Educational Leadership Styles for School Leaders to Know

Educational Leadership Styles for School Leaders to Know

A great leader is one who is self aware, understands the importance of communicating with community members and works towards building community, collaborative in nature, is open to new ways, leads by example and also be believes in setting new examples and harness the power of teaching and learning.

Great leader may have few common characteristics but their leadership styles differ and at times they even switch to other styles according to the need of the hour and this ability is what makes them great - ability of ADAPTING & CHANGING.

Different educational leadership styles are what make every leader unique. Read below to know about the various styles that are being followed by leaders.

1. Authoritative

This is best suited when changes require a new vision or when a clear direction is needed. Leaders practicing this mobilize people towards a vision. Here the leader works as a change catalyst that is self confident and empathetic. S/he usually fills up the team with confidence and drives them towards the goals that need to be achieved. The “come with me” style can be notices. The strongest leading style where the leader leads the team towards one direction. The drawback is that employees may feel less connected as leader is the only decision maker and the employees have to follow the orders given by the leader.

2. Affiliative

This works best during stressful circumstances, to heal rifts in a team or motivate them to keep working. The main qualities of this leader are that he is more inclined towards building relationships & is empathetic. The style is that of “people come first”. These leaders create harmony and builds emotional bonds. This type of leader will also build teams that make sure that their followers feel connected to each other. Typically the followers will receive much praise from this style of leader, however poor performance tends to go unchecked.

3. Democratic

Here the leaders make the final decisions, but they include other team members in the decision-making process. They encourage creativity, and people are often highly engaged in projects and decisions. As a result, team members tend to have high job satisfaction and high productivity. In this style teachers run the school with support of the leader. A very collaborative nature can be observed in organizations that are run under this style of leadership. “What do you think?” kind of attitude can be seen in the leader. Though the drawback is that this may not work at the time of making a quick decision.      

4. Coaching

I think to fit in and excel in the 21st century; this is the best style of leadership that can do well in education sector. The leader helps people develop for the future. The leader pushes the teachers and other employees try new things and help them develop and grow. Coaching is an appropriate style for schools because it models learning by encouraging staff to establish long-term development goals and to find ways of attaining them. Coaching leaders give plenty of instruction and feedback. They also excel at delegation. It is a time-consuming approach; however, when successfully applied, it has a positive effect on climate and performance. This approach works best when employees are already aware of their weaknesses and want to improve, but fails when leaders are inept coaches or staff is resistant to learning. 

 5. Visionary Leadership

A mixed approach of first three styles.  Visionary leader is clear about what s/he believes and knows is best for learning. The leader's individual beliefs have developed in collaboration with other stakeholders and articulated into some kind of vision or mission statement. You’ll hear elements of a vision in the way s/he talks about his work. Also important element is that the experiences of students and outcomes are at the center of this vision. You'll know if you hear a vision if it makes you feel something good: inspired, motivated, excited, and so on. A visionary leader talks and walks the school's vision.

Apart from these there are other less adopted styles like empowering that allows employees to have direct decision making responsibilities, empathetic that sets a tone to make employees feel engaged, humbleservitude that focuses on listening and moral/ethical leadership whose only mantra is insistence on ethical behavior by all.  

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What is your way to lead? Share your views and insights with us in the comment section below. 

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About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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