leader you are and develop a strategy to enhance your leadership style, consider the jobs you could authorize to those that might be better suited to the role. Not only will delegating these tasks help you to focus your efforts, but it will also help you to build a sense of trust among your team and improve morale.
What Type of Leader You Are – A Conclusion
It takes time to figure out what type of leader you are. Self-reflection and realization can be a lengthy process, one which is constantly evolving, and it is not always easy to admit we have weaknesses. Think about the leaders in your life whose qualities you admire. Pinpoint what it is that inspires you and apply this to your leadership role. Consider leaders who share a style most like your own. Analyze the behavior of leaders you have worked with and highlight the traits of theirs that have affected your leadership. Gaining a sense of how you have applied these traits will help you understand the type of leader you are and the leader you want to become.
Find out how your leadership role can help your company become an amazing workplace.