Delphinium Business Coaching offers business coaching, mentoring, training and group workshops. This blog will share our thoughts on the next big ideas as well as hints and tips that will help shape your business.
We often hear the saying: Employees leave managers, not companies, and quite often, that is true. In fact, in most cases, there is a direct correlation between high employee turnover and poor leadership within the company. However, how can we expect managers to suddenly be strong leaders without being provided with adequate training, tools and support?
We wouldn’t expect a builder to construct a house with only a hammer, nor would we seek the advice of a doctor who had never received any medical training, yet everyday individuals are continuing to be promoted into management because they are technically good at their day jobs and are simply expected to be great leaders.
Too often, managers make mistakes due to a lack of knowledge, experience and/or confidence. It isn’t down to the inability to be a strong leader, but the fact that there is a lack of investment in leadership development.
Invest in People
If you want managers that inspire and motivate your workforce to excel, it is essential that you are continually investing in their leadership development. With appropriate training in leadership and management, your managers can understand the difference between leading and managing, the different styles of leadership and the appropriate style to be used in different circumstances for different individuals or teams.
They learn how to improve and adapt their communication skills to motivate and inspire. With this increased knowledge and understanding managers feel much more comfortable when it comes to managing performance.
Good performance management requires appropriate feedback, both positive and constructive, in the proper time. Constructive feedback can involve ‘difficult conversations’, and this is where mistakes often occur with managers. Some managers mishandle performance management issues, creating unnecessary conflict and demotivation. Other managers, particularly those who lack the confidence, avoid addressing the issues altogether. The latter scenario can often be worse than the first as allowing poor performance to go unchallenged not only costs the company in reduced output from the poor performers; it can also cause those who are performing to become disengaged. This then results in previous high performers becoming less effective or leaving the company to join a competitor.
When managers are given proper training, they gain the confidence and skills to carry out formal assessments, give appropriate feedback and have those conversations around it in a way that will motivate employees.
One of the most important skills managers need to be a strong leader is communication. Whether it is the general management of their team, managing up, performance feedback or conflict resolution, good communication is key.
Ineffective communication between managers and their colleagues can be very detrimental for a company. Employees can misinterpret what is expected of them or struggle to understand how their role fits within the company’s overall objectives. They can become disengaged if they feel that their hard work is not recognised and they are not valued. These issues cause productivity and motivation to decrease, which in turn has a negative effect or their colleagues and customer service can also suffer.
Poor communication skills also limit a manager’s problem-solving and conflict resolution skills. Investment in communication training ensures managers learn how to communicate effectively, including non-verbal communication, prepares them for potential communication barriers and how to overcome them.
Anyone who has the desire and motivation to do so can be a strong leader. They just need to be given a chance to learn and apply the skills obtained through the right training and subsequent support.
So who in your organisation really wants to develop as a leader? Who has the potential to really make a difference in your organisation? For help in identifying those individuals and creating an effective training plan contact Delphinium to discuss how we can help you.
One of the most laid-back approaches to leading a group is with the laissez-faire style. The laissez-faire leadership style is more “hands-off” than other styles, where a leader will delegate tasks to the team and have no other involvement until the tasks are completed or a problem arises.
The ideas surrounding laissez-faire, which translates to “let do” in French, are focused on each individual in a group and allowing them do what they think is best when it comes to problem-solving, decision making or completing a task. This style offers a lot of freedom for group members, but like all styles, it comes with its advantages and disadvantages.
Typical laissez-faire leader traits
The laissez-faire leader will often demonstrate laid-back behaviours. They offer very little guidance and let employees get on with the task without interfering. They even allow the freedom of decision-making on their own without getting involved.
A laisse-faire leader does not let employees completely fend for themselves when it comes to problem solving. They will provide the tools and resources needed, but then expect employees to take the reins and get the job done with the resources presented in a way the employee sees fit.
For this reason, a laissez-faire leader will need to be trusting and have the courage to hand over decisions to other group members. They must be able to recognise the strengths of their employees and build a team they know can tackle the project or problem at hand. Ultimately, the leader of the laissez-faire style will depend on their team to do a good job as accountability still lies with the leader.
When is it most effective?
The laissez-faire leadership style can be effective in certain circumstances, but like other leadership styles, it also has its disadvantages and can be switched out with other styles when the need to do so arises.
Laissez-faire leadership is useful when there is a team of highly-skilled, knowledgeable and motivated employees who are capable of working on their own to complete tasks. Sometimes, this knowledge may go beyond the leader’s, so it is only appropriate to let the employees finish the task the best way they see fit to allow them to demonstrate their expertise. Team members should have a passion for what they do and be motivated enough to work without much guidance.
