Leadership Styles: When to Use Them

By E. Brown

In the previous article I discussed the 4 leadership types: Dictatorial, Authoritative, Consultative, and Participative. I discussed the unique traits of each one and some of the pros/cons. Finally, I covered the fact that there was no “One Style” that fit all — no silver bullets — and that a good leader recognized when to use one style over another.

A question that is often asked is, “When? When do I use one style over another?” In this article I’ll provide some tools for you to better understand when to use the dictatorial style over the consultative style, or the participative style over the authoritative style.

The Dictatorial style is appropriate:

  • During emergencies or crisis
  • When employee safety is at risk
  • When severe disciplinary action needs to be taken

Keep in mind, the dictatorial style is the exception. It should only be used in extreme emergencies and only on a temporary basis.

The Authoritative style is appropriate:

  • When new hires are unfamiliar with their jobs
  • If there is constant misuse of authority
  • When company rules are broken
  • When you are the sole person responsible for a decision

The Consultative style is appropriate:

  • When needing creative problem solving
  • When conducting planning meetings for the organization or department
  • When training people for leadership roles
  • When performing the day-to-day organizational tasks

The Participative style is appropriate:

  • When you have a competent team
  • In company or department planning meetings
  • During company evaluation sessions
  • When motivating top-performers
  • Any time you need innovative work
  • When you need creativity

As you look through this list you might be tempted to think, “I knew this.” Yet, what you intuitively might have know you may not have been practicing. There are definite consequences to your action or inaction as a leader. Take some time to look back through the styles and see what is appropriate for your environment.

Next time, I’ll talk about how the styles affect productivity. Have fun till then!

Related Links
- Leadership Styles: Dictatorial, Authoritative, Consultative, Participative
- How Leadership Styles Affect Productivity
- Communicating Amongst the Animal Temperaments
- Personality Types: Lion, Otter, Golden Retriever, and Beaver
- You Might Be A Micromanager If…

Source material taken from Myron Rush

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