leadership styles

4 Common Leadership Styles & Why They Matter

8/19/2020 By Jim Donovan Leadership

The success of your business heavily relies on strong and committed leadership. But there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for all companies – every business has its unique operations that require particular leadership styles. Furthermore, some traits may win in specific environments more than others.

One style may work well for one person or a specific department, but may not be entirely sufficient for another. Some managers contend that there are inherently wrong ways of managing your team, but there’s no prescribed correct method for every situation. Instead, your leadership method depends on a combination of your personal attributes, company objectives, and the competencies of your direct reports.

This means that the process is fluid. You’ll keep changing and improving how you help the company grow. Whether you are heading a project or leading a team within the organization, you must identify and adopt a defined leadership technique that works with your strengths and weaknesses.

Other factors that determine the distinctive style you’ll develop include your personality, the company’s organizational culture, and its unique needs. Moreover, adopting just one style for all scenarios at the exclusion of others will lead to imbalance and weaknesses in the team’s performance.

So which are the most common leadership styles? Why do they matter? This five-minute read offers an overview of the standard techniques and their effectiveness.

Common Leadership Styles

Typically, the way you approach your management role stems from your personality, hence the different traits are classified according to personal traits. To help you understand your method, here are the standard styles, their pros and cons, and how effective they are:

Authoritative Leadership

This leadership method requires you to adopt a firm but fair approach as you mobilize employees towards a particular goal. It is sometimes understood as a “follow me” attitude and is often the quickest path toward reaching a solution, but has the least opportunity for back-and-forth. Here, you are supposed to use clear directions, provide feedback, and motivate your employees to perform their tasks.

Authoritative leadership is usually enthusiastic and helpful for short-term or tactical objectives and operations. But it’s not terribly practical if the team is more experienced than leadership, or unlikely to agree with their directions.

Pros of Authoritative Leadership

  • It is the quickest way to implement change
  • There are clear directions and feedback, which can be motivating, especially if the business or department is struggling with direction or focus

Cons of Authoritative Leadership

  • The style may be overbearing, and the leader may seem out of touch with employees
  • People may feel that they are being micromanaged, and chafe under this direction
  • This style tends to create fewer opportunities for innovation, since employees are not encouraged to find their own path toward a solution

Democratic Leadership

This management method is best described as the ‘what do you think?” approach. The feedback-focused leadership style allows you to get valuable insights and confirmation from employees — this is also an excellent method for pulling together group intelligence. Since you are open to input, you’ll build trust, respect, and commitment. You can apply this style if you want your employees to adopt a plan or buy into a decision.

Implemented correctly, a democratic leadership style can yield incredible results in innovation and problem-solving, but it is often overlooked because it can be less responsive. If your company is moving from crisis to crisis it can be hard to implement these methods (but this is all the more reason to build a strong foundation and stay ahead of emergencies).

Pros of Democratic Leadership

  • The leadership style is open to input
  • It is the ideal style whenever you need your team to endorse a particular strategy or decision

Cons of Democratic Leadership

  • Democratic leadership is not the perfect style when you have limited time to handle a project, or when there’s no need for alternative ideas
  • It can be less effective if your team is not informed enough to make their contributions

Affiliative Leadership

Also known as the ‘people come first approach,’ leaders here nurture and praise junior members, hence cultivating a sense of belonging in the company.

The first step to achieving loyalty in the company is to strengthen emotional bonds. Affiliative leadership makes these connections more robust, leading to a positive workspace. This makes it the ideal style if you need to improve your employee morale. But it cannot be used alone as it could lead to mediocrity and poor performance.

Pros of Affiliative Leadership

  • More robust emotional bonds, hence loyalty
  • The work environment remains positive
  • It builds trust, safety and boosts employee morale

Cons of Affiliative Leadership

  • You cannot rely on affiliative style alone
  • The culture sometimes tolerates mediocrity and underperformance
  • There’s less room for constructive criticism

Coaching Leadership

You can make your team more productive and boost employee morale by thinking and acting like a coach. The coaching leadership model is also known as the “try this” strategy. It is important to note that coaching is not about just offering advice — it’s a constant method of reinforcement that involves checking in, soliciting feedback, and finding out what really motivates a person. This allows the coach to make informed suggestions and helps the employee leverage their personal strengths. It taps strongly into a person’s intrinsic motivation and personal power.

Despite the massive benefits, it is often less popular than other leadership styles. Being an effective coach requires emotional intelligence, skill, and a good relationship with your team. Many managers will default to an easier method rather than build their own strengths and work toward stronger team cohesion.

