Are you looking to become a more effective leader? Understanding your leadership style may help you improve your performance and that of your employees. By understanding your personal leadership style, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses so you know what areas need improvement. Furthermore, it can help you better understand how your leadership style affects your relationship with your team members and their performance. You can also learn to adapt your leadership style to engage and motivate your employees. To help you identify what kind of leader you are, let’s take a look at some of the most common leadership styles.
As the name suggests, this leader makes decisions based on the input of their team members. Although the leader will have the final say, they take into account the opinions of their team members, giving each one equal say in decision making.
Democratic leadership is effective because it encourages everyone to participate and share their ideas and opinions. This helps keep employees engaged because they know their feedback matters. Team members feel like they are part of the decision making process and they feel empowered to speak openly and honestly.
It can take longer to reach conclusions when you are inviting everyone to participate. It can also impact the decision making process and make it more difficult to reach a solution that everyone agrees with.
Autocratic leadership is the opposite of democratic leadership. In this leadership style, the leader makes all decisions without asking for input from anyone else. Autocratic leaders tend to be strict and provide clear direction to their team which they expect to be followed.
This is an effective strategy in high stakes situations where consistent and replicable results are needed. It is ideal when a business needs to control specific situations and make quick best-fit decisions.
Most employees would not work well with this type of leadership style, leading to lowered morale and higher turnover rates.
The words “Laissez-faire” literally translates to “allow to do,” meaning that this leadership style focuses on letting the people decide what to do. These types of leaders delegate tasks to their direct reports and empower them to complete projects on their own so they can focus on managerial duties.
This type of leadership is empowering for employees and effective when a team is highly skilled and can be trusted to complete tasks efficiently and effectively.
Although this level of trust can be empowering to employees, it can pose a challenge for new and inexperienced employees who need more guidance. It can also lead to employees working autonomously rather than collaborating as a group.
Strategic leadership is a style of leadership in which leaders influence those around them to embrace a collective vision for the organization. They approach situations creatively, with a vision, and focus on long-term success. They promote a culture of collaboration where team members work together toward a common goal.
Strategic leadership supports many types of employees at once, so it is desirable for many companies. It encourages visualization, planning, and making use of existing resources.
Sometimes strategic leaders think too much about the future and miss important present-day issues.
Transactional leadership is based on reward and punishment, where employees are rewarded if a goal is met. These leaders often have measurable tools in place to monitor performance and ensure goals are being met. They recognize and reward employees for commitment and hard work.
Employees have a clear understanding of expectations and what they will get in return if their business goals are met.
This style focuses more on rewards and less on building relationships and encouraging creativity.