Understanding Leadership Styles

leadership-stylesThere are many different types of leadership styles in the corporate world. In many corporate settings, one leader’s management style may dramatically differ from another’s. However, a difference in leadership styles can be a good thing, as different styles can often complement each other. In order to create a work environment that’s supportive and efficient, it’s important to understand the wide array of leadership styles that a person may exercise and when they work best.

Autocratic Leadership

An autocratic leadership style puts a lot of emphasis on the role of the leader and takes pressure away from the role of the team or staff. For example, an autocratic leader is usually responsible for making all decisions, and expects all staff members to perform to the standard that he or she sets. In this style of leadership, staff members are appreciated for their ability to work diligently and efficiently, but are not required to provide insight into big decisions or help shape company policies. An autocratic leadership style is very effective in industries that require split decisions to be made. However, this style may be the wrong fit for a corporation hoping to generate ideas, encourage group participation and feedback, or for a group of creative freethinkers.

Consultative Leadership

Another type of leadership style is a consultative leadership. In this leadership style, the leader is still the ultimate decision-maker, in charge of making the final call for policy changes or ideas. However, this style different from the autocratic style in that consultative leaders consult their staff of team members for ideas and input.

For example, a corporate consultative leader might ask her team if they think the company should move forward with project A or project B. Because the rest of the team likely has more insight into their strengths and weaknesses, they may be able to help guide the leader away from a project which would be too far outside their wheelhouse and toward one they can more easily accomplish. This style of leadership demonstrates the trust that the leader has in her team: their advice is crucial to her decision making process.

Democratic Leadership

A democratic style of leadership is completely opposite from an autocratic style, and is even more involved than a consultative one. In a democratic style of leadership, everything is decided in democratic fashion—i.e., by vote, unanimous decision, or majority preference. In this type of leadership style, the leader might be responsible for facilitating the discussion, presenting ideas, and calling a vote or announcing the decision, but the group or team members are equally responsible for making the decision itself.

This could also be called a hands-off approach to leadership, as it allows employees to work more individually without constant supervision. Democratic leadership styles are great for small teams or offices where worker autonomy and self-empowerment are encouraged. Democratic leadership styles can be overwhelming in a larger office setting; it can become chaotic when 100 different people have something to say. In cases of large offices where smaller teams aren’t present, consultative or autocratic leadership styles are often more beneficial.

Each leadership style is fitting for different types of industries of office settings. If your business isn’t getting the results it desires from employees, it may be time to reconsider your leadership style. Here at Fun Team Building we offer valuable team training and exercises to help you lead your team in a way that is effective and successful. Contact us today to see how we can help you become a great leader.

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