Understanding Leadership: The Features Of Different Leadership Styles

Table of Content

There are multiple different types of leadership styles and each have a unique way of leading and developing a team. There are ten main leadership styles, some encourage a positive work environment and some are considered more negative and discourage a team from working effectively.

Autocratic Leadership is a form of leadership which is often considered negative. The leader will make decisions without any input from their team and the team will be expected to follow the decision made without question. This does not promote a healthy working environment as the team members will not feel listened to or involved.

The opposite leadership style of Autocratic Leadership is considered to be Democratic Leadership (also known as Participative Leadership). This style is where the leader will essentially have the final say on the decision but they will ask for, and listen to, any input by team members. This is considered positive as it can encourage lower members of the team to integrate, vocalise and input opinions which will then be put towards a higher decision.

Bureaucratic Leadership is a style which can be negative or positive depending on the team dynamics. Bureaucratic leaders are essentially ‘by the book’ and whilst they will consider input from their team members they may be quick to reject the ideas if they feel it conflicts company policies or past practices. This leadership style is not considered ambitious or likely to promote strong growth within a team as the leaders are unwilling to try new ideas to develop.

The leadership style most relaxed is Laissez-Faire which translates in French to ‘Let them do’ and is essentially what the leadership style promotes. The team will be left to do what they please with little to no authority input from the leader. This style requires a high level of trust for it to prove effective as team members are required to be pro-active and not take advantage of the lack of authority.

Another leadership style which lacks authority is Servant Leadership, the leaders main goal is to serve their team. This style also requires a high level of trust for the team to thrive. The main principles of servant leadership are considered to be: listening, empathy, stewardship, foresight, persuasion, conceptualization, awareness, healing, commitment to the growth and development of people.

Charismatic Leadership is considered to be a leader using their charisma and personality to encourage particular ways of working within their team and improve the way certain things are done.

Transformational Leadership could be considered similar to Charismatic Leadership as the leader is constantly pushing the team to strive and reach higher goals outside their comfort zones. The team leader could pick up the pace of deadlines or give more challenging goals to put pressure on the team and encourage them.

Task-orientated Leadership is often contrasted against People-orientated Leadership. Task-orientated focuses on the task at hand and what is needed to achieve the goals leading the completion of the task whereas People-orientated focuses on the team and how to keep them happy and builds long lasting relationships.

Transactional Leadership is the most common form of Leadership today. Team members get rewarded for what they do and are encouraged to reach goals and deadlines for rewards. This leadership style uses incentive as motivation but also to show appreciation for efforts received.

There are many benefits of coaching to support people and improve performance within a team. It can strengthen skills, improve wellbeing, motivate the team and encourage good communication and confidence. Skills can be strengthened by coaching as they will be monitored and shown ways to improve any skills which they may be struggling with. Wellbeing of an individual could be promoted as they would have someone they could speak to about any issues they may be having and discuss ways to resolve any wellbeing issues. Motivation could be greatly improved by supporting people as they would not feel isolated and would be encouraged to help those who are helping them to improve and be better. Another benefit of coaching could be the improvement in communication and confidence. All of the benefits mentioned would greatly improve the performance of a team due to the feeling of involvement, support, respect and also knowing there is something encouraging an individual to do better and leading them on the way is a positive way of encouraging performance improvements.

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