Communication And Leadership Styles

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Communication and Leadership Styles

Communication and Leadership Styles


Leadership and communication are inextricably linked. Consistent with an array of definitions, leadership is a communicative practice. Communication scholarship is necessarily germane to understanding the practice and development of leadership. It discusses two particular intersections of communication and leadership research, highlighting how communication scholarship contributes to leadership studies (Hackett, & Allen, 2005). First, communication research is used to identify how leaders can become more effective communicators so they can lead better. This can be done either by studying behaviors of successful leaders or by testing hypotheses about effective communicative leadership practices. The intent, in this case, is to improve the practice and effectiveness of individual leaders. Second, communication research is useful for exploring how leadership operates as an interactive social process among people. This can be achieved through analysis of leadership discourse or by studying cultures or social systems, such as organizations, teams, or communities, in an attempt to understand how leadership happens and what impact it has. This approach extends the focus beyond individual leaders to an examination of the larger phenomenon of leadership as a process among people in complex systems (Bass, 2005).

The fields of leadership and communication are both interdisciplinary. Multiple sources of communication scholarship include theory and research from the disciplines of social psychology, psychology, rhetoric, and linguistics. Communication scholarship is not a cohesive set of studies from a single realm. Instead, it is interwoven across several domains. Attempting to cleanly overlay communication scholarship with leadership research is not neat or simple.

Leadership Styles

Traditional Leadership

Much of traditional leadership borrowed its concepts from the military and formed a "top down" type of leadership. This type of leadership places mangers at the top and the workers at the bottom rung of power. Managers make decisions on the work and issue orders or directions for how the work is completed.

Autocratic Leadership

An autocratic leader is a dictator, they do not involve others in their decision making process. The leader's word is “law” in autocratic leadership. Employees are not permitted to make any suggestions or offer any opinions, no matter how it may benefit the company/group (Kahai, 2007). This type of style may resort to force, manipulation, or even threats to accomplish their goals. Autocratic leadership is often very stressful on employees, as well as, making the work environment not a fun place to work.

A Leader as an Effective ...
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