Leadership, an autocratic or participative approach?
When we think of leaders and team dynamics, we often imagine one person sitting at the head of the table with decision making and delegating authority over the other members. Otherwise known as an autocratic approach to leadership. However, not all great teams operate with this dynamic. The participative approach to leadership embodies the notion that by giving team members responsibility to reach decisions themselves, empowerment and motivation of team members to produce results is heightened.
The best leaders know how and when to follow, and will challenge themselves to listen to others that possess an area of expertise. Effectively coaching your team member’s involves prompting them to ‘steer the ship’ or to ask questions such as “what would you like me to achieve?” rather than “what should I do?”
Using these characteristics of the participative approach challenges your members to become leaders themselves and champion their ideas through to completion. Allowing your team members to flourish and surface great ideas when tasks require innovation and discretionary judgement is an example of effective participative leadership.
An autocratic approach to leadership can be very effective in particular circumstances. Strong delegation set with little boundaries and careful supervision does have merit particularly when a task or role yields a high amount of risk to the team’s success. An autocratic approach in this circumstance allows for direction and constant review to ensure potential errors are prevented.
An autocratic or participative approach to leadership should not be adopted as a best practise, but rather a best fit model tailored specifically to correspond with your teams dynamics is the key. Certain individuals within a team will naturally possess the aptitude for certain types of tasks. Understanding your team’s strengths and weaknesses along with establishing team members individual work profiles is the key to achieving team collaboration. Leaders can then identify which type of leadership approach each team member will respond well to and adjust themselves accordingly.
Feel free to contact us on (02) 8882 9894 if you require any assistance in improving your team’s collaboration.