Many leaders are constantly looking for ways to refine their leadership style. These are the pioneers of the evolutionary ‘ever-changing’ leadership style. They devote a lot of time reading management books, knowing classics like ‘Who moved my cheese?’ back to front. As well as a well stocked leadership & management library, they’re also quick to follow leadership and management developments online. Following all the top blogs using an RSS feed to make for the most efficient experience.
These ‘leading’ leaders have probably at some point in their career, taken the Myers Briggs personality test, as just another way to get feedback on the way they see the world. With their personalised Myers Briggs personality type, such as ENTJ, they have been able to gain another perspective on their weaknesses (as generalised by the survey makers regarding their particular type).
Now, you may or may not see a part of yourself in the leader I’m describing above. I’ve taken the example to the extreme, so that only a small percentage of the management population could possibly fit in. Have you performed a couple of the activities above in an attempt to assess your leadership style? You probably haven’t performed all of them, but there are plenty more.
You could seek out some leadership style questionnaires, for instance. These are different from the Myers Briggs personality test, because these focus specifically on how you lead others, not necessarily how you interact with everyone (including, pets, superiors and equals in the Myers Briggs test). These tests will usually tell you that you have either an autocratic leadership style, a democratic leadership style, a bureaucratic leadership style (which in reality is more popular and common than you’d imagine!) or a laissez-faire leadership style. There are a couple of other leadership styles such as ‘charismatic’ or ‘inspirational’ styles, however these tend to overlap too much with the aforementioned ones, and thus are usually left out of such evaluations.
But the quest to understand your leadership style doesn’t end there! Oh no! Other routes you may wish go down, is a Multi-source feedback activity. This is were you send a link to your colleagues, superiors and subordinates and ask them to fill in questions regarding your behaviour. These surveys are always electronic so that they can be processed securely and swiftly, as confidentiality is extremely important when asking for feedback from colleagues or people below you.
Interpreting the results of such a survey can be a little tricky, as the result may carry ‘survey respondant bias’ which reflects the way that people with a grudge against you, or alternatively people who wish to praise you, are more likely to fill out the anonymous survey than people who are indifferent. This can lead to skewed results which may deliver quite a shock when you open your inbox!
Above I have listed at least 6 great ways to evaluate your leadership style, and I guarantee you haven’t tried all of them!