Leadership Styles: Pros and Cons (Final Part)

Coaching Leadership Style

This is a suitable style of leadership for organizations where leaders are constantly confronting with challenges from the volatile business environment as a result of substantial business development and in need of an effective approach to handle the situations (CIPD, 2009). Coaching leadership style is a high directive and high supportive style of managing employees. Leaders under this style of leadership set objectives, plan, organize and prioritize activities concerning the execution of plan and fulfilment of the objectives set, which reflect the high directive behavioral pattern whereas the leaders communicate the objectives with their employees, present plan, discuss and review the implementation plan and ask for suggestions from the employees to improve, which reflect the high supportive behavioral pattern. Leaders coach the employees to be equipped with the knowledge and expertise required to implement the plan precisely. Employees have the opportunity to excel their performance through learning, enhance their problem solving and decision making skills. They are able to assume how handle responsibility effectively and make precise decision when necessary. However, leaders do take a close supervision approach on employees’ work execution (Hersey & Blanchard, 1993).

This style is highly effective in employee development and for improving their performance (CIPD, 2009). Sullivan (1991) indicates that under coaching leadership style, leaders establish a continuing and committed relationship with an employee or employees and empower them to achieve and the target set previously with a gradual improvement in their performance and thereby achieve the organizational goals. The author also denotes that via coaching leadership approach, a leader is well able to get the best from their employees due to greater commitment and responsibility from the part of the employees as they are highly involved in the process of problem solving and decision making.

Conflict Leadership Style

This is a style of resolving conflict, that is, the way leaders handle different conflicting situations in the workplace (Rahim, 1986). Thomas (1992) used a two dimensional model of conflict management involving five major styles – avoiding, competing, collaborating, accommodating and compromising – to recognize the different styles used by leaders in different circumstances to manage conflict. The dimensions hold a concern for self and a concern for others. Avoiding is neither assertive nor cooperative. This showcases a leader’s diplomatic characteristics who sidesteps or evades a situation or an issue tactfully, shelve or delay a conflicting matter in anticipation of a better time. Competing is emphatic, non-cooperative and power-oriented that shows a leader’s attributes of winning an issue or situation by exerting whatever means necessary. Leaders show a cncern of their own, not for others. Collaborating is leadership dimension where a leader shows a concern for his/her own and concern for others as well. This characteristic is entirely antithesis of avoiding. Accommodating is completely antithesis of competing, which means leaders place greater importance on the welfare of employees while placing little or no emphasis for their own concern. Employees’ opinions and point of views are highly respected by their leaders. Compromising is an approach where leaders create a situation to go for a mutually acceptable solution to mitigate a conflict, which satisfy the concerns of both leaders and employees to some extent. It’s like looking for a middle ground resolution to mitigate a conflicting issue.

It is pointed out by Rahim (1986) and Weider-Hatfield & Hatfield (1996) that a lot of employee related consequences result in as a result of adopting conflict leadership style by leaders such as the relationship between leaders and employees, job motivation and satisfaction, satisfaction concerning supervision, long-term cooperation between leaders and employees, and conformity concerning attitudes and behavior. Chan et al. (2008) indicated that the respect, appreciation and caring attitudes and behavior from the leaders in different conflict situations make employees perceptible about their managers; the result of which is trustworthy and unquestioning affiliation developed among them. In response, employees show affirmative attitude and behavior in the workplace, which is likely produce higher job satisfaction with a considerable lower turnover intention.

According to Sternberg and Soriano (1984 cited in Aquino, 2000), conflict-mitigating style is favored by people seeking high esteem while conflict-intensifying style is chosen by those seeking power, control, autonomy and change. Research findings have shown that in a high power distance national and organizational culture (Hofstede, 1997; Hofstede and Hofstede, 2005), a more tolerant attitude is shown by employees concerning uncooperative conflict leadership style (a style indicates a concern for himself/herself or for own interest) (Rahim et al., 2000) in different conflict scenarios where the case is antithesis in a low power distance national and organizational culture (Chan et al., 2008).

Leadership plays an important role in managing people effectively within an organization. An effective leadership style is very crucial for organizational success. Leaders are the accomplishers who are capable of enhancing organizational performance by influencing the thinking, behaviors and performance of their subordinates and bringing the best from them, thus achieving organizational goals (Sullivan, 1991).



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Posted by: Farid Ahmed


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