Leadership styles activity guide and handout

Unit 13:
Leadership Skills
Leadership styles
activity guide and
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Unit 13: Leadership Skills
Leadership styles activity guide and handout
Estimated duration: 20 minutes
To provide a three clear examples of leadership styles
By the end of this class, students will be able to:
 Identify the situations where one leadership style is more appropriate than
Handout: Leadership styles (included below)
Activity description
This is a group discussion facilitated by the teacher based on three types of
leadership: authoritarian, participative and delegation. Students are asked to give
examples, and tasks allocated for their project are reviewed and thought about in
terms of the three styles.
Styles of Leadership
Quite a lot of research has been undertaken to examine leadership styles. Perhaps
the most critical study was undertaken in 1939 by a group of researchers led by
psychologist Kurt Lewin. This early study was very influential and established three
major leadership styles: autocratic, democratic, or laissez-fair. Over time these terms
have been developed to define the following leadership styles: authoritative,
participative and delegative. Discuss these styles with the students, using the
information in the handout as a guide. Ask students to give examples of each type of
leadership they might have encountered, seen in a film, read about or heard about.
Mixing it all together
Leaders have many different styles. Depending on the situation, some styles may be
more effective than others. Good leaders utilise all three styles depending upon the
situation. For example, they:
 Use an authoritative style if a group member lacks knowledge about a certain
 Use a participative style with group members who understand the objectives
and their role in the task.
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Use a delegative style if the group member knows more than they do about
the task.
Refer back to some of the tasks that students have to complete in their project. You
can use some of these examples of the tasks to demonstrate how students might
think about applying the three leadership types.
(Based on activity from the Centre for Multicultural Youth’s Short Burst Training)
Student Roles and Responsibilities
Contribute to class discussions
Level of Teacher Support
Facilitate discussion
Organise materials and equipment
To use these learning activities as assessment tasks, collect evidence such as:
Teacher checklist and observation
Student notes
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Unit 13: Leadership Skills
Leadership styles handout
Authoritarian Leadership
These leaders make all the decisions without consulting others. They provide clear
expectations to group members on what should be done, when it should be
completed, and how it should be accomplished.
Authoritarian leadership is best used in situations when there is little time for group
decision-making or when the leader is the one best equipped to solve the problem
or give directions.
Overuse of an authoritarian style can be construed as bossy and controlling. Worstcase examples of this style can be seen when leaders utilise bullying techniques such
as yelling, abusing power, or demeaning group members.
Participative Leadership
Participative leaders accept input from one or more group members when making
decisions and solving problems, but the leader has the final say when choices are
Group members tend to be encouraged and motivated by this style of leadership. It
often leads to more effective and accurate decisions, since no leader can be an
expert in all areas.
It can be problematic when there are a wide range of opinions and no clear way of
reaching an equitable final decision.
Delegative Leadership
Delegative leaders allow group members to make decisions. These leaders often go
with the flow.
This style is best used in situations where the leader needs to rely on the expertise of
group members. After all, the leader cannot be an expert in all situations, which is
why it is important to delegate certain tasks out to knowledgeable and capable
group members.
There is potential for the leader to lose track of the decisions made by team
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