The critical question for any person placed in a leadership position to ask is whether or not people are willing to follow your direction. An important first step in answering this question is to consider your approach to leading. Let’s explore a few of the most common leadership styles:
This style of leadership is one that involves being a leader with having all of the decision-making responsibility. Although authoritarians are often criticized for adhering to conventional notions of leadership, there are times when this style is most appropriate, such as when the leader is clearly the most knowledgeable and qualified to decide, or when there isn’t sufficient time to consider team input.
In contrast to the authoritarian, the participative leader consults with team members when decisions need to be made. When used effectively, this style of leadership can help motivate the team and keep people engaged. Participative leadership tends to make team members feel more valued, but it is a style best employed only when there is ample time for group discussion and evaluation.
The effective use of delegative leadership requires that the leader provide sufficient coaching and support for the team to feel comfortable making decisions. A delegative leader must also pay close attention to the skills and talents of the team to help ensure that appropriate levels of responsibility and decision-making authority are assigned. Delegative leadership does not mean that you relinquish responsibility and can blame others if things go wrong.
Determine your leadership style with the Leadership Assessment Tool.
Determine your leadership style by downloading this Leadership Assessment Tool.
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