Understand Leadership Styles
1.1 Describe the factors that will influence the choice of leadership styles or behaviors in workplace situations.
In today’s business environment, the type of leadership style to choose for an organization is usually affected by some factors in the workplace or personality influence from the employees. Different leadership styles work in different situations and as a senior manager, you should be able to make proper judgement in deciding the appropriate style in every situation.
Leadership styles that a manager can employ can be classified into four type; first is the Autocratic style whereby the leader owns all control and makes decision without involving the employees to express their opinions. The next style is Bureaucratic style where the manager makes every decision ‘by the book” and only consults his/ her superiors. Everything under this leadership style is done and completed according to the laid down procedures and protocols. The third style is Laissez-Faire style where the subordinates have freedom to make decisions. However, the manager is responsible for the decision made by the employees. The last style is Democratic/ Participative style whereby the subordinates are fully involved in decision making and are always aware of everything affecting their work.
However, some of the factors that may influence choice of leadership style is the personality influence as it dictates who you are. For example, a leader who always feels powerful will adopt the autocratic style of leadership. Also leadership style may be influenced by the level of control the leader needs to maintain. Some leaders may feel the need to delegate work to the employees thus they may use bureaucratic style, but others may get involved in day to day task of the organization hence adopting Democratic style. Organization structure may also influence the type of leadership to choose, as well as the managers’ experience. For example, leaders with experience may feel the need to use democratic style as they are aware of challenges that may arise unlike leaders without experience who may adopt bureaucratic style.
1.2 Explain why these leadership styles or behaviours are likely to have a positive or negative effect on individual or group behaviour.
How a leadership style is appropriately used in a certain situation determines its effect on the individual behavior at the workplace. As aforementioned, different situations require different leadership styles which have their positive and negative effect on both managers and subordinates’ behavior at the workplace.
The autocratic style is effective when the leader need task to be completed within short time and the subordinates lack knowledge of the policies and procedures to complete the task. This style facilitates quicker decision making as the manager doesn’t need to consult the employees. This leadership style doesn’t encourage employees’ creativity and also it lowers their morale and loyalty.
The democratic leadership style is effective when the manager need to involve the team members in decision making. This ensures coaching of the team abilities to perform some task and thus encouraging team building. It also boosts the employees’ morale and royalty hence productivity increases and low turnover of staff.
On the Laissez-faire leadership style, the senior manager gives the subordinates freedom to make decisions in their field of work. It’s only effective when the team members are highly skilled, trusted and are experienced thus it increases productivity. The senior manager closely monitors the work being done as employees can adopt new style as they have freedom to make decision, this can negatively affect productivity. The Bureaucratic style is effective where team- members need to understand new procedures like use of delicate equipment. Despite that the style ensures task is completed efficiently, it demotivates the employees
2.1 Assess own leadership behaviours and potential in the context of a particular leadership model and own organization’s working practice and culture using feedback from others.
I work as Team Leader in my organization, on daily basis I use different leadership skills in order to accomplish my duty of developing a sense of teamwork within my staffs and lead them in fulfilling the objectives of the company.
I have collected feedback from my team members and also line manager using a questionnaire on how appropriately I use my leadership as team leader. The findings showed that I like motivating my team members to work harder in order to accomplish our task. I highly respect personal opinion and value the skills of team members I work with. I also involve my team members to participate in decision making process and problem solving and also focus on group equality and free flow of ideas. The results also showed that there were some leadership elements of consultation from the team members. I encourage new skills and respect new ideas from my team members on every aspect of our job.
I use the following leadership skills within my team members. Creating a vision in line with the organization goals and sharing it with my team members, setting up objectives to achieve our team goals, allocation of task, roles and responsibilities to the team, monitoring individual performance, controlling activities where necessary like when team members require training over certain task and giving feedback on development and technical skills needed (these skills are not commonly categorized as authoritative).
I also like training my team on certain fields which I have experience on and which require some technical skills. This has resulted into building a better team with a strong team spirit that can work together. It has also resulted into a healthy working environment for my team members as they feel their opinion are being valued. My team members’ feels being part of every task and hence they are more committed in achieving the company goals and objectives.
In my opinion, my dominating leadership style is Democratic in the most situations while working with my team members. Also I use other skills from other styles of leadership as described by my workmates. My leadership style has been linked to the culture of the company as both my Line manager fully involves me in decision making and the General Manager also uses democratic style of leadership.
2.2 Describe appropriate actions to enhance own leadership behaviour in the context of a particular leadership model.
Considering my dominating leadership style is democratic style, there are a number of actions that I can apply to develop my leadership abilities in working with my team;
One way of enhancing my own leadership behavior is through attending training seminars since am relatively inexperienced team leader who requires better planning skills. This will help me acquire skills about other leadership styles and learn more on how to use such skills in different situation. Having obtained these skills will make me a better team leader who can manage and deal with a range of situations.
Another way would be finding a role model with a reputable leadership I admire. The role model can be a mentor to me, this will aid in enhancing my skills. As a result, team members will start admiring the skill on me and work on emulating them.
Alternatively, improving my communication skills can help in enhancing my leadership behavior. This will help me be able to clearly communicate on time the visions and goals of the team, skills needed and expectations from the Line manager. It also includes boosting my ability to listen to team members’ ideas and views
Keeping my vision, goals & objectives clearly in my mind can help me be a good leader. This means I will be able to provide a clear path that my team members will follow in achieving the goals which are in line with the organization’s long tern goals. This will make my team be aware of the most valuable goals and also clearly understand the benefits of such goals and visions not only in benefitting the organization but also how they will be benefiting them.Lastly, admitting and learning from my failures and weakness can help improve my leadership behavior. Since no one is perfect, we all make mistake! As strong team leader, I should be able to learn from mistakes and also communicate my weaknesses to my team so that my team can select someone better in such task.