What are the 3 main leadership styles?

A democratic leader seeks consensus from his team, or at least is open to their opinions. A democratic leader also tries to be open and accessible.

What are the 3 main leadership styles?

A democratic leader seeks consensus from his team, or at least is open to their opinions. A democratic leader also tries to be open and accessible. It can also lead to a quagmire when it is exaggerated, but overall this seems to be the most effective management style. Also called “autocratic management”, this leadership style may not be the most pleasant for subordinates, but it can be very effective (think Steve Jobs).

The authoritarian leader sets a high bar and expects results. This is perhaps a necessary form of leadership in a crisis, but in other situations it can lead to disgruntled workers and burnout. Also called a delegative, a leader of “laissez-faire” does not stop. They let their people move on.

The best laissez-faire leaders will contact your employees and provide guidance. You never see the bad guys. While this can work well if employees are self-motivated, it tends to be the least productive management style. Both leadership styles are essential and complementary.

The instrumental leader provides clarity and demands accountability, and the expressive leader watches over the team's morale and tends to be the “glue that holds it all together”. Sometimes, these complementary leadership styles follow gender lines, and men tend more towards instrumental leadership and women lean towards expressive leadership. But this is not always the case; it is more a question of personality than of gender. The authoritarian leader is so focused on goals, rules, and outcomes that he (or she) may tend to become rigid and controlling, stifling the team's creativity and even micromanaging their work.

However, there may be times when the authoritarian leadership style is best suited to the situation. In times of chaos, when it takes a strong hand to bring order and establish systems, it can help for a person to set ground rules and demand compliance. The clear and decisive perspective of the authoritarian leader, while too simplistic for some contexts, is sometimes just what is needed to eliminate all the noise and establish some ground rules. Unlike the authoritarian one, the laissez-faire leader wants to be hands-free and tends to offer little guidance or direction to the team.

The leader of the laissez-faire hopes that the members of the group will solve the problems themselves. This approach can work if the team is highly experienced, trained, self-motivated and able to work independently with minimal direction, and if the task to be performed is familiar and does not require much group deliberation. A democratic leader not only transmits the law and rules, but consults extensively with the group to get members' opinions first. Therefore, the final decision is based on a strong situational awareness of the reality and perspectives of the team; it is the result of a group discussion, but the leader is responsible for the decision.

The democratic leader encourages creativity and original ideas, but also keeps projects moving towards a clearly defined goal. Another way to look at leadership — and this may fit within the democratic leadership style — is to distinguish between transformational and transactional leadership. Do any of these leadership styles resonate with you? If so, keep in mind that no one person has to have the full package of all leadership gifts. Some people are more expressive, while others are more instrumental; some are more transformative, while others are more transactional.

We all have our own gifts, and the best thing is that teams often have people who are strong in complementary areas. Leadership styles are classifications of how a person behaves while leading a group. Lewyn's leadership styles are authoritarian (autocratic), participatory (democratic) and delegative (laissez-faire). Authoritarian leadership styles allow a leader to set expectations and define outcomes.

A one-man show can be successful in situations where a leader is the most knowledgeable of the team. Although this is an effective strategy in limited periods of time, creativity will be sacrificed as the team's input is limited. Authoritarian leadership style is also used when team members need clear guidelines. Participatory leadership styles are based on democratic theory.

The essence is to involve team members in the decision-making process. Team members feel included, engaged and motivated to contribute. The leader will normally have the final say in decision-making processes. However, if there are disagreements within a group, it can be a slow process to reach consensus.

Also known as laissez-faire leadership, a style of delegative leadership focuses on delegating initiative to team members. This can be a successful strategy if team members are competent, take responsibility and prefer to participate in individual work. However, disagreements between members can divide and divide a group, leading to a lack of motivation and low morale. Transactional leadership styles use transactions between a leader and his followers (rewards, punishments, and other exchanges) to get the job done.

The leader sets clear objectives and the team members know how they will be rewarded for their fulfillment. This give-and-take leadership style is more concerned with following established routines and procedures efficiently than making any transformative change in an organization. In transformative leadership styles, the leader inspires his followers with a vision and then encourages and empowers them to achieve it. The leader also serves as a role model for the vision.

Authoritarian leadership, also called autocratic leadership, is when you have full control over the team's decisions. Instead of consulting your team members, you make all decisions on your own. An authoritarian leader carefully manages the work of his team and pays close attention to whether each person meets his or her expectations. Participatory leadership, also called democratic leadership, is when you are a leader who encourages your team members to speak up if they have an idea or question.

When you are a participatory leader, you understand that you can learn a lot from others. Before making an important decision, these types of leaders tend to consult their team first. A participatory leader is open to feedback and group discussion to make a decision that satisfies everyone. Delegative leadership, also called laissez-faire leadership, is when your team members are given a lot of independence and freedom.

With this type of leadership, your team's hierarchy is less defined. While your team members may come to you for help, you also expect them to solve a lot of things themselves. Since this is a no-intervention approach to management, delegative leaders allow their team members to make their own decisions and trust that everyone can manage their own workflow. How you handle others can determine your leadership style.

Practical leaders tend to fall into authoritarian or democratic types of leadership. If you're someone who prefers management without intervention, you're probably a more delegative leader. How you manage your team can also depend on each person you supervise. For example, if you trust that an employee can do their job on time, you can be a more delegative leader for them.

Similarly, another employee may need more guidance and structure, which requires you to use a more authoritative leadership style. As you reflect on your values, you may even realize that your leadership style is a hybrid of these three types of leadership. Good leadership courses teach you the dynamics of human behavior, as well as increasing self-awareness and providing the opportunity to practice leadership in different situations. Researchers found that there was less creativity under an authoritarian leadership style, but children were still productive.

Those who are extrinsic motivated tend to perform well under transactional leadership, while those seeking more personal fulfillment may prefer a transformative leader. These managers go further back to allow people to leverage their creativity and think independently using their own initiative, while maintaining sufficient control to guide the overall vision of teams without imposing their own vision on their decisions. Despite a limited amount of scientific studies regarding charismatic leaders, researchers agree that there are applications and lessons to be learned from this type of leadership. And while this theory emphasizes leadership behavior, it is difficult to determine how a leader can learn to be charismatic and transformative.

There are three leadership styles developed by psychologist Kurt Lewin that are considered among the classic methodologies used by business leaders. Lewin found that children under delegative leadership, also known as laissez-faire leadership, were the least productive of the three groups. Once you figure out what type of leader you are, decide if you need to make any changes to your leadership style. Unless you find a team of determined and focused people, laissez-faire leadership can lead to lower productivity and personal responsibility.

Researchers found that democratic leadership tended to be the most effective in inspiring supporters to perform well. In 1939, a group of researchers led by psychologist Kurt Lewin set out to identify different styles of leadership. The children were then guided in an arts and crafts project, while researchers looked at the children's behavior in response to different leadership styles. While authoritarian leadership can be beneficial at times, it is often the case that it is more problematic.

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Katie Ayele
Katie Ayele

Amateur entrepreneur. Proud food nerd. Hipster-friendly internet enthusiast. Award-winning internet fanatic. Certified internet trailblazer. Freelance explorer.

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