Let’s Talk About Leadership Styles And The Masculine Or Feminine Traits They Express
If you don’t have extensive experience in management or haven’t attended business school, you may not know that there are a few leadership styles that are most commonly seen within organizations, family life, or life in general. While there are many, I will address the ones that have shown to be most effective in various settings and also look at them from the perspective of them expressing masculine or feminine traits.
Perhaps you will see characteristics of yourself within one or two of these. Maybe you will recognize an imbalance in your energies, or notice that you are spending a lot of your time expressing masculine traits when you are running your business, and this could be making you feel out of alignment with your authentic self as a leader. This is easily addressed by incorporating more of the feminine leadership styles into your working day.
In my coaching I help holistic visionaries and light workers identify the traits and energies they are spending their time in, and I help them balance their masculine and feminine traits in a way that enhances their leadership skills. Let’s look at some of these different leadership styles.
One of the leadership styles that has proven to be most effective is the democratic style, so I’d like to begin with this one. This approach takes into consideration the needs and desires of the group. As you may have guessed already, this style of leadership uses many of your feminine traits to lead, such as listening to your team, cooperating, communicating, and nurturing your employees. The leader or manager does have the last word, but each member has an equal say. This type of leadership allows even the individuals with the least power to contribute to their overall experience. Communication is encouraged, and it’s empowering for all.
Another effective approach many leaders take is to be strategic. This leadership style involves taking on a great deal of responsibility and this is a masculine style of leadership. There is usually one individual who is essentially in charge, and decisions fall to this person. While this leader is concerned with executive interests, it is their job to balance that with ensuring that working conditions are satisfactory for all. They set the direction and work to guide organizational progress. This style of leadership is goal-orientated, assertive, and demands a lot of control of the team by the leader.
Laissez-Faire centers authority on the employees or members of a group. This type of leader trusts their subordinates to work hard and to know what they are doing. It requires a combination of masculine and feminine traits to make it work as the team members need to work independently but at the same time need to cooperate. This type of oversight can be empowering, but it’s also important that it be monitored regularly so that productivity keeps moving in a positive direction.
In a transactional environment, people are rewarded for the specific activities or transactions they perform. Each worker knows their role and understands their responsibilities. Incentive programs tend to work well within such a space. It can be easy for employees to fall into a habit of doing the bare minimum. People who have masculine traits love this work environment as it thrives on competition, ambition and is highly goal-orientated. People who are more introverted and more comfortable in their feminine energies can find this kind of leadership intimidating and uncomfortable.
This style of leadership strives for continual improvement. The leader is always looking to transform their team in positive ways. They may push team members to move beyond their comfort zone. The status quo is looked down upon. This can be an encouraging form of leadership. It also has the potential to go awry when leaders lose sight of individual needs in favor of growing the bottom line. A fine balance between expressing both masculine and feminine energy traits will make this leadership style work well.
Although you may feel introverted the more leadership experience you gain, the greater your belief in yourself is likely to become, then you will probably find yourself becoming more ambitious because your confidence has grown. You’ll see that you are capable of getting the job done. No longer will you worry that you’re not smart enough or that you lack skills. You’re more willing to learn, grow, and take risks.
These are some of the most common and effective types of leadership styles. The encouraging news is that as a holistic visionary you can choose your own approach. Bear in mind that you can also combine styles for maximum effectiveness and utilize the ones that work best in your particular situation. Your own leadership style should be constantly evolving.
After reading this article can you recognize your dominant trait? How do you feel about it?