Leadership and teamwork in the Public Services
Leadership and teamwork in the Public Services
Public Services Level 3
There are 8 leadership styles used in the public services:
Authoritarian leadership is a leadership style in which the leader dictates and controls all decisions in the group and task, the leader tells you what they want done and how they want it accomplished without be any advice from other people. The leader is very strict with the team and there is no negotiation wanted from them, they do as they are told with no complaining. This form of leadership gives you all the information you need for the task and this also helps you get the work done faster so therefore could be seen as more efficient. This style of leadership is used in some public services in the UK. The main of example of the use of this style of leadership is used in the army. For example, if you were fighting in the war and you were told to ‘get down’ then you would have to get down, otherwise you may get shot. Adolf Hitler is one real life example of an Authoritarian leader.
Everyone knows what they are doing and how to do it, decision making is faster so team members will learn faster, everyone is organised and there is easier control over a big team.
Team members are often scared of the consequences of something going wrong which can add to stress, causing mental problems or effecting their performance, they do not take any initiative and there is no independence, the leader takes most of the responsibility if anything goes wrong, team members may disagree with something, making them less motivated and gaining hatred for the leader.
Democratic leadership is where everybody involved has a participative role in decision making. Ideas are discussed freely amongst the group. An example of democratic leadership being used in a public service is in the police, when they are dealing with a case they discuss what they think they should do and how they should handle things. They then hand out responsibility to who is most suited to that job. The role of the leader is to listen to what the group is saying and make the final decision.
Everyone gets involved so there are more positive team members because they feel like part of a team, expertise is shared, members can take initiative and will respect the team leader.
Decision making takes a lot of time so therefore it isn’t efficient for many situations in public services as they need to get a job done fast and everyone is required to work for longer, therefore will need to get paid more which is not economically convenient.
Laissez- faire leadership allows the group members to make decisions and work independently. The Laissez-faire style is also known as a very “hands off” type of leadership. They give orders and roles and then the member of the team must carry out that task without any more guidance. An example of this style of leadership in the public services is if there was a murder investigation and someone gets sent to the science of the crime, they know what they are there to do and they can then be left there to do it without any supervision needed.
Team members will be motivated so their overall performance will be to their best standard, the leader does not need to take much responsibility and the work load is much less and it allows team members to use initiative.
New members may find it very hard to know what to do as there is no guidance, also the leader has a very small role and contribution to the team and does not have much control over the group.
Transactional leadership focuses on specific tasks and use rewards and punishments to motivate and inspire group members. Transactional leaders are very commonly found within businesses where people are given rewards such as bonuses, training or time off if they show a good demonstration.
The members are very motivated, it gets the instructions over to the team very clearly and finally the leader can monitor everyone’s individual progress and then work from there to improve them.
The disadvantages are that the team members may find it hard as they might not be able to carry out the task due to either a lack of knowledge or resources, however the leader does not take this into consideration. Also, it does not allow team members to use much creativity in achieving the task. Lastly there is not much job satisfaction as the individual only aims for the next available reward.
Transformational leadership inspires positive changes in those who follow. Transformational leaders are energetic, enthusiastic and passionate. The leaders are involved in the process and they are also focused on helping every member of the group succeed as well. An example of this leadership is in the police force, the leader inspires the team to help make the world a better place. The role of the leader is to do the task so his/her team know what the standard of work needs to be done.
A transformation leader is inspiring, encouraging and motivational so the team will have respect for them so the team members will put more effort into the team as they want to perform better.
A transformational leader may have a vision for a team member but not the details on what to do and how to do it. Another disadvantage is that sometimes a team member might not trust or believe that what the leader is saying is true, which means they will be put off and not work as well. Finally, if the leader is putting too much enthusiasm into the team the members could get tired of it.
Bureaucratic leadership focuses on rules and procedures to manage teams and projects. It is based on a strict set of rules to achieve expectations. This style of leadership would be used by a bomb disposal team leader, they give clear instructions for the task at hand and everything must be done perfectly otherwise people may die or get seriously injured.
People-oriented leadership includes coaching and participative styles. In each of these styles, leaders build relationships with subordinates and include them in the process. This style tends to energize employees because it makes them feel appreciated for the work they do.
The team members will have respect for the leader as they are respected in return. The team will be more productive because of their positive attitude. They will have a more positive attitude because they feel cared about and they feel as if their safety and wellbeing is always taken into consideration.
Tasks take much longer to carry out as safety is a priority. The leader needs to take much more time with each member individually as he needs to work with everyone to try develop them and their skills.
