Some bosses are quite literally just bosses, and then there are the leaders. The most significant difference between these two is “inspiration”. Bosses manage their team, they hand out the work, and that’s it. Leaders, on the other hand, do more than just assigning work. They inspire each member of the team, and they help induce creativity. A leader is like a motivational speaker, but not only do they aim to inspire– they also encourage their team to aim high and reach the company goals.
Different Types of Leadership Style
Although there are different types of leadership style, it doesn’t mean that a leader only gets to use one of them. Good leaders are flexible to what the team and the company needs. But of course, a leader’s personality will still shine through all these styles.
Direct, coach, support and delegate are the four most common leadership styles in the workplace.
These four different leadership styles have individual strengths and witnesses. Leaders that can switch styles can effectively handle various situations in the office. They can also accommodate each member’s unique needs.
Here are the different types of leadership style and when to use them:
As the name suggests, this style is– well– direct. This style is applicable when you are working on a project that you fully understand. When you know how to do something and when it needs to be done, there is no need for fancy methods. This leadership style is closer to being a management tool rather than a leadership tool. This style is the most boss-like of all four common leadership style.
Directing leadership style works best with outsourced professionals or freelancers. You just need to tell them what you need to be done, what output you expect, and when you need results.
The thing that sets this apart from being just a boss is communication. This leadership style still offers a clear direction to the employee. Apart from assigning the task to an employee, you don’t leave them alone right away. You still offer them support as their leader. The level of support needed for this leadership style is not as high as the other ones.
This leadership style is not recommended for managing a direct team as it does not help in developing an inspiring work environment.
Some leaders are natural-born visionaries, while some learn this on the way. Regardless if they’re born with it or if they learn how to be visionaries through experience– they need to convince their team to accomplish the objective based on their idea.
Unlike the directing leadership style, coaching requires a leader to sell their idea, communicate the goal, and excite and motivate the team so that they will believe in the vision and work on it wholeheartedly. Much like how a motivational speaker encourages their audience that they can achieve great things, a coaching leader needs to convince their team that they will succeed in the innovative project that you are trying to sell them.
This style works with projects with new concepts. If this goal is not something that your team is familiar with, you need to help them understand so that they can get on board with it. This best works with a group of contributors.
This leadership style highlights the importance of collaboration and teamwork. It is all about working on a project together. A supporting leader encourages their team members to share ideas and solutions, but still establishing their authority by having the final say on the decision.
This style allows the leader to make their members feel like they are a part of the decision making process. Unlike the directing style, the supporting leadership style gives each member the chance to prove themselves and lead the process.
The supporting leadership style is best for projects or tasks that need can be worked on without the full involvement of the leader until a decision needs to be made. For instance, during a creative brainstorming for a marketing campaign, the team can freely discuss and pitch in their ideas without the leader guiding them every step of the way. The leader will listen to each one of the ideas and then decide at the end of the brainstorming session.
This type of leadership style works best when working with a team of leaders or managers. As a leader, you give full authority to your team of managers. You allow them to make the final decision for each task that you assign to them and their members.
The delegating leadership style works when you are leading a group of people who you deem capable of making the right decisions for their respective teams. This type of leadership style is rarely used for teams composed of junior or mid-level staff.
Motivational Speaker Guide on Choosing Your Leadership Style
As mentioned previously, motivational speakers and leaders have some things in common– more specifically, they both can inspire other people. Like a motivational speaker, a leader needs to adjust to their “audience”. For instance, a motivational speaker must choose a tone and a set of words that will connect with their audience. The same way that a leader should adjust their style depending on who is on their team and the task they need to accomplish.
Understanding which style works best for you and your team is part of good leadership. Of course, your personality will shine through your leadership style, and you will end up with a signature style.
Here are some steps that you can take to understand which style suits you, your team, and your project:
Understand yourself first.
Before you can understand which leadership style suits you, you need to understand yourself first. You can ask help from your trusted team members in determining your dominant leadership style.
Learn other leadership styles.
Hopefully, you paid attention to the styles mentioned above as they are the most common leadership style in the workplace. Understanding other leadership styles help you understand what skills you need to develop, and when the right time to use each method is.
Practice, practice, practice.
As mentioned above, you have a personal dominant leadership style, so using a different one will be challenging at first, especially when your style is too far from the form you want to use. For instance, if you mostly use the supporting leadership style, you’d find it difficult to adjust when you have to be a directing type of leader.
There is no shortcut for learning anything, so practice. Practice new behaviours, practice new skills and keep in mind to stay true. People can feel it when their leader is faking it.
Demographics are changing, and work environments are evolving, and leaders must adapt to these changes. Traditional methods of leadership will always be the core, but with the developments that come with the new age– leaders should understand that flexibility is essential nowadays.