When you are in a coaching or teaching situation, do you practice more participative leadership or are you more inclined to take an authoritarian leadership approach? Complete this quick, ten question leadership style questionnaire to learn your natural approach.
At the end of the quiz, find out more about participative and authoritarian leadership and some tips for applying either leadership style.
Leadership Style Questionnaire Tip:
Take the leadership style assessment as quickly as possible. The results won’t benefit you if think about your answers – especially what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ You heard it first in the third grade – there are no right or wrong answers.
Let’s do this!
I prefer to develop a solution before presenting it to my team. I usually won't change it unless there is a compelling reason.
What is Participative Leadership?
Participative leadership is collaborative in nature. This leadership style uses consistent feedback to make mutual agreements, decisions, and solutions.
- This leadership style allows team members to play a significant, defining role in their developmental objectives/goals.
- Team members not only own but also develop their plans.
- The participative leadership approach then comes to a compromise of matching those goals to the business.
- The participative leadership style follows the lead of the team members and helps them focus on what they want to achieve, balanced with organizational needs.
- Participative leaders do not see themselves as having all the answers or being the expert in everything.
- Participative leaders ask many questions to increase the team member’s self-awareness, confidence, and ownership in the business.
- Participative leadership focuses on longer-term behavior changes and performance objectives.
Participative Leadership Considerations
This leadership style encourages self-sufficiency and creativity. The success of participative leadership is both situational and right-hire dependent.
The participative leadership style may not be structured enough for new team members or those consistently struggling to meet performance standards.
This leadership style is a nearly polar opposite of participative leadership. Authoritarian leadership is reliant on one individual for decision-making and takes little input from team members.
- Authoritarian leadership focuses on the task objective set by the leader.
- The authoritarian leadership style provides clear step-by-step instructions, with little option for variation or creativity.
- Authoritarian leaders focus on the details, rather than the longer-term strategy or vision.
- Authoritarian leadership is best for short-term or quick behavior and performance changes. However, because team members are dependent on the authoritarian leader’s detailed direction, the performance changes are usually not sustainable.
- Authoritarian leadership does not encourage self-sufficiency and creativity.
- This leadership style should NOT be used for longer-term leadership development, as wider developmental needs are ignored or become secondary.
Although authoritarian leadership might appear ‘wrong,’ it is a critical leadership style for many situations, including:
- When confidence or competence is low. This is especially useful for when there is limited time to reach certain performance goals.
- ‘Emergency’ situations – when there is a crisis in the business and things just need to get done and done right. When used in these situations, this does not mean you are a micromanager.
Leadership Style Questionnaire: Is One Style Better?
As indicated, there are appropriate uses for both participative leadership and authoritarian leadership styles. The most practical approach is to use the method that is most effective based on the situation and the team member.
There are times when things just need to get done, and I don’t need or want to ‘talk it through’ – just do what I say – when I say it and how I say to do it. Do I love the authoritarian leadership style approach? No. It’s necessary sometimes, though.
For longer-term growth and development, use a participative leadership style. Word of warning – it takes much more patience as a leader. However, the growth and performance benefits are greater and more sustainable for the long-term.
Were you surprised by the results of your leadership style questionnaire? Remember, these are just 10 questions to gauge the leadership style that you naturally gravitate towards. On any given day, you are likely juggling both of them.
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