Task orientated leadership is a behavioural approach in which the leader focuses on the tasks that need to be performed to meet certain goals, or to achieve a certain standard. An example of Task- orientated leadership is in the paramedics. The leader role must give commands to his team and ensure he can trust his team to get the task done as efficiently and as fast as possible when there is a casualty that is as risk of death or serious injury if something goes wrong.
The task is completed very fast, everything is more organised as the instructions are very clear giving the team members a clear idea of what the task is and how to carry it out correctly.
An individual may feel very ignored from the team, which can increase a staff turnover. This leadership does not encourage members to use much initiative, which can decrease their motivation to perform well. Finally, in a dangerous situation focusing on the task too much could put the lives of your team members in serious risk and may result in accidents.
Roles of a team leader:
There are many roles of the team leader and they depend on the type of leadership style is being used. For example, if an authoritarian leadership style is being used, the role of the leader is to give out a strict set of rules and to be assertive and confident. In a Laissez- Faire leadership, the roles of the leader are different because they would have to be calm, have good trust in their team and to be confident. The main role of any leader is to be inspirational as they should inspire the team to reach their targets, having high confidence when speaking to their team, making decisions and also motivate the team and keep them intent on the task. This is important because if the team is motivated, it creates a better end result as the whole team has put in a high level of effort due to being motivated.
Comparison of Authoritarian and Laissez- Faire leadership.
Autocratic and Laissez- faire leadership styles are quite the opposite from each other, however they have several similarities. First of all, one difference is an Autocratic leader gives clear instruction on how to carry out a specific task, whereas a Laissez- Faire leader sits back and lets the team use their own independence and initiative. These are two very different ways on how to get work done, the Laissez- Faire approach may not be the best as an individual may struggle to use their own initiative making the decision process slower.
Secondly, Authoritarian leadership gets work completed much faster which results in much quicker decision making. This is because the team leader gives very strict and clear instructions with a deadline that the team will have to complete. Alternatively, the Laissez – Faire leadership style gives out a task with no strict instructions or deadline, they don’t mind how long it takes as long as the task is complete, this increases the duration of task completion.
Finally, authoritarian leadership is much more powerful than Laissez- faire and based on discipline with a strict set of rules, the team have no input over the process or decision making, therefore the team leader have more control over the team and can spot any bad behaviour and mistakes. On the other hand, a laissez-faire leader is behind the scenes and does not give any instructions or spend much time with the team meaning that they will not have much control over what they are doing and will not see how the team are carrying out the tasks.
Although there are many differences, these two leadership styles have many similarities too.
Firstly, both Authoritarian and Laissez- Faire leadership styles do not ask for feedback from the team, instead they give instructions and a task for them to complete. The team members cannot ask for advice or give their opinion during this process, they just must get on with it. An autocratic leader will give the team strict instructions and they must complete the task before a deadline without any questions. A laissez-faire leader very similarly will give the team a task to complete and then they will lay back and won’t give any advice or listen to any of the team members issues.
Another similarity is they both have a quick decision-making process, although Authoritarian leadership is a lot quicker. An autocratic leader will give clear instructions and a deadline and the team will have to complete it whereas a Laissez- faire leader gives the team a lot of freedom and the team make the decisions themselves.
Effectiveness of the leadership styles in the public services:
I think this style of leadership is effective in some ways, but sometimes it can have the opposite effect. This style of leadership is very strict and direct and it has some positive parts, for example, the team members have no choice but to do as they as told and get on with their job. So, the members will always be on task because they have no other choice. The style of leadership is effective in the way that the task will always get completed but it could have negative effects on the team member. They might not feel that they are a team because they are not using any initiative. This could make the team members have lower self-esteem which could affect the outcome of the task and result in lower performances. Some team members will choose not to do the task because they do not like having to obey to orders.
I think this style of leadership would be used in the Army because there are very strict rules an expect very good behaviour, each individual must be very prepared. However, I don’t believe that this is a good style of leadership because it does not involve team work and discussing ideas together before completing a task, instead they are being dictated what they must do.
I think that a democratic leadership style is good because there is a clear leader so they know who is in charge, if any of the team members lose their concentration or forget what they are doing, then the leader is there to regain control of their group. The team leader will always encourage their team to voice their opinions which is an effective way of leading a group and because the team members will gain confidence and respect for their leader because their leader is showing them respect.
I think of all the public services could use this type of leadership, mostly the police force because for certain tasks or operations they go on, they need to have several options to tackle the task, to get these they will ask each officer for their opinions. I do believe this is one of the most effective leadership styles because everyone knows their place in the team, and the team leader will always regain control over their team so the everyone will have respect for the leader and each other. It will also boost the teams self-esteem and confidence which will have a positive effect on their performance.