Leadership Communication Styles Inventory Essay

Leadership is defined as one’s ability to influence others. However, when done well that influence enlists 4 major ingredients: [pic]It is an ability to use power effectively and in a responsible manner [pic]It is the ability to understand that different human beings have different motivational forces at different times and in different situations. [pic]It is also an ability to inspire people to perform towards a present objective. [pic]It is the ability to develop a climate conducive to building a positive attitude in the organization.

Research has shown that in the course of a day, the average person tries to assert their influence in at least 4 decisions (Maxwell, 24). As we mature we develop certain preferences or styles for influence and when they are constructive they can be placed in one of three categories: Autocratic or Directive style; Democratic or Supporting style; Laissez-faire or Delegating style. The best leaders use a composite of leadership styles that flex to the individual and the situation and have come to be defined as “situational leadership” by Ken Blanchard. With behavioral repetition usually one style asserts itself above the others.

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This brief exercise and simple tool looks to provide you with some insight into your dominant style and its potential strengths and shortcomings. None of the styles are necessarily better than another. Rather, the situation determines the most appropriate style. For a leader it is vital to learn new skills, develop existing ones and use knowledge coupled with experience so as to benefit colleagues and achieve the overall organizational objective(s). All three styles work best when the leader sees themselves as in the service of those they lead. Part 1 – Leadership Style Preferences

Read the statements below and for each statement indicate you Level of agreement using the scale to the right ( 1. A leader should set direction without input from followers. 2. A leader should set direction with input and consultation with followers. 3. A leader should set direction based on the wishes of followers 4. A leader should use a task force or committee rather than making a decision alone. 5. A leader should evaluate the progress of work with little input from followers. 6. A leader should leave it up to followers to initiate informal day-to-day communications. 7.

A leader should encourage followers to initiate decision making without first seeking approval. 8. A leader should closely monitor rules and regulations – punishing those who break the rules. 9. A leader should keep followers up to date on issues affecting the work group. 10. A leader should explain the reasons for making a decision to his/her followers. 11. A leader should remain distant and not get too friendly with His/her followers. 12. A leader should provide broad goals and leave decisions regarding the methods for achieving the goals to followers. Part 2 – Democratic Style Preferences A.

When involving the input of followers, the leader should poll the followers and allow the most popular opinion to guide their decisions and actions. B. When involving the input of followers, the leader should provide the followers with input – especially those with significant expertise – but retain the decision-making rights themselves. C. When involving the input of followers, the leader should facilitate the group towards consensus before moving forward. Part 3 – Scoring Tally your score on each of the leadership communication styles listed below by totaling your points as indicated.

Authoritarian/DirectiveDemocratic/SupportiveLaissez-Faire/Delegating Question 1 _____Question 2_____Question 3_____ Question 5_____Question 4_____Question 6 _____ Question 8 _____Question 9_____Question 7_____ Question 11_____Question 10_____Question 12_____ Total_____Total_____Total_____ DemocraticConsultativeConsensus Question A_____Question B_____Question C_____ The higher your score the greater your preference for a given leadership communication style. Questions A, B, & C get at the particular preference for a specific type of “Democratic or Supportive” leadership.

There are three manifestations of a Democratic or Supportive Style that leaders can use and this second set of scores helps to identify yours. Part 4 – Ranking Your Preferences Leadership Communication StyleDemocratic Preferences #1 Preference: __________________________#1 Preference: _____________________ #2 Preference: __________________________#2 Preference: _____________________ #3 Preference: __________________________#3 Preference: _____________________ This instrument is an adapted version of Capezio, P and Morehouse, D. , (1997). Secrets of breakthrough leadership. Franklin Lakes, NY: Career Press.

Used for Educational Purposes Only also excellent at providing certain controls to monitor progress, status, etc. they don’t “walk their own talk,” or if they demonstrate harshness without more humane qualities, their reputation becomes one of tyranny or fascism…and Fascist or tyrannical leaders always get overthrown by underlings who have come to resent them or are jealous of their authority( [pic]This approach to leadership generally results in passive resistance from team-members and requires continual pressure and direction from the leader in order to get things done (sometimes to the point of the leader’s exhaustion).