Pros of Coaching Leadership

  • This management style leverages the strengths and weaknesses of employees
  • Coaching leads to individual improvements and your team will be encouraged at a personal level

Cons of Coaching Leadership

  • It is not the right choice if employees aren’t willing to learn or the leader lacks the skills or interpersonal ability to effectively tap into the personal motivations and strengths of their employees

The Takeaway

Two managers won’t handle their leadership responsibilities in the same way. Even if they share the same goals, their approach will differ based on their individual skill sets, their relationship with their team, and a host of other factors.

As a senior member of your department or team, understanding a working leadership trait could bring you closer to your business goals. If you are an employee, understanding leadership traits helps you grasp your seniors’ mindset and the reasoning behind the decisions they make. You’ll also know the best way to communicate with them.

It’s common to find individuals exhibiting attributes from more than one of these leadership styles. For instance, a leader could embrace affiliative ideas or methods then put all these into action in a democratic way. In fact, very few managers can entirely fit into one particular category.

It’s also important to continue evolving the way you manage your employees as you progress with your career. For instance, you may need a combination of coaching or instructive and autocratic approaches to guide relatively inexperienced employees since they may not be prepared to take more active leadership roles. But as the years pass by, they’ll gain more industry experience, which is when you may shift to a more democratic style.

Ultimately, Burst Forward wants to help you implement a coaching leadership style, which builds the strongest teams and allows your employees to thrive by drawing out their strengths and giving them the opportunities they need to innovate and perform. Get in touch so you can work with us to define your approach!

leadership styles

4 Common Leadership Styles & Why They Matter

8/19/2020 By Jim Donovan Leadership

The success of your business heavily relies on strong and committed leadership. But there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for all companies – every business has its unique operations that require particular leadership styles. Furthermore, some traits may win in specific environments more than others.

One style may work well for one person or a specific department, but may not be entirely sufficient for another. Some managers contend that there are inherently wrong ways of managing your team, but there’s no prescribed correct method for every situation. Instead, your leadership method depends on a combination of your personal attributes, company objectives, and the competencies of your direct reports.

This means that the process is fluid. You’ll keep changing and improving how you help the company grow. Whether you are heading a project or leading a team within the organization, you must identify and adopt a defined leadership technique that works with your strengths and weaknesses.

Other factors that determine the distinctive style you’ll develop include your personality, the company’s organizational culture, and its unique needs. Moreover, adopting just one style for all scenarios at the exclusion of others will lead to imbalance and weaknesses in the team’s performance.

So which are the most common leadership styles? Why do they matter? This five-minute read offers an overview of the standard techniques and their effectiveness.

Common Leadership Styles

Typically, the way you approach your management role stems from your personality, hence the different traits are classified according to personal traits. To help you understand your method, here are the standard styles, their pros and cons, and how effective they are:

Authoritative Leadership

This leadership method requires you to adopt a firm but fair approach as you mobilize employees towards a particular goal. It is sometimes understood as a “follow me” attitude and is often the quickest path toward reaching a solution, but has the least opportunity for back-and-forth. Here, you are supposed to use clear directions, provide feedback, and motivate your employees to perform their tasks.

Authoritative leadership is usually enthusiastic and helpful for short-term or tactical objectives and operations. But it’s not terribly practical if the team is more experienced than leadership, or unlikely to agree with their directions.

Pros of Authoritative Leadership

  • It is the quickest way to implement change
  • There are clear directions and feedback, which can be motivating, especially if the business or department is struggling with direction or focus

Cons of Authoritative Leadership

  • The style may be overbearing, and the leader may seem out of touch with employees
  • People may feel that they are being micromanaged, and chafe under this direction
  • This style tends to create fewer opportunities for innovation, since employees are not encouraged to find their own path toward a solution

Democratic Leadership

This management method is best described as the ‘what do you think?” approach. The feedback-focused leadership style allows you to get valuable insights and confirmation from employees — this is also an excellent method for pulling together group intelligence. Since you are open to input, you’ll build trust, respect, and commitment. You can apply this style if you want your employees to adopt a plan or buy into a decision.

Implemented correctly, a democratic leadership style can yield incredible results in innovation and problem-solving, but it is often overlooked because it can be less responsive. If your company is moving from crisis to crisis it can be hard to implement these methods (but this is all the more reason to build a strong foundation and stay ahead of emergencies).

