Your leadership style can shape how your business functions, as well as how your employees will react to you. Your managers will take cue from you based on how you handle employees. How much thought have you given into what kind of leader you want to be? There are a number of theories about different leadership styles, many involving a continuum – two opposite styles with a number of intermediate stops between them. Below is a description about task vs. relationship oriented leadership and about advantages vs. disadvantages.
Task oriented leaders focus on getting the necessary task, or series of tasks, at hand in order to achieve a goal. These leaders are typically less concerned with the idea of catering to employees, and more concerned with finding the step-by-step solution required meeting specific goals. They will often actively define the work and the roles required, put structures in place, and plan, organize, and monitor progress within the team.
The advantages of task oriented leadership are that it ensures that deadlines are met and jobs are completed, and it’s especially useful for team members who don’t manage their time well. Additionally, these types of leaders will tend to exemplify strong understanding of how to get the job done by focusing on the necessary workplace procedures, thus can delegate work accordingly in order to ensure that everything gets done in a timely and productive manner. However, because task oriented leaders don’t tend to think much about their team’s well-being, this approach can suffer many of the flaws of autocratic leadership, including causing motivation and retention problems.
Relationship oriented leaders are focused on supporting, motivating and developing the people on their teams and the relationships within. This style of leadership encourages good teamwork and collaboration, through fostering positive relationships and good communication. Relationship oriented leaders prioritize the welfare of everyone in the group, and will place time and effort in meeting the individual needs of everyone involved. This may involve offering incentives like bonuses, providing mediation to deal with workplace or classroom conflicts, having more casual interactions with team members to learn about their strengths and weaknesses, creating a non-competitive and transparent work environment, or just leading in a personable or encouraging manner.
The benefits of relationship oriented leadership are that team members are in a setting where the leader cares about their well-being. Relationship oriented leaders understand that building positive productivity requires a positive environment where individuals feel driven. Personal conflicts, dissatisfaction with a job, resentment and even boredom can severely drive. The downside of relationship oriented leadership is that, if taken too far, the development of team chemistry may detract from the actual tasks and goals at hand.
Mixed conclusions have risen from studies that try to determine the effects of task oriented and relationship oriented leadership: some show that relationship oriented leadership produces greater productivity, while some show that task oriented leaders create greater group efficacy. However, a common finding is that relationship oriented leadership will generate greater cohesion within groups, as well as greater team learning. It is also supported that relationship oriented leadership has stronger individual impact, and a positive effect on self-efficacy.