Choosing Leadership Styles

I learnt from Toastmasters International that there are 8 leadership styles: Bureaucratic, authoritative, innovative, pacesetting, democratic, affliative, coaching, and altruistic. Bare in mind that, no style is better than one another. In order to choose a suitable leadership style, it will depend on 2 main factors:

  1. the skill level of your team 
  2. the time available to achieve the goals.
Pathway L2 Leadership.003
Different situation, different style

From the graph above, we can learn that we need to utilise different leadership styles to achieve the goals effectively. Here are a few examples:

Leading a group of new recruits to complete a project within 1 weeks.

  • The skill level of the team is low, time given is short.
  • The best styles are authorirative and bureaucratic.
  • The examples of action taken could be: enforce policy, provide specific instructions and demonstrate the proper way to do things.

Leading a group of experience team to achieve monthly sales target.

  • The skill level of the team is high, time given is short.
  • The best styles are pacesetting and innovative
  • The examples of action taken could be: setting milestones to complete certain actions, open to unconventional idea to achieve target, and tackle a specific challenges.

Leading a group of experience members to run a long term activities and projects. 

  • Skills level of the team is considerably high, time available is longer.
  • The best styles are democratic and affiliative.
  • The examples of action taken could be: provide opportunity for every member to voice out their thoughts, take turn to lead a certain activities, and resolve conflict to maintain group harmony.

Leading someone to achieve long term development

  • The skill level may be lesser, time available is longer
  • The best styles are coaching and altruistic.
  • The examples of action taken could be: goals setting, one-to-one meeting, enhance positive mindset and provide motivational feedback.

Frequent Asked Questions

I’m only good in these particular leadership styles such as authoritative and pacesetting. Does it mean that I cannot lead in the situation where democratic style is needed?

Yes. you can still lead in other situations. However, in order to lead effectively, you need to learn and adopt a certain set of actions.

Can a person possess all the 8 leadership styles mentioned above?

Yes. Even though every individual may have a dominant leadership style, one still can learn and practice other leadership skills to work better in a new situation. All the 8 leadership styles can be learned.

Read more about characteristics of 8 different leadership styles. 

Every has the potential to be a great leader. Leadership most of the time is made through learning and practice.

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