Integrating Leadership and Communication Styles
Integrating Leadership and Communication Styles
Leadership is a crucial concept in organizations as well as team building. Whereas some people are born leaders, others have to work on it. Without a leadership, teams as well as organizations are likely to achieve little as far as their goals and objectives are concerned. In fact, leadership is one of the most important resources in any given organization (Iqbal, 2011). It is argued that leadership and communication go hand-in-hand in the sense they influence the general performance of an organization.
Authoritarian leadership is a leadership style where a single individual has full control of all decisions making, and little contribution from the other members of the group. This means that autocratic leaders rarely allow views of the followers, and always their decisions are based on personal ideas and judgments (Kippenberger, 2002). As such, this leadership entails supreme dictatorial control over a group. Democratic leadership, also referred to as participative leadership, is described as a leadership style that allows group members to be part of the decision-making process. On the other hand, laissez faire leadership, also known as delegative leadership, the leader hands-off and gives the members of the group to make decisions (Iqbal, 2011).
The above leadership styles affect productivity in an organization in various ways. For instance, authoritative leadership is associated with low organization productivity because of the relationship between the leader and the group members. Leader is entitled to all decision making, and members are not allowed to offer any contributions. As a result, the group members are less motivated, which contributes to less productivity (Kippenberger, 2002). Such is the case with regard to laissez faire leadership. However, less productivity in laissez faire is not because of lack of participation in the decision-making process, but rather because the group members have the freedom to do what they want and the way the want it done. Therefore, there is a lack of enough supervisions and monitoring to promote high productivity (Zaccaro & Klimoski, 2011). Nevertheless, democratic leadership appears to be the best leadership when it comes to enhancing productivity. Although the members are allowed to participate in the decision-making process, the leader has control on how they implement such decisions. As such, this leadership is associated with high organizational productivity, unlike the authoritative and laissez-faire leadership styles (Austin, 2012).
There are significant differences on the communication style between the three leadership typologies. Authoritative leadership promotes a top-down leadership style. Because the leaders make all the decisions, the group members work on the instructions of the leader (Ricketts, 2011). Therefore, communication appears to be a one way flow, from the top to bottom. Laissez faire tends to favor a bottom-top kind of communication style. The group members act based on the decisions they make and not on the ones given by their leader. As such communication tends to follow the bottom-top channels (Bertocci, 2009). On the other democratic leadership enhances a top-bottom-top communication style. This means that information flows from the top management to the group members, and then back to the top. This kind of leadership allows interaction between management and the group members. Therefore, information flows freely from the top to the bottom and back to the top (Iqbal, 2011).
In conclusion, authoritative, laissez-faire, and democratic leadership styles have varying impacts on the productivity of an organization. Whereas authoritative and laissez-faire leadership styles are associated with low productivity; democratic leadership is known to enhance high productivity. This difference is as a result of the manner, in which the leader and the members interact, especially in the decision-making process.
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Zaccaro, S. J., & Klimoski, R. J. (2011). The nature of organizational leadership: Understanding the performance imperatives confronting today's leaders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.