When looking at the various aspects of management styles, pay attention to leadership. Leadership is a key factor of any organization striving to reach its goals. David Ingram of Demand Media equates an organization without leaders to an army without generals. Leadership skills play a crucial role in the success of any organization. Keep this in mind as you prepare for your next interview, contemplate your present job position or go after a promotion.
Here are two videos that give a quick introduction into the basic leadership styles.
Leadership Styles | Business Leadership and Management Styles by Steve Modrcin
The following video explains two distinct leadership styles
Leadership style is the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans and motivating people. There are three different styles of leadership: authoritarian (autocratic), participative (democratic), and delegative (free-rein).
Although most leaders use all three styles, one of them becomes the dominant one.
Authoritarian (autocratic, directing)
Authoritarian leaders tell employees what they want done and how they want it done without asking for feedback. Many people think this style includes yelling, using demeaning language, and leading by threats and abuse of power. That is not the authoritarian style; it is an abusive, unprofessional style of leadership.
This style may be used when you have all the information to solve the problem but you are short on time and you have well motivated employees.
With this style, don’t be afraid to set specific standards and expectations. Your communication must be detail-oriented, unambiguous, and free of jargon. You must be willing to make decisions quickly and to redirect the work as necessary. Make sure, to reward and recognize jobs well done.
The participative leader involves employees in the decision-making process. When you motivate people to pool their knowledge, the results may exceed your expectations. They may make decisions on what to do, how to do it, etc. However, the leader always retains the final decision-making authority. Some people think the participative manager is weak on decision-making abilities but this is not the case. It is a sign of strength that your employees will respect.
This leadership style works best when the leaders and employers both have information about the project. Participative leadership works well in brainstorming and collaborative activities allowing the employees to become part of the process and the leader to make better decisions.
For participative leaders it’s important to credit the team for its success and independence, rather than your savvy management skills.
In this style, the leader allows the employees to make the decision; however, the leader is still responsible for the decisions that are made. This style is used when the employees are able to analyze the situation and determine what needs to be done and how to do it. This frees up the leader to attend to other duties.
This leadership style works well for employees with lots of experience in the position or for employees with technical expertise the leader does not have.
In this situation the leader should reward not only jobs well done, but motivation as well. This will maintain the momentum and let people know that you have faith in their efforts.
Question: What’s your leadership style?
Here is a website with interview questions which ask about your leadership style: best-job-interview.com
When to use each leadership style?
Using the Authoritarian style
This style can be used when you have a motivated, new employee who is just learning the job and the leader is a competent coach. The employee is motivated to learn a new skill.
Using the Participative style
This style can be used with a team of workers who know their job and the leader wants them to take ownership of the project.
Using the Delegative style
This style is best for when an employee knows more about the job than you. The employee needs to take ownership of the job.
Using all three styles
Telling your employees that a procedure is not working correctly and a new one must be established would be considered authoritarian. Asking for their ideas and input on creating a new procedure would be considered as participative. Delegating tasks in order to implement the new procedure would be considered as delegative.
How have you used the various leadership styles in the past?
Consider what factors influenced your use of any leadership styles.
Some factors when deciding leadership style include:
- How much time is available?
- Are relationships based on respect and trust or on disrespect?
- Who has the information – you, your employees, or both?
- How well your employees are trained and how well you know the task.
- Are there internal conflicts.
- What is the teams current stress level.
- What is the type of task to be performed. Is it structured, unstructured, complicated or simple?
- Are there laws or established procedures.
Managers must adjust their styles according to the situation that they are presented with. There are four areas of situational leadership that depend on the amount of support and guidance needed.
- Telling: Works best when employees are neither willing nor able to do the job (high need of support and high need of guidance).
- Delegating: Works best when the employees are willing to do the job and know how to go about it (low need of support and low need of guidance).
- Participating: Works best when employees have the ability to do the job, but need a high amount of support (low need of guidance but high need of support).
- Selling: Works best when employees are willing to do the job, but don’t know how to do it (low need of support but high need of guidance).
The different styles depend on the situation and the amount of support required amount of guidance required.
Here are websites that you can refer to for more information on situational leadership.
- Here four quadrants are used to show situational leadership. Situational Leadership – An Overview
- In this video, the terms used for the four situational leadership styles are : directing, coaching, supporting and delegating. Some background on this concept is provided. How Situational Leadership Works
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