Women are becoming an increasingly high percentage of the workforce, and their representation in management and leadership roles is steadily climbing as well. Research has shown that women tend to employ a different leadership style than men, which can help a struggling workplace get back on track.
The most common style of leadership found in female management is called transformational leadership. The style aims to enhance motivation, morale, and job performance by identifying needed change, creating a shared vision, and guiding through inspiration. While not all female leaders employ this style, it can help you be more successful in the workplace in a number of ways.
The opposite style is referred to as a transactional leadership style – these types of leaders are uninvolved with the day-to-day operations of their team and wait until problems are severe before stepping in. This style often doesn’t work as well for female leaders.
Leveraging Your Leadership Style
There’s a wide range of benefits to the transformational leadership style, and you can maximize them by being aware of the strategies that are best for your team. Transformational leadership hinges on a mix of strength and sensitivity – by connecting with your team on a personal level and working to help them become better people, you can reach new levels of efficiency. Such strategies include:
- Accomplishing goals by inspiring your team and helping them develop as people
- Avoiding transactional leadership interactions, such as only interacting with subordinates to give orders
- Assigning team members to tasks according to their strengths, rather than according to workload or time
- Getting to know your team members as people and ensuring that they trust you with most things
- Communicating with your team at every opportunity
By playing to the strengths of your transformational leadership style, you can build more effective, efficient teams with happier members. While it might be intimidating to start establishing a different leadership style than your colleagues, most of your critics will back off when you show them how effective you can be in a leadership position.