Leadership Communication Styles Inventory

Leadership is defined as one’s ability to influence others. However, when done well that influence enlists 4 major ingredients: [pick] It is an ability to use power effectively and in a responsible manner [pick] It is the ability to understand that different human beings have different motivational forces at different times and in different situations. [pick] It is also an ability to inspire people to perform towards a present objective. [pick] 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 o 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-fairer 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. This brief exercise and simple tool looks to provide you with some insight onto 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. . 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 – who break the rules. Gnashing those 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. 1 1 .

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 roved 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/Directive Democratic/Supportive Laissez-Fairer/Delegating Question 1 Question 5 Question 8 Question 11 Total Democratic Question A Question 2 Question 4 Question 9 Question 10 Question 3 Question 6 Question 7 Question 12 Consul Dative Consensus 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 Style # 1 p reference : #2 Preference: #3 Preference: Democratic Preferences Preference: This instrument is an adapted version of Capsize, P and Morehouse, D. (1997). Secrets of breakthrough leadership. Franklin Lakes, NY: Career Press.

Used for Educational Purposes Only Autocratic leadership (also referred to as “Directive Leadership”) is a style in which the manager retains the power and decision-making authority. Autocratic leaders create motivation through the distribution of rewards for compliance and punishment for disobedience. An Autocratic leader commands his/her team and expects compliance. In order to get that compliance they will typically use some form of fear of punishment, a powerful reward, or reverence – which is a healthy combination of ear and earned respect or nobility that result in certain reputation awe.

Autocratic leaders tend to excel at providing clear expectations, structure, as well as the specifics of how to perform the tasks. They are also excellent at providing certain controls to monitor progress, status, etc. Autocratic leaders are task-oriented and focused. Their style tends to work well where there is a need for a lot of structure, with the non-routine and complex tasks, or where there is a production emphasis. They are typically not concerned with the attitude or thinking of the group… And if they are… T is secondary to meeting the goals at hand. New and untrained employees that are unfamiliar with the tasks and procedures benefit most from the Autocratic leadership style. A sense of security is created when a new employee is instructed with exact details of the expectations of their performance. This takes the guesswork out of the job for the individual and allows them to contribute immediately to production. Some situations may call for urgent action (crisis, etc), and in these cases an Autocratic style of leadership may be best.

In addition, most people are familiar with Autocratic leadership and therefore have less trouble adopting that style. Furthermore, in some situations, direct reports may actually prefer an autocratic style – especially those used to rules, order, and structure. Initially this leadership style will produce increased performance by minimizing undesirable behavior, but long-term it has been shown to decrease job satisfaction. This is because experienced employees are typically not involved in the decision-making process and studies have shown that this is detrimental to their motivation.

This style of leadership can work well in situations involving large numbers of direct reports or business units. This is because the reverential petition usually makes an icon of the leader. In order for this to work, the leaders reputation must be one of fairness, purposefulness, responsiveness, integrity, directness and consistency. If they don’t “walk their own talk,” or if they demonstrate harshness without more humane qualities, their reputation becomes one of tyranny or fascism… ND Fascist or tyrannical leaders always get overthrown by underlings who have come to resent them or are jealous of their authority( [pick 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. [pick] Of the three dominant styles this style is the most likely to utilize fear and hearts 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.

The work relationships of the autocratic leader can be well developed with direct reports that understand their reporting relationship and demonstrate a certain respect or reverence. If the direct report betrays this however, they may have a long road home. Enthusiastic fans of autocratic leaders may find their deader strict, but usually trust in some combination of their style’s typical merits; fairness, initiative, boldness, organization, intelligence and experience.

Democratic or Supportive leadership (also referred to as “Participative Leadership”) encourages employees to be part of the decision-making and problem solving responsibilities. Democratic leaders generally keep their employees informed about 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: Consultative leaders (also called coaching leaders) leaders o Democratic leaders o Consensus 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 sorority and tend to go along with the most popular opinion.

