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Leadership Effectiveness and Communication Styles

Leadership is a complex phenomenon that can manifest in a variety of ways and manners. Leadership styles differ in accordance with the personalities and characters of people who apply and practice them. There exist several leadership theories that describe respective leadership styles used in practice. The purpose of this paper is to present a thorough discussion of my personal leadership portrait based on the results of various assessments, findings of scholarly studies, and self-reflection.

Leadership Effectiveness

Discussing leadership effectiveness, Nanjundeswaraswamy and Swamy (2014) noted that a leader is recognized as effective when their leadership manner results in achieving the desired goals by the followers by providing the appropriate form of guidance. In regard to effectiveness, the authors emphasized that the transformational leadership style was linked to the highest satisfaction among followers (Nanjundeswaraswamy & Swamy, 2014). At the same time, reviewing the leadership styles of various employees in correlation with their outcomes, the authors of another study found that the transactional leadership style was associated with the best performance outcomes (Sudha, Shahnawaz, & Fahad, 2016). Interestingly, the two styles identified as highly effective are based on very different approaches and leadership behaviors. However, the contingency or situational leadership theory explains how that could happen. Since various groups of followers and situations may require different responses, a leadership style may change quite significantly depending on the exact conditions in which a leader has to perform.

When it comes to my personal ideas about leadership effectiveness, it is important to mention that according to my MLQ assessment results, I display the servant leadership style. Coetzer, Bussin, and Geldenhuys (2017) define this style as based on a rather multidimensional leadership theory incorporating a holistic approach to leadership with the inclusion of multiple aspects such as ethics, relations, and outcome-based vision. Moreover, some of the major beliefs in servant leadership are trust, honesty, and responsibility. The benefits generated by this leadership style come from the competencies of a servant leader that are stewardship, compelling vision, building relationships, and empowerment (Coetzer et al., 2017). Of all leadership styles, servant leadership agrees with the transformational one in its goals and features due to the focus on the activation of individual talents and strengths of the followers.

Communication Styles

Communication between leaders and their subordinates is based on what Ayub, Manah, and Hamzah (2014) characterize as taking action driven by information. Moreover, as Raducan and Raducan (2014) specified, in organizations, leaders must show democratic communication styles that are derived from superiors’ interest in the problems of their subordinates. The followers tend to value leaders’ concern regarding their wellbeing and needs, which is why participative communication is likely to win the largest amount of appreciation. Practically, active participation of a leader in the working process and careful and proactive listening to followers’ insights are the major characteristics of the participative communication style.

According to my True Colors Communication self-assessment, trust and directness are some of the key features of my communication style. I believe that establishing trust between the communicating parties is very important for the further success and effectiveness of communication. I think it is possible to identify my communication style as participative because I believe in collaboration between a leader and their followers instead of authoritative ordering around.

Leadership Strengths and Growth Opportunities

In my opinion, some of my leadership strengths include the focus on the establishment of trusting leader-follower relations, clear, open, and direct communication, and active listening. I believe that these strengths can be utilized for the purpose of the creation of a proactive and well-balanced working environment with a friendly atmosphere stimulating trust, transparency, and honesty.

When it comes to growth opportunities, I can definitely name one aspect on which I need to work as a leader. In particular, I think I could become a better delegator. Delegating is an important part of being a leader. To stay proactive and effective, good leader is to delegate some of their duties and tasks to trusted subordinates. The absence of delegation can result in the burnout of a leader and their distraction from the most vital roles. Also, the lack of delegation can create an illusion that the leader does not trust their followers. I would like to avoid both of these outcomes, and that is why I should develop my delegating capacity a little better.

Communication Strengths and Growth Opportunities

I am inclined to practice an open, clear, and direct communication style based on the establishment of trust and active participation in the working process. Also, I prefer to stay aware of the needs of my followers and the issues they face while pursuing the goals set for the working process. I believe that these features are the strengths of my communication styles that I need to develop.

Also, an opportunity for growth is active listening. This skill could help improve my communication style and make me more perceptive of the needs and problems communicated by my subordinates. This valuable and useful skill needs to be developed for the benefit of my professional communication processes.

Achieving the Outcomes

I work as a supervising parole officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice – I currently supervise 35 child and adult sex offenders who are on parole for the terms of various lengths – these are the registerable sex offenders found in public internet sex offender registries. Communication and interpersonal effectiveness with my supervisees can be achieved with the help of clear and direct communication of what is expected during our interaction and what outcomes will follow in the case of insubordination. In order to establish ethical leadership, I plan to adhere to the organizational code of ethics, keep my actions transparent, and treat the people I am in charge of with honesty.

For effective diversity management, I plan to make my supervisees aware that I can be trusted as an ethical and fair leader who always is on track with the actions and issues faced by them. Staying fair and ethical while addressing the problems immediately and directly, I can establish the trust of my subordinates and then form effective communication based on honesty and transparency. Finally, when it comes to effective change management, I believe that change is a complex and multifaceted issue that needs to be treated with extra carefulness at all stages of its planning and implementation. In that way, for effective change management, I plan to apply a participative form of servant leadership by means of taking responsibility for all the transformations and double-checking their plans and implementation processes in alignment with best practices on which they are based.

References

Ayub, S. H., Manah, N. A., & Hamzah, M. R. (2014). Leadership: Communicating strategically in the 21st century. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 155(6), 502-506.

Coetzer, M. F., Bussin, M., & Geldenhuys, M. (2017). The functions of a servant leader. Administrative Sciences, 7(5), 1-32.

Nanjundeswaraswamy, T. S., & Swamy, D. R. (2014). Leadership styles. Advances in Management, 7(2), 57-62.

Raducan, R., & Raducan, R. (2014). Communication styles of leadership tools. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 149(5), 813-818.

Sudha, K. S., Shahnawaz, M. G., & Fahad, A. (2016). Leadership styles, leader’s effectiveness and well-being: Exploring collective efficacy as a mediator. The Journal of Business Perspective, 20(2), 1-13.

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