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Leadership styles and traits

Written by Ryan Smeltz


Posted on July 27 2020

What are the Leadership Styles?

To be able to lead people in your organization, you will need to be knowledgeable about the different styles of leadership. Know which one works best for each situation and practice your flexibility with these styles to switch from one type of leading to another. Each method of leading works perfectly for different kinds of instances that you will face as a leader of your organization.

Authoritative Style

Authoritative leadership provides your employees with goals and objectives while allowing them insight and explanations on what and why these objectives are essential. You will set expectations while inspiring and encouraging your employees when trying to reach each goal. The expectations you will set allows your organization’s members to see the path where the organization is going and the possibilities once reaching each goal. Your employees can also freely choose their methods on how to achieve the objectives you have given.

Autocratic Style

The autocratic style focuses on you as the leader; you will set goals and objectives, and you alone will decide how each of these steps should be done. You will be dictating to your employees without little to no explanation. You will only be considering a few or no input at all from your employees to drive your organization. 

Pacesetting Style

Pacesetting style pushes your employees to their limits. You will set objectives and set your employees to work harder, inspiring them to exceed their limits. This style helps improve the competitiveness of your employees and the rate of finishing tasks. But be careful because this style can put your employees under a lot of stress.

Democratic Style

With this style, your employees are given the freedom to share their thoughts and ideas on how tasks should be done. The democratic style creates a free flow of ideas, which helps improve the creativity of your employees. The responsibility of creating a final decision still falls on you because you are the leader. But because you are promoting the freedom of sharing ideas, your employees can help you create these decisions.

Coaching Style

This style of leadership is guiding your employees on how to perform their tasks. You give them guides and information to consider when they perform their tasks, allowing them to learn and unlock their potentials. Coaching style also helps you build a relationship with your employees and view you as a leader who guides and assists not just for self-benefit, but also the benefit of your employees.

Affiliative Style

This style promotes you, as a leader, to fully interact with your employees. This approach pays attention to the needs and support that each employee requires, about work or emotionally. The affiliative style also creates a good work area that promotes harmony and allows employees to approach you with ease.

How to Choose a Leadership Style?

Know Yourself First

You need to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses; Learn your capabilities and shortcomings. Then when you know what you can and cannot do as a leader, choose which styles work best with your strategy and personality. Being a leader requires you to be flexible in switching between each leadership style. To properly handle each situation that your organization will face, you must use different leadership styles that properly correspond with the instance. When you know yourself, you will know what certain leadership styles you will use when leading. You cannot force a leadership style that is good for the current situation if it is not compatible with how you get things done.

Good Understanding of the Different Styles

Tools without knowledge are useless. It is your responsibility to know and learn about each different style. Being knowledgeable about the different styles of leadership will transform you into an effective leader. Understanding each style will help you utilize these with a high success rate. Learn what each style is most compatible with the situations that your organization will face to generate successful results.

Practice your Leadership Skills

Practice makes perfect. To become a good leader, you need to practice your leadership skills to be able to create the correct decisions. The success rate of your organization relies on how well you perform as a leader. You are responsible for directing everyone and everything, and so everyone is expecting you to lead. Keep on practicing your leadership skills to continuously improve your ability to lead your employees and the direction of your business.

Improve Your Leadership Agility

Having the ability to be able to adapt to any circumstances and be flexible with your options is important when leading your business. The environment for organizations is constantly changing and will require you to approach problems differently. Your skill to adapt will determine how successful you will run your business. Being agile can determine your success or failure; strive to improve your leadership agility to be able to lead even when faced with a lot of problems.

What are the Leadership Qualities that Make a Good Leader?

Being Honest

Honesty promotes being real and open to one another. In an organization, it is essential that everyone is honest with one another to maintain a positive working environment. As a leader, you need to be honest with your employees; make them feel that your organization has a peaceful working environment where everyone is open. If you are honest, then your employees will feel encouraged to be honest with you too.

Projecting your Confidence

As a leader, you should project confidence among your employees. Being confident in your decision making shows your employees that you are a leader who knows what they’re doing. Employees will follow leaders who are competent in decision making. If you do not show confidence in yourself, then your employees will be discouraged to follow you. Be confident in yourself, and your employees will also be confident with you as their leader.

Ability to Inspire

The ability to inspire your employees is what makes a good leader. Leadership requires you to be able to provide the right encouragement to your employees so they will provide you with the output that you want. Inspiring your subordinates will require your people skills to allow you to encourage them. Inspired employees build a positive workspace for everyone. If everyone is encouraged to work, then your employees will continuously provide you with high quality and relevant work results.


A leader needs commitment to the organization and shows an example of how one should Leaders need to know how to communicate effectively with people. Encouraging and inspiring your employees will require you to communicate with them. You need to clearly inform your employees about your objectives and strategies; provide them with important information and encourage them to reach the organization’s goals. Clearly communicating with your subordinates also helps your employees understand what to do and give you better results.

Ability to Communicate

Leaders need to know how to communicate effectively with people. Encouraging and inspiring your employees will require you to communicate with them. You need to inform your employees about your objectives and strategies; provide them with important information and encourage them to reach the organization’s goals. Communicating with your subordinates also helps your employees understand what to do and give you better results.


Leaders need to make the right decision to allow the organization to move forward. You will need to improve how you create decisions that will result in a higher success rate. Your employees will rely on your ability to make decisions that involve them and your organization. Being able to successfully make correct decisions will show your employees that you are a competent leader. When your employees perceive you as a competent leader, they will feel grateful that you are their leader.

Understanding of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence plays a big part in how an organization and its employee's function. An individual’s emotion determines how they will perform at work. Leaders should know how to handle the emotion of their employees and also their own. The proper knowledge of emotional intelligence will play a big role in turning your organization into a successful business. Understand the problems of your employees and let them know that you are an approachable leader. Make yourself available to your employees to help them assess their emotions.

Being creative and innovative

Be a great visionary to become a successful leader. Always think outside the box to create an approach to assess any obstacles. This is what separates a leader from a follower. The intelligence to create unique ideas and the ability to turn it into reality will help your organization stand out from the rest of your competitions. Pursue to be a creative and innovative leader to stay ahead of your competitions.


Accountability helps your employees’ skills and abilities to improve. An individual must be held accountable because this allows them to realize and take responsibility for their actions. By allowing them to be aware of their right and wrongdoings, you are providing them with the opportunity to build and improve their skills based on their successes and failures. They will be able to build their character and improve their capabilities. This can also increase employee engagement. When you engage with your employees to tackle their rights and wrongs, you open a chance of either praising them or guiding them about their mistakes. This interaction allows you to build a better relationship with your employees.



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