In this style of leadership, the leader is a coach who typically has the final say, but gathers information from staff members before making a decision. A good Democratic leader encourages participation and delegates wisely, but never loses sight of the fact that he/she bears the crucial responsibility of leadership. He/She values group discussion and input from his/her team and can be seen as drawing from a pool of his/her team members’ strong points in order to obtain the best performance from the team.

The Democratic leader motivates his/her team by empowering them to erect themselves, and guides them with a loose reign. Democratic leadership can produce high quality and quantity work for long periods of time. Typically with this style employees enjoy the trust they receive and respond with cooperation, team spirit, and high morale. Typically, the democratic leader develops plans to assist employees in evaluating their own performance. This style of leadership permits employees to establish goals, as well as encourages employees to enhance skills and be promoted, and recognizes and encourages achievement.

Recognition is typically the key tool used in kindling the fires of motivation or the followers of leaders utilizing this style. In order for democratic leadership to work well, the leader must be seen as fair and maintain integrity between words and action. Democratic leaders are great facilitators. [pick] 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. [pick 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 dervish would not be considered optimal. Democratic leadership is most successful when used with highly skilled, mature, or experienced employees. It will also be highly effective when looking to develop employees, grow employee/customer satisfaction, resolve individual/ group problems, or build teams. Of all the styles, democratic leaders tend to build the most intimate relationships with those they influence.

They typically use this intimate knowledge of others to better represent those they serve. This is primary to their motivation. This is sometimes referred to as visionary leadership. “Visionary leadership s the ability to develop and implement an engaging image of what the organization can become, and the ability to set up systems to make that vision a reality. ” (Pierce & Newsroom, 2000, p. 97) In other words, this style of leadership could be best stated as a call to a cause or a purpose. A vision is the ability to take a picture of what an organization could be in the future.

The vision must be real enough to captivate the stakeholders, particularly the employees, if they are expected to invest dynamism and energy into it. The vision must be communicated very explicitly throughout the organization or group for it to be effective. Visionary leaders tend to rely on certain values, principles, and truths to keep themselves motivated and driven towards ideals. They then take these core values and share & implement them with others. Those that buy into these shared values then have a common purpose and an intrinsic motor that can drive them towards some of the most amazing accomplishments.

Leaders who are totally committed to their vision and course of action, are often called charismatic. Charismatic leaders typically have an unshakeable belief in their mission, are optimistic, are supremely confident that they and their lowers can succeed, and have the ability to convey these certainties to their followers. Followers of charismatic leaders demonstrate unquestioning intrinsic loyalty and obedience. Once the vision has been empowered, the leader rarely interferes until requested.

The group members are allowed to perform as they like, so far as this does not violate the company policy/law. This allows for close to complete delegation. Visionary leaders operate in a world of possibilities. Visionary leaders consider most people self-motivated and emotionally secure. Significant accomplishments are commonly met with celebrations acclimated by visionary leaders. Visionary leaders tend to be very principled in their approaches to ethics, values, trust, and honesty, however they are flexible when it comes to allowing for creativity and most forms of expression.

Many visionary leaders see themselves as successful even if they can inspire original vision and motivation on the part of their followers/direct reports. Employee motivation and morale tends to be extremely high with visionary leadership when it’s done well. Of all the styles, visionary leadership tends to have the fewest controls on productivity. They are capable of employing measures, but would much prefer there hold themselves accountable, “because in an ideal world that is how it should be done. The Visionary technique is usually only appropriate when leading a team of the most highly motivated and skilled people, who have produced excellent work in the past. Once a leader has established that his/her team is confident, capable and motivated, it is often best to step back and let them get on with the task, since interfering can generate resentment and detract from their effectiveness. By handing over ownership, a leader can empower his group to achieve their goals. This type of leadership works well in volunteer organizations, as well as retentive areas, such as marketing, management, and research and development. pick] 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. [pick] 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. pick] 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 legislations 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.