What is your leadership style What is your preferred leadership style? This informative tutorial will include information about four different types of leaders, including any traits they may have that might help you in the workplace.
The ideas presented here provide you with a better understanding of yourself and others so that you can work together successfully. We’ll define each type of leader and discuss their leadership style, when it is most effective to use them and what you can do to improve your leadership skills.
What is a leadership style?
When you think of a leader, what comes to mind? Is it someone who is decisive and bold with a “take charge” attitude? Maybe you think of someone who listens well and is considerate of others’ needs. A good leader can be any or all of these things depending on the situation they find themselves in.
What style they use is dependent on a few things. The most obvious consideration is the situation. A leader would be foolish to manage an office on a factory floor using the same style he uses in an academic setting. He must consider his workforce and their strengths. What one worker might not understand, another might find simple to grasp.
A good leader will use a variety of styles depending on the situation.
The importance of developing a leadership style:
The ability to inspire and lead people is even more important than technical aptitude since employees are responsible for the success or failure of a company. According on a recent survey, nearly 50% of businesses say that an inquiry regarding leadership abilities is the most reliable test in identifying potential candidates’ capacity to succeed.
As a result of your experience as a leader, you will undoubtedly apply various procedures and strategies in order to accomplish your employment goal.
If one wants to achieve the greatest results as a manager, he or she must utilize many leadership styles. We can discover areas that require improvement or expansion if we learn about the many forms of leadership.
A directive leader tends to take charge in the workplace; they are not afraid to tell others what needs to be done. They will provide an action plan for completing a task, but may fail to offer guidance or assistance.
This type of leadership is most effective when the situation requires a quick response and a clear course of action is needed for success. It can be less successful in situations where employees have different skills, abilities or ways of thinking.
In those cases, being so directive may cause people to not feel valued as they don’t have many opportunities to contribute and offer their own suggestions.
If you find yourself taking charge and telling others what to do, try giving your employees more freedom or encouraging them to solve the problem on their own without giving up control of the situation.
This will help people feel valued and give them a sense of accomplishment when they can figure things out for themselves successfully.
A supportive leader is encouraging and acts as a mentor to their employees; they are always looking out for the success of their team.
Supportive leaders create opportunities for subordinates to learn, grow and excel in their positions by sharing knowledge and offering guidance when needed. They tend to be more effective in improving productivity, motivation, loyalty and retention.
If you find yourself supporting your employees, try encouraging them to solve problems on their own without offering the answers.
Instead, give them a starting point by asking thought-provoking questions that will help guide them towards finding an answer themselves. This will help them learn how to think critically and improve their performance overall as they gain self-confidence.
A democratic leader takes input from others and makes decisions that best suit the team or organization at-large. They inspire people to participate in the decision making process by soliciting feedback before making any major changes.
Being democratic can help you earn respect among your employees, plus it offers greater opportunities for input when attempting to achieve a common goal.
Be careful not to be too democratic in your leadership style, though, since people may begin taking advantage of the system by delaying progress without any negative consequences for their actions.
If you find yourself asking your employees what they think before making any major decisions, try encouraging them to make suggestions instead of waiting for you to tell them what needs to be done.
This will not only get their creative juices flowing, but it also allows them to see how their ideas can actually be implemented successfully in the workplace.
An autocratic leader makes all the decisions with little consideration for anyone else’s opinion or desires. They often think they know best and behave as if their personal agenda is more important than the overall goals of the team or organization, which can cause people to become disengaged and feel like they’re not valued.
If you find yourself acting as an autocratic leader, try involving your employees in decision making processes.
If you still make all the decisions on your own, try soliciting input from your employees in an informal setting by asking them questions like, “What do you think about this?” or “How do you feel about that?” This will help them feel valued and give them the opportunity to offer their feelings.
A delegative leader takes on many of the day-to-day responsibilities of employees, allowing people to focus on their job duties while the leader handles coordinating tasks.
While this can help strengthen individual performance, it can also lead to confusion if the employees are not informed about what they are expected to do.
