Analysis of my own leadership skills is a difficult task, and requires me to address my own leadership attitudes and behavior as well as my strength’s and weakness’s. As I have learned in my readings about the different types of leadership styles I would say that my style of leadership is more off Participative approach. In my work I run a small department of five and to accomplish tasks I must work side by side with my staff. We all are active participants, but outcomes and production is ultimately my responsibility.
I like to think that my team is an accumulative effort and by encouraging each person to come up with ideas and to share their opinions is our recipe for success. I have created a group atmosphere that has been productive and consistent over the last 2 years. More importantly in my absence my team functions just an efficiently as if I were present. Much like how I run my office is how I run my family. We too are a group of five and as the kids have gotten older they too have become an active participant in goal achievements. I see a lot of similar traits of how I run my office to how I run my home.
It is a collaborative effort. One of my strength s a leader would be my communication skill. I always try to take the time to listen. I feel that hearing what my employee’s say is crucial in leading them. Our workspace is setup in a circle where we all work together. I could have one of the large offices one floor up, but instead of taking an office away from them I’m right in the trenches with them. I want them to know that I am always available for them. It is not always easy but by eliminating distractions and focusing my attention on my employees needs, demonstrates to them that I am listening.
Another strength that I practice is Leading by Example”. I am the first person in the office every morning, and the last person to leave every night. I want them to know that I am present and available to them whenever they need me. I do not take 2-hour lunches, play computer games, or sleep at my desk. When a new project comes along I am the first person to take an assignment and my assignments are ALWAYS completed on time. I practice what I expect from them, and always try to lead by example. For a complete self-analysis of my leadership skill I must also address my weakness.
For one several people have old me that I am too nice. Part because of my personality and part because I think people are happier working for a manager that they get along with. But because of this trait I may sometimes come off as a pushover and people can be tempted to try to take advantage of our relationship. It is sometimes difficult to find the balance between being a friend and being a boss. I can be tough when necessary and I am working on setting better boundaries with my employees. Another weakness I have is taking on too much myself and not delegating. Some tasks I feel no-one can do as well as I can.
For example we have this one large report on a shared drive that needs to be updated on a regular basis, my team provides me all the numbers, and I enter all the numbers. I think to myself that I must be the most handsomely paid data entry person in the world. This is only one example of my lack of delegating skills. This weakness can sometimes create a bottleneck of work for me whereas I should be spending my time on more pressing matters. Additional it demonstrates lack of confidence and fails to develop my team into future leaders. I have been in a position tenure were a disaster. I had a high turnover rate and a low production rate.
I would say that early in my position I used an autocratic approach that Just did not work for me. These types of leaders keep close supervision of employees and have a purely professional relationship with their staff. They make decisions on their own without input from others. They dictate the who, how and when of work assignments. When I think about Autocratic leadership I equate that too micro- manager. When it was me, I spent more time watching them then working on my own assignments. Not very productive and it was too stressful for me. Another type of leadership style is the delegated.
As previously stated this would be very difficult for me to be. This leader assigns work and leave’s an employee to their own talents and resources to complete tasks. The employee can come and go as they wish as long as assignments or tasks are completed and turned in on time. Because outcomes are my responsibility I need to be involved in tasks, I need to know that things are on schedule and getting done. By being an active participant helps me to reduce my stress and be more in control. By having a better understand of different types of dervish styles helps me to be a more productive leader in a couple different ways.
By taking away qualities from other styles of leadership help me to become a better- rounded leader. First it reminds me how I use to feel earlier in my position. I was stressed out, tense, abrupt, and totally ineffective. I realize that the autocratic style of leadership definitely has its place and may be effective for others; however it is not the approach that works for me. I am much happier by having a relationship with my employee. I feel it is important to connect personally with those that you spend 40 lust hours every week with. I like to work with people and not have people work for me.
Different leadership styles can cause conflicts in the workplace. For example a problem that can arise in the work place could be a personality conflict. An example of this is when new management comes on board and different personalities and leadership styles are introduced. Change is never easy; establish if it is thrust upon you. Another conflict that can occur is often due to emotion and perceptions about somebody else’s intentions. This can occur for example when a leader showing favoritism for one employee over another. One of the worst things you can do to lose the respect of your subordinates by not being fair.
Respect is paramount to achieve success. There are a couple of ways to overcome personality conflicts in the workplace. For one is to take the time to get to know your employees. By getting to know them, you are letting them get to know you. It is a win, win situation. Another way to avoid conflict especially if you are a new manager coming into a situation is by being clear about the direction and changes you have planned. Honesty and immunization are key to conflict resolution. An always remember the best way to prevent personality conflict in the workplace, is to not take things personally.
It is Just business, not personal. Fairness is of the utmost importance when dealing with teams. Favoritism has no place at work and if a manager demonstrates that they will not have the trust of their employees. Trust is a major issue, and to build trust you must be impeccable with your word. By again communicating clearly goals and objectives and being consistent with your follow through is a good start to build trust. But if it needs to be said, I’ll say it, don’t show any favoritism! It will be detrimental to the success of a team and all should be treated equally.
Although we are all different, there are potential advantages that may be created between different leadership styles. An effective manager will recognize when to use which leadership style in order to produce results. An autocratic leader makes it own decisions without any input from others and this could be beneficial when a new direction or a drastic change is necessary. When timing is crucial and decisions need to be made this leadership style has its advantages. A delegating approach to leadership is the polar opposite and will assign task, provide necessary resources, and guidance, but backs off and let the team work at their own pace.
This style would be advantageous if you work with a group that is highly effective, experienced, and motivated. Then there is the participative approach to leadership that is somewhere in the middle of autocratic and delegating styles. This leader is very hands on and works with the team by building morale and most effective if demodulating is an issue. By empowering them to be part of the decision making recesses the employee feels important and can motivate them to go above and beyond what is expected of them.
To increase productivity you can capitalize on the different styles of leadership based on the individual situations. If you are in a position where decisions have to be made quickly, use the autocratic style of leadership. This style of leadership can also be a benefit if your work is particularly stressful. This can allow a person to concentrate on doing their Job and not worry about making decision. Utilizing a delegating approach allows a leader to capitalize n individual employee’s strength and talents to increase productivity.
This style allows for flexibility and better collaboration. In a participative style of leadership this encourages employees to share or participate in the decision making process. Which gives the employee a vested interest in their work and can benefit productivity. Rather than sticking to one type of leadership approach evaluate the circumstances and adjust your style. The best leaders can adjust their thinking to how it is most beneficial at different times, remembering that productivity depends on effective leadership.