Knowing your leadership style is important for your development as a leader.
It not only helps you identify your strengths but is also valuable for understanding differences across your team. In turn, this helps you lean into those differences and navigate strong teamwork and approaches to working with others.
While it’s great to identify your own leadership style, it’s also good to note that your style can become a trap.
Through the lens of power, as a leader there is no more “this is just me,” or “this is my style.” What you feel is your authentic expression, will quickly be perceived by your subordinates as a “right” way to be. It works for some, but not all. Remember, you are in a context, so your job as a leader is to serve the context.
Your Leadership Style
You must make your style work for others, and you should know how and when to flex from one style to another. Here are some tips for how to do that:
- Understand the different styles and know yours – recognizing it’s just one among many.
- Know your style is not better or worse than another style.
- Value other styles.
- Communicate about your style and make sure your team knows that even though you have a style, you recognize and are open to others.
- Develop your leadership agility so you can modulate your style for those for whom it may be difficult.
Today we invite you to reflect on your own leadership style and ask yourself:
- How would you describe your leadership style?
- Who is that style good for and who might be marginalized by it?
- What behaviors does your style enable in others, and what behaviors does it disable in others?
- To become more fluid as a leader, what alternative styles might you need to cultivate?
Open discussions about differing leadership styles make it more approachable for differences across your team to bubble up to the surface – which, in turn, leads to a better understanding of how to best work together. We’d encourage you to spend a few moments reflecting on your own style first, and then broadening the discussion to those you work closely with.