Informal communication channels are routes, outside an organization’s officially designated communication web, which are used to convey informal messages. There are formal communication channels for internal communication and external communication. An example of an informal internal communication channel is face-to-face conversations during lunch break. Usually, such conversations revolve around personal issues or social happenings. An example of an informal external communication channel is customer-support blogs. Customer-support blogs are used to handle consumer complaints, questions and clarify misconceptions using an informal platform.
A situation that I felt that a leader was effective was how Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks’, handled a tragedy where 3 employees were killed during a robbery attempt in one of Starbucks’s stores in Washington D.C. Instead of calling the legal counsel or issuing a press statement, Howard Schultz went to Washington D.C and spent the whole week with the bereaved families. The type of power used by the leader was personal effect and network of relationship. The leader emphasised a relationship-oriented style because the CEO was concerned with the general well-being of his employees. The CEO of Starbucks is compassionate and concerned about the general well-being of his employees and their satisfaction. In fact, Starbucks is well known for its exceptional treatment of all its employees. For example, it provides insurance to all its employees including part-time staff. The CEO came across as a humble person who is selfless and interested in serving others. The leader is at level 5 of the leadership hierarchy.
An example of an ineffective leader is the CEO Paul Teutul Sr. The CEO is only keen on developing new custom made motorcycles with little concern about employee welfare. The CEO ensures that everything is done according to policy and procedure. He strictly enforces the rules. He is known for having a short temper and yelling at employees. The leader uses coercive power because he yells at employees and uses firing threat to get things done. The leader emphasises a task-oriented relationship since he is only interested in work facilitation and the pursuit of organizational goals. The leader is an autocratic leader. Paul Teutul Sr. Comes across as an ego-centred person and selfish. The leader is at level 1 of the leadership hierarchy.
Daft, R., & Marcic, D. (2011). Understanding Management. London: Cengage Learning.
Northouse, P. G. (2010). Leadership: Theory and Practice. New York: SAGE.