When you ask people what they think makes a great and effective leader, you will get different answers. Some would say they are leaders who understand their employees and change the system to help employees flourish. Others say they are the ones who can get even the most stubborn employees to follow orders.
A manager can use many leadership styles to become a flawless leader, with the authentic leadership style one of the most popular ones. What is this leadership style, and what do you need to know?
This article is a short primer about the authentic leadership style if you plan to use this style as your leadership style:
What is Authentic Leadership Style?
The authentic leadership style focuses on leaders being transparent, genuine and honest to those who work under them. With genuine relationships with their teammates, it inspires trust and motivation for everyone in the team.
Characteristics of Authentic Leaders
To be an authentic leader, they must have certain characteristics, which include:
- Sees the bigger picture – They must be able to see the company’s long-term goals and inspire others to stay focused on reaching these goals.
- Consistent – An authentic leader does not change their values and leadership style even under challenging situations. If people see that you are consistent, it reassures them that you are true to your words.
- Self-Aware – Being self-aware of one’s weaknesses and strengths is a characteristic common to all authentic leaders. This allows them to improve their leadership and help others in the process.
- Transparent – These leaders do not keep secrets from their team, especially if things have gone wrong or a big challenge is ahead. These leaders would open communication between them and the team to discuss a working strategy to deal with the challenge.
Pros and Cons of Authentic Leadership Style
Each work environment and situation is different, so certain leadership styles may not work in specific areas while it works in others. In this case, the authentic leadership style has its pros and cons that must be considered before it is practised.
For the pros, this leadership style can help increase the trust between the members of the team and boost productivity and collaboration. It also helps reduce conflicts in the team since these leaders are more aware of themselves and manage interactions effectively.
Meanwhile, the authentic leadership style is ineffective during high-risk or emergencies because they will need to ask the team before they can take action. Leaders should be more commanding during these situations to get the team to take evasive action to stir clear away from the conflict. It can also be challenging to push for innovation under this leadership style.
Becoming an authentic leader can be a tough challenge if you are not confident about yourself and truly in tune with your thought process. Without this crucial knowledge, you will be unable to open your mindset to the different personalities in your team and adapt your methods accordingly to lead them efficiently. It will also disable you from making the right decisions that will represent your values and the team’s.
So what is your leadership style? What kind of leadership style do you work better with? Share your thoughts in the comments below.