There are nine different leadership styles, and the type you use to lead your team can greatly affect the success of your organization. Each leadership style has its strengths, although some styles, such as transformational, democratic and situational leadership, are commonly seen as more desirable. The theory highlights the strengths and weaknesses of six common styles: visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting and dominant. It also shows how each style can affect the emotions of your team members.
Leadership styles are on a continuum, ranging from autocratic on one end to laissez-faire on the other, with a variety of styles in between. There are seven main leadership styles. Familiarizing yourself with the different leadership styles you relate to most closely is important because it helps you connect and communicate better with your team. When your team members and your employer can identify what type of leader you are, they feel more comfortable in your roles and interactions with you.
They know what to expect (and what not to expect) and can better understand how to capitalize on their own unique support brand. Affiliate leaders strive to bond emotionally with their team members and report directly. Leaders who use this style put people before profit and believe that the team always comes first. This style focuses on building trust within the team and fostering a sense of belonging to the organization.
Particularly effective in times of increased stress, affiliate leaders are effective in increasing low morale, improving communication and creating a harmonious work environment. Bureaucratic leaders tend to follow a textbook template as to how a leader should act and are generally risk-averse. While they may differ from autocratic leaders in seeking the opinion of others, they are biased towards defending company policy or past practices. Bureaucratic leaders are often found in large, established organizations or in highly regulated environments where compliance with strict rules is important.
New ideas can be rejected because the organization is successful with current processes in place. Implementing something new and different could waste time or resources if it doesn't work. This leadership style stifles innovation among employees and strives to respond effectively to change. A coaching leader is one who spends a great deal of time and energy identifying and nurturing the individual strengths of each member of their team.
They will take the time to cultivate deep connections with direct reporting to gain a deep understanding of each team member's hopes, beliefs, dreams, and values. The coaching leadership style is similar to democratic and affiliative leadership, but coaching leaders place more emphasis on the growth and success of individual employees. Coaching leaders often foster a positive environment where encouragement and communication can flow freely. However, in many cases, employees feel they are being micromanaged.
It's important for coaching leaders to step back periodically and let their team breathe. Like the affiliative leadership style, a leader who employs the democratic leadership style highly values the knowledge, skills and diversity of his team. They are consensus-builders and constantly solicit input from their direct reports and colleagues. Democratic leaders are excellent listeners and build confidence in their leadership by using the collective wisdom their team has to offer.
They are leading breeders; by empowering lower-level employees to exercise their authority, they effectively prepare them for higher positions. Democratic leadership is exactly what it sounds like: the leader makes decisions based on the input of each team member. Even though he makes the last call, every employee has the same opinion about the direction of the project. Democratic leadership is one of the most effective leadership styles because it allows lower-level employees to exercise the authority they will need to use wisely in the future positions they may hold.
It also looks like how decisions can be made at company board meetings. Autocratic leadership is the opposite of democratic leadership. In this style of leadership, the leader makes decisions without receiving the opinion of anyone who reports to him. Employees are not considered or consulted before a change of direction, and are expected to comply with the decision at the time and pace stipulated by the leader.
If you remember your high school French, you will accurately assume that laissez-faire leadership is the least intrusive form of leadership. The French term “laissez-faire” is literally translated to let them do, and the leaders who adopt it give almost all the authority to their employees. While laissez-faire leadership can empower employees by relying on them to work as they would like, it can limit their development and overlook critical opportunities for company growth. Therefore, it is important that this leadership style is kept under control.
Like the coach of a sports team, this leader focuses on identifying and nurturing the individual strengths of each member of his team. They also focus on strategies that will enable their team to work better together. This style offers strong similarities to strategic and democratic leadership, but places more emphasis on the growth and success of individual employees. Bureaucratic leaders are guided by books.
This leadership style can listen to and consider the opinion of employees, unlike autocratic leadership, but the leader tends to reject an employee's opinion if it conflicts with company policy or past practices. Employees under this leadership style may not feel as controlled as they would under autocratic leadership, but there is still a lack of freedom as to how much people can do in their roles. This can quickly stop innovation and is definitely not recommended for companies pursuing ambitious goals and rapid growth. We've already talked about how personality traits, behaviors, and situations (and the response to those situations) affect leadership.
But what about style? Each leader has their own personal approach. In fact, one could assume that there are as many leadership styles as there are leaders. The disadvantage of this style is that, by itself, it can be chilling and amoral, and can lead to high staff turnover. You could say that the autocratic-style leader stands steady as a rock on the subjects, while the leader of laissez-faire lets people swim with the flow.
When authoritarian leadership is diverted to areas where it is not needed, it can create dysfunctional environments where followers are the “good” and dominant leaders are the “bad” ones. Despite the fact that they are natural leaders, those who follow the servant leadership model do not try to maintain a clear understanding of their own status or power. An individual's leadership style also determines how they strategize and implement plans, while taking into account stakeholder expectations and the well-being of their team. While a certain leadership style may have an impact on a specific job, for example, autocratic leaders do well in military settings, the best leadership is to use a combination of these styles.
For example, you can immerse yourself in an autocratic leadership style when crucial decisions must be made on the spot and you have the greatest knowledge of the situation, or when you are dealing with new and inexperienced team members and there is no time to wait for team members to become familiar with their roles. As you progress in your career and develop leadership skills, you're likely to use different techniques and methods to achieve your organization's goals while engaging employees who report to you. Hopefully, this list will help you differentiate between the different styles and know when to apply them. This style is much less effective in teams and organizations that rely on flexibility, creativity or innovation.
At one end, the autocratic-style leader stands steady as a rock in trouble, while the leader of laissez-faire allows people to swim with the current. Transactional leadership is a set of activities that involve an exchange between followers and leaders and deal with daily tasks (Bass, 1990). If you are trying to perfect a leadership style that opposes your personality or morals, it will seem that it is not authentic. They put these three leadership styles into action with a group of schoolchildren tasked with completing a craft project to determine responses to leadership styles.
Also called “authoritarian” leadership style, this type of leader is someone who focuses primarily on results and efficiency. Organizations that want to build a culture of innovation benefit best if they leverage the talents of visionary leadership. . .