Practical Application: Leadership Style Self-Assessment

Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Managing people is never easy, and different leaders approach management in different ways. This self-assessment will help you figure out which leadership style you follow and will guide you to reflect on its strengths and challenges.

Leadership Styles

Leaders come in many different forms.

  • Authoritarian leaders have a high amount of control and allow very little feedback.
  • Delegative leaders delegate authority to their teams, encouraging independence.
  • Democratic leaders ask for feedback and allow for team decision-making, but ultimately take responsibility for the team's oversight.
  • Servant leaders focus on supporting team members and asking what people need.

Each type of leadership comes with strengths and challenges. For more information on the various types of leaders, including their strengths and weaknesses, see the lesson How to Assess, Evaluate & Recognize Leadership Style. Once you have an idea of the types of leaders, use the assessment below to see what type of leader you are.

Assessing Leadership Style

There are many ways to figure out your leadership style, including asking your team members or your supervisor. But one way is to self-assess your leadership style by comparing what you do to the four main styles. The self-assessment below will help you do that.

Instructions: For each of the scenarios below, choose the response that most closely aligns with what you would do as a leader.

Scenario 1:

Your team has a big project due in two weeks and everyone needs to contribute to their fullest ability. How do you get the most out of your team?

Style Action
Authoritarian Give each person a job to do and have them report in daily to tell you how they are doing that job.
Delegative Give each person a job to do and do not interfere. Let them do their work with little or no checking up on them.
Democratic Ask the team to vote on how best to divide the work and how to get the work done.
Servant Ask the team what they need you to do to support them in getting the work done.

In this scenario, I would be a _____ leader.

Scenario 2:

Recently, several members of your team have been slacking off. They've missed deadlines, are taking long lunches and coming in late. How do you handle this issue?

Style Action
Authoritarian Give each of them a warning that they need to shape up or you'll fire them.
Delegative Talk to each person and tell them that they are in charge of getting their work done.
Democratic Remind each person that they have deadlines to meet. Ask them to give you feedback on what schedule they think they should follow to meet the deadlines.
Servant Talk to each person and ask what their goals are and what they need from you to help meet those goals.

In this scenario, I would be a _____ leader.

Scenario 3:

It's time to hire a new person for your team. How do you go about doing this?

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