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7 Signs You Are In An Enviable Working Environment

7 Signs You Are In An Enviable Working Environment

If you wake up dreading the thought of going in to work, it is probably safe to assume that you don’t enjoy the work you do or the environment in which you have to do it. Either scenario can be soul draining. However, since only you can decide what career you are passionate about, we will focus on how to find the best work environment to flourish in.

Your work will take up a good percentage of your life, so it is extremely important that you surround yourself with the right people, positive energy or mindset. These 7 signs will tell if you are working in an enviable environment or not.

1. Circular Leadership is encouraged.

In the past and even true for most companies today, success is too often determined by how fast you are able to move up the corporate ladder of labels and titles.

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However, if you find yourself in a company where all employees lead by their inspirations (what they do), not by hierarchies and titles, (who they are) then chances are, you are working in an enviable environment.

In this new age of ideas and technology, most forward thinking companies today have found value in promoting a culture of circular leadership. It is a truly inclusive culture, one that doesn’t limit our actions, talents and passions at work to the definitions and limits of our job titles.

2. You would almost work for free.

Most organizations falsely believe that their employees are driven solely by money. Yet many professionals would take a pay cut for a job that inspires and motivates them. When you find yourself in an organization you love so much that you would almost work for free, you are in an enviable work environment.

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3. Good Pay.

On the flip side, even if you love what you do and where you do it, you must still earn enough to take care and provide for your family. Good paying work is getting harder to find these days, even as some companies are recording massive profits. Any company that holds the financial welfare of its associates in high regard will most likely have an enviable work environment.

4. There is no micro managing

No one likes being told what to do. A nagging spouse is bad enough; but having a nagging boss at work can be even more frustrating. Micro managing implies a lack of trust in your associates, and where there is no trust, there can be no relationship. Companies with great work environments thrive and flourish by trusting their employees to exercise their natural ability to lead.

5. Communication is strong

Like trust, communication is another key ingredient when looking for an enviable work environment. Communication is important in any relationship and this means knowing when to offer praise, coach, discipline or even delegate work. When looking for a good place to work, a clue missed too often by new employees is how well the current associates interact and talk to one another.

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6. It is a label/Judgment free zone

We all have filters that not only affect the way we think, but also the way we treat other people. In an enviable work environment, all people are truly welcomed, loved, encouraged and accepted regardless of race, gender, color, religion, political affiliation, age or sexual orientation.

7. Your values match.

Looking for an enviable company to work for is all about comparing values. If you believe in Sunday worship or being home every night to tuck your kinds in, yet your company requires you to work weekends and nights; chances are you will not like your work environment.

The workplace should be fun and energetic. These seven signs will most likely be the envy of those who don’t find these scenarios in their workplace. However, with so much of our time spent at work or commuting to work, our life’s happiness can almost be determined by finding the right working environment. If you are currently not in your ideal situation, then you should either change the one you are in or keep looking.

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Featured photo credit: http://www.nbc.com/the-office via nbc.com

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Last Updated on April 9, 2020

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

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.

With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common types of leadership and how you can determine which works best for you.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

The Democratic Style

The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

    The Autocratic Style

    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

      The Transformational Style

      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

        The Transactional Style

        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

        The Laissez-Faire Style

        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

        1. Context Matters

        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

        The Way Forward

        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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