Pros of Democratic Leadership

  • The leadership style is open to input
  • It is the ideal style whenever you need your team to endorse a particular strategy or decision

Cons of Democratic Leadership

  • Democratic leadership is not the perfect style when you have limited time to handle a project, or when there’s no need for alternative ideas
  • It can be less effective if your team is not informed enough to make their contributions

Affiliative Leadership

Also known as the ‘people come first approach,’ leaders here nurture and praise junior members, hence cultivating a sense of belonging in the company.

The first step to achieving loyalty in the company is to strengthen emotional bonds. Affiliative leadership makes these connections more robust, leading to a positive workspace. This makes it the ideal style if you need to improve your employee morale. But it cannot be used alone as it could lead to mediocrity and poor performance.

Pros of Affiliative Leadership

  • More robust emotional bonds, hence loyalty
  • The work environment remains positive
  • It builds trust, safety and boosts employee morale

Cons of Affiliative Leadership

  • You cannot rely on affiliative style alone
  • The culture sometimes tolerates mediocrity and underperformance
  • There’s less room for constructive criticism

Coaching Leadership

You can make your team more productive and boost employee morale by thinking and acting like a coach. The coaching leadership model is also known as the “try this” strategy. It is important to note that coaching is not about just offering advice — it’s a constant method of reinforcement that involves checking in, soliciting feedback, and finding out what really motivates a person. This allows the coach to make informed suggestions and helps the employee leverage their personal strengths. It taps strongly into a person’s intrinsic motivation and personal power.

Despite the massive benefits, it is often less popular than other leadership styles. Being an effective coach requires emotional intelligence, skill, and a good relationship with your team. Many managers will default to an easier method rather than build their own strengths and work toward stronger team cohesion.

Pros of Coaching Leadership

  • This management style leverages the strengths and weaknesses of employees
  • Coaching leads to individual improvements and your team will be encouraged at a personal level

Cons of Coaching Leadership

  • It is not the right choice if employees aren’t willing to learn or the leader lacks the skills or interpersonal ability to effectively tap into the personal motivations and strengths of their employees

The Takeaway

Two managers won’t handle their leadership responsibilities in the same way. Even if they share the same goals, their approach will differ based on their individual skill sets, their relationship with their team, and a host of other factors.

As a senior member of your department or team, understanding a working leadership trait could bring you closer to your business goals. If you are an employee, understanding leadership traits helps you grasp your seniors’ mindset and the reasoning behind the decisions they make. You’ll also know the best way to communicate with them.

It’s common to find individuals exhibiting attributes from more than one of these leadership styles. For instance, a leader could embrace affiliative ideas or methods then put all these into action in a democratic way. In fact, very few managers can entirely fit into one particular category.

It’s also important to continue evolving the way you manage your employees as you progress with your career. For instance, you may need a combination of coaching or instructive and autocratic approaches to guide relatively inexperienced employees since they may not be prepared to take more active leadership roles. But as the years pass by, they’ll gain more industry experience, which is when you may shift to a more democratic style.

Ultimately, Burst Forward wants to help you implement a coaching leadership style, which builds the strongest teams and allows your employees to thrive by drawing out their strengths and giving them the opportunities they need to innovate and perform. Get in touch so you can work with us to define your approach!

leadership styles

4 Common Leadership Styles & Why They Matter

8/19/2020 By Jim Donovan Leadership

The success of your business heavily relies on strong and committed leadership. But there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for all companies – every business has its unique operations that require particular leadership styles. Furthermore, some traits may win in specific environments more than others.

One style may work well for one person or a specific department, but may not be entirely sufficient for another. Some managers contend that there are inherently wrong ways of managing your team, but there’s no prescribed correct method for every situation. Instead, your leadership method depends on a combination of your personal attributes, company objectives, and the competencies of your direct reports.

This means that the process is fluid. You’ll keep changing and improving how you help the company grow. Whether you are heading a project or leading a team within the organization, you must identify and adopt a defined leadership technique that works with your strengths and weaknesses.

Other factors that determine the distinctive style you’ll develop include your personality, the company’s organizational culture, and its unique needs. Moreover, adopting just one style for all scenarios at the exclusion of others will lead to imbalance and weaknesses in the team’s performance.

So which are the most common leadership styles? Why do they matter? This five-minute read offers an overview of the standard techniques and their effectiveness.

Common Leadership Styles

Typically, the way you approach your management role stems from your personality, hence the different traits are classified according to personal traits. To help you understand your method, here are the standard styles, their pros and cons, and how effective they are:

Authoritative Leadership

This leadership method requires you to adopt a firm but fair approach as you mobilize employees towards a particular goal. It is sometimes understood as a “follow me” attitude and is often the quickest path toward reaching a solution, but has the least opportunity for back-and-forth. Here, you are supposed to use clear directions, provide feedback, and motivate your employees to perform their tasks.

