In the ultra-competitive economic environment in which we exist, an engaged workforce will become energized to move toward the common goal. It is not viable for leaders to coerce engagement – a more subtle approach is required to win the hearts and minds of the people that will ultimately drive organizational success.
By employing an influencing leadership style, the leader will engage employees to take action willingly and with energy. The question is how to engage an influencing leadership style to engage employees?
The value of energizing employees
An engaged workforce raises the bar on multiple spheres of a business. Productivity and quality improves, and these are drivers of greater profitability.
The 2015 Walden University study “Leadership Strategies to Influence Employee Engagement in Health Care” identifies four leadership strategies that energize employee engagement – strategies that are equally relevant in all business sectors:
- improving psychosocial commitment
- expectation realization
- trust actualization
- reduction in the power distance of leadership
In other words, the leader needs to encourage greater interaction in the social environment, gain trust through meeting the expectations of his or her employees, and ultimately, encourage joint ownership of the responsibility of decision making. To meet these objectives, an influencing leadership style is a powerful technique.
7 traits of an influencing leadership style
Employees follow the influential leader because they want to do so, and not because they have to do so. It is not an obligation, but instead becomes a desire – a passion – to work toward the collective goal collaboratively. Indeed, passion is a key trait of the influential leader. Passion motivates and inspires, and helps rally a team to action. Six other traits of an influencing leadership style are:
- Enthusiasm that compels people to overachieve and then push further
- Energy that encourages action and collaboration
- Integrity and the demonstration of the collective values
- Humility to accept that they can learn from others
- Communication skills that include listening and honest and open dialogue
- Reflective of their own thoughts and feelings, with a deep understanding of the emotional intelligence that influences the actions and reactions of themselves and others
Defining leadership in the competitive environment
Leadership today is the art of influencing others to achieve a collective result that could not be gained by individual action. Instruction is no longer a leadership solution. Strong leaders create an environment of desire and passion, a feeling in their people of the want to follow and not an obligation to follow.
Influential leaders instinctively know what needs to be done and think proactively. They are forward thinkers, seeing not problems but opportunities. They encourage engagement, collaboration, and improvement as they energize their employees’ ownership of the collective goals.
Contact Forward Focus today to discuss our Management Development Series, including our Energy Leadership Program that helps develop high performing managers into inspirational leaders.