Leadership styles are how a person governs and directs his followers. Leadership styles have a deep effect on the behavior of employees as well as on the productivity of an organization. Different leadership styles work in different situations. There have been identified several leadership styles from the past century but the top 4 leadership styles are mentioned below:
1- Authoritarian Style
Authoritarian or autocratic leaders have the total authority of work. They supervise their followers closely and put their more input into work. They believe in making solo decisions. Famous psychologist Kurt Lewin first described this leadership style with two more. According to him, leaders with authoritarian leadership style make decisions solely. This leadership style can be good for the short term but it can cause problems if overused. Team members under such leadership may feel less motivated, and unappreciated. The authoritarian leadership style promotes quick decision making.
2- Democratic Style
The democratic style of leadership is also called the participative style. This style of leadership was also introduced by Kurt Lewin. Democratic leaders make shared decisions and they value equality. They are highly creative and they appreciate their followers. Democratic leaders are considered to be more fair, honest, creative, competent, and intelligent. Group members in such a type of leadership feel more confident and committed to their jobs. This leadership style is considered to be the best leadership style for leading groups but it may not be appropriate in all situations.
3- Laissez-Faire Style
The Laissez-Faire style of leadership was observed by Hurt Lewin and according to this style, the leader would provide more freedom to the members and they could make all decisions after direction and discussion with the leader. These types of leaders are called delegation leaders. These leaders don’t make and implement their decisions rather hand over responsibilities to their members. Such type of leadership fails when group members are unskilled and incompetent. Laissez-Faire style would have slow decision making as compared to the other types of leadership.
4- Transactional Style
The transactional style of leadership can also be referred to as managerial leadership style. This style of leaders uses punishment and reward style and they have clear roles. Such type of leaders set clear expectations for the members. They provide complete instructions and are more efficient than other types of leaders. In the transactional style of leadership, the members know what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. They follow the rules made by leaders. Such leadership style proves to be more efficient and safe in organizations but this style focuses on extrinsic motivations rather than intrinsic and can be stifling in micro-management settings.
There are many other leadership styles too. All have their advantages, disadvantages, and features. Every leadership style is best in its way and can be problematic in a certain situation as well. In some situations, an autocratic style may work well while a transformational style in other situations may win. Leaders should select their style depending upon the working situation.
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