The Leadership Style
Coercive style is the least effective in most situations. Flexibility is the hardest hit, and the leader’s extreme top-down decision making kills new ideas on the vine. Coercive leadership has a damaging effect on the rewards system, it erodes employee pride. In addition it undermines motivating people who want to see how their job fits into a grand shared mission.
When should the coercive style be used? To change the immediate direction of a company losing money, or when a hostile takeover is looming and with problem employees with whom all else has failed.
The Authoritative Style Of the 6 leadership styles, research shows that this style is most effective in driving up every aspect of climate. The Authoritative leader is a visionary, that motivates people by making clear to them how their work fits into a larger vision. People working for authoritative leaders understand that what they do matters. This style maximizes commitment to the organization’s goals and strategy. An authoritative leader states the end but generally gives people plenty of leeway to devise their own means. It works well in almost any business situation.
When doesn’t the Authoritative style work?
When leaders are working with a team of experts or peers who are more experienced than the leader is.If a manager trying to be authoritative becomes overbearing, he can undermine the egalitarian spirit of an effective team.
The Affiliative Style’s general positive impact makes a good all-weather approach. Leaders should use it when trying to build team harmony, increase morale, improve communication, or repair broken trust.
It should not be used alone and when people need clear directives to navigate through complex challenges. This style leaves them rudderless.
The Democratic Style helps a leader spend time getting people’s ideas and buy-in and builds trust , respect and commitment. This style has it’s drawbacks: it can result in endless meetings to build consensus. The democratic style works best when a leader is uncertain about the best direction to take and needs ideas and guidance from able employees. It does not make sense when employees are not competent or informed enough to offer sound advice.
The Pacesetter Style should be used sparingly. It often destroys climate because many employees feel overwhelmed by the demands for excellence. As for rewards, the pacesetter either gives no feedback on how people are doing or jumps in to take over when they think they are lagging. This approach works well when all employees are self-motivated, highly competent, and need little direction or coordination.
It is a style that should not be used by itself.
The Coaching Style is used least often. Many leaders feel they don’t have the time in this high-pressure economy for the slow and tedious work of teaching people and helping them grow. But actually, after a first session, it takes little or no extra time and has a positive impact on climate and performance.
This style is not effective when employees are resistant to learning or changing their ways and it flops if the leader lacks the expertise to help the employee along.
Leaders Need Many Styles
Generally, the more styles a leaders uses the better. Mastering the authoritative, democratic, alleviative, and coaching styles help create the very best climate and business performance.
A leader can build a team with members who employ styles they lack.