Understand leadership styles
A leadership style can be described as the demonstration of a consistent pattern of individual behaviours. The style of a leader’s decision making is a reflection of their leadership style. All leaders have a preferred leadership style, i.e. a style that they naturally adopt, however, effective leaders can adopt different styles and behaviours dependant on the situation.
Leadership styles can be categorised in four ways; Influence, Direction, Collaboration and Delegation. Each of these is demonstrated as a mix of behaviours that either focuses on the task in hand (task oriented) or the people doing the work (relationship oriented). In any situation the most effective leadership style would be a blend of these styles and behaviours, with a different emphasis in different situations. Some of the factors that influence the styles to use are the urgency of the task, what the task is, the skills and motivation of the team and the ability of the leader to adopt different leadership styles.
Each leadership style could be summarised in terms of the associated behaviours as follows:
Influence – high in both task and relationship oriented behaviour; demonstrated by actively defining the team roles and work required, providing clear plans and goals and monitoring progress closely. This style would also provide frequent feedback, encouragement and advice and maintain personal relationships between and with team members.
Direction – high in task and low in relationship behaviour; demonstrated by actively defining the team roles and assignments, setting deadlines and goals and monitoring progress closely. This style would not expect or encourage input from team members and would use performance based penalties or rewards to motivate them.
Collaboration – low in task and high in relationship behaviour; demonstrated by limited emphasis on the team roles or the specific work required, giving broad assignments and significant...