In this new series called HR Development Capsules, we will be addressing several tips and techniques you can implement in your organization to improve different factors of your companies’ Human Capital. At WeAreAquaculture we consider the Human Capital at any organization the cornerstone to success. Leadership Styles are too.
We are aware not every organization has the tools to deal with the different problems and elements to make their employees perform at 100%. But the reality is some organizations do not acknowledge this. The reality is some organizations may not know what’s wrong with their processes.
Which is the reason we are starting these entries. You can use them as a guide or as a checklist that would make you improve the way you manage your human capital.
In order to have employees who develop an organizational identity and hence perform more satisfactorily, one of the first things you need to improve is your team’s leadership. According to Iowa State University, the aquaculture industry needs strong leaders in order to thrive.
Different leadership styles can surface, be encouraged, or implemented depending on your business model as well as your organizational goals. Your employees’ characteristics also determine which Leadership style is the most fitting to the team.
When we are looking for a well-established leadership the first thing we must understand is what a leader does. A leader is not a person that imposes things on their team, they rather strive for a consensual ground. They do not command, they guide and point the way to the rest of the team.
A natural leader is able to perform any of the following leadership styles and shift from any of them depending on what each situation demands. Having this in mind, the styles are not exclusive and work in a rather continuum.
- Autocratic Leadership: in this style, the decision-making is solely carried out by the leader, without input from their team. Team members are expected to follow through. This style has proven to be ineffective in present times and to be inappropriate in most situations. It can lead to losing valuable talent. This tends to be effective when team members have no experience or are new.
- Authoritative Leadership: characteristic of confident leaders. In this style, the leaders make an effort to explain to their team what’s going on and where they are headed. They set a common goal and allow people their own ways of achieving it.
- Pacesetting Leadership: in this style, the leader sets the team’s work pace as in a race. They set a goal for the team and push them to achieve it quickly. This style can be stressful for some team members. Is a style that will help you achieve your results in an orderly manner. However, is not one you can keep in the long run. You must release the pressure every once in a while, or else it can result in your team experiencing burnout.
- Democratic Leadership: a democratic leader is the opposite of an autocratic one. This style takes into consideration all the input their team may have, and share all the information at hand. Among the advantages of this type of leadership, we find it nurtures trust and team spirit. Encourages growth and development within the team. It supports creativity. A Democratic leader assists the team in getting their job done, their own way.
- Coach-style Leadership: in this style, the leader centers on each member’s strengths and helps them develop and nurture them. This style allows a team to work more strategically as they compensate and complete each other. And at the same time allows each individual to grow and succeed in their specific strength.
- Affiliative Leadership: this style focuses on getting close and personal with your team. Supporting your team not only career-wise but also support their personal needs. An affiliative leader encourages harmony within their team and at the same time nurtures collaborative relationships between the members.
- Laissez-Faire Leadership: which translates to “let them do”. Putting full trust into what your team can do while their leadership focuses on the rest of the business. Everyone does their work however they prefer and at their own pace, as long as it’s done in time and properly. Nonetheless, it is important the Leader checks in every once in a while to make sure everyone is keeping direction.
Which Style is Best for You?
As I said, every style has its strengths and weaknesses, depending on your organizational goals and your team’s expertise, one style can help you while another can hinder your business’ development. Part of being a good leader lies in identifying what your needs, goals, and skills are. Once you have identified this, you can start walking the path to choosing a leadership style.
We need to remember, more than categories, the leadership styles are a continuum and we can shift from one to the other depending on individual situations. Different styles have different outcomes.
Who are you?
Understand what kind of person and leader you are. Identifying your weaknesses, strengths, and communication style can help you determine this first part. You can ask your friends and coworkers for help. Recognizing how much we like delegating tasks, how open we are to other people’s inputs, and how much weight we give to autonomy, play a huge role in this first part. But we also need to identify who our team is, how much experience they have, what level of education we require them to have.
Understand Each Style
Once you have identified and pinpointed all those variables you can now further research on each Leadership Styles and which one could suit you and your business better. Do we need to develop new skills? Do we need to prepare ourselves to delegate tasks? Are we ready for our team to be creative and autonomous? Is our organization established enough so we can step away from commanding? Do we have tight deadlines?
Trial and Error
Yes and no. I am not saying you should treat your team as guinea pigs, however, if it’s your first time leading a team or if it’s your first time under these conditions, we need to be open to stepping back on our tracks. We need to be willing and able to accept when we are not right and maybe try something different. If you find a determined Leadership style is not giving you efficient results, then don’t feel afraid to change it. Always remember your leadership must feel natural, if you don’t feel comfortable with something you are in a position to change it. Be open to feedback from your team and your peers.
Pass the Baton
You feel like one of your team members is starting to outstand from the rest? Do you feel like the rest of your teams give that person’s opinion and work a lot of weight? Do you feel like your team listens to them? You have a natural leader in your team. What about letting them get more responsibilities over the team? What if you pass the baton and let them develop those skills?
The best time to start improving the development of your Human Capital is today. We encourage you to give your employees a better organizational climate every time you can. Your Talent is the base of your organization.