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Types of Leadership Styles

Here are main leadership styles that relate to inclusion mediators.

  • Visionary
  • Transformational
  • Autocratic
  • Democratic
  • Laissez-faire
  • Charismatic
  • Supportive

Visionary Leader

A visionary leader is one who uses knowledge and experience to pioneer new possibilities and embark on a project that will benefit great inclusion and belonging in communities.

As a visionary leader, you use your  communication skills to help your community see your vision and adopt your enthusiasm for the project. Using your mediation skills, you also bring your peers together and guide them through the process of making that vision a reality.

The Key Characteristics of a Visionary Leader

  • Organisation and administrative skills
  • Taking initiative
  • Strategic planning
  • Excellent communication skills

How this relates to Mediation? If you choose to be a visionary leader, how would that help your community?

Transformational Leader

A transformational leader builds a strong culture by motivating community members to create change that increases the growth of that community. Our friends in Leeds certainly act as transformational leaders. 

Key to transformational leadership, you give your peers room to be creative. You also encourage them to find new solutions to problems as they arise.

The key characteristics of a transformational leader

  • Inspiring change
  • Clear communication
  • Allowing others to make decisions

How this relates to Mediation?

Think of all the positives for your intercultural mediation role if this was your style of choice. Any challenges?

Autocratic Leaders

An autocratic leader retains authority and prefers to be the one who makes all decisions. So, on the surface, this style does not fit with community mediation and inclusion.  However, it does have relevance. This type of leadership is valuable in situations that require quick thinking and rapid decision making.

You can also use it to your benefit when peers are inexperienced or need motivating. As an autocratic leader, you provide your community with clear instructions and a structured work schedule, and in many cases, that has merit.  It is however best blended with other, more emphatic leadership styles.

The Key Characteristics of a Autocratic Leader

  • Quick thinking
  • Avoidance of delegation
  • Clear expectations of others
  • Little or no need for input from others

How does this relate to Mediation? Do you think you can really be an autocratic leader in a community setting? We would vote against it. Hint: check out the empathy section.

Democratic Leader

Democratic leadership, also referred to as shared leadership, is a style that allows peers to take a more participative role in decision making. In this way, problems are solved through group/community deliberation.

Very fitting to mediation, as a democratic leader, you guide individuals and communities involved through the decision-making process to set goals and to achieve them.

The key characteristics of a democratic leader

  • Encouraging and rewarding creativity
  • Sharing ideas and opinions
  • Inspiring trust and respect
  • Engaging others

How does this relate to Mediation?

Would it work in your community setting? Would you need to combine it with another style?

Laissez-Faire Leader

Laissez-faire leadership, also referred to as delegative leadership, involves limiting the amount of guidance you give to the peers/communities and allowing them to fulfill their duties in their own ways.

Because you leave a lot of responsibility to your peers, you are relying on their level of experience. This type of leadership works best in groups where members are highly skilled and capable of working independently.

The key characteristics of a laissez-faire leader

  • Allowing others to make decisions
  • Taking responsibility for those decisions
  • Providing necessary tools and resources
  • Encouraging others to problem-solve

How does this relate to Mediation?

Would you say it’s a good style once you empower your community members?

Charismatic Leader

Charismatic leaders value individual contributions from the community and take the time to listen to their concerns.

When you adopt this style of leadership, you use your communication skills to motivate people  through challenging times, helping them stay focused.

The key characteristics of a charismatic leader

  • Good listening and communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • The ability to bond with people
  • Creativity and innovation

How this relates to Mediation?

Do not let this style scare you. We don’t all have to be charismatic all the time.

Supportive Leader

The supportive leader’s role is two-fold. You focus on identifying where changes are needed throughout your community while ensuring the well-being of that community.

Supportive leadership means not simply delegating tasks and awaiting results but also supporting others through each stage of the process. You promote dialogue with your community and provide feedback.

The key characteristics of a supportive leader

  • A focus on maintaining good relationships
  • Positive regard for others
  • Providing others with help when needed
  • Treating people as individuals

How this relates to Mediation?

We find this style to be extremely relevant!

The world needs leadership based on serving.

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