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Looking at the Different Leadership Styles: Direct, Spirited, Considerate, Systematic - HRDQ

Looking at the Different Leadership Styles: Direct, Spirited, Considerate, Systematic

Leadership is the process of influencing others to work toward predetermined goals. As a leader, knowing your leadership style will help you navigate complex work situations with ease. Style is defined as the way a person usually behaves when he or she is able to do things their own way. If you put leadership and style together, leadership style is created: a person’s unique way of influencing others to work toward goals.

The most effective leaders adapt their leadership styles for each situation they encounter. They need to know when to be flexible, when to negotiate, and when to be firm. All styles have a degree of assertiveness and expressiveness. Assertiveness is how a person tries to influence other people’s thoughts and actions. Expressiveness is how a person displays their emotions when interacting with others.

Four Types of Leadership

There are four types of leadership styles. Some leaders can encompass more than one type – and people can also have varying degrees of assertiveness and expressiveness within the styles as well. The four types of leadership styles are:

  1. Direct – Direct leaders have high assertiveness and low expressiveness. They lead by taking charge.
  2. Spirited – Spirited leaders have high assertiveness and high expressiveness. They lead by inspiring.
  3. Considerate – Considerate leaders have low assertiveness and high expressiveness. They lead by building group harmony.
  4. Systematic – Systematic leaders have low assertiveness and low expressiveness. They lead by planning carefully.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Each Style

Each type of leader has a time to shine. There are moments at work when being a specific kind of leader can be beneficial. Similarly, there are times when a certain kind of leader could have difficulty.

Direct: When there’s a work crisis, a direct leader’s take-charge style can help others push through tough situations. However, when delegating tasks to others is necessary, direct leaders may have trouble giving up control.

Spirited: If a group’s energy starts running low, a spirited leader’s spontaneity can provide a vital spark. However, their tendency to live in the present can be a problem in situations that require careful, long-term planning.

Considerate: Team harmony is vital, and a considerate leader has the ability and empathy to accommodate everyone. However, this could cause issues when one person pushes for a special interest and the considerate leader easily caves.

Systematic: Accuracy and objectivity at work are important, and they are strengths of a systematic leader. Their analytical style can be a valuable asset. However, when time pressures build their thoroughness may slow down projects.

Understanding Leadership

Being in charge of an entire organization, overseeing the work of one or two other people, or working with others on a cross-functional team, means you are a leader. Bur also, if you influence others to work toward organizational goals then you are defined as a leader as well. Leaders come in many forms, but the important thing is that they help their team and work hard towards organizational success. If a leader is respected, the entire team will do well.

The concept of leadership is familiar to anyone in the workforce. You probably have managers, directors, and VPs at your organization. Yet defining the term precisely can be challenging, since there is no universally agreed upon definition of leadership. But one way to construct a definition is to first think about what a leader does. A leader generally develops and maintains sufficient cohesiveness and motivation to keep one or more people working together as a functioning unit. The leader positively influences the behavior of others in order to achieve a predetermined accomplishment or goal.

Different people have different ways of influencing others. One leader may appeal to team members’ competitive drive. Another may rally the troops around a cause. Another may guide team members according to carefully laid plans. What’s My Leadership Style? reveals a manager's preferred way of influencing and leading others.

Building Your Communication Skills

Discovering what your communication style is and learning how to apply it in certain situations is important. Develop your style with HRDQ's assessment and training program, What's My Communication Style

Part of the best-selling Style Suite, this communication style assessment and communication skills training program will help you assess personality style from the perspective of communication using Marston's style theory (often referred to as DISC) and includes a half-day experiential workshop.

Further Your Leadership Knowledge

Further your leadership knowledge with What’s My Leadership Style by HRDQ. The tool is a leadership style assessment where learners are given 20 pairs of actions relating to leadership behavior. The scoring shows people’s preferred leadership style: direct, spirited, considerate, or systematic. What's My Leadership Style? is ideal for training anyone who is in a leadership role or needs to influence others towards achieving a goal.

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Mariana Almeida - August 24, 2021

Great article on how different types of leadership and ways of persuading others may guide leaders on influencing others more inclusively and positively

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About our author

Bradford R. Glaser

Brad is President and CEO of HRDQ, a publisher of soft-skills learning solutions, and HRDQ-U, an online community for learning professionals hosting webinars, workshops, and podcasts. His 35+ years of experience in adult learning and development have fostered his passion for improving the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals.