Have you ever considered your own leadership style? According to findings, there are four fundamental leadership styles, these being Pragmatist, Idealist, Steward and Diplomat. Leaders can be effective or ineffective with each of these four styles, and there are vast amounts of subtle variations which can determine what kind of a leader a person is.

We take a look at the defining features of all four categories – Can you identify your leadership style?

The Pragmatist
• High standards and expect themselves and their employees to meet those
• Driven and competitive
• Bold thinkers
• Least common of all leadership styles.

The Idealist
• High-energy achievers
• Believe in the positive potential of everyone
• Want to learn and grow
• Charismatic
• Open minded
• Prize creativity from themselves and others.

The Steward
• Dependable
• Loyal and helpful
• Values rules, process and cooperation
• Stabilising and calming.

The Diplomat
• Kind, social and giving
• Typically develop deep personal bonds with their employees
• Resolve conflicts peacefully
• Socially adept.

There isn’t a correct style of leadership and it certainly cannot be defined into a specific role. Often leaders today take defining features from each style in order to develop their own leadership style and capabilities. It’s incredibly important to understand your own style as you can then start to think about how to develop this further to achieve even greater results.

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From time to time, we all have to manage a difficult employee, colleague or client. Sometimes it’s a personality clash, other times it’s a more complex issue. Often, a problem is easy to solve as long as you don’t shy away from it and when issues arise, face them head on.

Prepare for emotion.

In the work place, often emotion isn’t considered, however emotion is only natural. Many people find it difficult to approach general emotions such as crying and anger so ensure you have a strategy in place for each. It may be also worth considering developing your emotional intelligence too. Expecting emotions is often better than dealing with them when they have taken you by surprise.

It’s not you, it’s the situation.

Difficult situations at work are rarely about you personally and instead, they are about the situation. Remember, people deal with situations very differently. What may cause angst and stress with one person, may not affect the other. Don’t take things personally, there is always a practical solution.

Listen – it’s important

It’s important to understand what the other person is saying. Exercise an active listening approach. By acknowledging their concerns, you are able to see their perspective. Take a conservative approach and try not to let opinions and false information get in the way. Remember, you are looking for a resolution and to banish negativity. Be calm and assertive at all times and if you are unsure, speak to someone trusted for advice.

Leave your door open.

We can all say things by mistake or in the heat of the moment, therefore ensure that if a colleague does change their mind they can do this with their dignity intact. Showing people up in front of others isn’t good practice and this will only lead to long-term negativity. Giving people the opportunity to calm down, apologise or explain is good, yet don’t let this be a regular occurrence. Remember to be vigilant as you may get taken for granted.

Think about others.

If you feel that your own manager is becoming increasingly difficult to deal with, try to understand what stresses they may have. Managing your own time effectively will show your manager that you are capable and they don’t have to watch over you, therefore reliving stress. You can also take an interest in what is going on within work and whether they require any additional help.

Break time.

When a situation becomes heated, it is important to take a break. A break allows you to regain control before things become too heated or emotional. Suggest getting a coffee, taking a walk and return to discussing the situation in a calmer manner.

Responsibility of a manager.

You need to ensure that you have handled things in a positive, calm and rational manner. Remember, a manager is judged not only on their own performance, but also on how they interact and get the best out others.

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