Relationship Focused Leadership Vs. Task Focused Leadership: 5 Tips For Finding Balance
When it comes to leadership, there are two distinct styles. The first is relationship oriented leadership. This focuses on personnel development, relationship building, and creating a positive work environment. The idea behind this is that a happy, motivated team will work to the best of their abilities and get things done. The second is task focused leadership. This focuses on setting policies and procedures and defining the steps necessary to accomplish the task at hand. There are good points to each leadership style, however, leaders who only use one style or another are not usually seen by their teams as being very effective.
So, how do you find balance? Here are five tips to help you get started. Two will focus on leaders who are task oriented, and two will focus on leaders who are relationship oriented. The final tip will be one that anybody can apply.
First, here are two things that you can do to find balance if you tend to be more task focused:
Get to Know Your Employees Goals, Interests, Personalities, and Motivations
Even if you are truly a get down to business leader and don’t have time for what you might see as a lot of touchy-feely, team building, pap, you cannot deny the evidence. You really can get more out of your employees if you understand where they are coming from. Think of it as research. If you understand your employees, you can give them the tasks that they are best able to complete, and keep them motivated at the same time.
Take Steps to Establish a Sense of Goodwill Between Yourself and Your Team
If you are a task oriented leader, one of the challenges that you may face is that your team may not feel as if you have their best interests at heart. They may believe that they are simply your means to an end. After all, it is you who benefits the most when a project is successful. You don’t necessarily have to change your leadership style, but you can do things to make you more relatable as boss. For instance, you can give your team specific praise, you can bring in lunch when they are working on a challenging project, and you can find common interests that the members of your team share with you.
Now, here are two things that you can do to find balance and develop qualities of great leadership if you are a relationship-oriented leader:
Set Up Some Metrics to Track Accomplishment and Results
If you have a relationship-oriented leadership style, chances are, there are people who doubt your ability to get results. Some of those people might be your team members. If this is the case, call their bluff. Set working standards, and then don’t feel bad about enforcing them. You can begin by setting daily or weekly goals for each team member that are related to the current project you are leading. This will help you to hold people accountable for completing their work.
Don’t Forget That You Are in Charge
One mistake that relationship-focused leaders often make is that they tend to word requests in the form of a question. If you do this, make a point to stop. If something is not optional, don’t be fuzzy about it. Make sure that it is worded as a requirement.
This final tip is something that leaders who prefer either style can use.
Ask Your Team for Honest Feedback
The best way to ensure that your leadership style is working is to ask your team what they think. Then, give them a safe environment in which they can be open and honest with you. You’ll be much less likely to have to deal with personnel issues and project failures if you keep the lines of communication open at all times.
About the author
Kerry Creaswood is a young and ambitious writer from Savannah, GA. She is fond of various forms of art and thinks that everything we can imagine is real. To find more about Kerry, check her Twitter or Facebook.