AC 1.1 Describe the factors that will influence the choice of leadership styles or behaviours in workplace situations
In most workplace situations no single style of leadership should be used in isolation. A good leader will need to adapt and change their style as the situation changes. The three most recognisable leadership styles under Lewin’s leadership styles are autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire.
The factors that influence the choice of leadership styles or behaviours in workplace situations are the situation or the task, the team and their maturity as well as the leaders own abilities.
The situation will have great influence over the style of leadership. If the task is working to produce a part on a production line in a factory were set processes need to be followed within a tight timescale an autocratic style would be beneficial whereas a team that are designing the product where a more flexible approach is required would better suit either the participative or laissez-faire style of leadership.
The maturity of a team will also be an important factor in choosing the most suitable leadership style. The Hersey and Blanchard theory on situational leadership identified four levels of maturity M1 through M4. M1 is where an individual or team are lacking the specific skills or willingness needed to complete the task. M2 lacks the skills but has the willingness to complete the task. M3 have the skills needed to complete the task but either don’t think they can or are unwilling to. Finally M4 have the skills, confidence in their abilities and the willingness to complete the task.
Each type of task may involve a different maturity level. An individual with an overall maturity level of M4 might be only an M1 if they are lacking the skills to complete or willingness to complete a specific task.
Autocratic leaders are strict authoritarian leaders independently makes decisions based on the needs task not the team members and make a clear distinction between leader and followers. This style is beneficial where the team are lacking the skills or the willingness to complete the task and need to be micromanaged to achieve the best results.
Participative leaders are more democratic and offer guidance, encouragement and consults on decisions but retain the final say. This style is used when team members have some or most of the skills required but may lack the experience to complete the tasks without the oversight of the leader.
Laissez-faire leaders offer little or no guidance to their team and leave decision making up to team members. This is used when the team is made up of very experienced and highly skilled individuals that have the ability to complete the tasks to their own deadlines. In this style the leader will only be monitoring progress and providing the resources their team requires.
AC 1.2 Explain why these leadership styles or behaviours are likely to have a positive or negative effect on individual and group behaviour
These different leadership styles have their own positives and negatives and the selection of the most appropriate style will depend on the team’s abilities and the workplace culture. Most teams are made up of individuals with differing skills, knowledge and experience. As a leader you will need to combine the different styles to achieve the best outcomes from and for your team.
Autocratic leaders are very good at getting their team to complete routine and repetitive tasks such as on a production line. This style of leader is separate from and will micromanage their team. This has a positive effect of maintaining the productivity for team members who require constant supervision. The negative effects are that team members feel undervalued and that their contributions are not recognised. This can also have a negative impact on morale which can lead to an increased absence rate and higher turnover of staff.
Participative leaders encourages teamwork and will often delegate key tasks to valued team members. The team will be asked for input on their work and the way the work is undertaken is usually done by a group consensus. Under this style of leadership the team will have a greater sense of job satisfaction and a greater motivation to complete the tasks as they feel valued. The negative effects are when a quick decision is required, if the team are consulted it can lead to delays or if the team are not consulted then they can lose trust in the leader. The other negative is that the leader can overlook the views of newer team members as they will often favour the opinion of more established team members.
Laissez-faire leaders generally leave the team to manage themselves. This usually works well for highly skilled and motivated team members as they have control of their work giving them a sense of satisfaction and that their contributions will be noticed by the leader. The negative side is that team members can start to resent the leader as they may feel they are doing all the work while the leader does nothing. This can have a negative effect on productivity and morale.
AC 2.1 Assess own leadership behaviours and potential in the context of a particular leadership model and own organisation’s working practices and culture, using feedback from others
I have collected feedback from my line manager and team members around their perception of my leadership style.
After collecting feedback from my line manager and team members about how they rated me on the different skills used by a team leader, this feedback was collated and came out at 6.8 for People and 5.6 for Task by plotting these figures in the Blake Mouton Managerial Grid to determine the leadership style I use. The result pointed towards the middle of the road but leaning much more to the concern of people and lesser so on the task. This would fit with my personality as I like dealing with people face to face , I also respect and understand the qualities and skills of the team members I am working with. I try to encourage new and better idea’s on all aspects of our job and I am willing to take these idea’s to my line manager if they will help our team or the way we do the job. I also enjoy coaching apprentices and passing on my experience . I will support team members in the field if I have more experience in certain technical aspects of the job, I have found that this has helped in building a better team spirit as the team members consider we are all in the same team together. This has shown itself towards the end of plant shut-downs, traditionally my department is last to finish but because the team spirit is such, that everyone pulls together and takes pride in completing our scope on time. In recent months we have had emergency shut-downs and all team members have shown their team work to get the plant up and running again.
I like to think that I take pride in getting the job done , but not at all costs as the safety of the team comes first. We also have a number of routine schedule work which we are under a certain amount of pressure not to run over, our understand that in this part of our job there is no flexibility and the team understand that this part of the job can become autocratic to get it done.
A thorough and detailed assessment is made so as to form a judgement of own leadership behaviours and potential explicitly based on feedback from others and clearly in the context of a particular leadership model and own organisation’s working practices and culture
AC 2.2 Describe appropriate actions to enhance own leadership behaviour in the context of the particular leadership model
After reviewing the information that went into the Blake Mouton’s Grid and its results I have concluded that my people one to one skills are very good , but my skills at delivering information or speech’s to larger groups need more work . I need to get over my nervousness of talking to larger groups, to get over this I will have to expose myself to this more often in the future. As I only lead on a temporary basis , a permanent leaders job (co-ordinator) may give me more confidence speaking to groups.
Another aspect is dealing with problems with individuals and delivering news they don not like, my personality does not lend itself to being disliked so I will have to harden myself to these situations . Identifying problems with individuals and dealing with them is another area for improvement, finding common ground and using factual information is an approach that may work better for me. All members of teams are motivated in different ways, these need to be identified and addressed, some may need more responsibilities others more technical tasks.
With being relatively inexperienced, better planning skills are required in a leadership role on stanlow, I think it would be a valuable lesson to learn more about the other leadership styles and take certain skills from them that can be used in different situations. Obtaining these other skills would make me a more rounded leader who able to deal with a wider range of situations
A thorough and detailed description is given of a range of appropriate actions to enhance own leadership behaviour explicitly related to the particular leadership model referred to in AC 2.1