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Last Updated on September 6, 2018

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

Whether you want to build a high performance team in the workplace, local community or competitive sports, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the people in your team and what gets them going.

Beyond that, you need to understand the different types of leadership that there is to build effective teams.

Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King and Winston Churchill represent some of the different leadership styles that are worth their weight in gold.

While it may seem like there are as many leadership styles as there are leaders, psychologists and business experts have identified the main types of leadership styles that are most effective.

Here are five of the top leadership styles you can use to build an awesome team, depending on the situation that you’re in.

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1. Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is a style of leadership that focuses on transforming individuals. This style is about taking people through a journey of initiatives that lead to positive changes in the way they do things.

You identify a needed change that adds new value, create a vision to guide individuals to meet the change and inspire and motivate them to carry out the change and be the best they can be as themselves, as well as a team.

This leadership style is one of the best to use in business situations. It encourages engagement from everyone in a team and leads to high productivity.

The downside of the style is that the aspect of transformational change sometimes results in work being done, but not quite reliably.

When work is not done reliably, other leadership styles should be incorporated to address the shortcoming and ensure routine work is done reliably.

2. Democratic Leadership

Democratic leadership, also known as participative leadership, is a style of leadership that is very open and collegial in the way it builds and manages a group of people.

Members of the group take a more proactive and participative role in the decision making process, but the final decision is made by the democratic leader.

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Everyone is given a seat at the table and ideas are shared and discussed freely among team members. Creativity is encouraged and valued, as is engagement in projects.

The benefits of this leadership style is that team members feel more in control of their destiny and, therefore, tend to be more motivated to work hard.

Team members also enjoy greater levels of job satisfaction because they are involved in decision-making processes throughout.

The style is usually a good fit when you want to build skilled teams, especially in the service industry where new ideas allow for more flexibility to ever changing customer demands.

The downside of democratic leadership is that participation takes time. It can slow decision-making and be a hindrance in situations where speed or efficiency is essential.

3. Servant Leadership

Servant leadership, a term coined by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970s, describes a style where a leader’s primary role is to serve a group of people, such as employees.

The leader leads by example with generosity. He or she has high integrity and is focused on meeting the needs of the team.

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Unlike most other leaders, the “servant leader” prefers to stay out of the limelight and lets the team take all the credit for their hard work.

Servant leadership helps create a positive corporate culture and can lead to high moral among team members. It is often the best approach to leadership in situations where leaders are elected to serve a committee, organization or community, such as in politics.

The downside to servant leadership is that it demands high levels of integrity and takes time to apply correctly. You can easily find yourself falling behind other leaders who use other leadership styles.

4. People-Oriented Leadership

People-oriented leadership is a style that takes into account people’s strengths and talents. Leaders using this style place people in positions that take advantage of their talents and positive characteristics.

The leader is focused on organizing, supporting and developing individual team members, as well as improving the welfare of the whole team.

People-oriented leaders treat members of their team equally, are friendly and approachable and readily available to anyone who needs help or advice.

This participatory leadership style builds popular, fun teams that everyone wants to be part of. Team members are often more productive and willing to take risks because they know the leader will provide support if they need it.

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The downside to this style of leadership is that it can be too focused on individuals that important tasks or project directives are overlooked and suffer.

5. Task-Oriented Leadership

Task-oriented leadership is the opposite of people oriented leadership. Task-oriented leaders focus only on getting the job done.

They define the work that needs to be done, plan and organize how the work will be done, create and assign roles to do the work, put structures in place to manage performance and monitor the progress and standard of work.

The benefit of this leadership approach is that it builds a team that delivers results within set deadline. The style is especially useful for team members who are unable to manage their time well, either due to personal or work distractions or their own limited capacity to work without direct supervision.

The downside to the approach is that leaders tend to be autocratic and not concerned about their team’s well-being. The team can suffer problems like low motivation and employee retention.

So, which leadership style or combination of styles work best for you?

Take a look at this guide and find out which actually works best for you to become a charismatic leader:

How to Be an Effective Leader (A Step-By-Step Guide to Upgrade Your Leadership Skills)

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur. He is also the founding editor of Web Writer Spotlight.

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Published on September 18, 2018

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

1. Show your appreciation

In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

2. Communicate effectively

Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

3. Be open to dialogue

Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

4. Provide constructive criticism

Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

5. Conduct one-on-ones

Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

6. Build training programs

In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

7. Offer growth opportunities

Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

8. Reward them

Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

9. Encourage team outings

Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

10. Involve them

Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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11. Set meaningful goals

In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

12. Empower them

You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

13. Deal with conflict

A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

14. Implement a flexible work culture

Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

15. Host engaging activities

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

16. Maintain a positive work space

Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

17. Avoid discrimination

Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

The bottom line

Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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