Leadership Theories - Fiedlers contingency theory was developed by Fred Fiedler in the late 1960s. He believes the effectiveness of leadership styles vary depending on the situation.
Similar to the DISC assessment model, Fiedler believes that there are two types of the leader, the task oriented one and the people oriented one.
The elements that would affect the effectiveness of leadership are:
• How clearly defined and structured the job scope is
• How much positional power the leader has
• The relationship between the leaders and the followers
Fiedler believes that the most favourable situation is one that has a clearly defined scope, high positional power and good relationship between the leaders and the followers.
Fiedler found that task-oriented leaders are more effective in extremely favorable or unfavorable situations, whereas relationship oriented leaders perform best in situations with intermediate favorability.
I think one thing that Fiedler did point out that this useful for you as a leader was the three factors that he mentioned regarding the effectiveness of leadership.
How clearly defined and structured the job scope is
Having clear instructions are very important to your team. Unclear instructions will reap you vague results and also a very demoralized worker. Often it is very important for you as a leader to tell your team exactly what you need from them, and when you need it.
By setting expectations straight, your team is able to know if they have achieved their target simply by checking their completed task against your list of expectations for that particular task.
For example, you don’t say,“ Would you help me write a report about the current economic situation and how it relates to our business?”
From the leader’s perspective, you probably think you sent a clear message across, but from the follower’s perspective, he doesn’t even know what has to be included in that report!
• What about the economic situation do you want to know? You could write essays on the current business environment!
• How does the situation relate to our business in terms of what? Staff hiring? Sales? Marketing efforts?
How much positional power the leader has
Most people in leadership have what we call, positional power. They are leaders by virtue of their position in the organization.
It is important that a leader first have that position, but if you want to become a real leader, you have to ‘qualify’ for that position before your followers will really look up to you as a leader.
This means you have to have a good relationship with your followers.
The relationship between leaders and followers
To build a strong team, you have a have a great relationship with your followers, because it is the foundation of your leadership. Without a great relationship, you cannot qualify to speak into their lives and influence them.
Leadership With you teaches you how you can become an effective leader by building a great relationship with your followers by having effective communication skills. (Click here to go to section on effective communication skills)
» Fiedler’s contingency theory
Fred Fiedler was one of the foremost proponents of contingency leadership. He stated that the effectiveness of types of leadership styles was determined on three factors.
» Path-goal theory
The path-goal theory of leadership was developed by House, Evans and Mitchell. It proposes that a person’s motivation to complete any task was dependent on three factors
» Situational Leadership theory
Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard developed the situational model of leadership relates four different leadership styles to the follower’s confidence and ability to carry it out.
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