Managing Organizational Processes
Though all leaders similar because of the fact that they can influence other people to follow them and give either negative or positive impact to more people other than themselves, these people still differ in the styles they use in their leadership. There are at least 10 leadership styles but these styles are not independent from each other. Some people use at least two or three at the same time and employ different strategies.
Usually, I use the democratic-participative style. This style is in admission that a leader can not do all things on his or her own; that he or she needs the ideas and efforts of others before making the final decision. In this style, the leader believes that he or she has weaknesses and that his or her team can complement those weaknesses. He or she also values the participation of other people in decision-making. Though using this style may take a little slow in forming the final decision, the result becomes better because many are consulted and the responsibility lies on the whole team not to the individual and when it comes to worse that there is failure, the blame will not solely carried on by the leader.
Using this model though is not always easy on the side of the leader and the members of the team. There are times that members are not comfortable in sharing their thoughts when in consultation with the leader. As such, the leader may fail to get the best of what his or her members thought of the process. The leader in this case should employ some strategies or interventions to motivate and influence people to participate.
In the age of communication technology, I usually employ the use of E-mail, text messaging or chatting when I am trying to get an idea on certain matters that needs a lot of thinking and decision on the part of the member. This is there are people who, like me, is more comfortable in writing than speaking over the phone or face to face. In this way, the leader is letting his or her people speak up themselves and show them that what they are saying will be important to the leader and will contribute something to the process of final decision making. The leader should try not to negate or interrupt them in what they are saying. If they said something that does not conform to the leader’s expectation, the leader should still encourage them to say something to at least draw an idea that can lead to something else.
Leaders should also be assertive when employing consultation. The leader should not be afraid in making and satisfying requests to and from his or her subordinates. In doing so, he or she is encouraging their participation not only in decision-making but also in the implementation phase of the decision. When he or she has satisfied a request, he or she is assuring that at one point his or her members will reciprocate what was done. As according to Cialdini, the rule of reciprocity in terms of influence has already been a norm in human culture. Though the repayment is not immediately expected, the leader can have it in the future when he or she again needs something.
On the other hand, the leader should also be consistent in his or her commitment to the organization. As members of the organization value authority of organizational leaders, they value more their consistency and commitment to what they are saying in what they want to achieve in the organization. Quoting Cialdini:
· Good personal consistency is highly valued by society.
· Consistent conduct provides a beneficial approach to daily life.
· A consistent orientation affords a valuable shortcut through the complexity of modern existence. That is — by being consistent with earlier decisions we can reduce the need to process all the relevant information in future similar situations. Instead, one merely needs to recall the earlier decision and respond consistently.
As a leader, being consultative, democratic, consistent and committed to the organization is very important. That is because, in an organization, we are not dealing only with the structure but to people who value their jobs, relationships and that these are people who have feelings and ideas that needed to be considered in decision-making.
French, J. P. R. Jr., and Raven, B. (1960). The bases of social power. In D. Cartwright and A. Zander (eds.), Group dynamics (pp. 607-623). New York: Harper and Row.
Cialdini, R.B. (1993). Influence. Retrieved October 21, 2008 from http://www.rickross.com/reference/brainwashing/brainwashing20.html
Hall, A. and Leverne B. (2007). Influence: The Essence of Leadership. Retrieved October 21, 2008 from http://elkhorn.unl.edu/epublic/live/g1695/build/#target3