A leadership style refers to the methods and behaviors leaders use to guide, motivate and manage their team. There are many different types of leadership styles — some more effective than others. If you oversee a team, it’s helpful to understand your own leadership style. Knowing what works best for your personality and preferences can make you a better leader. However, it can be detrimental to rigidly stick to one leadership style. The best leaders know how to adapt to new situations as they arise.

Wondering what leadership styles tend to work best — and which ones to avoid? Account Manager Isaac Burton contributed a post for the Haiilo blog on the three most and least effective leadership styles. We discuss his thoughts in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

The Most Effective Leadership Styles

Democratic leadership. When you apply a democratic leadership style, you show that you value what your employees have to say. Burton says that democratic leaders understand the importance of asking their team members for input. They also consider their people’s opinions and concerns before making any decisions. As a result, democratic leaders help drive higher employee engagement and satisfaction.

Coach-style leadership. This leadership style focuses on bringing out the best in employees. Leaders who adopt a coaching style know how to identify their employees’ strengths, weakness and motivations to help each team member improve. By building better individuals, these leaders are, in the long run, creating more successful teams that know how to collaborate well together, Burton says.

Servant leadership. Servant leaders care about their team members’ well-being and general satisfaction over everything else, Burton says. They know that when their employees feel valued, they will feel inspired to be more creative and contribute at a higher level. According to Burton, a servant leadership style can help employees who are experiencing burnout or social isolation from working remotely.

The Least Effective Leadership Styles

Bureaucratic leadership. Bureaucratic leaders typically expect their team members to strictly follow processes and procedures, allowing little room for flexibility. While this leadership style may work well in highly regulated industries, it can stifle innovation and engagement in creative fields like the promotional products industry.

Autocratic leadership. Burton says these leaders are only focused on results and efficiency, and they rarely take input from their employees. They make decisions without considering their people’s thoughts, opinions and concerns. As a result, they often manage teams with low trust and poor employee engagement.

Transactional leadership. Managers with this leadership style tend to establish predetermined incentives, according to Burton, which usually come in the form of monetary reward for success and disciplinary action for failure. These leaders are typically inflexible and are most likely to lead highly regulated teams that work within tight deadlines.

There are pros and cons to any leadership style. Consider your personality and the needs of your team when developing and refining your signature leadership style.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Isaac Burton is an account manager who contributes to the Haiilo blog.