Business consultancy firm, The Hays Group, recently made a list defining the six different styles of leadership as well as the qualities that put a person in any of those six categories. Here we’ll review the leadership types and help you get a grasp on how to refine your own leadership skills to match your personal strengths.
- Directive Leaders
Directive leaders are people who approach the group in a no-nonsense, take charge way. These people are heavy on giving ‘orders’ and less about explanation or collaboration. Directive leaders don’t seek the input of subordinates as often as other leader groups might. As you might guess, this leadership approach may possibly cause one to be viewed as a jerk if it is handled insensitively. In certain jobs it may be effective when something just needs to be done by the book, no questions asked. However, in the modern business workplace, it is important to be as sensitive to the voice of your workers as possible, as well as mindful of the morale in your company to achieve maximum efficiency.
These leaders are always thinking broadmindedly, planning far down the road. Instead of issuing cold, calculated orders, the visionary explains the context and workings of his thinking to his team and staff to help bring everyone together to understand and execute the vision. By articulating the vision and aiming to be inclusive, it can help a team become more enthusiastic about doing their part and end with a better result. Especially when the idea is a relatively risky or new one.
- Affiliate Leaders
This leader treats his team and staff like affiliates, encouraging a safe, comfortable and collaborative environment at work. Affiliate leaders aspire to form relationships among the team to help create unity and enjoyment of working towards common goals. Employees are praised for making suggestions and trying new approaches. Sometimes the risk is more important than the result to this leadership style. This method of leadership may work well for companies who need their employees to be in harmony and always seeking insights for new methods to achieve goals.
- Participating leaders Sometimes leads like to get more involved with company processes. These leaders typically engage their employees more often and attain a clearer understanding of what’s going on and how the subordinates are operating. Participating leaders view themselves as very much a part of a team and believe in leading by example. Getting involved with the processes can help everyone to better understand company goals and develop respect and good relations with a leader.
- Pace-Setters Another lead by example sort is the Pace-setter leader. This leader is very concerned with results and high performance, demonstrating to the team at all times the pace that correlates with success at the firm. Clearly demonstrating what pace or methodology is acceptable for the business can help everyone be on the same page with sharing your definition of success and encourage other team members to keep up the pace. This does not mean doing work for others, or having a “if you want something done right then do it yourself attitude.” This style simply means you are displaying the standard and are present to make sure it is being held.
- Coach Approach
Some leaders assume a role as coach or mentor to the team, especially when the team is small or he or she must work closely with a few individuals to achieve goals. The coaching leader identifies any developmental gaps in the competencies of team members and works to offer constructive criticism and help. It is critical to invest in the strengths of others and praise them, as well as work to refine any weaknesses or areas that could use improvement.
Coaches don’t “go soft” on people, but understand that treating others with respect and being around to offer guidance can bring respect are genuine care out of workers, and serve as motivation to perform well. Know that everyone on your team learns and works uniquely, so keep an eye out for which communication styles or rewards work best to motivate specific members of the team.
Your own style of leading may fall closely within one of these archetypes, or perhaps yours is a mixture of a couple. There is no best, one-size-fits-all approach to leadership. Every unique business and industry has its own needs and niches for how to direct towards success. Hopefully this has helped to reveal and explain the workings of some distinctive styles of leadership for you to take note of.