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Understand Your Management and Leadership Style

One’s leadership style can determine the success of a team.

All leaders should strive to obtain loyalty, dedication and high-quality work within their group to maintain an organization’s overall productivity.

In the past, companies have achieved this by using many tactics, like collaborating for company projects and frequently meeting with staff to give constructive feedback. It is important that department supervisors identify what type of leadership style they use in order to establish effective measures that will inspire employees to do their best in the workplace. If not, they risk experiencing the negative impact of high turnover rates and productivity loss when their teams are unsatisfied at work. The quiz below will help you determine what type of leader you are in order to manage your staff more effectively in the future.

1. When it comes to making final decisions:

a. I have the final say.

b. I have the final say but consider the constructive input from my associates.

c. I use this opportunity to provide my team with the proper tools and knowledge needed to make sound decisions.

d. I allow employees to draw their own conclusions independently.

2. Which statement sums up your leadership style?

a. You strive to create a strong foundation with your team in order to maintain productivity within the company.

b. You personally meet with your staff and discuss ways they can improve their performance next time while accepting their feedback.

c. You are personally invested in your employees’ growth within the workplace.

d. You believe that the “hands-off” policy is best and trust that your staff has enough experience to properly function without supervision.

3. Your employees usually refer to you as their:

a. Boss

b. Associate

c. Teacher

d. Manager

4. Your perfect day includes: 

a. Everyone doing their own job correctly.

b. Working collaboratively with others to complete daily activities and using collective feedback to invent ways to improve the work environment.

c. Helping someone establish their professional goals.

d. Working independently without interacting with other staff members.

5. Your work environment can be summarized as:

a. Authoritative and insightful

b. Open and communal

c. Resourceful and empowering

d. Free-spirited and self- driven

6. Employees are motivated by:

a. A need for flexibility

b. A need for participation

c. A need for motivation

d. A need for independence

7. I prep my team for new projects by: 

a. Breaking down big sections into more manageable steps for clarity.

b. Meeting with my team and including their ideas into our action plan for execution.

c. Finding opportunities to help strengthen the skill sets needed to successfully complete the project.

d. Allowing my team to use their individual techniques without my input or guidance.

8. Do you believe employees are trustworthy enough to make important decisions in the workplace?

a. No, decisions should be made by the leadership team only.

b. No, decisions should be made by the leadership team with their employees’ suggestions in mind.

c. Yes, because supervisors can use this opportunity to allow their employees to gain leadership experience that will help them thrive at work long term.

d. Yes, because employees work more efficiently in independent settings and know what issues need to be examined.

9. When a new employee comes onboard: 

a. I provide them with the company’s protocol and specific instructions on how to fulfill their role within the company.

b. I meet with them to discuss ways they plan to support the team and ensure they are aware of the company’s expectations.

c. I will have them meet the department’s head and shadow coworkers so that they can gain a full picture of their intended duties.

d. Nothing! I believe my employees will learn their role as they begin working in the office.

If you selected mostly As, you are a: Visionary Style Manager

Visionary leaders set the expectations and make all final decisions on the company’s behalf. This style is also known in the professional world as authoritative leadership.

Managers who adopt this method provide their employees with specific instructions required to help the company move in the right direction. It is important to note that visionary decision-makers usually produce outcomes that benefit both the company and its employees.

In this work setting, it is important for visionary managers to establish solid relationships with their associates, so that they feel comfortable addressing issues or concerns when they arise in the workplace. Employees who work under visionary management are not micromanaged and allowed to create their daily schedules, as long as all tasks are completed by their respective deadlines. This is beneficial to the company’s productivity because employees can work at their own pace, which influences them to complete more work than they would following a generic daily schedule. This method also helps employers gain trust with their employees because they can rely on their team to help keep the company afloat.

Visionary leaders are: 

  • Flexible: able to solve obstacles when they occur.
  • Objective: able to absorb feedback from their employees.
  • Strategic: able to use long-term thinking skills to create efficient business plans.

If you selected mostly Bs, you are a: Democratic Style Manager

Democratic leaders use their staff’s feedback to make decisions related to work issues. This method provides all employees the opportunity to exercise their voice and feel included in the company’s decision making. Democratic leadership also creates transparency in the workplace by allowing employees to know how and when decisions are made that affect the entire company.

This style of management can also affect the company’s longevity. For instance, democratic managers are in consistent communication with their employees and use their perspectives to influence the company’s future direction.

Democratic leaders are: 

  • Excellent communicators: able to effectively engage with their staff.
  • Level-headed: able to make sense of the employees’ opinions and perspectives related to work issues.
  • Collaborative: able to work well in a group setting and accept constructive criticism.

If you selected mostly Cs, you are a: Coaching Style Manager

Leaders who practice this style of management typically take on a mentorship role rather than the traditional supervisory role with their employees. They tend to advocate for their staff’s potential to succeed in the workplace by investing in their professional development. In this work setting, coaching style managers are available to give advice and guidance when needed. It is also their responsibility to provide opportunities that will help distinguish their employees, or mentees, from their counterparts.

Practicing this method in the workplace can influence employees to produce high-quality work because they feel confident that the company cares about their wellbeing. These mentors are deeply invested in their staff’s needs. As a result, they encourage open communication among their team in order to provide the necessary resources to succeed in their field.

Mentors are: 

  • Selfless: able to help others succeed in the workplace for the company’s benefit.
  • Intuitive: able to connect with others and understand their needs.
  • Resourceful: able to provide their team with the necessary tools and knowledge needed to elevate them in the workplace.

If you selected mostly Ds, you are a: Laissez-Faire Style Manager

Unlike the other management styles mentioned above, laissez-faire-influenced leaders are typically hands off with their employees. Their staff has total control over their work schedules and can dictate when they choose to complete their tasks for the company. Furthermore, employees in this setting are responsible for resolving daily issues and making all decisions concerning their role without any consideration from the organization’s leadership.

If executed correctly, a company’s productivity can increase from this method because employees will feel comfortable enough to innovate ways to complete their work on their terms. It is important that employees who work in laissez-faire environments are extremely driven and initiators because there is minimal oversight from management. Leaders in this setting must master the art of giving their staff space to work while monitoring their progress in order to create a healthy balance. Without structure, workers may become unmotivated and fail to obtain the company’s standards.

Laissez-faire managers are: 

  • Experts in resolving conflict: able to interfere efficiently when an employee slacks in their work performance.
  • Trusting: able to trust that their team will fulfill their assigned duties as expected without supervisory interference.
  • Diligent: able to periodically check in with employees without being too involved in their role.

Briana Richardson-Jones serves as a Justice Department (DOJ) program analyst. Before becoming a federal employee, she pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master’s of Science in criminology with a public policy concentration. She believes she can help prospective and new employees navigate government efficiently while currently doing the same. Briana has discovered creative tips that can help others “work smarter” in the future. She also plans on combining her love for writing and criminal justice to educate readers about current events and community issues affecting people worldwide.

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