9 leadership styles to avoid and how to figure out which one is right for you

Leaders have a great deal of sway over others, and how they act can inspire, encourage, and innovate (or, the reverse). Being a leader is not easy, but there are several negative leadership styles to avoid that are ineffective at best and damaging at worst.

A leader’s leadership style is the manner in which he or she manages others. There are multiple leadership styles, allowing you to work in a manner that best suits your personality. They prepare you with the knowledge and awareness you’ll need to get the most out of your team and help your company succeed.

Tony Gregg, Chief Executive at Executive Search firm, Anthony Gregg Partnership, discusses how negative leadership styles can demotivate your employees. Tony also stresses the importance of adopting a collaborative leadership style and matching the candidate’s leadership style to the right team.

Extreme Micromanagement

Leaders micromanage their team members for a variety of reasons, including fear of losing control and failing, that the team is unskilled and lack of managerial experience. In truth, it frequently boils down to the leader’s own fears. Micromanagement is bad for business and creates a difficult working atmosphere, thus it’s critical that a leader has the self-awareness to adapt. As a consequence:

  • Employees are made to feel inept.
  • Staff members believe they are not trusted to do the job they were paid to do.
  • Productivity and innovation decline (fostering mediocrity)
  • There is a drop in morale
  • There is a higher rate of employee turnover

Micromanaging, on the other hand, will have a negative impact on you as a leader:

  • Taking your attention away from your own responsibilities
  • Increasing stress levels, working longer hours and not getting the results you need

Arrogance

The greatest leaders recognise that their approach isn’t always the best. They are self-aware, acknowledging their own weaknesses and admitting when they feel uncertain. They don’t want to be right all of the time or claim to know everything. They choose people with a variety of skill sets and approaches so that they can collaborate to achieve the greatest potential outcome.

An arrogant leader, on the other hand, is narrow-minded and refuses to listen to advice from someone in a lower position. A leader who thinks like this will be missing out on talent and experience which will enrich the business.

If you recognise this in yourself, realise that you will need the help of others to reach your goals. Concentrate on the great outcome rather than how your employees arrived there. Recognize when a coworker knows more about a subject than you do.

Poor organisation

A badly organised leader will be less efficient and effective in their role. Leaders may start missing deadlines, mixing up dates, missing meetings, and becoming unreliable as a result of poor organisation. Your employees will lose respect for a disorganized boss and become resentful if they have to deal with the consequences. This can lead to lower productivity since employees are less motivated to work for someone whose poor organisation shows a lack of care.

Knowing your team’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as delegating efficiently, can help you stay organised. You can also establish open lines of communication so that you are always aware of what is going on and can see any possible problems. Finally, by analysing procedures on a regular basis, you can create targets and sustain efficiency.

Lack of discipline

As a great leader, you must choose your priorities and stay focused on your objectives. You must establish a routine and be organised. Your team will suffer as a result of your lack of focus and attention to detail, and you will appear apathetic or even lazy. Despite various distractions vying for your attention, you must retain your focus on the task at hand. Fortunately, self-discipline is a learned skill that can be improved with time and effort.

Closed-minded and inflexible

Closed-minded people don’t ask questions because they care more about being correct than receiving the best results. They don’t want to hear other people’s theories or ideas. When confronted, they have a tendency to become agitated. This can hurt the leader’s chances of success since he or she will miss out on opportunities for innovation, growth, and development. In truth, you can embrace a collaborative leadership style while maintaining your authority as a decision-maker. You may avoid being a closed-minded and inflexible leader by soliciting input, guidance, and feedback from others. By asking questions and seeking assistance, you can make the most of learning from new opportunities.

Unpredictable

To work happily, a team needs autonomy. To prevent micromanagement, they must also grasp what you want. They must believe that they can come to you with any difficulties or questions and that you would respond positively. An unpredictable manager will react to bad news differently depending on their mood that day, which can result in a loss of communication and confusion among employees. You may avoid this by maintaining open lines of communication and doing regular check-ins.

Absent and unapproachable 

As a leader, it is critical to be visible and personable since employees will feel comfortable bringing any difficulties to you. You’ll also earn their trust, which is the foundation of any high-performing team. A policy of open doors facilitates faster communication and transparency, which leads to increased production and efficiency. Issues may worsen if this policy is not implemented, and employees may get disgruntled. Leaders should devote a proportion of each day to helping their employees, including regular one-on-one meetings and reviews.

How to find your leadership style?

To figure out your leadership style, think about how you act when you’re in charge of a team. You may notice that your behaviour changes as a result of different conditions, and you may recognise a range of leadership styles, some positive and others unfavourable. The more self-reflection and introspection you can do, the easier it will be to find areas for improvement.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do you enjoy being in charge and directing others? You might be an authoritative leader.
  • Do you help your staff achieve more success? This is typical of a pace-setting leader
  • Do you find delegating and trusting your colleagues to achieve their own objectives, easy?
  • Do you recognise your team’s talents and weaknesses to get the most out of them. You have the potential to be an affiliative leader.
  • Do you embrace democracy and encourage all members of your team to engage so that everyone has a say? A participative leader does this.
  • Do you have the ability to influence and inspire change in your workplace? In transformational leadership, this is a common occurrence.

Finding an effective leadership style while avoiding toxic leadership traits can help you and your team reach their full potential.

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