Leading any group of people can be a challenging venture. It requires you to make choices, set goals, and work with many people who have varying skill levels, personalities, and goals. Choosing when to delegate and when to micromanage takes careful thought. Discerning between when to open up a matter for debate or when to announce it without discussion is another choice leaders have to make.

The Best Leadership Styles to Consider

Knowing different leadership styles and choices can help you recognize different situations and approach them with the best possible style of leadership. Your focus, as well as your approach to handling decisions both large and small, is one which will affect every member of your team.

#1. Democratic Leadership Style

This style is great when you've got a group of skilled experts. It features a high level of communication and encourages every individual to give input as well as weigh the opinions of others. While one person or a small group of people may have the final say, the opinions and views of others are considered as carefully as possible.

As with any style of leadership, however, this approach doesn't work perfectly in every situation. In urgent matters, allowing for debate and input from a large group of people can make it difficult to reach a consensus in a timely manner. This approach also fails when there is no common goal or shared set of priorities.

#2. Visionary Leadership Style

Of all the leadership styles, this is the one where the leader is most focused on the "big picture." This style focuses on large goals for the future. Visionary leaders will typically delegate much of their authority to others. They'll be the ones calling the shots on big decisions directly related to their primary goals but will allow others to make smaller choices.

A good visionary leader will clearly communicate his/her vision to those around him/her, allowing them to understand and share his goals. This type of leader gives the group a sense of direction and purpose but doesn't seek to micromanage them.

Of all leadership styles, this is the one best suited for motivating a team which has begun to stagnate or reach a plateau. If you're working with talented and experienced employees, this leadership style is a great way to see progress and provide motivation.

It's important for leaders who have a visionary style to listen to those who are working with them and accept feedback. Setting unrealistic or daunting goals can cause frustration and panic. Use statistics and reasonable estimates when setting goals.

#3. Authoritarian Leadership Style

Of all the leadership styles, this is the one where the leader is most focused on the "big picture." This style focuses on large goals for the future. Visionary leaders will typically delegate much of their authority to others. They'll be the ones calling the shots on big decisions directly related to their primary goals but will allow others to make smaller choices.

A good visionary leader will clearly communicate his/her vision to those around him/her, allowing them to understand and share his goals. This type of leader gives the group a sense of direction and purpose but doesn't seek to micromanage them.

Of all leadership styles, this is the one best suited for motivating a team which has begun to stagnate or reach a plateau. If you're working with talented and experienced employees, this leadership style is a great way to see progress and provide motivation.

It's important for leaders who have a visionary style to listen to those who are working with them and accept feedback. Setting unrealistic or daunting goals can cause frustration and panic. Use statistics and reasonable estimates when setting goals.

#4. Coaching Leadership Style

Some of the biggest differences in leadership styles aren't just in the logistics, but in the focus. Visionary leaders typically focus on projects, goals, and results. But those who lead with a coaching style tend to focus more on the people they're working with. This represents an effort to develop talents and skills which will have long-term results.

A coaching leadership style is great for a team of people who need training or motivation. It will help them become better assets. Coaches help newbies learn the ropes and encourage those who are frustrated. Also, they reassign tasks to those who are most suited to them. While communication is vital to any leadership role, those who choose to coach tend to make it an even greater priority.

The best strategy for this style is to use it for the short-term. This is due to the fact that a good coach will eventually help his team grow to the point where they no longer need such close oversight or detailed advice. Continuing to use the coaching style too long can result in a group of people who feel patronized. At this point, it's wise to either focus on a group of new recruits or to transition to a different type of leadership. The second choice allows those you've coached to have more freedom and trust.

Summing It Up

All of these styles have their benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, it's rare that one type will work for any lengthy amount of time. Instead, most great leaders will find that alternating between the styles is optimal.

Knowing which style to choose is important. To decide on one, it's crucial to consider the skills and experience of those you'll be leading. It's also wise to review the progress and goals of the group. Moreover, you should consider how they've grown and changed over time. Sometimes the best solution for a company is using a combination of multiple leadership styles.

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