March 14 2014


Human Capital and Management

What is your leadership style?

Leaders are known as being those who drive things forwards, who have the power to influence people and their organization. Among the four following styles of leadership, which one do you personally use to influence, motivate and lead your employees, peers and management?

Four styles of positive leadership according to the Hersey-Blanchard

  1. Telling/Directing: Providing specific instructions on what to do and how to do it. Providing extensive monitoring.
  2. Selling/Coaching: Giving direction, explaining decisions in terms of what must be done to foster commitment. Providing support and reinforcement as needed.
  3. Participating/Consulting: Getting involved, sharing ideas and decision-making without necessarily instructing others on what particular direction to take.
  4. Delegating: Providing a minimum amount of supervision and support. Entrusting others with responsibility, from decision-making all the way through to implementation, while ensuring a certain level of monitoring.

Using a single leadership style

According to a recent studyi, 54% of managers use a single leadership style. In other words, whether they are looking to influence a senior or junior member of their organization, whether they are in a context of corporate re-organization or corporate growth, the majority of managers only use their own natural style of leadership to influence, motivate and lead!

Is there an ideal leadership style?

For decades, countless studies have unsuccessfully attempted to identify a single ideal or superior characteristic, personality trait or leadership style. At the same time, this research has demonstrated that effective leaders are those who are able to adapt their style to different situations and people.

The four leadership styles outlined above are all positive and complementary

Your natural leadership style has its strengths and weaknesses. In practice, adapting to individual situations and people is what enables managers to determine the best style to use. For example, when dealing with a crisis that requires a rapid response, managers would be well advised to make a unilateral decision and use a telling/directing leadership style. Using this style in every situation, however, prevents individuals from developing their independence, creativity and innovation.

A participating/consulting leadership style in today’s world

Managers who use collective intelligence, who allow individuals to add their own personal touch to the work being done, etc. often receive praise for their approach. However, this particular style can sometimes be inappropriate and prove to be quite costly and inefficient in certain scenarios. In essence, today’s manager must be versatile and flexible in order to adapt to the challenges and changes of his organization. Having the ability to adapt one’s leadership style means being better equipped to handle different situations and better able to foster quality relationships.

In conclusion

As renowned American psychologist Abraham Maslow once said: "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail." Managers will generally try to influence, motivate and lead using the tools they have and know. Situational leadership is something that can be learned, and it is one of the twenty essential skills for managers addressed in the course entitled The Newly Promoted Manager (CH101).

Want to learn more about the training we offer for managers? We invite you to discover the many courses available to you at Technologia.

© Catherine-Julie Charette, All rights reserved


Catherine-Julie Charette is a project management and organizational development professional. She has over 15 years’ various experience in management, consulting, training and coaching professionals in large-scale organizations.