4 Basic Leadership Styles


Leaders stand to effectiveness by properly diagnosing the developmental level of their subordinates, the degree of their competence and commitment required to effectively execute a given activity, in a task situation and then adapting their Leadership Style accordingly. A particular Leadership Style, out of the 4 Basic Leadership Styles, can be found useful in a unique situation as indicated below.

The 4 Basic Leadership Styles is quite adequate to be getting on with. In a situation where the leader has identified a group of people as highly competent, experienced and motivated, it is advantageous and effective for him or her to let drop the low supportive-low directive leadership style or the delegating approach. The delegative leader’s involvement in planning, control of details and goal clarification is significantly minimised. In short, they offer less task input and social support in recognition of employee competence, confidence and motivation.

On the other hand, employees who lack the necessary job experience even though they are highly motivated to succeed should attract the high directive-low supportive leadership style or the directing approach. In this scenario, the leader starts off by giving instructions about what and how goals are to be achieved and then supervises the subordinates carefully. He lends less supportive behaviours that help group members to feel comfortable and at ease with themselves, their coworkers and their environment. Thus, effective leaders prospect through the 4 Basic Leadership Styles for the right inspiration.

Here is another circumstance where leaders can focus on the 4 Basic Leadership Styles and pick out the appropriate approach for a given situation. Employees who are turning out poor performance and exhibiting a low commitment in completing a task even though they are experienced and have an understanding of what is expected of them are better of with the high directive-high supportive leadership style or the coaching approach. Here the leader’s communication is tailored towards goal achievement and the maintenance of the subordinates socioemotional needs.

Ideas from the 4 Basic Leadership Styles goes down well with effective leaders. If employees are plagued by fits of doubts and uncertainties about their skills and abilities even though their professional profiles indicate that they are qualified to execute a certain task very well, the high supportive-low directive leadership style or the supporting approach is appropriate for tuning up employees confidence. The leader provides an empathic listening ear and reassures the vacillating subordinates of the validity of their skills and competence.

The 4 Basic Leadership Styles are easy to understand and can be easily applied in a variety of settings.

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