When it comes to leadership, there are four main approaches that can be adopted, depending on the individuals making up a particular team. Many leaders rely on instinct and gut-feelings for how to approach a situation, but it is advisable for upper management use their head and place the needs of the business over decisions based on emotion.

  1. Use the ‘Directing’ style with employees who lack competence and confidence

It is advisable that business leaders take on a more direct approach with employees and subordinates who are still quite new on the job, or generally lack experience. This is when they need most feedback and direction because they simply do not have the necessary knowledge. This often results in a lack of confidence on behalf of the team member, which can balloon into feelings of frustration. Without the appropriate guidance, an inexperienced worker who lacks confidence may give up because the wrong management style was chosen.

  1. Use the ‘Coaching’ style with employees who have some competence but lack commitment

As employees become more acquainted with their job, mistakes are still bound to happen, and this is where leaders must be on the lookout to coach rather than direct. Some might ask “what is the difference between the two?” Very simply, in the  case of coaching, the employee is guided and placed on the right path to eventually work it out on their own, while directing hands the employee the solution on a plate.

  1. Use the ‘Supporting’ style with employees who lack motivation

As business leaders it is important to differentiate between the types of mistakes that subordinates make on the job. Some mistakes are purely because they do not know. However, there are other mistakes which are made as a result of lack of motivation, focus and commitment, which is when team members begin to slack. When you see this, it is important to act accordingly and use a leadership style that helps the employee to regain that missing motivation, rather than using a “teaching” or “directing” style which might result in further demotivation.

  1. Use the ‘Delegating’ style with employees who are competent and committed

We’ve all heard of micro-managing, and we all know how annoying and demotivating it is. When you have a team of people who are committed and competent, delegating work is advisable as that will help committed employees to grow and develop into more independent workers who are capable of thinking on their own two feet.

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