Disadvantages of the laissez-faire leadership style
Because of the laid-back nature of the laissez-faire leadership style, it can only prove to be effective when there is a team who are knowledgeable, experienced and determined to work on the job without much direction. If there are team members who need to be set deadlines and require guidance and supervision, then the laissez-faire approach can be very unproductive.
With this style, there is also the risk of the feeling of a lack of leadership. This can lead to a demotivated team if they feel like there isn’t much concern over the task.
Laissez-faire leaders are held accountable for their team’s outcomes, so if there are deadlines not met or a project that didn’t produce the results it should have, a laissez-faire leader may be quick to pass blame onto others, creating a negative atmosphere.
How laissez-faire leadership style can work for your business
Laissez-faire leaders can really bring out the best in their employees if they are motivated enough to let their talents shine. This is especially helpful for those leading a creative team. It allows team members to work on their own ideas and show off the best of their skills for the company.
The laissez-faire leader will need to provide all the information and resources needed to complete the task that allows the group to self-manage efficiently. A motivated team will then be left to use these to the best of their ability to get work done.
Overall, a laissez-faire leadership style is great for those groups with highly-skilled and dedicated employees who are self-disciplined enough to work without guidance. This approach may be best at the beginning of a project that allows everyone to work on their own ideas before bringing them together into something more structured. At that point, another leadership style may be more appropriate. Laissez-faire is also not suitable for when attention needs to be made to detail or there are tight deadlines.
Which leadership style will you adopt?
With different leadership styles appropriate for different situations, it is important to know which is best for your business needs to see results. Delphinium’s training workshops in Leadership and Management will help those in a leadership position identify these situations and know how to better approach them. Get in touch to discuss how these workshops or our ILM Level 3 and Level 5 in Leadership and Management can help benefit your business.
A democratic leadership style involves being the head of a team whilst involving all individuals in the decision-making process. Although final decisions are left with the leader, this participatory leadership style welcomes and encourages input from all.
A democratic leadership style is a very popular choice for workforces looking to empower their employees. It promotes teamwork and creativity, leading to an effective and efficient way of completing goals.
Typical characteristics of a democratic leader:
Democratic leaders will share common characteristics, including:
Encouragement of group members to share opinions and ideas, making them feel like an important part of the team
Showing employees trust and respect, which helps inspire them to contribute, and in turn, earns trust and respect
Demonstrates honesty, fairness, creativity and courage when need be.
Benefits of a democratic leadership style
Democratic leadership is often considered the most powerful leadership style. When it comes to identifying potential within a team, it’s this style that is proven to be the most effective.
This is due to the empowerment it gives employees. It makes them feel part of the team when they’re encouraged to be part of decision-making processes. Democratic leadership also promotes creativity and the input of ideas from everyone. Leaders are then able to identify everyone’s strengths and gain knowledge from their staff.
When staff feel like they are being listened to and part of the company rather ‘just’ an employee, it builds commitment and loyalty to the company.
Disadvantages of a democratic leadership style
While the benefits of adopting a democratic leadership style can be remarkable for most businesses, there are times when even this popular style can be ineffective.
For example, a democratic leader may find it difficult to be decisive during times of crisis or when a decision needs to be made as quickly as possible. While input from the team may be preferable, it may prove to be too time-consuming making sure everyone is heard, even more so if there are any disagreements within the team.
This leadership style involves creating an environment where everyone feels confident to speak up, so if an individual feels that their voice is not heard as it was not included in any decision-making, this can cause some friction. Democratic leaders want to be fair and can be made to feel bad when they cannot implement everyone’s ideas.
Democratic leaders may also find it hard working with employees who are inexperienced or not confident enough to participate in decision-making.
Overall, it is important to recognise that the democratic leadership may be one of the most popular styles in the modern corporate world, but that does not automatically make it the best choice in getting the job done. Leaders must evaluate the situation and change their style as appropriate.
Establishing this style in your business
Implementing a democratic leadership style within the workplace can sometimes be easier said than done. First, leaders need to be dedicated to open and honest communication. Trust and respect need to be established amongst everyone and can be gained by being willing to listen to all ideas and accepting them with an open mind, even if it doesn’t suit the current needs of the company. This doesn’t mean a lot of time needs to be spent on ideas that aren’t relevant, but they shouldn’t be dismissed immediately either.
There should be a proper framework in place that clearly communicates the goal or objective. Leaders will also need to ensure that conversations are flowing around these goals or objectives and discussions do not deviate away from the end goal to ensure that time is not wasted.
