In this article we’re going to move onto the last two leadership styles – encouraging and empowerment.
The Encouraging Leadership Style
The encouraging leadership style is similar to coaching but has a few unique characteristics.
While coaching it’s not uncommon to offer direct feedback and advice as to the performance of the individual or team.
Conversely, the encouraging leader does not offer such direct feedback and advice. Instead, they are there to offer their support and assistance when called upon… but rather than coach and guide they are more apt to encourage and motivate.
The encouraging leadership style might be best suited when an employee has the obvious ability to do the task and has proven many times to be extremely reliable.
However, and this is really the key point, this employee really excels when hearing they are doing a great job and are appreciated.
The Empowerment Leadership Style
Finally, the last leadership style I’d like to share with you is empowerment.
The empowering leader essentially shares the task and/or mission and then lets his or her people go. There is little directing, coaching, or encouraging.
Instead, the leader has complete trust and faith in the person or group they are empowering and simply turns them loose.
Throughout this series of articles we’ve learned about:
- The directing leader who offers strong advice and guidance on what to do.
- The coaching leader who openly listens to and shows interest in the ideas of others in an energetic and passionate manner while also providing regular feedback and constantly monitoring the performance of the person and/or team.
- The encouraging leader who motivates and inspires without a lot of direction
- The empowering leader who turns things over to his or her trusted team
The Versatile Leader
As the title of this series states… I firmly believe the best leaders are those that can apply the appropriate leadership style at the appropriate time.
In other words, great leaders don’t always empower when empowering would be disastrous. For example, my 7 year old daughter needs to improve her softball skills so ‘empowering’ her to excel at this stage would be fools work.
However, I work with some people who are true experts in their trade and don’t need a lot of coaching but do like to be encouraged from time to time.
And, of course, I also know people who most definitely thrive under the empowerment leadership style of management and anything less is actually counter-productive.
Do You Agree and Final Homework
What do you think? Do you agree with me that a leader should be versatile depending on the situation and person they’re dealing with?
Finally, your last homework assignment requires some reflection. I’d like you to think back to your “favorite boss or leader.”
Once you have this person’s face in your mind I’d like you to think of how they lead you. Were they dogmatic or versatile? I bet I know the answer.