The four leadership styles

by Jo Ellis on Mar 22, 2023

four leadership styles

The four most common leadership styles are: Authoritarian, Democratic, Laissez-faire, and Coaching.

Identifying your own personal style can help you, as a director, become a more effective leader.

Leadership skills are essential for anyone looking to succeed in their organisation. Additionally, it’s essential to adjust leadership style when working with different types of people or in different situations.

Here are some tips for improving leadership skills and becoming a more effective leader.

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What is a leadership style, and how can it be used to manage a team or organisation effectively?

Leadership style is critical for any manager in charge of running an organisation or overseeing a team. It is essential to assess which style will work best for the particular group under their care and how to implement it successfully.

Personalities, workplace culture, and efficiency all play a role in developing an effective leadership style. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of those involved can help to choose the most suitable approach.

Good leaders are open-minded and flexible enough to adapt their style depending on the situation. They constantly look for room for improvement, enjoy mentoring others, and love finding ways to motivate others towards achieving collective goals.

With an ideal combination of mentorships, collaboration, delegation and decision-making, managers can use many tactics to build strong relationships between team members, nurture an environment of trust, and spur everyone’s productivity through inspiring reward systems.

The four most common leadership styles and how they differ from each other

Finding the right leadership style for your organisation can make all the difference in how everything runs and how successful it is.

Understanding the four most common leadership styles — Authoritarian, Democratic, Laissez Faire, and Coaching — is a significant first step. Each of these styles requires different approaches that prioritise varying factors.

  • For example, Authoritarian leaders take control of decision-making processes, placing their judgment at the forefront.
  • Meanwhile, Democratic leaders focus on collaboration and consensus-building, setting up an open environment where ideas flow freely.
  • Laissez Faire leadership relies heavily on employee motivations and abilities to independently manage tasks with little oversight or guidance.
  • Lastly, Coaching leaders help employees develop skills while striving to instil discipline to get work done efficiently and accurately.

Deploying the right leadership style at the right time can enable your organisation to achieve great results.

How to identify your leadership style and use it to your advantage

Knowing your personal leadership style is the first step to becoming a successful leader. Everyone has a unique style, so it’s critical to identify what works best for you.

  • Start by taking an honest self-assessment and evaluating your leadership strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Consider how you typically communicate with others, whether directly or indirectly, and how you prefer to give and receive feedback.
  • Additionally, look into how comfortable you are making decisions independently or if you prefer collaboration with others. 
  • Taking the time to understand your core values helps too.
  • Once you have identified your preferred leadership style, think about ways to make it work in different situations. 
  • Try to find creative solutions that make the most of what comes naturally and foster collaboration mechanisms when appropriate.

How to adapt your leadership style when working with different types of people or in different situations

Knowing how to adjust your leadership style when leading different people or in other situations can significantly impact the outcome of any project or situation.

  • Are you dealing with an experienced team? Delegation might be the way to go. 
  • Or, if you’re working with a diverse group of new team members, a more hands-on approach may be necessary. 
  • It’s essential to read the room, so to speak, and recognise what type of leadership role is needed in any given scenario.

Tips for improving your leadership skills and becoming a more effective leader

One of the essential tips for improving your leadership skills is to be open to feedback from team members. 

  • Consider ways to motivate and reward productive performance for inspiring the team. 
  • Instead of becoming defensive, take criticism constructively and use it to help develop areas that can be improved upon.
  • Finally, remember to practice self-reflection and think about what you can do differently or better to reach your goals more efficiently.

Become a great director

There’s no better way to enhance your career as a director than by acquiring the practical knowledge, insight, and global mindset needed to be a great company director.

The Diploma in Corporate Governance provides an opportunity to do precisely that. This program will give you the skills and relationships you need for success in today’s increasingly complex governance environment.

Learn more about the Diploma in Corporate Governance today.

University credit-rated Diploma in Corporate Governance

Globally recognised and industry approved.

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