If you find yourself acting as a delegative leader, try taking an occasional day where you assign your employees specific goals and tasks that they are responsible for completing.
Then, allow them to choose the best way they think this task can be done by encouraging their input or offering suggestions on how they might achieve success.
If you have a lot on your plate, you could even try putting together an agenda so each employee knows exactly what their day will look like and how it will best support the team’s goals.
Visionary leadership is an effective style of leadership when trying to establish a clear direction through innovation. A visionary leader often explores new ways of doing business and often takes risks in order to achieve success or progress within their organization.
If you find yourself acting as a visionary leader, try putting together occasional projects that will help challenge your employees while improving your business processes at the same time.
For example, you might ask your team to come up with ideas on how to reduce costs or increase sales. By giving people the opportunity to work together and think creatively, they may just arrive at new concepts that will improve the business overall.
A synergistic leader works towards creating unity among their employees by encouraging them to work together. This allows the group to act as one cohesive unit rather than an assembly of individuals, which increases productivity and creates a positive working environment.
If you find yourself acting like a synergistic leader, try focusing on ways that your employees can work together more productively.
For example, consider implementing weekly meetings where small teams are formed to work on specific tasks that will help the entire company meet its goals.
This could be something like creating a special event for customers or developing a new promotion to encourage sales. The employees will appreciate the opportunity to collaborate and show how they can contribute, while you’ll get results much more quickly than if you were trying to complete everything alone.
A servant leader seeks to inspire cooperation and teamwork by focusing on what is best for the group. They put people first rather than personal agendas, which ultimately benefits both the individuals and the team as a whole.
If you find yourself acting as a servant leader, try taking some time each day where you focus on your employees so they know how important they are to you. You could do this by recognizing their accomplishments or pointing out the ways in which they have helped advance your company’s mission.
Although you might feel fulfilled seeing how your employees respond to your encouragement, remember that this style of leadership is about them more than it is about you.
A coaching leader works to develop their employees by offering them guidance and support as they learn new skills to increase their knowledge and competence. This allows them to grow within the organization while simultaneously helping the business succeed.
If you find yourself acting as a coaching leader, try taking on an apprentice or intern who can help free up some of your time so you can offer the support your employees need. You could even recruit someone on staff to act as a mentor so they get more one-on-one guidance rather than working on their own.
Your employees will appreciate the individualized support, and you’ll be able to spend time developing more leaders within your organization, which will strengthen everyone’s abilities in the long term.
When leading in an affiliative manner, an effective leader will try to create a sense of community among the employees and often focuses on interacting with everyone as peers rather than superiors and subordinates.
This can lead to increased cooperation and teamwork within the office while reducing stress and promoting positive relationships between co-workers.
If you find yourself acting as an affiliative leader, try putting a few fun initiatives in place to get everyone interacting with each other outside of work.
For example, consider hosting a weekly lunch where everyone can discuss their upcoming weekend plans and share what’s going on in their lives outside of the office.
This casual environment will help employees feel more comfortable with each other and allow them to interact on a more personal level, which will keep everyone connected and increase productivity at the same time.
An effective leader is often perceived as someone who possesses extensive knowledge in their field and acts as an expert who can guide others. This allows the business to make use of their expertise while they offer direction and support to employees who need it most.
When acting in an expert capacity, consider finding ways you can help your employees grow within the organization without taking on too much responsibility yourself.
For example, if you’re knowledgeable in a certain area, consider mentoring an individual or small team so they can learn directly from you while you’re not bogged down with work. This will allow you to share your knowledge and skills with others in the company who need help, which will help everyone grow over time.
A managerial leader focuses on managing tasks and projects while also managing the people around them. They make decisions and establish rules for their employees to follow, while offering support when they need it.
This is a common role within a workplace, but effective leadership in this area requires strong organizational skills and management abilities.
If you find yourself acting as a managerial leader, try asking your employees what kind of support they would find most useful.
You might be surprised by how much more productive and happy they’ll be if you ask for their input rather than simply doing things yourself.
