6 Leadership Styles and How to Implement Them

6 Leadership Styles and How to Implement Them
Have you considered whether your approach is helping you to get the most from your team? Here we explore six common leadership styles, consider their pros and cons, and look at how to find and develop your leadership style.
by Square Apr 12, 2021 — 3 min read
6 Leadership Styles and How to Implement Them

Every leader has a distinct way of managing the people they supervise. A manager’s leadership style is that person’s characteristic behaviours when directing, motivating, guiding and managing their team.

There are many different leadership styles – each with its pros and cons. Some approaches are more effective in stable, consistent businesses; others tend to deliver better results in start-ups or companies that operate with a lot of uncertainty.

A good leader will adapt their leadership style to suit their role, team, and organisation. But, while it’s not something we might spend much time thinking about, we all have a default leadership style.

Do you know your leadership style? Have you considered whether your approach is helping you to get the most from your team? Here we explore six common leadership styles, consider their pros and cons, and look at how to find and develop your leadership style.

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1. Democratic leadership style

Democratic leadership – also known as participative leadership – sees the leader involve team members in the decision-making process. While the leader makes the final decision, democratic leaders value ideas and input from others and encourage discussion about different approaches.

Pros of democratic leadership:

Cons of democratic leadership:

2. Autocratic leadership style

An autocratic leader takes the opposite approach to a democratic leader. This leadership style sees the leader make decisions without taking input from their direct reports or explaining their thinking. Autocratic leaders dictate what needs to be done and how those tasks should be accomplished.

Pros of autocratic leadership:

Cons of autocratic leadership:

3. Coaching leadership style

Coaching is a management style that considers each team member’s strengths and development areas while focusing on strategies that will enable the team to work more effectively together. Coaching leaders seek to bring out the best in their employees by guiding them to achieve their potential.

Pros of coaching leadership:

Cons of coaching leadership:

4. Transformational leadership style

Transformational leaders aim to transform the team they lead by inspiring their employees to innovate. This management technique focuses on finding better ways to get things done, challenging and changing existing systems and processes where needed.

Pros of transformational leadership:

Cons of transformational leadership:

5. Laissez-Faire leadership style

“Laissez-Faire” is a French word that translates to “let it be” or “let them do”. Laissez-Faire management is at the other end of the spectrum to micromanagement. These leaders give employees the tools they need, then step back and let their direct reports make decisions, solve problems and deliver work with limited supervision.

Pros of Laissez-Faire leadership:

Cons of Laissez-Faire leadership:

6. Charismatic leadership style

Charismatic leaders use their communication skills and persuasiveness to influence others. Rather than providing detailed instructions, these leaders connect with individuals on a deep level to share their vision, inspire, and gain employee commitment to achieving those goals.

Pros of charismatic leadership:

Cons of charismatic leadership:

How to find your leadership style

Being aware of your leadership style will make you a better leader. Understanding how you lead – and want to lead – a team will give you a greater sense of control in your role and allow you to take ownership and responsibility for the behaviours your style may encourage.

Think about your approach when leading others. Are you very hands-off, a micromanager, or someone who arrives at decisions by consensus? Ask your colleagues how they would describe your leadership style.

Once you’re aware of your dominant style, consider how it serves you well and think about situations where it may not be so productive. What skills could you borrow from other management techniques? Practice these behaviours until they become natural.

How Square Team Management can make you a more effective leader

Leading a team can be challenging. Having the right tools to look after team management essentials effectively will mean you spend less time on team admin and more time leading your people.

Square Team Management is an integrated software solution that makes team management more manageable. It lets you handle your roster, employee performance, access control and more, right from your POS dashboard. Square Team Management supports leaders to streamline administration, improve workflows and boost productivity.

Visit the Square website to learn more about the Team Management solution and get started free.

The Bottom Line is brought to you by a global team of collaborators who believe that anyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy.


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