We all have icons or idols that we greatly admire, be it in office, business, or politics. But what is it about them that makes them stand out? Is it the way they connect with people? Are they charismatic and influential? Are they good communicators? One of the things that makes then stand out is attributed to their good leadership styles, that attracts us towards them. There are many types of leadership styles that makes us wish we could emulate it and their determination shows us how to deal with obstacles. Whether you are in line to become one or already a leader with a team, then you should be aware of different leadership styles that great leaders follow.
Knowing how and when to use different leadership styles can help you reach that next level as a leader. Let’s learn the four (4) types of leadership styles that you can use right away.
Laissez-faire is a French word for “let (it/them) do” but in this context the phrase usually means “to let go”. A laissez-faire leader has little to no direct supervision to their followers or subordinates. It is characterised by their hands off approach, allowing their team members to get on with tasks as they see fit.
It is one of the least interfering types of leadership where they look to empower their followers by delegating tasks and in some occasion, pass on their authority to their subordinates that they trust with the most.
To adopt this leadership style, you need to have team members that are highly skilled and experienced and do not require much supervision. If this leadership is implemented the wrong way, there is a chance that productivity can decline, confusions are created between team members and can also delay the company or the team’s progress and growth.
To succeed, laissez-fair leaders need to treat people as motivated self-starters, closely monitor group performance, give consistent feedback and as mentioned before, to employ highly skilled team members.
Another different type of leadership style is the democratic leadership. This is a form of leadership where decision making is shared with members of a group. This type is very participative, where leaders often ask for input from team members before making a final decision.
To be a democratic leader, you need to encourage your team members to share opinions and ideas, empower them, allow them to contribute, develop a plan with them, and then vote on the best course of action. Although the leader ultimately makes the final call, each team member has an equal say on a project's direction. The democratic leadership style can be one of the most effective styles of leadership because this style values collaboration and affirmation of followers.
Coach Style Leadership
Coaching is another type of management styles and it is one of the most commonly effective methods that leaders use. This style is where leaders take the time to nurture and build the knowledge, skills, experiences and confidence of his or her subordinates. Coach style leaders focus more on developing people for the future.
A skilful coaching leader allows their team members to perform their work independently, but also still makes them feel supported. Some tips that you can apply if you wish to adopt a coaching style of leadership is to show empathy, where you connect with others without judgment or personal agenda. Another is to recognise their strength. Coach style leaders help their people find their strengths and amplify them. Lastly is to listen. To be a coach, giving feedback is not enough, you need to be able to listen too. Use active listening to hear your team member’s out and understand the situation more thoroughly, communicating their perspective back to them in your own words.
When you adopt a coach style leadership, you can help improve employees’ performance and increase enjoyment at work through pace and tone.
The last of the 4 types of leadership is called the strategic leadership where this method is all about influencing others and make decisions that can lead to a company’s long-term success. To be a strategic leader, you need to have strong communication especially for strategic vision but also help your team members in pursuing that vision by using the right tools platforms as well as implementing the strategies that a right.
If you have a team that are capable of handling unexpected situations and consist of highly skilled and well-trained team members, then this leadership style may be best suited for you.
But if you are aiming to be one, you can do so by understanding your organisation’s strategic priorities, contribute to them, as well as to lead, guide, and motivate your team to be strategic thinkers. Talk about initiatives, recognise when the team identifies a strategic opportunity and enrol others in implementing the strategy.
So, these are the four types of leadership styles and essentially, the biggest obstacle that leaders face these days is the meeting the growing demand and adapting to the changing trends. This sometime increases the pressure on you as a leader, but what you need to continuously remember is to be versatile. Be the most effective and versatile leader with higher performing teams. Emulate the skills above and lead away.
What other exemplary leadership types that you can you think of? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org