For example, you could ask one of your employees to help keep track of meetings so you aren’t responsible for setting them up or sending out reminders. This will relieve some of the stress you experience while allowing you to focus on other tasks that are more important.
A mentor leader focuses on the success of their team by offering guidance, advice, and support when it’s needed most. They maintain a positive attitude toward everyone around them, which encourages others to do the same even in difficult situations.
This kind of leadership focuses on personal improvement and helping individuals and the group succeed together.
When acting in a mentor capacity, try sharing your own experiences with your employees without focusing too much on the negative aspects. For example, if you’ve overcome something difficult during your time at XYZ Company, explain how it’s important to stay focused and keep working toward your end goal.
This will help others realize that challenges are only a small part of the process, which will encourage them to persevere even during difficult times.
A typical leader in this capacity takes command of their team and is responsible for the success or failure of everyone involved.
They establish rules about how things are done and must ensure that everyone is following them to keep productivity high. They must also set firm goals for their team to work toward, while measuring their performance against these standards so they can offer support when it’s needed most.
If you find yourself in this role, try setting up a system where your employees can give feedback or report problems without fear of negative consequences to themselves.
This will encourage them to come forward with suggestions, which you can use when making future plans and decisions so everyone’s voice is heard.
A charismatic leader takes on a more forceful role by becoming the center of attention. They establish themselves as the focal point of any conversation and work toward getting others to do what they want while believing that it’s for their own good. The strength and persuasiveness of a charismatic leader is often difficult to overcome, but can also alienate those around them.
If you find yourself in this role, try taking some time to listen to your employees without making any snap judgments or offering advice that isn’t requested. This will allow people to feel like their opinions are worth hearing and make them more likely to offer their own feedback when necessary. Be open-minded about changes they suggest while still staying committed to the long-term goals you’ve set for your team.
Transactional leadership techniques entail the use of “transactions” between a leader and his or her followers – rewards, penalties, and other transfers – to get the job done.
The leader establishes clear objectives, and team members understand how they’ll be rewarded for adhering. This “give and take” leadership style involves a straightforward exchange of goods and services, typically with an emphasis on “taking” from the group rather than giving.
This type of leadership is used when tasks are relatively simple and the leader doesn’t need to worry about maintaining a substantial emotional connection with their group.
If you find yourself in this role, try rewarding people immediately for even small achievements since they can be more easily attributed to one person or action. This is also a good time to offer constructive criticism when necessary, rather than waiting for the end of a project, which can seem like an unfair judgment at that point.
Laissez faire Leadership:
Laissez faire leaders keep their distance from subordinates and allow them to govern themselves with little interference. They don’t have much of an emotional investment in the people they lead or how they accomplish tasks, instead focusing mainly on the bottom line.
This type of leader is more interested in pursuing their own interests than guiding others, often taking a passive stance in order to avoid strenuous decision-making.
If you find yourself in this role, try maintaining open lines of communication with your employees at all times. You can do this by asking about their work and understanding the challenges they’re facing without offering any feedback unless requested.
This will allow people to feel like their thoughts and opinions are valued even when you’re not offering guidance, which can make them more likely to ask for help when in need.
Transformational leadership can sometimes lead to the deviation of protocols and regulations. Transformational leadership can be a risk since it requires a leader to take personal responsibility for the way an organization is run.
There are several techniques employed by transformational leaders one of which is “Initiating structure.” This means the leader creates some level of clarity, definition and order.
They do this by setting tasks as well as goal-orientated objectives. The leader must use their influence and charisma to get their team members motivated and focused on achieving these goals.
Another technique employed by transformational leaders is “Supportive leadership.” This means that the leader creates a sense of safety and acceptance for their team members. Transformational leaders help employees to grow through their support and encouragement.
They encourage others to experiment with new ways of thinking, feeling, and acting in order to learn from experiences, develop skills, and broaden their perspective on the world.
Transactional leadership is task focused with a focus on efficient performance without motivation or inspiration.
