Sarojini Naidu, also known as the Nightingale of India, once said, “We want deeper sincerity of motive, a greater courage in speech and earnestness in action.”
The context of her words is rooted in India’s freedom struggle, but we can relate to them even today. A “sincerity of motive”, “courage in speech” and “earnestness in action” are all traits that are central to how we conduct ourselves in our personal and professional lives. These are also qualities that define a leader.
Do you remember any college professor or manager or senior leader who left a lasting impression on you? Think about someone who inspired and motivated you to be better. People who can motivate and encourage others are considered great leaders.
Leadership behavior is about leading by example and encouraging people to realize their full potential, in a sincere and unprejudiced manner. Most great leaders have qualities like honesty, eloquence and openness that distinguish them from others.
Let’s discuss leadership behaviors and styles in a professional setting and how you can become a successful leader.
Leadership Behaviors And Styles
People have different abilities, motives and purposes. They also have different work styles and ways in which they lead their teams. Here’s a list of common behavioral leadership styles you’ll find at the workplace:
- Authoritative Leadership: A leader who directs and orders their employees to perform
- People-Oriented Leadership: A leader who works with team members to achieve goals
- Situational Leadership: A leader who adapts his work style according to business demands
- Pacesetting Leadership: A leader who leads by example
Ways To Become An Effective Leader
Industrialists like Azim Premji, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Ratan Tata are some of India’s most respected business leaders. They’ve inspired many with their work ethic and leadership behavior. If you want to be a leader who can motivate others, you must have some of the characteristics of good leadership behavior.
Here’s how you can exhibit leadership behavior:
Lead With Honesty
It’s important to be honest and straightforward with your employees. You must work hard to create an environment that’s approachable and safe and where they feel welcome. This will help them communicate with you and share any troubles they may be facing. Honesty goes a long way in building trust so you should always stay true to your words.
Consider Yourself Part of the Team
Leaders don’t just delegate tasks and monitor their employees’ progress from time to time. Consider yourself a member of the team so that you can identify with each member and encourage them to interact with you as peers. An open and friendly work culture motivates people to take initiative and voice their opinions.
Provide Constructive Feedback
Providing feedback that’s helpful and uplifting can really improve employees’ performance. If you’re afraid that you might upset someone, use a friendlier tone of voice to convey your feedback.
At the same time, you should be open to receiving feedback from your employees so that they feel valued.
Solve Problems And Conflicts Objectively
Judging people based on personal beliefs can potentially hamper relationships in the workplace. If someone on your team approaches you for help, try to look at it objectively without attaching any emotional or personal bias. This may take years of practice and a sense of self-awareness but you shouldn’t feel disheartened if you make a few mistakes in the beginning. You can always rectify them and improve your leadership behavior over time.
Listen Attentively And Pay Attention
Listening to what your employees are saying is critical to leadership. It’s one thing to just hear them out but it’s another to listen and interpret the meaning of what they are saying. Paying attention to your team and its behavior will help you determine what they are thinking. Take an employee who is not doing well. If you invite the person for a chat and listen closely to the problems she may have, you may be able to help her solve it and also motivate her to perform.
Some people may be born leaders but that’s not to say that we can’t learn with experience. If you want to become an admirable leader, you should be able to discern your employees’ moods, behaviors and actions. Harappa Education’s Decoding Others course will teach you how to understand different perspectives, empathize with your teams and read people’s minds without making snap judgments. Refine your leadership skills to become a trusted leader.
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