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5 Most Common Types of Leadership Styles and How to Find Your Own

Leadership is a flexible concept. While everyone has a unique leadership style, most leaders change their approaches to fit the circumstances. They adjust their leadership style as they gain experience and connect with their group.
Personality and interpersonal skills also determine how one approaches management. Some managers are stern; others are lenient; some are laid-back; others are high-strung. When they struggle, it's usually due to their failure to relate to their team.
In this blog post, you'll learn the following:
  • The different types of leadership styles
  • Know which type of leadership style suits you
  • Execute the right leadership style to become a better leader

What is Leadership Style?

A leadership style refers to the methods, characteristics, and behaviors a leader uses to direct, motivate, and manage their teams.
A leader's leadership style also influences how they develop strategy, execute plans, and adapt to changes. At the same time, it also affects how they manage the stakeholders' expectations and the well-being of their team.
Everyone has different approaches when it comes to leadership. Think of some individuals who you perceive to be great leaders. You will notice significant differences in how each of them leads.

Why is Understanding Your Leadership Style Important?

It's essential to understand your leadership style. Understanding your own leadership style will help you assess its impact on the people you directly influence.
Some leaders can already classify their current management approach. However, it's not always so clear-cut.
You can understand better how to motivate and interact with employees once you've identified your leadership style. You can improve your ability to make sound decisions and deal with unexpected challenges. Also, you can mobilize teams more effectively and support those in need.
Feedback is a straightforward way to determine your leadership style. Asking those you lead to give you frank and open feedback can help you change the traits of your leadership style to fit your daily obligations.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

Leadership styles can be broadly grouped according to several traits, such as autonomy and flexibility. In reality, leadership styles will incorporate elements from each of these categories and will change to fit the needs of the workplace.
These leadership concepts all have benefits and drawbacks. The best leadership approach for a workplace may occasionally depend on the variety of employee personalities or experience levels.
Here are the most common leadership styles:

Autocratic Leadership Style

An autocratic or authoritarian leadership style is one in which the boss has complete authority over all workplace decisions. Team members are expected to follow their leader's decisions and instructions without being asked for input.
Autocratic leaders may be the appropriate type of leader in some workplaces. These workplaces include high-stakes settings like the military, where human error can risk safety or security.
In other settings, such as education and the arts, an autocratic leader can impede their team and jeopardize the success of their organization.
There is less amount of time spent on decision-making.
Every team member knows their duties and how they are to perform.
The possibility of mistakes is lesser in the execution of strategy.
There can be a feeling of personal unworthiness among employees.
Team members' diminished motivation.
Increased likelihood of workplace unrest.

Democratic Leadership Style

A democratic leadership style, also referred to as a more participative leadership or learning style, is one in which the leader chooses to involve the team in the decision-making process.
Democratic leaders value the insights of their subordinates. They allow for debate on most decisions, giving workers a sense of worth and appreciation.
A democratic leader promotes accountability and collaboration. Instead of blaming people, they collaborate with the rest of the team to help identify and fix issues.
The workforce is motivated to take part in decision-making.
Employees believe their opinions are valued.
There are many perspectives that leaders must take into account.
A lengthy decision-making process.
Possibility of poor decisions if employees lack the experience to provide well-informed input.

Transformational Leadership Style

The transformational visionary leadership style prioritizes change and transformation.
Transformational leaders arise to energize teams and sell the vision of a company. They show empathy and enthusiasm and give praise to workers. As a result, they inspire workers to achieve their goals, try new ideas, and improve their performance.
Transformational leaders strive to be visionary leaders who motivate followers to achieve more by tapping into their potential.
Motivate employees to strive to be their best selves.
Make the workplace a place where mutual respect is highly valued.
Encourage employees to consider their values critically.
The workplace can become a personality cult.
Employees start to prioritize getting the boss's approval.
This leadership style may divert employees' attention from doing their jobs well or supporting one another.

Delegative Leadership Style

The delegative or "laissez-faire" leadership style focuses on delegating initiative to team members. It is widely regarded as one of the least intrusive forms of coaching leadership style, translating to "let them do."
Leaders who use this style believe in their employees to do their jobs. They do not micromanage or become too involved in providing feedback or direction. Delegative leaders empower their employees to use their creativity, resources, and experience to help them achieve their objectives.
Every team member has a sense of importance.
This learning style is ideal for a small team with competent members.
Strategic process ambiguity and bottlenecks.
It may result in disagreements among team members.

Transactional Leadership Style

Transactional leadership is a leadership style based on rewards and punishments. This style emphasizes structure, which can benefit individuals with little motivation to do their tasks.
The leader establishes specific objectives or tasks for their team using this reward-based system. Additionally, leaders know how to praise or criticize their teams for their efforts.
Giving and taking characterizes this leadership style. It focuses more on complying with customary practices than bringing organizational transformation.
You have clearly defined objectives by using this leadership approach.
Rewards and penalties for meeting or failing to meet goals are also well-defined.
Employee comfort in knowing there will be no surprises about expectations and results.
This style has a streamlined and effective chain of command.
There is little room for adaptability or flexibility.
Employees perceive themselves as followers rather than innovators or leaders.
Personal initiative is not recognized or rewarded.
Employees may feel suffocated by their working environment.

How Can You Tell Which Type of Leadership Style Suits You Best?

To become an effective leader, you must first understand which qualities to cultivate as you lead your team. Make a list of leadership qualities that can help you:
  • Communicate more effectively,
  • Develop and achieve goals, and
  • Interact with other team members.
Create a toolkit of good leadership theories. Observe how other leaders lead and apply how they engage, empower, and establish healthy teams to your unique ways of working.

5 Tips on Choosing a Leadership Style and Becoming a Better Leader

Various factors determine your best leadership style. It includes everything from your career goals to your company's goals and vision.
Here are a few pointers to consider:

Recognize Your Natural Leadership Style

Speak with people you've worked with before. Ask them to honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses to determine which leadership style works that you're most aligned with.

Discover the Distinctions Between Various Leadership Styles

Once you've identified your current dominant leadership style, conduct more research on common leadership styles. Understand how they differ and where they're most effective in business.
Consider what you might need to change about yourself or your team to achieve one of these styles. Think of the skills you might need to learn to approach management differently.

Be Flexible

The leadership styles described above are not fixed and don't have defined boundaries. Modern leaders must learn to adapt to the agile workplace. You can effectively manage teams by combining traits from various leadership styles.

Take Small Steps

Because our personalities are deeply ingrained in our leadership styles, any change in how you interact with and lead your team will initially feel awkward. Make adjustments and be deliberate in your actions while focusing on what works and what doesn't.

Be Consistent and Disciplined

Learning is a continuous process. Be consistent in correcting what needs to be fixed and enhancing what needs to be improved. Respond to your employees' expectations and be open to change.
Disciplined leaders inspire employees to be also disciplined in their work. A leader allows you to be more effective and keep teams on track for success.

Final Words

There is no one-size-fits-all management strategy for leaders. There are as many different leadership styles in management as there are managers. Although managers can have similar styles and people frequently copy their mentors.
Enrolling in organized leadership training can help you hone your leadership skills and become the best leader you can be if you want to improve.
To learn more about what makes a good leader, enroll in the B2B Leaders Academy.
© 2023 B2B Leaders Academy. All Rights Reserved.
© 2023 B2B Leaders Academy. All Rights Reserved.