Leadership is defined as one’s ability to influence others. However, when done well that influence enlists 4 major ingredients:
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. 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
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
6. A leader should leave it up to followers to initiate informal
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
11. A leader should remain distant and not get too friendly with
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.
Question 1 _____
Question 6 _____
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