Leaders can have one of three different styles – autocratic, democratic, or laissez-faire. Most people at one point in time have experienced each of these. Characteristics and Behaviors of the Styles Autocratic Leaders. My experience with an autocratic leader have not been as positive as a democratic leader as an autocratic leader is more a dictator. One in particular required immediate response to e-mails that she sent. Due dates were never given when information was requested as it was stated that if something was requested it was really needed the day before.
You were expected to be on your toes at all times. Directives were given without consideration of the challenges that may occur for the team and no effort was made to discuss them or attempt to problem solve them together. You were just expected to get it done. These leaders can show coercive power by dispensing punishments and/or legitimate power due to their position and the obligation of the employee to follow their instructions (Landy & Conte, 2013, p. 487). Democratic Leaders. Democratic leaders are easier to work with.
Most of my experiences have been with democratic leaders. One in particular would announce upcoming changes early, work with you to implement, and provide guidance on how to implement. This leader would listen to your concerns and challenges and work with you to resolve them. He would delegate responsibilities to you that allowed you an opportunity to develop and gain exposure to other leaders within the organization. Democratic leaders will provide more opportunity for their employees to take responsibility and risks (Landy & Conte, 2013, p. 564). Laissez-Faire Leaders.
Laissez-faire leaders might be easy to work for because they let you run the show. However, they don’t give you feedback or guidance. My experience with a laissez-faire leader was positive in there was no stress. However, I wasn’t sure if I was performing well or not. There was virtually no coaching on how to improve performance. She was reluctant to give negative feedback or even constructive criticism so you were not able to develop and grow as you would want. She didn’t question decisions or provide alternative solutions so any expertise she had was not transferred to her staff.
In an article in relation to the Multifactor Leadership Theory, it is stated that laissez-faire leaders do not interact with their followers (Hargis, Watt, & Piotrowski, 2011). It further states that they avoid having to make a decision and fail to take an interest in the growth of their area (Hargis, Watt, & Piotrowski, 2011). Leadership Problems and Resolution Autocratic Leaders. These leaders are effective when a crisis erupts and/or when their staff is not skilled enough to solve a problem.
They are able to quickly analyze, make decisions, and give instructions to their staff in order to resolve the issue. They are effective when others are looking to them for guidance or problem solving. Democratic Leaders. These leaders are effective when a problem erupts, a group project occurs, or a change is announced. They will involve the different players that should be involved and will request input and feedback. This will result in staff feeling favorable about the change/ project as they are involved in it.
However, they may not do well in a crisis as they may not be able to quickly make a hard decision. They may take too long analyzing it and involving others when a quick decision is needed by the “leader”. Laissez-Faire Leaders. These leaders are effective when there is nothing crucial going on, there is no specific critical management decision that needs to be made, and/or when their staff is highly skilled and doesn’t need a lot of guidance. They may even refer their problem to their staff to resolve.
They let their teams manage themselves and run the shop. One ownside is that they may not look for change initiatives within their own area in order to develop their team or improve their processes. They go with the status quo and probably hope that nothing does change that would be disruptive. Leader’s Culture Impact on Applying Style Culture can be engrained from your country of origin – if it is high or low power. If it is high power, you would identify with being an authoritative leader. If a low power, you would be more apt to be a democratic or even a laissez-faire leader. Culture can also be engrained from prior places of employment.
If you have worked at a company that had a democratic climate, and your new employer’s climate expects you to be authoritative, you might have some big adjustments to make. Conclusion The three leadership styles are distinctly different. Each one may be appropriate under different circumstances. A leader may need to display each one at different times throughout their career. While the democratic leader is more appealing, there may be times when a leader needs to display authoritarian as well as laissez-faire. Knowing when to display each one is important in order to gain the respect from your team. Knowing when each one 8Enter conclusion.