4 Different Leadership Styles You’re Bound to Come Across in Your Career

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As you begin your career, you’re bound to encounter different types of leadership styles within an organization.

In fact, you may have even come across a few of them while you were in school or working over the summer. However, when you’re a young professional trying to launch a successful career, it becomes crucial for you to be able to recognize each style and understand how to interact with certain types of leaders.

To help you out, take a look at our list of four common leadership types you’ll encounter in the workforce, and how to handle each one.

Autocratic

pexels-photo-59197An autocratic leadership style centres on the belief that the leader holds the power within an organization. They tend to adopt a unilateral decision-making process, meaning that they make all the decisions themselves. With an autocratic manager, employees are expected to follow instructions and often have little opportunity to make suggestions.

Pros Cons
Effective leadership style when training new staff Can lead to absenteeism and high turnover rates with employees
Helpful during a crisis when quick decisions are needed Suppresses employee creativity
Useful when work needs to be coordinated with another department or organization Allows leader to be controlling or to potentially misuse their power

How to Handle Your Autocratic Boss

Focus on your work. An autocratic manager is results driven, so make sure you know exactly what they expect from you and work your hardest to deliver it. Don’t try to change their opinions; most times autocratic managers are pretty set in their beliefs.

Is the Leadership Style Right for You?

This leadership method is right for you if you’re particular about how things are done and prefer to have a high level of input and guidance from your manager.

Bureaucratic

KCIU8RWM09A bureaucratic leadership style centres on the belief that things should be done ‘by the book’. A manager who employs a bureaucratic leadership style strictly follows policies and procedures and they expect the same from their employees.

Pros Cons
Effective during safety or security training Can push staff to do only what is expected of them and no more
Effective when staff perform routine tasks over and over Doesn’t foster creativity or innovation among employees, which can lead to poor performance or low job satisfaction
Helps prevent conflict between managers and employees because everyone has to comply with written guidelines

How to Handle Your Bureaucratic Boss:

Make sure to adhere to the policies and procedures that are set out for you. If you have an issue, question, or suggestion, try to bring it to your manager’s attention by citing written guidelines or policies.

Is the Leadership Style Right for you?

A bureaucratic leadership style is right for you if you prefer a more traditional work setting and like to have instructions and rules laid out for you.

Democratic

to_do_hiresA democratic leadership style centres on the belief that managers and employees should work together to accomplish tasks in the workplace. With a democratic manager, employees are invited to participate in the decision-making process.

Pros Cons
Employees are informed about everything that affects their work Not always appropriate in time-sensitive matters because getting everyone’s opinion takes time
Achievement is recognized and encouraged
Employees are encouraged to grow and seek promotion
Ensures managers don’t misuse their power

How to Handle Your Democratic Boss

Be open and allow your creative juices to flow. With a democratic boss, you are encouraged to share your ideas and come up with creative solutions for problems, so do just that if you have anything you need to bring to their attention.

Is this Leadership Style Right for you?

This leadership style is right for you if you prefer to talk to others to get their opinions and suggestions before you make a decision. This method can also ensure that everyone is included in the decision-making process, generating an inclusive, team-oriented environment.

Laissez-Faire

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Laissez-faire means ‘leave alone to act freely’ and in this leadership style, managers provide little to no direction to their employees. Instead, staff members work on their own to make decisions, resolve problems, and set goals.

Pros Cons
Effective in situations where employees are highly skilled and experienced in their position Ineffective when workers are inexperienced and unreliable because they can become lazy and perform poorly
Allows manager to perform their own tasks while employees work Manager may not provide regular feedback to staff
Can promote creativity and innovative thinking among employees

How to Handle Your Laissez-Faire Boss

Since a laissez-faire manager tends to be less involved with employees’ day-to-day tasks, make an effort to set up a meeting with them if you need clarification or advice. Otherwise, your fellow employees can be a valuable resource.

Is this Leadership Style Right for you?

This leadership style is right for you if you prefer to take a backseat to leadership and trust that others will make their own decisions.

As you make your way into the working world, keep these four leadership styles in mind so you can better understand how to interact with different types of leaders. Plus, paying attention to different leadership styles and their effectiveness can help you decide which method is the best for your personality and the kind of workplace environment you might want to create in the future.

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