To be able to understand what factors influence the choice of leadership style or behaviour, firstly I needed to understand that there are various styles of management and leadership and that there are differences between management and leadership.
In short, management roles are generally focused on the responsibility for things, relying on control and organising work. Leadership roles involve leading a group of people, inspiring trust and being responsible for people. There are overlaps with the two roles in that both roles work towards accomplishing an objective and motivating the team to get a job done.
After investigating the background of leadership versus management, and looking into various leadership models, I can see there is no single solution which will make someone a good leader/manager. Not one leadership style is guaranteed to work in all situations as there are factors which will affect the desired outcome if the wrong style is used. It is fair to say that I have learnt that when developing my leadership skills I need to have the ability to understand the various styles and models so I can choose which style would suit the current situation. I believe that successful leaders need to be self-aware of how their actions can impact others.
There are many factors that can influence a leader’s style.
One of the first factors and feel maybe one of the most important is an individual’s background. I believe this can be split into various other sections:
Personality: are they generally an emotional person? Confident? Shy?
Competence: what experience or qualifications they have? This can also link back to personality. They may not be fully competent as they are trained but if they are confident they may be willing to try things compared to someone who is shy.
Commitment: some staff may have been working at a business for a long time so see that they are more committed than new staff but they may be unwilling to try new things or go out of their way to help with other tasks.
Physical: a staff member may have an illness that may affect what they can do. They could be pregnant, hearing aids, suffer from bad backs etc
Maturity: some staff may act more mature that others so certain tasks may suit more mature staff than immature staff
Other factors are the environment, personality of the leader themselves and aim of the team. If we are placed in a busy environment then the style of leadership may need to change to ensure that a job is done quickly and efficiently.
If the leader is outgoing and sociable in general they are more likely to connect with their team and communicate what is expected of the team better. Tense leaders may lead to anxious staff and tasks may not be completed efficiently.
If the team are on side then tasks will tend to be accomplished. Sometimes specific direction maybe appropriate for a group where as other times group members may feel they want to choose how a task is completed.
From my investigation I believe that within my role as practice manager I adopt the multidimensional leadership model. It is important for me to be able to assess what type of style I need to use depending on the situation in hand.
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