Finally, democratic leaders need to be transparent in their decision making, clearly explaining to the group the decisions that have been made in a way that everyone understands. It is also good practice to provide feedback, wherever possible, to those whose ideas were not realised and the reason for that.
Learn more with Delphinium
Want to learn more about the different leadership styles and which ones you should adopt? Delphinium’s training courses in Leadership and Management are perfect for further understanding and developing leadership skills in the workplace. We also offer ILM Level 3 and Level 5 in Leadership and Management certification – perfect for anyone in a leadership role with no prior formal training who is wanting to strengthen their skills. Get in touch to discuss what we can do for you and your business leaders.
Leadership is the social influence, which maximises the efforts of others towards the achievement of an objective or goal. For further details of what leadership is and how it differs from management read our article What is Leadership? Leadership styles, however, are the ways in which a leader uses a particular approach to lead others.
There are numerous approaches to leadership from Kurt Lewin’s framework to less well know leadership styles. In this article, we take a look at some of the most common leadership styles.
In 1939, Psychologist Kurt Lewin developed, he believed, were the three major leadership styles:
Autocratic (Authoritarian) Leadership
Autocratic Leadership is an extreme leadership style. The leader holds all the power, authority and responsibility. They make decisions on their own with very little or no input from staff and team members. Autocratic leaders make decisions, communicate those decisions and expect prompt implementation.
Democratic (Participative) Leadership
When using the Democratic Leadership style, staff and team members are involved in decision making, although the democratic leader is responsible for, and therefore, will make the final decision. Unlike autocratic leadership, democratic headship is centred on staff and team members’ contributions and features two-way communication.
Laissez-faire (Delegative) Leadership
Laissez-faire Leadership describes leaders who give complete authority to their staff or team members to work on their own and set their own deadlines. Laissez-faire leadership also occurs naturally where managers don’t have control over their staff or team members.
Lewin’s framework was very influential and provided a springboard for any other theories. Almost 70 years later Lewin’s framework is still popular and still considered very useful.
A much more modern theory is that the of 6 Emotional Leadership Styles developed by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee. Their 2002 book Primal Leadership describes the six styles and how each affects the emotions of followers.
Visionary Leadership involves moving people to a shared vision, showing them where to go but do not dictate how to get there. Visionary leaders will openly share knowledge and information. They recognise that great leadership developed with and through people.
The Coaching Leadership style involves in-depth conversations with team members. A coaching leader is highly operational, ensuring that team members’ personal goals are closely aligned with the organisation’s goals.
Affiliative Leadership promotes harmony by creating connections between team members. It is a collaborative style with a focus on team members emotional needs. As such it helps to avoid emotionally distressing situations.
Very similar to Lewin’s theory, Democratic Leadership as described by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, involves team members participation and input into the decision making process.
Pacesetting Leadership is another intense style with the leader expecting excellence. They create challenges and exciting goals. Pacesetting leaders are quick to identify poor performance and having a willingness to roll up their sleeves and rescue the situation.
The Commanding Leadership style is very similar to an Autocratic Leadership style. The Commanding leader gives clear directions and expects full compliance. It is a very much “Do as I say” or “Do what I tell you” style.
Other leadership styles include:
The Bureaucratic Leadership style involves following, and ensuring team members follow, rules and procedures rigorously. This style of leadership is particularly crucial for roles involving serious risks to people’s safety (i.e. when working in the military, with machinery or at heights) or when routine work is carried out. The use of the Bureaucratic style is less appropriate than other leadership styles where teams need to be creative or flexible.
The Charismatic Leadership style encourages particular behaviours through elegant communication, persuasion and evoking strong emotions. Charismatic leaders are powerful motivators, articulating a compelling vision to their team members.
The Transactional Leadership style involves an exchange process, whereby team members get immediate, tangible rewards for carrying out the leader’s requests. Transactional leadership is one of the most common leadership styles as it occurs in almost every working situation. For example, when an individual accepts a job, they agree to abide by their employer’s policies, procedures etc. in exchange for remuneration.
Some individuals perceive the Transactional Leadership style as controlling. However, it does ensure clarity around roles and responsibilities. Due to the nature of the Transactional Leadership style, some view it more as a management style as opposed to a leadership style.
The Transformational Leadership style is all about initiating change in the organisations, team members and oneself. The Transformational leader expects the best from everyone, and as such they motivate others to do more than they originally intended or even thought possible. As they set more challenging expectations and more stretching goals, typically they and their team members achieve higher performance.
Statistically, Transformational Leadership leads to more dedicated, satisfied and empowered followers.
When considering which leadership still to adopt, it is important to bear in mind is that the most appropriate leadership style depends on the particular situation, the function of the leader and who they are leading. In some instances, it will be appropriate to use more than one leadership style at a given time.
