During my coursework learning about the variety of leadership styles, I have been able to take something positive away from each style. My personal preference is the "participative leadership style" and the most likely choice for me to use when in a leadership role.
For instance, I learned from each style that there will be something events that would be applicable given the work environment and situation at hand for the proper style. Because there are instances where management will have to utilize a combination of leadership styles are necessary to reach a common objective and goal.
Leadership style is the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people. All the different styles--authoritarian or autocratic; participative or democratic; and delegative or free reign have the applicability. Like for instance, using an authoritarian style on a new employee who is just learning the job, this style would be appropriate. The leader is competent and a good coach. The employee is motivated to learn a new skill. The situation is a new environment for the employee. Now an opportunity to use a participative style would be with a team of workers who know their jobs. The leader knows the problem, but does not have all the information, the employees know their jobs and want to become part of the team. But, in the case of a worker who knows more about the job than you
using a delegative (free reign) style. You cannot do everything! The employee needs to take ownership of her or his job. Also, the situation might call for you to be at other places, doing other things.
However in using the different styles there are situations that you will use all three: Telling your employees that a procedure is not working correctly and a new one must be established (authoritarian). Asking for their ideas and input on creating a new procedure (participative). And last, but not least, delegating tasks in order to implement the new procedure (delegative).
While involved in this coursework and gaining knowledge in utilizing the different styles, I have learned to step "outside the comfort zone" and create and/or seize opportunities that will allow me to apply the difference styles of leadership. In identifying my own leadership style (participative), I discovered that there where instances that I would have to use a little of all styles.
I think the best way for me to improve my choice of leadership style and to know when to apply the other styles will be to continuous expose myself and participate in formal and informal education classes. Moreover, volunteer for additional responsibilities that will place me in a position that requires me to utilize the knowledge that I have obtain from this coursework.
As I observe and learn from my own senior management and peers through questions, application and/or coaching; this will provide opportunities for me to constantly improve. As a leader and being positioned between...