Six Styles of Leadership

Different situations demand application of different styles by the leaders. One size does not fit all. Yet the individual leader may follow broadly one particular mode. The characteristics of a person, his/her experiences and circumstances shape the conduct and behavior. However according to the situation effective leaders overcome the blemishes of their personal characteristics. Following are the 6 different styles of leaders that can be categorized.
1. Pace Setting Leader: When the team members know the job, they have the required skills; the pacesetting leader is able to get the maximum productivity from the team. But if it is continued for a long time with no respite, fatigue sets in. Further it kills innovation. The team members stop applying their mind.
2. Authoritative Leader: These leaders know how to align their team members to the common goals of the organization. These goals are defined broadly by the vision and mission of the company. In this case the means are left to the team members. Leader wants the results.
authoritative leader
3. The Affiliated Leader: They create an emotional bond among the team members and with the organization. The sense of belonging is experienced by the team. This style of leadership works best in the times of stress.
Photo of happy business partners embracing each other over workplace
4. Coaching Leader: Such leaders try to understand individual team members. They train them. They coach them to bring about the desired results. But this style is least effective when the team members are defiant.
5. The Coercive Leader: These leaders demand immediate compliance. The leader would say, “Do what I tell you”. This leadership style is most effective in the time of crisis. Realizing the situation the adaptable leader adopts coercive style to overcome the crisis.
6. Last but not the least, there is the Democratic Leader: These leaders try to build consensus. They invite individual opinions. When the leader wants that the team should take up the ownership of a decision or a plan; this style works. Fresh ideas come into play. But democratic style is not recommended in emergency situations.
democratic leader
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Styles of Leadership

There are broadly speaking six different styles of leadership. No one scores over the other. Some leaders have their fixed style. May be they choose and adopt. There are others who are adaptable and change their style as per the need of the moment and the situation. Those who can change and adapt are most suited to this very competitive society.
leadership style1

  1. First of all I’ll talk about the Pace Setting Leader. He models himself by pursuing excellence in the tasks he/she is handling. And then he fixes up the pace. We may call him to follow the “Do as I do, now” type. It may appear that such a leader has no place in today’s environment. But they too have a great significance in a situation where the team is skilled and motivated. And the leader is looking for quick results. However, followed continuously, it is bound to overwhelm members and annihilate innovation.                                                                                      pace setting leader2
  2. Next we have the Authoritarian Leader. In some way he is like the Pace setting Leader. But there is a big difference. He explains the goals and does not define how the same should be pursued. Such a Leader fits best when the team needs a new vision. However, not suitable if the leader is working with a team of experts who know more than him/her.   authoritarian leader2
  3. The Affiliated Leader – creates an emotional bond. He is one who feels people must come first. This is most suited in times of stress. When the team needs to overcome any kind of trauma, when due to whatever reason trust is shaken and a feeling of insecurity is rampant.                                                                                                                                                                                                                affiliative leader
  4. The coaching Leader: When a leader wants team mates to learn certain skills which are development needs of the team. This kind of leadership is not suitable if team members are argumentative or defiant. Also unsuitable when the leader lacks the absolute confidence befitting of a coach.                                                                                           Coaching leader (2)
  5. The coercive Leader: Do what I tell you – style of leadership only meant for times of crisis when the organization is not in a good shape. It is to be used when overcoming the ill-effects of an emergency like fire or any other disaster of a kind.                          coercive leader2
  6. Democratic Leader: He is one who always builds a consensus. A democratic leader knows how to carry people along. Certainly he must have adequate assertiveness so that he does not get taken for granted.                                                    democratic leader2

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