Discover the Leader in You!

Leadership ability is one of the top soft skills that employers want in their staff (soft skills are non-technical skills that allow you to succeed in the workplace). Even if you aren’t applying for a management level position, a proven ability to lead is appealing to hiring managers. To build your leadership skills, you must first understand your leadership styles. 

West Michigan Works! offers a free workshop to help you explore and understand your leadership styles. We spoke to Ryan Nykamp, who developed the workshop and Beth McMurray, who teaches the workshop with Nykamp. 

Nykamp created the workshop because of his interest in emotional intelligence (EQ)—your ability to control, recognize and use your emotions constructively to communicate and empathize with others. EQ has been shown to be a significant indicator of success in the workplace and life. 

“I believe that EQ plays a huge role in who we are as human beings, in every aspect of our lives,” said Nykamp. “I thought this workshop would be beneficial for people regardless of where they are on their career path.” 

McMurray believes every job requires a different set of leadership habits.  

“Not one leadership style is perfect for every situation. We get participants to think about the different ways they can lead in the workplace.” – Beth McMurray, talent development instructor 

The six styles explored in the workshop are: Pace Setting, Directive, Visionary, Democratic, Coercive and Affiliative. 

“The workshop broadens their horizons of what a leader is and how they can incorporate changes or new techniques to grow their leadership abilities. They learn they don’t have to be a manager to lead,” said McMurray. 

It takes time and practice to discover your leadership styles and use them in the workplace. “It is fun to hear job seekers talk about their experiences with a certain type of leadership or how certain leaders have impacted their life. It is always amazing to see someone have an ‘aha’ moment,” said Nykamp. 

The Leadership Styles workshop is an excellent way to discover and improve your leadership skills both in and out of the workplace. Check out West Michigan Works’ calendar of events to register for an upcoming workshop!