Leadership Styles

The leadership of a company can greatly impact on a range of aspects within the business. Poor leadership will see poor performance and potentially even a hit to profits.

It’s often said that people leave managers, not companies, which would suggest it’s clear that leadership and management styles can have a significant impact on the culture and the performance of a company.

Staff look to managers and leaders to motivate and encourage them. Good managers will empower their employees.

Effective leaders cycle through different styles throughout the week to best engage with certain staff, navigate a particular situation and get the desired results.

It can be difficult to understand the different styles of leadership and when to use them, but the better a leader knows which styles they can and should use, the more effective their team will be.

Here’s six leadership styles and how they affect performance:

1. Coercive

Most of the time, a coercive leadership style is not the best approach. A coercive leader demands authority and complicity.

They have a strong drive to succeed but are often negative, critical and rarely give out praise.

Good leaders shouldn’t exert their authority over others, namely because people don’t appreciate being ordered what to do.

This leadership style greatly affects the team’s morale and can make it difficult for employees to be honest and transparent, for fear of being humiliated or demeaned.

If employees are too afraid to voice issues, problems can arise. This type of leadership will likely see a high turnover rate, and those who stay may eventually despise the company.

A coercive leader can often assume that money is the only motivator for people. Because of this, an employee’s job satisfaction and commitment to the company can be greatly affected.

While it’s clear that this style of leadership is predominantly negative, in certain emergency situations where quick decisions and actions need to be made, it can be helpful.

2. Pace Setter

The pacesetter generally sets high standards by leading by example. They’re hard workers, highly motivated, and constantly use initiative to try and move the company forward at a faster and better rate. Often, they will pressure their team to do the same.

While at first glance, this might sound like a good, strong leader, it can negatively impact performance.

Those who can’t keep up with the high expectations feel as though they are failing, and morale will suffer. Because pacesetters like to move fast, they rarely stop to give feedback or encouragement, or simply point out the things that are wrong.

Often, pacesetters will micromanage their team. This will have a negative impact on motivation and commitment, and will also affect the trust within the team.

As a leader, it’s important to remember the individuals in the team. Everyone is different, and will work at a different pace.

As long as expectations are fair, moving a bit slower than the pacesetter does not always constitute poor performance.

3. Visionary

Visionary leaders lead with their confidence, enthusiasm, and good communication skills to create, communicate, and work towards a vision.

Visionary leaders work great for a team who need a goal to work towards but want the freedom to innovate and experiment.

Visionary leaders are also empathetic and empowering, giving those in their team the confidence to take calculated risks and work towards a shared goal. This helps employees see how they fit into the team and what their contributions mean in the bigger picture.

Great visionary leaders also resolve conflict, which will happen when giving people freedom to innovate.

And while they promote innovation, visionary leaders still set boundaries and parameters, keeping people accountable for their actions.

This makes visionary leadership one of the most effective and positive styles for most circumstances.

4. Democratic

Democratic leaders look to build strong teams through consensus and collective knowledge.

Teams under a democratic leader often have high levels of commitment due to being involved in the decision making progress. This inclusiveness keeps the morale high.

This leadership style is best used when a strong direction is needed to be in place. It allows the company to move towards goals that the whole team can get behind.

However, if a consensus can’t be reached, it can slow down workflows and cause frustration.

Therefore, the democratic leadership style is best used in certain situations. For example, when the leader isn’t experienced, or uncertain of what the next step should be.

5. Coach

The coach leadership style aims to provide one-on-one, personalized feedback to help employees improve and reach their personal goals.

The coach, so to speak, encourages their team members to try things, experiment, and to not be afraid of failure.

Coaching works best when people want to improve their weaknesses and focus on career development.

A good coach leader will be empathetic and provide constructive feedback, giving employees the confidence to improve on their skills.

This style can backfire when people don’t want to be coached, or the leader is inexperienced. This can simply feel like micromanaging, which will have negative effects.

6. Affiliate

Affiliate leaders aim to please people. This involves frequent praise and feedback and can result in a confident, strong team.

This is great for organisations that are in need of a morale boost, team building, or to improve communication and trust. In an environment where trust is strong and communication is open, ideas are shared easily and innovation is free to occur.

The down side of an affiliate leadership style, especially if it’s the only style used, is that poor performance can go uncorrected.

This can spell disaster for the team as they can be misguided. In other circumstances, it could frustrate a team when someone who isn’t pulling their weight seemingly goes unnoticed.

Which Leadership Style Should You Use?

The key takeaway is that each leadership style has its time and place. But a good leader will know when to use a certain style and which team members respond well to certain styles.

The more leadership styles a leader can draw upon, the more efficient they will be. Adapting your leadership style to fit a particular person or situation will have the most positive affect on the overall performance.

Which Leadership Style is Best For You?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Jade Anderson
Jade Anderson is an experienced In-house Editor at Upskilled. With a background in online marketing, Jade runs some successful websites of her own. Her passion for the education industry and content is displayed through the quality of work she offers.