A final technique used by transformational leaders is “Individualized consideration.”
This means that the leader adapts to different situations by making decisions in a conscientious and considerate way. They balance an understanding of what is fair and just with an understanding that people are unique, therefore requiring different methods of encouragement and motivation.
They treat each person as an individual by paying attention to their needs, preferences, and abilities in order to make them feel appreciated and satisfied.
This style is good at improving morale but can create issues when employees don’t like or trust the leader.
Bureaucratic leadership is based on a clear chain of command, stringent rules, and confirmation by its followers. This is a type of leadership that is commonly seen in government organizations, as well as the military and public sectors.
If you find yourself in this role, one of the most effective ways to create a productive work environment is by clearly communicating your rules and expectations early on so that your employees will understand how you want them to interact with others.
Be sure to enforce these rules consistently and provide fair consequences for those who break them.
Additionally, be aware of your employees’ needs and how you can best support them.
If someone requests a certain type of work environment or requirements that would be difficult for their role, try to find an alternative solution instead of denying them outright.
A different kind of power is the ability to influence others by offering advice, expertise, and guidance in a way that makes people feel comfortable requesting it.
By encouraging your team to ask you questions frequently, they will feel like they can reach out to you at any time and find answers easily.
This will create an environment where people are more likely to want to get advice or help from you because of the low cost involved (in terms of both time commitment and emotional investment).
Own Leadership Style:
I am known for my advise. I like advise people on their problems and guide them to the right path. I don’t like giving orders but sometimes i have to be a bit strict in order to get things done in time. This usually works with most of my employees who are young, naive and full of energy.
Leadership Style Assessments
Another way to determine your personal leadership style is through the use of assessments. Some examples of these include Myers-Briggs, OPQ, and FIRO-B.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The Myer–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, is designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.
These preferences were extrapolated from the typological theories proposed by Carl Jung, as described in his 1921 book Psychological Types.
Like him, they argued that our psychological type determined how we interact with the world around us, as well as the goals we set for ourselves.
The MBTI is based on four pairs of opposing preferences, which are:
This dimension measures where people focus their attention and get their energy. The E-I dimension corresponds with how a person relates to the outer world (extraversion – focusing on the world outside themselves) or inner world (introversion – focusing on their inner world and ideas).
This dimension measures whether people prefer to focus on the basics of a situation or to look for patterns, relationships, and possibilities. S-N corresponds with how a person perceives information (sensing – focusing on the basic present facts) or how they perceive it (intuition – adding in their feelings and thoughts about it).
This dimension measures whether people make decisions based on objective criteria or personal values. T-F corresponds with whether a person makes decisions based on logic (thinking) or their personal values and emotions (feeling).
This dimension measures a person’s preference for planning and organization. The J-P dimension corresponds with a person’s basic approach to life, whether it is structured and scheduled (judging – organizing things according to a set plan) or spontaneous and flexible (perceiving – leaving things open to change).
In the original research, the MBTI was used by Katharine Cook Briggs as a tool for people within a specific occupation to determine who would be most compatible with their fellow employees. Because of this relationship-based application, it is not ideal for measuring one’s leadership effectiveness.
However, it does give us an idea of the preferences managers might have and how those preferences interact with the strengths and weaknesses of their employees.
For example, a manager who is a thinking-feeling type can be more effective by hiring staff that are more likely to provide logical solutions whereas a sensing-thinking manager can be better off hiring staff that are more likely to provide detailed solutions.
Another strength of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is its ability to highlight differences in individuals who might not otherwise stand out as different. As long as they share preferences, two people with very similar profiles might only seem like “two peas in a pod.”
The Role of Leadership:
As a leader within an organization, it’s important to take on the type of leadership that works best for your team and goals. When you feel like there are problems with how things are done, remember these differences and try to act accordingly. No matter what position you hold, it’s your responsibility to lead by example and encourage others to succeed as well. By doing so, you’ll be able to help the organization reach its full potential without losing the support of those around you along the way.