Do Your Employees Fear You? Is That What You Want? How to Determine the Right Leadership Style

September 6th, 2018

It’s a tale as old as time: The angry boss barking orders at resigned employees wishing they were anywhere else but at their jobs. But is ruling with the iron fist really the best way to get good work out of your team? If your employees fear you, it may be time for some deep introspection to determine if that is, in fact, the way you want to be a leader. Here are some things to consider to determine a more productive leadership style.

Ask, don’t demand.

There is a big difference between asking and demanding. Demanding that a task is completed comes across as aggressive while asking your employee to complete a project shows that you respect their time. Asking also creates a culture of gratitude, which is contagious around an office and helps everyone stay motivated.

Let go when necessary.

There is a lot of dialogue lately around the concept of winning. But the truth is, life and business aren’t a competition. It’s important to let go of the idea that your way is the only right way and allow your team to use their own skills and abilities to complete tasks their way. If you let go of your control, you’ll also find that you’re able to concentrate on more strategic matters that come with leadership.

Really listen.

Humans tend to only listen for as long as it takes to formulate a response. That means you’re already ready to reply before you’ve heard an entire story. You may want to take a step back and hear what your employees are really saying when they’re talking with you. And your new listening skills will build more trust over time.

Leave anger behind.

If you have a short temper and use it to rule your department with an iron fist, you may find that you’re experiencing more personnel problems than you’re solving. The truth is, if you are having trouble with turnover or people following your directions, the problem might not lie with your team. You may want to figure out how to alter your own behavior to create a better system.

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