Communication Leadership

Key Points For these 5 questions

Self Evaluation and Leadership Profile

Developing Creativity

1. Deciding to be a certain kind of leader may be more a matter of knowing oneself than making random selection. Each person has evolved to have a set of strengths and a set of weaknesses. Attempting to be the kind of leader that mimics a mentor or preceding leader may not necessarily be the best thing to do. It is possible that someone else is the type of leader they are in part because of their personal style.

2. Simply put personal style can be a choice but it is also a matter of knowing what you do best and what you do not do best. Selecting a personal style requires participating in a kind of self-inventory. It is important to be honest, critical, and rewarding when taking a self-inventory. Honesty will allow you to penetrate the layers of insecurity and remove obstacles, which prevent the leader from making accurate observations. It is also helpful to ask others their opinion when participating in this examination. Taking a critical approach will help to determine those areas which need more attention and need to be strengthened. Often specialized classes or instruction can help. In the case of the leader who has nervousness before speech making can learn certain relaxation exercises, or receive instruction in proper speech making techniques. Offering praise for the areas that you maintain high efficiency raises confidence and self-esteem. These areas may be natural to you or you may have perfected them through training, practice and hours of experience.

3. Style will separate you from your peers and helps the leader standout out as an individual without alienating you from the group. Style can combine a number of elements: dress, voice quality, decision making approach, trust, integrity, physical energy, mental process, accessibility and personal traits. Style is often spoken of as the way we do things and the manner in which we get them done. Each person has certain traits that distinguish him or her from others. These elements of style differ between leaders and may contribute to their effectiveness or lack of effectiveness. Horizontal groups based on race, gender, culture, or even education may pursue styles that are in somewhat related to each other and different form other classes related to that group. Each of these classes carries with it a way of doing things and may actually affect how the leader gets things done.

4. One approach to getting things done as used by the leader is coercive power. This approach uses threats and punishment to move people into action. It may be effective in the short rune, but over a longer period of time will prove to be the least effective style of moving people into action. Coercion is used often and many aspiring to be successful leaders perceive it as an important step to authority. When a leader simply threatens punishment an immediate communication barrier is established between the leader and follower. Coercion invites resistance and retaliation. It creates obstacles by attempting to establish an environment of fear between the leader and follower. People will work harder for a leader they respect than one they fear. Compliance can be had through coercion, however the use of voluntary compliance is a far more effective technique.

5. Offering rewards, gifts, favors or recognition is an element of reward power as the leader attempt to gain the favor of employees. Rewards in the form of material goods or even cash communicate values of importance and attempt to influence attitude and thus behavior. Rewards do have a direct influence on both society and the individuals who attempt to prosper under its economic structure. Rewards may not inspire the individual to do their best, instead bribes them into creating action. Obtaining power through offering rewards does not inspire the individuals sense of excitement and vision and thus while effective is not the most effective style of motivating followers. Rewards do have a place in the leaders approach, however, should be understood for both its limitations and merits.

6. Legitimate power means the leader has established structure, form, station, authority and protocol. Legitimate power provides a platform for the leader, who once they are on it, should never abandon it without a good reason. Once the platform is legitimized the leader can go about the business of leading. Legitimacy is based on the group’s acceptance of common beliefs and practices, which include the distribution of influence within the particular setting. Consistent behavior and acceptance of legitimate power is the leaders platform. The group responds to leaders who fit certain roles with consistent behavior and persist with the group’s expectations. There are certain expectations of what a judge, policeman, lawyer, president, father, mother, aunt, general, chairperson or doctor should represent relative to their perspective titles. Certain actions and activities are expected of those brandishing those titles and are considered appropriate or legitimate.

7. When the leader displays a high skill level in some specific area, they may be perceived as an expert. Expert power reflects the deference appropriated to a perceived authority. It tends to further legitimize leaders and makes them more accepted. A leader attempting to gain support for a certain project can benefit from being perceived as an expert. This perception inspires support for a common cause and reduces unproductive conflict. People frequently accept expert pronouncements because it takes time and effort for an adversary to gather information for an alternative position. Most are not willing to risk the loss of popularity involved in going against the confident leader. Knowing more about a subject than others, combined with the legitimacy position, gives an incumbent a decided advantage in any situation. The leader should always try to be perceived as knowledgeable, which means that he or she rarely participates in groups of other experts, delegates as many details as possible, always strives for greater expertise, and often refrains from speaking. The main job of the leader is to inspire, occasionally offering a trace of detail merely to imply greater knowledge. Acknowledging a mistake quickly and not dwelling on it in no way diminishes the leaders authority.

8. The most effective form of leadership may be having the voluntary respect of followers. Charismatic leadership is based on the admiration that people feel toward an individual. The charismatic leader has an extraordinary ability to inspire trust and confidence. Honesty, integrity, dependability, knowledge, heroism, and self-assurance are qualities associated with this leader. People want to agree with and follow charismatic leaders who establish a public presence, and they may twist their logic to agree with the charismatic leader’s position. Followers defend a charismatic leader when the leader is not present and take strong exception to those who unfairly criticize the leader. The duration of effective leadership depends greatly on the leader’s ability to use charismatic power. Charisma is related to the leader’s ability to inspire trust and confidence. Many factors contribute to charisma: insincerity, vision, focus, confidence, wisdom, courage, sensitivity, discipline, reliability, and strength. Maintaining the proper social distance can greatly impact the leaders authority. While the leader should be too distant from the group it is also as important that the leader not be too familiar and close to the group. A leader should always be a leader, even when in an informal environment.

Please answer the questions in two or one and half pages

1. Discuss the importance of social distance in leadership.

2. Why is coercive power a short-term approach to gaining authority?

3. Examine the approaches to gaining power and discuss your opinions on each.

4. What are the results of leadership when the process message is not focused?

5. Discuss the differences in communication styles between informative and persuasive presentations.

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