As a team leader, you know your actions and decisions directly impact your team’s success. But how do you ensure you’re leading effectively? What are the effective leadership styles for team leaders? And what are ineffective styles?
Because no two teams are identical, there’s no one “right” kind of leader. Instead, leadership style often comes down to the leader’s inherent leadership traits.
Some leadership styles are generally more effective than others:
Least Effective Leadership Style
- Though still be found in some large, traditional companies, bureaucratic, autocratic, or authoritarian leadership approaches are, in today’s world of individualism, rarely effective. These types of leaders may ask for employee input (bureaucratic) or unilaterally layout rules and expectations, but either way, compliance is mandatory. The needs of the company always come first.
Slightly More Effective Style
- There are a few slightly more effective leadership styles, though each has its downsides. These leadership approaches may be effective, depending on the team. Styles include:
- Transactional leaders. They focus on measurables by rewarding employees for precisely the job they are required to perform (and nothing more).
- Transformational leaders. These are folks who constantly push their employees to perform at higher levels which can encourage growth but may cause stress or burnout.
- Leaders inspiring. They motivate their team towards a shared vision, often with great enthusiasm.
- Laissez-faire leaders. These folks take a hands-off approach, simply stepping back and letting the team “self-manage.”
What are the Most Effective Leadership Styles for Team Leaders?
- There are two styles of leadership that often prove effective.
- The first is democratic leadership, where team leaders invite team members to contribute their good ideas and involve the whole team in decision-making.
- The second is strategic leadership, where leaders carefully ride the line by constantly balancing employee needs with company objectives.
But perhaps the most effective leadership style is coach-style leadership, where a leader works to identify and support individual team members by recognizing their strengths. Leaders who take a coaching approach also seek out strategies and solutions that will allow their team to work better together.
By establishing common goals, clarifying team member roles and responsibilities, and regularly recognizing the importance of each team member to the team’s overall success, good leaders can set the stage for growth and achievement.
But most importantly, leading in this way allows team leaders to embrace continuous team improvement.
Applying Right-Minded Teamwork in Your Team is an effective leadership best practice.
Your team may be struggling with issues that feel insurmountable, but with Right-Minded Teamwork (RMT), smoothly navigating rough waters is absolutely possible.
First, RMT lays the foundation for success by guiding teams to clarify their goals. RMT identifies two types of goals: business goals and psychological goalsA team’s psychological goals describe how teammates intentionally choose to think and behave as they work together to achieve their team’s business goals. More. Together, these two goals define a) what the team is working to accomplish, b) how it will be measured, and c) how will they work together and support one another to succeed.
Next, RMT provides three specific tools for creating a strong, flexible, high-performing team ready to achieve team goals: Work AgreementsA Work Agreement is a collective teammate promise to transform non-productive, adversarial behavior into collaborative teamwork behavior. More, Team Operating SystemsRMT’s Team Operating System is a six-step, 90-day, continuous improvement system that organizes team functions to increase the likelihood of achieving customer satisfaction. More, and Right-Minded Teammates.
Firstly, Work Agreements, created collectively by all team members, ensure everyone operates under a single set of performance and behavioral expectations. Work Agreements are powerfully effective at resolving interpersonal issues and conflicts.
Once the playing field has been leveled in this way, Team Operating Systems define or redefine the team’s structure. Team Operating Systems include roles, responsibilities, and team processes and procedures.
Lastly, Right-Minded Teammates offers teams a way forward by encouraging team members to focus on collective success, supporting and encouraging one another to reach new heights.
The result is a continuous improvement loop with the power to revolutionize teams of all sizes.
“[Right-Minded Teamwork] is like an additive or lubrication for businesses that want to keep things running smoothly, effectively and efficiently. [Right-Minded Teamwork] removes deposits and cleans things up so they can run right.”~ Paul G., Employee Training & Development Director, Chevron Corporation
Right-Minded Teamwork Helps Great Leaders Build Trust
Without strong internal processes and teammate trust, teams fall apart. Such was the case for Peter and Randy, co-managers of an 80-person team working for an international engineering company. Team members were constantly disagreeing over work processes, and toxic interpersonal relationships caused additional stress and dysfunction.
Upon review, many team members had complaints about the number of required team meetings. They felt meetings were ineffective and not valuable and decided this was the first issue to address. With support, they created Work Agreements that mapped out how they would use agendas, identified desired outcomes, and laid ground rules to keep meetings on track. They also addressed how to speak up if a meeting went sideways.
After just one month, teammates reported they were getting more work done because they were not in so many meetings, and the meetings they did have were more productive, organized, and better facilitated. The team declared the Work Agreement a success, and managers Randy and Peter estimated they were able to save $10,000 a week in labor costs.
Are you looking for results like these, too? Is it time to level up your team? Embrace your leadership role, let your leadership qualities shine, and become a more effective leader with Right-Minded Teamwork.