4 Valuable Leadership Styles That Will Help Boost Your Team's Performance

4 Things You Can Do – or Not Do – As a Leader To Positively Impact Your Team 

You already know being an effective leader goes beyond making schedules and handing out tasks. As a leader, you also have the power to impact those you lead via your attitude and actions. 

Here are four ideas to help guide your leadership behaviors and actions for a more positive influence on your team and to the benefit of your small business.

Watch How You Respond to Employee Mistakes

Creating a thoughtful response to an employee’s mistake can help you positively impact that individual and your workplace culture.

That is because a fear-based approach to handling employee mistakes can affect productivity and morale, advises leadership expert Don Rheem, CEO of E3 Solutions and author of Thrive By Design: The Neuroscience that Drives High-Performance Cultures.

“People do a better job of carrying out their duties under positive circumstances, and research shows that individual employees, the team, and the organization all are more likely to thrive when leaders are positive,” he says in an Industry Week article by IW staff.

Giving negative feedback to someone who’s made a mistake is not only hard to handle but unhelpful, writes Jeremy Sutton, Ph.D., in PositivePsychology.com.

Negative feedback can be hard to handle and, when poorly delivered, unhelpful.

“While we have all been on the receiving end of criticism – that uncomfortable conversation often toned down by pleasantries – it is neither easy to give nor take,” he says.

For a more positive outcome, try to focus on the future, what the employee may need to avoid the mistake again.

“Positive feedback, rather than telling us where we are going wrong, helps us enhance our best qualities. It tells us to keep going as we are – and perhaps more so,” writes Sutton.

Do A Self-Check Before Your Actions

Courtney E. Ackerman, who has a M.A. in positive organizational psychology, says that leaders can do a simple, quick assessment of whether their behavior will have a positive or negative impact when in doubt about an action. 

In a post for PositivePsychology.com, Ackerman suggests business leaders ask a couple of questions before they act. For example, will this behavior likely encourage or discourage your team? Will your action be empowering or have a demoralizing impact on employees?

Leaders should take time to consider what effect their words or behavior will have before speaking or interacting with their teams. Will what you say come across as energizing or draining?

“Leading others can get messy and complicated, but it’s a vital role—and a vital role to get right,” Ackerman writes.

Be Available To Employees

Don’t let your busy schedule as a business owner keep you from being available to employees. Doing so could have a negative impact.

Like other busy entrepreneurs, Thomas Carpe said he and his partners often worked around the clock when they started their Baltimore-based company specializing in Office 365 and SharePoint consulting services, application development, administration, training, and support.

“When employees needed our time we were often too busy to help them,” says Carpe, CEO of Liquid Mercury Solutions. 

“It took losing valuable and talented people for us to learn that mistake,” he says in a post by the Business Journals Leadership Trust.

Keep Your Perfection-Seeking Style In Check

While confidence in your abilities may have helped propel your entrepreneurial endeavor and even play a part in running a successful business, you might want to keep it in check when it comes to your demeanor and interactions with employees.

“Overconfidence and perfection can have a negative effect. It is OK to not have all the answers — in fact, it is reality,” says Rachel Namoff, managing partner of Arapaho Asset Management, in the Business Journals Leadership Trust article.

But employees need to see their leader as human, she says, to be authentic and invest fully in their work. 

“Striving for perfection can make the most wonderful environment tedious and stressful,” adds Namoff, managing partner of the Denver area-based financial advisory firm specializing in retirement planning and financial education.

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