What are the different leadership styles in management? Where to use each?

You must have strong leadership power and qualities no matter if you are leading 10 people or 100 people or 1000. A leader is someone who encourages a group of people to work toward a shared objective, whereas leadership is the art of inspiring a group of people to act. 

Meanwhile, everyone has their own distinct ways of leading people. Once you have determined your personal style, those qualities can be improved over time. When some leaders struggle, it’s usually because they do not understand how to relate to their team. 

You will become a better leader if you are familiar with the benefits of the many leadership philosophies and know which ones work best for you. 

Different leadership beliefs will have varying effects on the organization. Given that it is essential to a team’s success, the leader must select the method that will produce the best results given the circumstances.  

Everyone may become a more adaptable and effective leader by recognizing these leadership types and their effects. 



How Important Is Leadership style?


Understanding your leadership style is essential since it may show you how you affect others who are directly influenced by you. It is usually a clever idea to solicit feedback to understand how you are doing. 

However, knowing your leadership style before seeking input can be a good place to start. People’s leadership styles are influenced by their intrinsic preferences, personalities, and upbringing.  

This is not necessarily a terrible thing as learning which leadership style works best for you is an important aspect of being a strong leader. Each leadership style has its flaws, which allows you to proactively address areas for growth. This is crucial since some employees, even in an anonymous poll, may be hesitant to speak up. 


Different Types of Leadership styles in Management


Leadership styles, like personality types, do not fit neatly into neat boxes. They can instead be broadly classified based on a set of criteria. It includes autonomy and flexibility of a person while leading the group. 

Here are some of the common leadership styles that have been categorized as per the ways of directing and implementing plans.  


  • Motivational Leadership (Coach)


A leader who acts as a coach or believes in motivational leadership can quickly recognize their team members’ strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. With the recognition, they will help the person/team improve their work.  

This type of leader frequently aids team members in defining reasonable goals. In addition, he/she also provides regular feedback on difficult projects to stimulate improvement. They are adept at establishing clear expectations and fostering a pleasant, inspiring environment. 

The coach/motivational leadership style is beneficial to both employers and the personnel they manage. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most underutilized leadership styles since it can be more time-consuming than other types of leadership. 


How to know you are a motivational/coaching leader? 

  1. If you are supportive  
  2. If you believe in giving guidance rather than commanding  
  3. You ask guided questions to your team  
  4. You know the balance between relaying knowledge and helping your team find their strength.  
  5. You are aware of your skills 


  • Autocratic Leadership


In autocratic leadership, a leader makes choices in an authoritarian setting without consulting the rest of the team. In the wrong situation, it is a highly authoritarian leadership style that can demoralize employees. 

Autocratic leaders, on the other hand, make judgments fast and boldly, making them good assets in a crisis. If you are an authoritarian leader, try to strike a balance between making executive choices and relying on your team for ideas and input. 

Meanwhile, autocratic leadership can be beneficial in organizations with rigorous norms or industries that rely heavily on compliance. I 

It can also be effective when employed with employees who require a lot of supervision, such as those with little to no experience. However, this leadership style can inhibit creativity and make staff feel constrained. 


How do you know you are an autocratic leader? 

  1. You have self-confidence  
  2. Self-motivation  
  3. You know how to communicate clearly on point and consistently 
  4. You follow all the rules  
  5. You love to work in a highly structured environment 
  6. You like the work environments to be supervised 


  • Democratic/Participative Leadership


The democratic style (also known as the “participative style”) is where the leader solicits and considers feedback from their team before planning. This leadership style is credited with promoting higher levels of employee engagement and job happiness.  

With participative leadership, the team members feel their voice is heard and their contributions count. They make most decisions open to debate, which makes staff feel valued and respected.  

In some cases, democratic leaders appear hesitant, as if they do not believe in their own abilities to reach conclusions. These leaders can increase their efficiency by learning to make swift judgments in key situations. 


How do you know you are a democratic leader? 

  1. You constantly have group discussions 
  2. You share information with your team before making any decisions  
  3. You create an environment where your team share ideas without hesitation 
  4. You are rational  
  5. You are flexible  


  • Laissez-faire Leadership style


The laissez-faire leadership style is the opposite of autocratic leadership. It focuses on delegating numerous duties to team members and providing little to no supervision. Because laissez-faire leader does not spend as much time on personnel management, they frequently have more time to devote to other tasks. 

Laissez-faire executives believe in providing their people with autonomy and creative flexibility. They let employees create their own timetables and make their own decisions. Laissez-faire leaders, on the other hand, occasionally lack control over their teams. 

When all team members are highly qualified, well-trained, and need little supervision, managers may adopt this leadership style. However, if employees are unclear about their leader’s goals, or if some team members require regular inspiration and boundaries to work properly, productivity may suffer. 


How do you know you are laissez-faire? 