It will eventually create a dependence on the leader, because the subordinates can get to the point where they stop thinking for themselves or become dependent on external motivation and direction. For this reason, performance will characteristically plummet or dip when the leader is absent. This is because this style plays to and provides an extrinsic, rather than intrinsic motivational force for the direct reports. [pic]Of the three dominant styles this style is the most likely to utilize fear and threats to create motivation and urgency.

When threats and fear become too heavily relied on as a tactic, fear has been shown to be detrimental to performance. This is in-part because the nervous energy it creates, produces strivings not to fail, rather than the attempts and risk-taking necessary to succeed. everything that affects their work. They more or less live by the Old Testament proverb that says; “in the counsel of many there is wisdom. ” How that counsel can be used is divided into 3 parts: o Consultative leaders (also called coaching leaders) o Consensus leaders o Democratic leaders

Consultative leaders take the opinion of the team members before making a decision. However they do not delegate the final authority. In contrast to this, Consensus leaders strive to encourage, motivate, and steer team members through general discussions. They provide equal opportunities to all the members to add their inputs. They see to it that all parties agree to the final decision taken. Democratic leaders believe in seeking opinion from all parties. After facilitation of input and ideas, they provide the final authority to the group majority and tend to go along with the most popular opinion. pic]However, the democrat can also be seen as being so unsure of himself/herself and his/her relationship with their sub-ordinates and leave the impression that everything is a matter for group discussion and decision. Clearly, this type of “leader” is not really leading at all. Using Democratic leadership well means clarifying your reverence for your role/position with those you serve. Ultimately the Democratic leader should make or influence the best decision for the organization, group, etc, and that decision should be made separate from relational bias or allegiances to certain members of the group. pic]Like the other styles of leadership, the democratic style is not appropriate in all situations. For instance, the democratic style of leadership does not fair well if there is a tight timeline and it is impossible to get everyone’s input. If the manager feels threatened by this type of leadership or the business feels it cannot afford mistakes, or poor performance/behavior is excessive, this style of leadership would not be considered optimal. this does not violate the company policy/law. This allows for close to complete delegation. development. pic]Visionary leadership does not tend to be ideal in manufacturing settings, where the emphasis is on production quantity and quality that must adhere to strict tolerances & controls. This is because the while style promotes innovation, it also can allow for empowerment chaos, where there are too many chiefs operating in their own sense of the vision. It can also allow people who lose sight of the vision to become lax and unproductive. [pic]For many visionary leaders, failure is not an option. So when it happens it is either chalked up as a learning experience and they persevere, or in some cases is simply ignored. pic]Visionary leaders can be difficult to build significant or close relationships with, as they have a tendency to come across as detached or aloof at times. They are masters at inspiring others and building inclusion, but not necessarily intimacy. This is because their wheels are constantly turning and they spend much of their time in the future. As a result they can miss the enjoyment of the present. Another potential hurdle for the visionary when it comes to work relationships is that they have a tendency to operate in a world of ideals and the people practicality of working out that ideal can be frustrating for them.

They may also have trouble with those who fail to share their values. For these reasons and others, they may be more comfortable leading from a distance and making high impact appearances. Maxwell, J. (1998). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership: follow them and people will follow you. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers. Pierce, J. L. and Newstrom, J. (2000). 8th Ed. The Manager’s Bookshelf. New York: Harper Collins College Publishers. ———————– Strongly Agree Agree Unsure Disagree Strongly Disagree 5( 4( 3( 2( 1( 1( 2( 3( 4( 5( 1( 2( 3( 4( 5( 1( 2( 3( 4( 5( 1( 2( ( 4( 5( 1( 2( 3( 4( 5( 1( 2( 3( 4( 5( 1( 2( 3( 4( 5( 1( 2( 3( 4( 5( 1( 2( 3( 4( 5( 1( 2( 3( 4( 5( 1( 2( 3( 4( 5( 1( 2( 3( 4( 5( 1( 2( 3( 4( 5( 1( 2( 3( 4( 5( The Authoritarian or Autocratic (or Directive) Leadership Style The Authoritarian or Autocratic (or Directive) Leadership Style Continued The Democratic or Participative (or Supportive) Leadership Style The Democratic or Participative (or Supportive) Leadership Style Continued The Laissez-Faire or Visionary (or Delegating) Leadership Style The Laissez-Faire or Visionary (or Delegating) Leadership Style Continued References


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