A leader with an authoritative leadership style sets expectations clearly, takes independent decisions, and guides the team’s work. It is useful when a decision must be taken quickly and decisively or a direction is clear. This style can appear to be controlling and discourages creativity and teamwork.
A leader with a democratic leadership style values the input of their team members and promotes involvement in decision making. This style is effective in situations where the team’s diverse perspectives and expertise are important to achieve a successful outcome. The style may help to build trust amongst team members and promote collaboration, but if it isn’t managed well, can cause conflict and take longer for decisions to be made.
Laissez-faire is the leadership style where a leader gives his team autonomy so that they are able to take decisions independently and do their job. The style works well when the members of a team are experienced, highly-skilled and need minimal supervision. It may provide too little guidance or direction which could lead to confusion and lack of expectations.
The most effective style of leadership depends on the circumstances, team members, and desired results. A good leader can adapt his or her leadership style according to their team members and situation.