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Leadership Styles and Approaches in Detail

The concept of leadership style encompasses all possible interactions and relationships between the leader and other group members, where the leader is the initiator of the connection. The term leadership style itself can be defined as a set of means and psychological influence methods that a leader uses to influence the rest of the group. In other words, the leadership style is a typical leader’s system of methods of controlling subordinates or followers. Traditionally, it is accepted to distinguish between three main types of leadership such as authoritarian, democratic, and liberal. In addition, there are transformational and transactional leadership approaches, which also possess a wide range of differences. Therefore, in order to be a great and outstanding leader, one should be familiar with and master these varieties of leadership types.

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Becoming an effective leader in strict settings might require a more precise and harsh approach, and thus, an individual should be aware of authoritarian leadership. An authoritarian style implies rigid management methods, any suppression of someone’s initiative, and discussion of decisions. The opinions of subordinates are not taken into account, any attempts to do something wrong are immediately stopped, and the basis of this leadership style is the fear of punishment for not completing the task. The authoritarian leader does not care how much his or her views are divided into the team. He or she does not accept his subordinates’ proposals and does not explain the ongoing processes to them. The work of the staff is organized in accordance with clearly defined instructions.

However, some settings might demand more flexibility from the leadership’s side, which is why one needs to know and understand the democratic and liberal styles. It consists of collegial decision-making, that is, the opinion of subordinates is taken into account. The leader advertises his or her position and ideas, and he or she tries to turn the employees into allies through persuasion. Emerging ideas can be discussed together with subordinates. The views of the group are accepted, but the leader himself controls and directs the work. The liberal style can be said that this is a family at work, and there is a leader, but he has withdrawn from the leadership. Subordinates themselves determine what to do, where there is a lack of praise and punishment. There is no collaboration between the leader and the assistants, and the leader’s position is invisible outside the group. The leader gives no instructions, and the work consists of the individual interests of the group members.

It is also important to take into account the fact that authoritarian leadership. However, it does more work than democratic, leads to low motivation, less originality, an almost complete absence of friendliness in groups, and a lot of aggressiveness. And even though the authoritarian style provides fairly high productivity, this style still has a lower degree of satisfaction among subordinates. If the class is liberal, then the work volume decreases, the quality of work becomes reduced, and more play appears.

It is vital to remember that each style has some advantages and disadvantages and may be appropriate in some circumstances and inappropriate in others. For example, the authoritarian style is simple and efficient, but it leads to the passivity of subordinates and hypocrisy in relation to the leader. The democratic style makes it possible for everyone to participate in management, but it hinders, if necessary, quick decision-making. The permissive style focuses on the group members’ independence, but this is possible only with their highest qualifications.

Knowing the key distinctions between different leadership styles can help a person to master the skills of becoming a leader. With exemplary style, the leader sets the highest standards of work and shows by example that they can be observed. He or she strives to complete tasks faster and better and demands the same from subordinates. Laggards who are not corrected are replaced by other employees. The mentoring style is inherent in those leaders who help associates to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, as well as adequately assess personal and career prospects. Such leaders encourage employees to set long-term goals for themselves and help them achieve them. Mentor leaders delegate authority, provide interesting, growth-promoting tasks. This style is especially effective when subordinates want to learn to do better or get ahead. The situational style flexibly takes into account the level of psychological development of subordinates and the team. Inconsistent style is manifested in the unpredictable transition of a leader from one style to another, which leads to deficient performance and a maximum number of conflicts and problems.

In conclusion, it is important to note that an effective leader is, first of all, a person who stands out from a group of people and occupies a given position due to the presence of certain personal qualities, abilities, and skills, and, in addition, his actions correspond to the prototype of a leader, such a person has his or her own style, which often depends on the type of organization, the task to be solved and the followers themselves. It is important to remember that the choice of style depends on the adequacy of the situation, on the leader’s behavior, on the level of his or her qualifications, and on the actions taken.

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