What are the Disadvantages of Leadership Style?

The coaching style is one leadership approach.
The coaching style is one leadership approach. (Image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images)

There are six distinct leadership styles, and while they have distinct advantages, they also present very real disadvantages. Managers, and other people in a leadership position, should carefully consider the disadvantages of each leadership style. Understanding the disadvantages can help managers to avoid them.

Coercive Style

Coercive leaders are sometimes referred to as dictators because they order subordinates to do as they are told and do not accept any dissent. The disadvantage of this leadership style is that it harms employee motivation and morale, which can lead to a high employee turnover.

Authoritative Style

Authoritarian leaders are firm, but unlike coercive leaders, they also are fair. While this is an improvement, it still presents problems. The disadvantage of an authoritarian style is that employees are still not given an opportunity to provide feedback or to suggest alternative methods for doing things.

Affiliative Style

The affiliative style of leadership is used for creating a team of people who can accomplish a task. The disadvantage of this style is that the leader does not truly lead. Instead she steps back and requires her team members to determine the goals and objectives of the project.

Democratic Style

The democratic leader listens to all of his subordinates and makes decisions according to their will. The disadvantage of this style is that there is often no clear direction with several different people having differing views. This can be an extremely ineffective style of leadership when decisions need to be made quickly.

Pace-Setting Style

The pace-setting style of leadership is used by leaders who set high standards and attempt to perform most of the work themselves. The pace-setting style is disadvantageous because the leaders tend to take on too much work for themselves and refuse to delegate it out, making it difficult to finish it.

Coaching Style

The coaching style of leadership involves working with individuals to help them set their own goals and personal development plans. Although this can have long-term benefits, in the short term, it can create a disadvantage because it does not provide immediate results.

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