Leadership styles in the company include all interactions and relationships between the manager and his team. Even the most harmonious team needs a good leader, who will deal with the coordination. Different types of leadership have to be introduced to match the place and environment. What kind of leadership styles are most used by companies? How to adjust those styles to your needs to get the best results? Read the text to find out more.
Leadership styles – table of contents:
- Leadership styles and their meaning
- Basic leadership styles
- Autocratic style of leadership
- Liberal style of leadership
- Democratic style of leadership
Leadership styles and their meaning
Despite the specificity of tasks the efficiency of every team depends on the type of leadership presented by the leader. The effectiveness of employees increases when they have clear goals and feel supported by the person who watches over the realization of tasks.
The main task of a leader is to match the employees with the tasks and motivate them to push the limits, work more enthusiastically and do more. This is the recipe for the personal development of the employee and the development of the company. The company should use the potential of the employee in the best possible way.
Currently, the power the leader has is not dependent on the held position only. What matters is the ability to cooperate. A good leader should be able to strengthen the commitment of the employees. Leadership is not about giving orders. It is an art that aims to maximize the performance of the whole team.
A great leader should be open to suggestions from the team and keep his mind open. The leader should offer the chance for development instead of expressing expectations only. To lead other employees the leader has to understand well all the aims of the company as well as the structure that is needed to complete the tasks. Then the leader has to set the interaction with the team correctly to achieve the best possible results.
Basic leadership styles
The right approach to leadership is unequivocal perceiving it as a more complex process than the mere position. There are as many leadership styles as there are the people in the world – all are related to the expectations derived from the company environment and individual features of the character of the leader. However, despite the differences between people, there are several main, repetitive tendencies. There are three basic styles of leadership: liberal, autocratic, and democratic.
Autocratic style of leadership
This type of leadership is based on strong control over the employees, which is frequently equated with a lack of trust. Leaders that use an autocratic style keep their distance from their subordinates and maintain only the necessary professional relationships with them. The leader makes decisions independently, while the clear centralization allows him to give orders and impose methods of working.
The autocratic leader is focused on fast achieving of best results without any particular consideration for the well-being of his employees. More important is that each of the employees performs his duties accordingly to the previously given instructions. As a result, the employees have to express obedience, which limits their creativity significantly. At the same time, the realization of the global aims of the company is more important than the self-realization or professional development of particular individuals.
The strict control of the team requires the leader to keep a domineering attitude and constantly keep the finger on the pulse to detect all possible shortcomings and failures of the employees. The style is beneficial in case of easy, simple, and repetitive tasks that do not require any creativity. Concentration on a short-time perspective allows for an increase in the discipline among the employees and an increase in the productivity of the whole company.
The practice of one-sided communication and decision made single-handedly minimalizes the number of misunderstandings and improves the process of management by limiting the necessity of consulting the ideas with other members of the team. The autocratic style is beneficial in the situation of time pressure. Employees have assigned tasks, they know the goal, and there are deadlines. Moreover, they have lesser responsibility because instead of realizing their ideas, they exercise the orders of their leader.
Implementation of this style of leadership can bring detrimental effects if it is used for a longer period. Objectifying employees and a tense atmosphere in the team diminishes the enthusiasm and lowers the effectiveness and loyalty to the company. Tasks performed mechanically reduce professional creativity and minimalize the chances for development.
Liberal style of leadership
The liberal style of leadership is characterized by the amount of freedom the employees have. The team members determine the allocation of responsibilities or issues related to the form of the realization of the particular goals. The role of the leader is limited to providing work conditions and tools. The control of the leader is not as strict as in the previous style, and the leader does not interfere with task performance. The leader provides a piece of advice and support to the employees, when they need it and ask for it openly.
The style is beneficial for teams where the members are characterized by high motivation for work, development, and goal realization. The introduction of a liberal style of leadership requires the employees to have knowledge and skill that allow them independent planning and task realization.
However, the liberal style of leadership introduced into an unsuitable environment can bring chaos and reduce the effectiveness of the whole company. At the same time lack of strict control over the employees increases the vrisk of wrong performance, which influences negatively the efficiency of the team.
Democratic style of leadership
Frequently described as one of the most universal styles of leadership. Employees can influence the shape of decisions and tasks but they are not left to their own devices. The relationship between the leader and his subordinates is more like that between partners. The leader still gives orders and organizes the right functioning of the team, but at the same time takes into account the ideas, suggestions, and needs of employees.
The democratic style of leadership gives more freedom to the team members. They can decide about the method of task realization. As a result in the company, there is a friendly, pleasant atmosphere based on trust and respect because everybody has the right to express their own opinion and realize their individual professional goals.
The employees that are appreciated are more willing to perform their duties which influences positively the results of their work. Democratic leadership diminishes the risk of professional burnout and increases the integration of team members. However, this style of management requires more time for numerous constatations and meetings, which can significantly extend the process of decision-making.
Leadership styles have been studied for years because they can have a profound effect on the culture of an organization. The best style for any organization depends on its goals, values, and culture.
Leadership styles can be summarized as follows:
- Autocratic: The manager dictates what needs to be done and how it needs to be done.
- Democratic: The manager consults with the team before making decisions or coming up with solutions.
- Liberal: The manager delegates tasks and gives minimal guidance on how to complete them, which means that employees need to figure out how they want to do.
Leadership styles are a set of behaviors that managers display within the workplace. They can be learned and practiced to help create an effective work environment.