Authoritative leadership is usually enthusiastic and helpful for short-term or tactical objectives and operations. But it’s not terribly practical if the team is more experienced than leadership, or unlikely to agree with their directions.

Pros of Authoritative Leadership

  • It is the quickest way to implement change
  • There are clear directions and feedback, which can be motivating, especially if the business or department is struggling with direction or focus

Cons of Authoritative Leadership

  • The style may be overbearing, and the leader may seem out of touch with employees
  • People may feel that they are being micromanaged, and chafe under this direction
  • This style tends to create fewer opportunities for innovation, since employees are not encouraged to find their own path toward a solution

Democratic Leadership

This management method is best described as the ‘what do you think?” approach. The feedback-focused leadership style allows you to get valuable insights and confirmation from employees — this is also an excellent method for pulling together group intelligence. Since you are open to input, you’ll build trust, respect, and commitment. You can apply this style if you want your employees to adopt a plan or buy into a decision.

Implemented correctly, a democratic leadership style can yield incredible results in innovation and problem-solving, but it is often overlooked because it can be less responsive. If your company is moving from crisis to crisis it can be hard to implement these methods (but this is all the more reason to build a strong foundation and stay ahead of emergencies).

Pros of Democratic Leadership

  • The leadership style is open to input
  • It is the ideal style whenever you need your team to endorse a particular strategy or decision

Cons of Democratic Leadership

  • Democratic leadership is not the perfect style when you have limited time to handle a project, or when there’s no need for alternative ideas
  • It can be less effective if your team is not informed enough to make their contributions

Affiliative Leadership

Also known as the ‘people come first approach,’ leaders here nurture and praise junior members, hence cultivating a sense of belonging in the company.

The first step to achieving loyalty in the company is to strengthen emotional bonds. Affiliative leadership makes these connections more robust, leading to a positive workspace. This makes it the ideal style if you need to improve your employee morale. But it cannot be used alone as it could lead to mediocrity and poor performance.

Pros of Affiliative Leadership

  • More robust emotional bonds, hence loyalty
  • The work environment remains positive
  • It builds trust, safety and boosts employee morale

Cons of Affiliative Leadership

  • You cannot rely on affiliative style alone
  • The culture sometimes tolerates mediocrity and underperformance
  • There’s less room for constructive criticism

Coaching Leadership

You can make your team more productive and boost employee morale by thinking and acting like a coach. The coaching leadership model is also known as the “try this” strategy. It is important to note that coaching is not about just offering advice — it’s a constant method of reinforcement that involves checking in, soliciting feedback, and finding out what really motivates a person. This allows the coach to make informed suggestions and helps the employee leverage their personal strengths. It taps strongly into a person’s intrinsic motivation and personal power.

Despite the massive benefits, it is often less popular than other leadership styles. Being an effective coach requires emotional intelligence, skill, and a good relationship with your team. Many managers will default to an easier method rather than build their own strengths and work toward stronger team cohesion.

Pros of Coaching Leadership

  • This management style leverages the strengths and weaknesses of employees
  • Coaching leads to individual improvements and your team will be encouraged at a personal level

Cons of Coaching Leadership

  • It is not the right choice if employees aren’t willing to learn or the leader lacks the skills or interpersonal ability to effectively tap into the personal motivations and strengths of their employees

The Takeaway

Two managers won’t handle their leadership responsibilities in the same way. Even if they share the same goals, their approach will differ based on their individual skill sets, their relationship with their team, and a host of other factors.

As a senior member of your department or team, understanding a working leadership trait could bring you closer to your business goals. If you are an employee, understanding leadership traits helps you grasp your seniors’ mindset and the reasoning behind the decisions they make. You’ll also know the best way to communicate with them.

It’s common to find individuals exhibiting attributes from more than one of these leadership styles. For instance, a leader could embrace affiliative ideas or methods then put all these into action in a democratic way. In fact, very few managers can entirely fit into one particular category.

It’s also important to continue evolving the way you manage your employees as you progress with your career. For instance, you may need a combination of coaching or instructive and autocratic approaches to guide relatively inexperienced employees since they may not be prepared to take more active leadership roles. But as the years pass by, they’ll gain more industry experience, which is when you may shift to a more democratic style.

Ultimately, Burst Forward wants to help you implement a coaching leadership style, which builds the strongest teams and allows your employees to thrive by drawing out their strengths and giving them the opportunities they need to innovate and perform. Get in touch so you can work with us to define your approach!

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