Delphinium provides a range of coaching and training services to support and develop leaders across all levels of the organisation. To discuss how we can support leaders in your organisation contact us arrange your free consultation.
If you found this article interesting why not sign up for our fortnightly newsletter to receive articles in your inbox, along with details of upcoming programs and events?
Dwight D. Eisenhower said it well when he said, “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”
Leadership is the social influence, which maximises the efforts of others towards the achievement of an objective or goal. It comes in many forms, and there is a vast range of techniques and strategies that can be employed to get the most out of your staff and colleagues.
The difference between leadership and management
People often use the terms leadership and management interchangeably, and this has created confusion. Leadership is different to management, yet they both have their place in business.
Management involves planning, coordinating, measuring and monitoring things. By definition, it requires your active input. Managers have people who work for them, whereas, leaders inspire people to follow them.
Is one of these options superior? Well, there is no clear answer to that question, and often the answer depends entirely on the job at hand. What is clear, is that for a business to succeed, it needs good managers and good leaders.
Who is a leader?
There is a common misconception that leadership comes with position or seniority. This is not the case at all and, in fact, anyone can be a leader. However, all managers should be leaders.
Everyone within your organisation should be encouraged to lead, regarding less of their title or position within the business. Leading by being a good example to other colleagues is a great and easy way to get started.
Are leaders born or made?
Behavioural theorists believe that leaders are made, not born, very much in the same way that no one is born being able to conduct heart surgery. Some people may naturally have skills that lend themselves well to leadership, however, anyone can learn to be a good leader through training, increased self-awareness, practice and experience. Even those that appear to be ‘natural leaders’ have learnt this behaviour over time.
What leadership styles are there?
Some of the most common leadership styles include autocratic, bureaucratic, charismatic, democratic/participative, laissez-faire, people-oriented/relations-oriented, servant and task-oriented leadership. There are too many to discuss in this article but what is important is that leaders have an understanding of the different styles and how each one can positively, or negatively, individual or group behaviour.
If you feel that you, a member of your team, would benefit from training on this subject, check out our one-day training course on Understanding Leadership.
If you found this article interesting why not sign up for our fortnightly newsletter to receive articles in your inbox, along with details of upcoming programs and events?
Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a term used to describe the unique characteristics, benefits and rewards an employer offers. It answers a candidate’s question as to why they should join your company over that of your competitions. It’s why employees are proud of and motivated to work for your company.
A strong Employee Value Proposition enables a company to stand out as unique and compelling, while at the same time ensuring that the ‘reality’ reflects the ‘promise’. Therefore, attracting excellent external talent and helps a company to engage and retain its top performers.
The Employee Value Proposition needs to be communicated effectively in your all recruitment efforts. Ensure you are detailing the proposition on the company’s website, in job advertisements and correspondence to candidates.
Elements of an Employee Value Proposition include:
1. Tangible Reward
Tangible rewards include wages, commissions and bonuses, company cars and mobile phones, all of which make up a good Employee Value Proposition. While some employees see significant tangible rewards as the most or at least one of the most critical factors, others are happy to take lower financial rewards if other benefits are available.
2. Development Opportunities
While some employees may come to work each day and work hard, they have no desire to progress in their career. Whereas, other employees do want to advance and an opportunity to do so must be visible. Candidates need to see the possible career growth opportunities in the company and existing employees need to be experiencing it. The company structure should clearly define each position, and every employee should be considered as part of the company’s succession planning, demonstrating a clear employee development path.
3. Company Culture
An excellent company culture is essential to most employees. Even in a highly pressurised role, employees should not be made to feel stressed and anxious. There should be a culture of support where employees are encouraged to be open about their mistakes and know they will get the necessary support to reduce the risks of it happening again. Employees should not feel scared to admit mistakes due to a fear of disciplinary action.
With stress-related conditions on the increase, the employment opportunity needs to provide a work-life balance. Companies should educate employees on work-related stress and mental health issues. Furthermore, company policies should encourage a healthy work-life balance, including taking regular breaks, utilising their full holiday entitlement and working smart as opposed to hard.
5. Compensation and Benefits
In addition to tangible rewards, strong Employee Value Propositions include other benefits such as life assurance policies, flexible working and medical insurance. Other benefits may consist of working with a manager who recognises and appreciates their hard work or working for a company with a strong reputation in their industry.
If you would like to discuss how Delphinium can help you to improve your Employee Value Proposition, contact us to arrange your free no obligation consultation.
If this article was of interest to you, why not sign up for our fortnightly newsletter and have them sent straight to your inbox, along with details of upcoming programs and events.