Leadership styles

Leadership styles

Leading With Style – What Is Yours?

Leadership styles are the way that leaders offer vision and direction for a group; how a leader oversees plans and goes about motivating people. Before World War II, Kurt Lewin led a research project to find different styles of leadership. He identified three major  leadership styles and blends of  these have influenced leadership thinking ever since.

The three main leadership styles are:

  • Authoritarian or autocratic – “I want you to….”
  • Participative or democratic – “Let’s work together to….”
  • Delegative or Free Reign – “You take care of it while I…”

Most modern analyses of leadership describe a blend of these three leadership styles but the underlying themes remain the same. Good leaders use all three styles with the most appropriate dominating at any particular time, depending on the situation. For example, in a crisis, there is little room for discussion – clear orders, well given, can save lives. The time taken for participation or giving inexperienced people free rein could be dangerous.

Most of us are drawn to one of three styles as the most comfortable for us to use. But each one has disadvantages if used on all occasions.

Being told what to do all the time in an authoritative style is demeaning and demotivating. This style also means one brain finding solutions rather than having access to contributions from the group. A participative style gains more commitment; it raises motivation and morale.

When using a participative style, the leader retains final responsibility for any decision made and “carries the can” if that decision is not the right one. But all the group can be engaged and contribute. Using a participative style shows confidence and it is a sign of strength. This is the style of leadership that most employees respect above all others. But, as I’ve suggested above, it isn’t right in all circumstances; among other things, participation takes time.

Using a delegative style means the leader leaves those led to make the decisions. Of course, the leader is still accountable for the decisions made. This style is used most often, and most constructively, with well established groups who are quite clear about their roles, as well as the task and they have full information. They are then able to decide what needs to be done and how to do it. The leader needs to have confidence in the group to use this style comfortably. And, the leader still needs to set priorities and make sure the risks associated with the task are properly managed.

What style of leadership do you use and how do you make sure that your style is the right one for the task?

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Leading With Style – What Is Yours?

Leading With Style – What Is Yours?

Leadership style is the way that a leader provides vision and direction for a group; how that leader oversees plans and goes about motivating people.

Before World War II, Kurt Lewin led a research project to identify different styles of leadership. He identified three major styles of leadership and blends of  these have influenced leadership thinking ever since.

The three main styles are:

  • Authoritarian or autocratic – “I want you to….”
  • Participative or democratic – “Let’s work together to….”
  • Delegative or Free Reign – “You take care of it while I…”

Most modern analyses of leadership describe a blend of these three styles but the underlying themes remain the same. Good leaders use all three styles with the most appropriate dominating at any particular time, depending on the situation. For example, in a crisis, there is little room for discussion – clear orders, well given, can save lives. The time taken for participation or giving inexperienced people free reign could be dangerous.

Most of us are drawn to one of three styles as the most comfortable for us to use. But each one has disadvantages if used on all occasions.

Being told what to do all the time in an authoritative style is demeaning and demotivating. This style also means one brain finding solutions rather than having access to contributions from the group. A participative style gains more commitment; it raises motivation and morale.

When using a participative style, the leader retains final responsibility for any decision made and “carries the can” if that decision is not the right one. But all the group can be engaged and contribute. Using a participative style shows confidence and it is a sign of strength. This is the style of leadership that most employees respect above all others. But, as I’ve suggested above, it isn’t appropriate in all circumstances; among other things, participation takes time.

Using a delegative style means the leader leaves those led to make the decisions. Of course, the leader is still accountable for the decisions made. This style is used most often, and most constructively, with well established groups who are quite clear about their roles, as well as the task and they have full information. They are then able to determine what needs to be done and how to do it. The leader needs to have confidence in the group to use this style comfortably. And, the leader still needs to set priorities and ensure the risks associated with the task are properly managed.

What style of leadership do you use and how do you ensure that your style is appropriate to the task?

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

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Leading Leading Change the Simple Way

Leading Leading Change the Simple Way

The three stages of change identified by psychologist Kurt Lewin are the basis of Leading Change The Simple Waymost change management approaches today. Lewin’s three stages are about leading change the simple way.

They are very easy to understand – unfreeze, transition, re-freeze!

There are simple techniques you can use at each stage to move people through and to complete your change successfully.

Leading Leading Change the Simple Way

Unfreeze: People like to feel safe and in control.  Their sense of identity is tied into their present environment; so, they like to stay in their comfort zone! Talking about the future is rarely enough to get them to change.

But there are simple techniques you can use to get them to “thaw” and to make them ready for change.

Transition For Lewin change is a journey.  This journey may not be that simple and the person may need to go through several stages of misunderstanding before they get to the other side.

It is very easy to get caught up in this middle stage. Transition takes time and needs leadership and support! Sometimes transition can also be a pleasant trap – it may feel better to travel hopefully than arrive – particularly for the team leading the change.

Techniques used by experienced change managers move people through transition to the new destination

Refreeze At the other end of the journey, the final goal is to ‘refreeze’, putting down roots again and establishing a new place of stability – embedding new processes and developing a new culture.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Leading Leading Change the Simple Way and a Present from Wisewolf

The three stages of change identified by psychologist Kurt Lewin are the basis of most change management approaches today.

They are very easy to understand – unfreeze, transition, re-freeze!

There are simple techniques you can use at each stage to move people through and to complete your change successfully.

Unfreeze: People like to feel safe and in control.  Their sense of identity is tied into their present environment; so, they like to stay in their comfort zone! Talking about the future is rarely enough to get them to change.

But there are simple techniques you can use to get them to “thaw” and to make them ready for change.

Transition For Lewin change is a journey.  This journey may not be that simple and the person may need to go through several stages of misunderstanding before they get to the other side.

It is very easy to get caught up in this middle stage. Transition takes time and needs leadership and support! Sometimes transition can also be a pleasant trap – it may feel better to travel hopefully than arrive – particularly for the team leading the change.

Techniques used by experienced change managers move people through transition to the new destination

Refreeze At the other end of the journey, the final goal is to ‘refreeze’, putting down roots again and establishing a new place of stability – embedding new processes and developing a new culture

Would you like to find out more about this simple approach and the simple techniques you can use to make your change successful!

If you sign up to receive Wisewolf Talking direct by email, you will receive a free copy of my simple guide to leading change.

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