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08
Apr
2008
Flexing your leadership style

In the final article of the Times ‘Career’ series on leadership styles, Top players show perfect balance the benefits of using the most appropriate style for a given situation are highlighted – ‘much as professional golfers pick the right club for each shot they need to make’. The most effective leaders are able to draw on a variety of styles to suit the demands of a specific situation. Having said that, very few people will be able to flex their style easily across all 6, as between 2 to 4 is the normal range.

The first step is to ask for feedback about your current leadership style. Then learn about the characteristics of the other styles and try them out – both inside work and out until you feel comfortable with the different approaches in varying situations and have seen how they work. Enlisting help from a supportive colleague could be useful. Asking them to give you feedback, especially when they see you doing something different to what they are used to, could be very valuable. Alternatively, if you have a good relationship with your team you could explain what you are doing, before they begin to wonder what is going on and whether you are heading for a nervous breakdown. Involving your team in this way encourages two way feedback and fosters open and trusting relationships – as long as you take their feedback in a positive way.

Try it out – there is no failure, only feedback!

 

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