Delegative leadership is also referred to as Laissez-faire leadership. It is a type of leadership style in which leaders allow group members to make the decisions and are hands-off. Researchers have found that it is primarily the style of leadership that leads to the lowest productivity among group members. There are characteristics seen in this delegative leadership. This type of leadership style comes only with little guidance from its leaders. Such leaders also provide resources and tools needed for any management works. Complete freedom is being given by leaders to all of their followers in making decisions from easy to tough ones. Thus, group members and followers are expected to solve their problems on their own.
Delegative Leadership Qualities
Laissez-faire or delegative leadership can be effective and efficient in many situations and circumstances where group members are motivated, highly skilled and capable of working on their own. Although the conventional term for this leadership style is laissez-faire and entails a completely tolerant approach, many leaders still remain available and open to group members for feedback and consultation as well. Hence, this kind of leadership approach is not perfect in circumstances where group members lack the experience or knowledge they need to make decisions and complete the tasks. Indeed, some individuals are not good at managing their own projects, setting their own deadlines and solving problems on their own. In such circumstances, some deadlines can be missed and projects can be off track when group members don’t get sufficient feedback or guidance from their leaders. This type of leadership leads to low productivity and poor quality among workers.
Common Skill Set
Members who have the skills and ability to analyze situations and the confidence to enforce decisions may thrive under this leadership style. Many followers, however, are uncomfortable about having leadership responsibility delegated in this manner. Hence, others may take advantage of a less than fully engaged leader to prevent getting critical tasks completed. This type of leadership style leads to lack of motivation and poorly defined roles. This style is believed to have value in particular situations and requires proper implementation. Leaders who use this style to avoid responsibility or shift blame are not using their leadership role effectively.
Laissez-fair leadership, in contrast, is an excellent way for a leader to show their followers that he trusts their own abilities to lead particular initiatives and prioritize tasks. Leaders should not be afraid of using this type of leadership style when it is in you and in your group’s best interest. Thus, make sure that you will implement it wisely. Leaders tend to use this delegative leadership style try to give the least possible guidance or feedback to their subordinates and they try to obtain control through less apparent ways.
Delegative leadership style is used when employees and members are able to analyze the situation and determine what needs to be done and the things on how to do it. Delegative leadership can be an effective leadership approach when properly implemented and can also lead to downfalls when neglected.