5 Leadership Styles for Effective Remote Work Collaboration
When it comes to remote work in the absence of human connection, leaders are needed more than ever. With collaboration becoming the main concern especially if employees are working from different locations in the world, the importance of leaders taking an active role in personnel management cannot be stressed enough. Here are the five common leadership styles for effective remote work collaboration:
1. Democratic Leadership
When it comes to basic leadership styles that have been used in the workplace for decades, nothing comes close to democratic leadership. A democratic leader takes note of all of the inputs of his team and only makes a decision once he analyzes all of their inputs. This type of leader is also adept in building relationships with his colleagues, making their concerns an utmost priority and even addressing personal needs if the situation calls for it.
When it comes to practicing democratic leadership while working remotely, these leaders will most likely address the communication barriers between employees. In particular, they will constantly send messages to employees regarding the challenges they face with work. Constant meetings via video conferencing platforms are also held whether it be one-on-one or company-wide meetings.
2. Laissez-Faire Leadership
Laissez-faire leadership is one of the common business management styles that has been proven to be effective in remote work setups. But unlike democratic leadership, a leader practicing laissez-faire will only act in a consultation role and will no longer be getting inputs from most or all of his employees and make decisions based on these inputs. This is because this leadership style relies on the employees making their own decisions based on policies set by the company. They are also given enough resources so that they can make decisions that can benefit the company in the long run.
Although employees are given enough reign when it comes to decision making, they still cannot make decisions that pertain to how the organization operates. Additionally, they also can’t make decisions when it comes to policies that have an impact on the company’s long-term goals. This is where managers and company executives intervene and make the final call. With regard to virtual teams, remote employees can simply do whatever they want as long they complete daily tasks and follow guidelines set by the company.
3. Coaching Leadership
When it comes to team leadership styles, coaching leadership is one of the best. Although coaching leadership is more associated with sports, it has become a common leadership style used by business leaders across different industries. Coaching leadership is characterized by leaders utilizing their employees’ strengths and constantly providing motivation at the same time. Leaders practicing this leadership style also take note of the weaknesses of their employees and keeps track of these weaknesses so that they can improve in the long run.
Similar to sports, coaching leaders in the workplace also “coach” their employees so that they can live up to their full potential. These types of leaders can be very hands-on but they don’t fall in the autocratic category where they micromanage and give very limited freedom to their colleagues. In this case, coaching leaders provide regular training not just when it comes to work processes but also when dealing with customers and other stakeholders.
4. Autocratic Leadership
Autocratic leadership isn’t for everyone but it has proven to be effective on certain occasions especially when it comes to managing large corporations. Elon Musk (Tesla), Donald Trump (The Trump Organization), and Steve Jobs (Apple) are some of the most notable autocratic leaders in the field of business; having a meticulous eye for detail and rarely accepting advice or suggestions from colleagues.
As previously mentioned, autocratic leaders tend to micromanage. This can be very off-putting for the majority of employees but can be very effective especially if leaders are known to deliver success despite their aggressive and oftentimes hostile nature. In contrast, individuals who thrive working in rigid environments set by autocratic leaders tend to easily adjust when shifting to other careers. Autocratic leaders in work from home setups oftentimes monitor their remote employees and may also call meetings multiple times throughout the work shift.
5. Strategic Leadership
Strategic leaders sit at the intersection of running a business and making sure the welfare of their employees is met. These leaders are also active in seeking out growth opportunities for the organization. With their heavy workload, strategic leaders can oftentimes neglect some aspects of their organization but they can reach a high level of success faster if they manage to consistently maintain a high level of productivity.
Strategic leaders are hands-on with their work but they also delegate tasks to their peers from time to time. These types of leaders also meet with their colleagues constantly to discuss the current state of the company and how it can move forward without using too many resources. In a remote work setup, strategic leaders organize online meetings and training from time to time although they are the ones who want to be updated with the company's daily transactions.
A leader is needed for every setting, most specifically when it comes to managing a remote work company. Although there is no best leadership style for every situation, leaders will have to adjust occasionally and utilize a specific style that suits best the immediate needs of their organization.
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