Unlocking Potential Through Leadership Style Testing

It’s no secret that strong leadership is the cornerstone of organisational success. Leaders are like the guiding stars, illuminating the path towards achieving goals and empowering their teams. But here’s the catch: leaders come in all shapes and sizes, each with their own unique style. Recognising and embracing these differences is vital to fostering collaboration, building robust teams, and unlocking new levels of achievement. And that’s where leadership style testing steps in, lending a helping hand on the journey to effective leadership.

Imagine an orchestra where every instrument plays a different tune but harmonises perfectly together. In a similar vein, organisations thrive when leaders understand and embrace their distinct styles. Leadership style testing acts as a compass, highlighting the individual strengths and areas for growth in leaders. It’s like a roadmap, revealing insights into decision-making, conflict resolution, and team management approaches. By uncovering these hidden treasures, organisations can tap into the true potential of their leaders and create an environment where success blooms.

So, whether a leader exudes the confidence of an autocrat, the inclusiveness of a democrat, the freedom of a laissez-faire leader, or the transformative spirit of a visionary, leadership style testing helps organisations navigate the diverse seas of leadership styles. It equips businesses with the knowledge to build stronger teams, foster collaboration, and unleash the full potential of their leaders. After all, great things happen when leaders are empowered to lead authentically and teams unite under the banner of shared vision and purpose.


Leadership style testing is a type of psychometric testing that helps identify an individual’s unique leadership style. Through a series of questions, the assessment evaluates how individuals approach various situations such as decision-making, conflict resolution, and team management. The results provide valuable insights into a person’s strengths, weaknesses, and preferred leadership style.

Leadership styles vary, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the most common leadership styles:

  1. Autocratic: This style involves a leader making decisions without input from others. It can be effective when quick decisions are needed but may lead to team members feeling excluded from the decision-making process.
  2. Democratic: This style involves seeking input from team members and making decisions based on collective input. It promotes teamwork and buy-in but may slow down decision-making.
  3. Laissez-faire: This style involves minimal guidance, allowing team members to make decisions independently. It empowers skilled and self-motivated individuals but can result in confusion and lack of direction.
  4. Transformational: This style inspires and motivates team members to reach their full potential. It fosters innovation and creativity but can be challenging to implement and sustain.

When it comes to what makes an effective leader, opinions may vary, and countless traits are deemed crucial for success. Yet, among the diverse perspectives, one aspect that garners widespread agreement is the significance of self-awareness. In the realm of modern leadership, being self-aware is not just an added bonus—it is a must! While there are various qualities leaders should possess, having a deep understanding of how you rate in each leadership characteristic lays the foundation for growth and improvement. After all, how can you strengthen or develop your leadership if you don’t know where you stand?

A vital tool for gaining insight into your unique leadership style preferences is the 360 assessment. This valuable resources can shed light on how you act and react in various situations, empowering you to be a more effective leader.

Being self-aware does not imply that you have all the answers or that you never make mistakes as a leader. However, it does influence how your team perceives and respects you as a leader. Unleashing your leadership potential begins with personal awareness, but it doesn’t end there. True growth comes from utilising this knowledge and having the flexibility to adapt your leadership style as needed.

Understanding the art of modifying or adapting your leadership qualities in specific situations is essential. Why adapt? It’s entirely your choice. Nevertheless, in today’s diverse and dynamic workplaces, individuals differ greatly in their behavioural styles. Consider the myriad behavioural types present in your team, your client’s organisations, or even within your own family. As a modern leader, the expectation to adapt is greater than ever before. People have varying needs, communication styles, and motivations. As a leader, self-awareness about your position on the Extended DISC map and understanding your team’s expectations is crucial. Embracing adaptability allows you to cater to their individual needs, fostering a harmonious and productive work environment.

Leadership Styles


To evaluate leadership styles, businesses may use a variety of assessment tools. Below are some of the most commonly used assessments.

DISC Assessment: DISC is a popular assessment that evaluates an individual’s dominant behavioural traits, such as dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. It provides insights into leadership styles and how individuals communicate, motivate, and lead their teams.

DiSC assessment leadership

Saville WAVE Leadership Impact Report: The Leadership Impact Report is the first report to go beyond competencies and link behaviour to organisational outcomes. It identifies where your leaders are most likely to create impact across nine key areas. Aligned to these nine Impact areas are 18 Leadership Styles, where reflections for development to encourage self-awareness and development are provided for the individual.

saville 3ps

Leadership 360-Degree Feedback: This assessment gathers feedback from multiple sources, including superiors, peers, and subordinates, to evaluate a leader’s effectiveness. It provides a comprehensive view of a leader’s strengths and areas for improvement, helping them refine their leadership style.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) Assessment: Emotional intelligence assessments measure an individual’s ability to understand and manage their emotions, as well as empathise with others. They provides insights into how leaders handle stress, communicate effectively, and build relationships with their team members.

Hogan 360: The Hogan 360 is a comprehensive multi-rater feedback tool designed to help career-minded individuals and leaders at any level of an organisation gain a better understanding of how they are perceived by managers, peers, direct peers, direct reports, and others.

Hogan leadership assessment

These are just some examples of the most commonly used leadership style tests that businesses can utilise to gain insights into their leaders’ strengths, weaknesses, and preferred approaches.

Benefits of leadership style testing


Leadership style testing offers numerous benefits. It helps identify potential leaders with the qualities necessary for success in leadership roles. For existing employees, it informs development planning by tailoring training and programs to enhance leadership effectiveness.

Leadership style testing is also valuable in team building activities, enabling team members to understand each other’s styles and collaborate more efficiently.

Moreover, leadership style testing provides a data-driven approach to identifying leadership qualities beyond traditional assessments. It promotes diversity within leadership teams by recognising individuals with untapped potential, regardless of their conventional qualifications.

This approach reduces unconscious bias in the hiring process, ensuring fair evaluation based on skills and abilities rather than background or personal characteristics.

Limitations and Considerations: While leadership style testing is valuable, it has limitations. One limitation is that it relies on self-reporting, which may introduce biases or inaccurate reporting. One of the key areas that people can use to mitigate this is a combination of a self report measure and a 360 measure – this combines self awareness and perception of others giving you a holistic picture of preferences and performance data.

Additionally, leadership style testing may not fully consider situational factors such as organisational size, complexity, culture, and role demands. It is worth noting that gamified assessments, although engaging and enjoyable, may not offer the same level of insight as traditional assessments like those provided by Testgrid. Gamified assessments may lack the same validity and effectiveness in identifying potential leaders.

Leadership style testing is a valuable tool for employers seeking to identify potential leaders, develop existing leaders, and build more effective teams. By evaluating individuals’ leadership styles, organisations can make informed decisions, foster leadership growth, and cultivate a collaborative and successful workplace. Leadership style testing empowers organisations to leverage diverse leadership approaches and create environments where every individual can thrive.


If you want to talk to one of our experts about utilising leadership style testing in your organisation, get in touch with our team here, or call 03 9040 1700 to learn more.


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