  1. You tend to foster leadership qualities in your team.  
  2. You give constructive criticism  
  3. You give your team an autonomous work environment 
  4. You are effectively delegate 
  5. You are a believer in freedom of choice  
  6. You only take control when needed  
  7. You provide tools and resources as needed  


  • Transactional Leadership


A transactional leader is one who is obsessed with results and performance. The team gets specified incentives from the manager which are usually in the form of monetary rewards for achievement. In addition, they tend to take disciplinary actions for failure, under this leadership style. 

While this type of leader is ideal for companies or teams entrusted with achieving certain goals, such as sales and income, it is not the best style of leadership for inspiring creativity.  

This rigorous leadership style promotes team obedience while inhibiting originality and ingenuity. However, the emphasis on protocol provides for a prominent level of control over processes, resulting in predictable, dependable results. 

Performance and productivity can thrive under a transactional leader if the give-and-take nature of this relationship is fair and fully understood by teams. 


How do you know you are a transactional leader? 

  1. You are a follower of value corporate structure 
  2. You know how to micromanage  
  3. You do not question authority  
  4. You are both practical and pragmatic 
  5. You know how to hit the goal  
  6. You are reactionary 


  • Visionary/Transformative Leadership


Transformational/Visionary leaders exist to motivate teams and sell the idea of a firm. The transformational approach, like the coaching style, emphasizes clear communication, goal setting, and employee motivation.  

The transformational leader, on the other hand, is motivated by a dedication to organizational objectives rather than putting most of one’s efforts into each employee’s individual aspirations. As they spend so much time on overall goals, this style of leadership is best suited to teams that can perform many outsourced tasks without regular supervision. 

Personal connections with their people are valued by transformational leaders, which can increase corporate morale and retention. Alongside being solely goal-oriented, this leadership style also appreciates the company’s and team’s ethics. 


How do you know you are a transformative leader? 

  1. The mutual respect with the team  
  2. You are creative  
  3. You have a good knowledge of your organization’s needs  
  4. You inspire your team to achieve their goals  
  5. You believe in intellectually challenging your team 
  6. You think of the big picture  
  7. You are an encouragement to your team  


How Do You Choose Your Leadership style?


The optimal leadership style for you is determined by a variety of factors, including everything from your professional ambitions to your company’s goals and vision. 

You should not only understand but also grasp the various leadership styles, as well as the contexts in which they perform best. Just copying these styles by looking at the internet will not make you a successful company leader. Leadership does not entail responding to a specific issue.  

It is about inspiring and motivating others by utilizing your natural leadership qualities in an authentic manner. Here are some tips that you may like to consider while developing your own leadership style.  


  • Explore your natural leadership style


You may believe you know yourself inside and out, but unless you consciously exercise a leadership style every day, you may be leading based on pure intuition or a combination of several personality traits.  

Speak with people you have previously worked with or managed for an honest appraisal of your skills and shortcomings to determine which style you are most suited to. 

As your leadership qualities depend on your background, experience, and the way you grew up, it is important for you to explore what leadership styles fit you naturally.  


  • Know The Difference


Every leadership style has its own pros and cons that you should know before making a choice. Do your further research on popular leadership styles to acquire a better understanding of how they differ and which corporate situations they work best in. 

 Consider what you might need to alter about yourself or your team to attain one of these styles, as well as what skills you might need to learn to approach management in a unique way.  


  • Flexibility Is a Must


The leadership styles are not fixed and do not have well-defined boundaries. To manage teams more effectively, modern leaders must adapt to the agile workplace, selecting and choosing traits from many leadership styles. Respond to your employees’ expectations and be ready and eager to modify at all times. 


  • Know what works with your team


How you connect with your team reflects your leadership style. It is critical to adjust to the personality of employees as well as specific project-related conditions. For example, with team members that thrive on autonomy, you may be able to pursue a delegative leadership approach. On the other hand, an autocratic approach may assist new employees or individuals who appreciate having clear directives to follow. 


Achieve A True leadership style


There is not any magic door that you enter, and you get your best leadership style at the other end. You must work on your own and your skills flourish and improve your leadership style with lots of practice.  

As a good leader, you should understand your employees’ talent and recognize that they have abilities and experience that you lack. Furthermore, as a leader, it is your responsibility to shout your team’s praises inside your firm or sector. 

 The finest leaders will recognize and emphasize an employee’s accomplishments both privately and publicly. Leaders are rated based on their level of self-discipline, therefore show up on time, make appointments, and fulfil deadlines.  

By cultivating this leadership characteristic, you will motivate people to be more disciplined in their own work. This allows you to be a more successful leader and keep teams on track for success.  

Understanding your leadership style can have a significant impact on your ability to manage a team. Examine the list of leadership attributes provided above to determine where you should direct your efforts. 

You can lead your organization to greatness if you hone the positive elements of your style and compensate for any shortcomings.  

To study leadership and management courses enrol in the Victorian Institute Of Education

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