Team: Types And Styles Of Leadership

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There are different types of leadership and they use a range of different styles, the way they approach situations and people, how they speak to people and how they deal with situations. Some examples of leadership style are:

Autocratic leadership, follow policies and procedures decides what goals are to be achieved. They tell others what to do and demand that they do it, monitor performance, and feedback negative results if they do not perform to their best. They have full control of the team, leaving low independence within the group. This style can be very demotivating and frustrating to experienced and skilled staff but can be useful if there is a crisis or a situation that needs quick leadership.

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Democratic leadership is where members of the team take more interest in decision-making and setting the agenda for the job. They support people to share ideas, debate, and allow freedom to organize their work. Everyone is given the opportunity to participate, ideas are exchanged freely, and discussion is encouraged. This can make for a very engaging and easy-going working environment, although it can be frustrating if the leader is timid about making final decisions.

Laissez-faire leadership, is where they aren’t so hards on and allow group members to make decisions, they set tasks to people without much guidance, so employees decide how to approach the work in the best way but they’re available to help and support when necessary. This can be very motivating for team members, and the leader is able to step back and take an overview of the whole operation, moving in to take action only when required. This style works with experienced and well-motivated team members but is not appropriate for unskilled or unmotivated staff.

Tannenbaum and Schmidt’s Continuum of Leadership Behavior was written in 1958, and update in 1973. The four main leadership styles covered by the theory are:

  • tells – the leader identifies a problem and makes decisions unilaterally without consulting anyone, and without giving many their subordinates
  • sells – the leader maintains control but they spend time persuading staff about the benefits of their decisions
  • consults – the leader identifies the problem but does not make the final decision until the team members have suggested solutions
  • joins – the leader defines the limits of the possible decisions that can be made by the team, then makes final decisions along with the team members.


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