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Leadership Styles in the Workplace: Benefits and Drawback to Each Style


Knowing your leadership style – and the styles of people around you – is important. If you are aware of your own style you can work with others better by adapting your style to meet the requirements of individual situations and personalities. If you can read others’ leadership styles you can handle workplace relationships with ease.

“Leadership style” is defined as a person’s unique way of influencing others to work toward goals. Within the specific styles there are also measurements of assertiveness and expressiveness that add to your own unique style. Assertiveness measures the degree to which a person tries to influence other people’s thoughts and actions. Expressiveness measures the degree to which a person displays his or her emotions when interacting with others.

These are the four leadership styles and their assertiveness/expressiveness levels:

  1. Direct – Direct leaders have high assertiveness and low expressiveness. They tend to lead by taking charge.
  2. Spirited – Spirited leaders have high assertiveness and high expressiveness. They usually lead others by inspiring them.
  3. Considerate – Considerate leaders have low assertiveness and high expressiveness. They lead by building group harmony.
  4. Systematic – Systematic leaders have low assertiveness and low expressiveness. They usually lead by planning carefully.

One style isn’t necessarily better than the others, and you could have traits of more than one style. The key is to know which one you are most like, and which ones your colleagues are. If you know these things you can use your style to interact with people better.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Each Style

Each type of leader has a time to shine. There are moments at work when being a specific kind of leader can be beneficial. Similarly, there are times when a certain kind of leader could have difficulty.

Direct: When there’s a work crisis, a direct leader’s take-charge style can help others push through tough situations. However, when delegating tasks to others is necessary, direct leaders may have trouble giving up control.

Spirited: If a group’s energy starts running low, a spirited leader’s spontaneity can provide a vital spark. However, their tendency to live in the present can be a problem in situations that require careful, long-term planning.

Considerate: Team harmony is vital, and a considerate leader has the ability and empathy to accommodate everyone. However, this could cause issues when one person pushes for a special interest and the considerate leader easily caves.

Systematic: Accuracy and objectivity at work are important, and they are strengths of a systematic leader. Their analytical style can be a valuable asset. However, when time pressures build their thoroughness may slow down projects.

Learning More About Leadership Styles

Learn more about leadership with HRDQ’s product What’s My Leadership Style!

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