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There are 10 types of leadership styles a project manager should know to play an effective role in all the situations. 

  1. Autocratic Leadership Style
  2. Democratic Leadership Style
  3. Coercive Leadership Style
  4. Strategic Leadership
  5. Laissez-faire Leadership style
  6. Affiliative Leadership Style
  7. Pacesetting Leadership Style
  8. Coaching Leadership Style
  9. Transformational Leadership Style
  10. Transactional Leadership style


 

Leadership style is a way of approaching, managing and supporting a team. Leadership style is different for every individual based on their personality. Leadership is a default trait in project managers to lead and manage a team. Each leader owns a unique style of leading and managing a team. 

“One-size-fits-all” solutions do not hold good for all the projects. A multi-dimensional framework is introduced based on the fundamental practices of project management.

Leadership style is all about creating systematic work culture within an organization which contributes to the successful completion of a project. The main aspect of leadership is to apply the correct leadership style in the correct situation. 

Project managers can possess effective leadership quality by the following ways that can improve the success rate of the project:

  • Setting Measurable goals: The common goals are to be set by project managers. The timeframe required to reach the objective is set to accomplish the common goals.
  • Social- Influence: The performance of the team can be influenced by conformity, socialization, obedience and peer pressure. The productivity of the team can be improved by improvement in work culture. The opinions, emotions, and behavior of team members are affected by the project managers.
  • Clarity: Clear vision towards goal. Without a clear vision of the consequences, the team cannot be led by the project manager effectively.
  • Inspire team members: Project managers should make things happen. The inspiring team is making team members work willingly.
  • Motivate team: The motivated team always gives the best result. The team can be motivated by appreciation, opportunities, and rewards.
  • Guidance: Project managers guide the team by providing all the required information clearly.

 

There are 10 types of leadership styles a project manager should know to play an effective role in all the situations. 

  1. Autocratic Leadership Style
  2. Democratic Leadership Style
  3. Coercive Leadership Style
  4. Strategic Leadership
  5. Laissez-faire Leadership style
  6. Affiliative Leadership Style
  7. Pacesetting Leadership Style
  8. Coaching Leadership Style
  9. Transformational Leadership Style
  10. Transactional Leadership style

1. Autocratic Leadership Style 

An autocratic leadership style is an authoritative style of leadership where a leader takes all the decisions without considering the team’s input. This style of leadership involves authoritarian control over the team members. 

In this leadership style, the work structure is highly structured and rigid. The rules are very clearly communicated. 

The main benefit of the autocratic leadership style is the decisions are made quickly with a clear chain of command.

The autocratic style of leadership can be effective when the leader is knowledgeable and skilled.

2. Democratic Leadership Style 

Democratic leadership style is the inverse of the autocratic leadership style. This style involves all the team members in decision making by considering all the inputs given by them. The primary aim of the democratic leadership style is to build commitment and generate new ideas. 

The democratic approach is aligned with emotional intelligence traits such as collaboration, teamwork, influence and conflict management. This style is very effective as it allows all the team members to be confident and open. 

3. Coercive Leadership Style 

Coercive leadership style is a highly commanding style and an authoritarian approach to team members. The leader or project manager demands immediate compliance with their orders.

This style of leadership can be described as:

“Do what I tell you.”

The main advantage of coercive leadership style is 

  • The leaders know to get the work done quickly
  • Increases productivity
  • Eliminates disobedience
  • Enables team members to follow the rules and regulations of the organization 

4. Strategic Leadership Style 

A strategic leadership style is adopted when the leader is able to express the strategic vision to the team members and motivate them to reach the goal. The key traits if this style of leadership is the leaders are:

  • Visionary
  • Open
  • Focused
  • Courageous
  • Prudent

There are 4 types of strategic leadership style:

  • High Control Innovator (HCI)
  • Participative Innovator(PI)
  • Status Quo Guardian (SQG)
  • Process Manager (PM)

 

A strategic leadership style focuses more on the macro-level of work. The main aim of strategic leadership is productivity and develop a positive environment in which employees or team members can focus more on the organization’s and stakeholder’s requirements. 

5. Laissez-faire Leadership style 

Laissez-faire Leadership style is a self-rule style empowering individuals or teams to take decisions on their own. According to Merriam-Webster, Laissez-faire is "A philosophy or practice characterized by a usually deliberate abstention from direction or interference, especially with individual freedom of choice and action."

The project management with this style has minimal communication with their team. The delegation of authority is done in this leadership style. 

6. Affiliative Leadership Style 

An affiliative leadership style is a very commonly used style of leadership. The leader or project manager creates an emotional bond with team members to encourage team members, promote cooperation and teamwork. It builds trust among the team. The main advantage of adopting this leadership style is that 

  • The leaders resolve conflicts quickly
  • The top priority will always be the employees
  • Reduces stress
  • Positive feedbacks are given

The key characteristic of the affiliative leadership style is that the leaders are ‘Honest to a fault’ and strong communication skills.

The leader motivates the team with nurturing and praising. They make employees feel valued and recognized. 

7. Pacesetting Leadership Style 

Pacesetting leadership style in which the leader sets the high standard for team members’ performance. In this style, the leader is obsessed with getting the work done faster and better. This style is deployed when the team members are highly competent and motivated and well versed in their work. Pacesetting leadership style can be effective when a leader follows the below points:

  • A leader should maintain a high professional level
  • Should possess high knowledge
  • Evaluate the performance of the team
  • Know the consequences

8. Coaching Leadership Style

 

Coaching Leadership style is in which the leader encourages the team members to enhance their technical and personal skills and create a positive impact on the project team. The leaders or coaches guide the team members on a day to day basis and allow them to identify their strengths and weaknesses. In this style of leadership, mistakes are considered as learning opportunities. 

By adopting this style of leadership, the leader can bring the best out of employees. The main advantage of adopting Coaching Leadership style is:

Positive work environment

Employee benefit

Self-development

Increase in productivity

9. Transformational Leadership Style 

Transformational Leader style is adopted when a leader or a project manager works with team members to encourage, motivate and inspire the team and allow them to learn a sense of corporate culture, employee ownership and independence in the workplace.

The main aim of this style is to make team members highly motivated and inspired.

This style is best suitable where the organization practices agile and aims to remain consistent and error-free.

 

10. Transactional Leadership Style 

Transactional Leadership style is the opposite of the Transformational leadership style. It is adopted to motivate the employees through rewards and punishments. This style requires high supervision and monitoring. Errors are closely investigated and minimized.

The transactional leadership style is suitable for organizations with routine procedures. 

In this style, leaders set specific goals and provide specific directions to reach the target. 


 

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