Conventional leadership styles were thought to be useful through a one size fits all model. It was believed that as a manager you were either a democratic leader or a strict autocratic one. While both have their advantages in specific scenarios, they are not effective in most cases in the modern age.
Autocratic leadership style helps industries like the military make on point decisions which makes it easier and faster to communicate exactly what is required of the subordinates; it especially helps when you don’t have any time to ‘consult.’
What is Consultative Leadership?
Consultative Leadership style is very task oriented. The approach is all about contributing focus to the final result of the leadership style that is ‘the decision.’ Unlike other leadership styles and methods, a consultative leader goes a step farther than the rest, which may also possibly be the reason why it is so compelling. The leader asks the subordinates for opinions. While the same leader also holds the authority of making the decision, they will first listen to what their employees or assistants have to say.
Effective Decision Making
One of the popular reasons why consultative leadership makes for a suitable style is because, in situations where the appointed leader does not know the entire state of affairs, the leader can make the right decision with the help of opinions and views of the team.
Consultative leadership is especially helpful if the leader is not involved in day-to-day operations. This style allows for an informed decision in almost every situation; which also automatically makes it a choice most likely to succeed.
Can Work in More than a Few Situations
Another great reason why the consultative style is most likely to persevere than the rest is that it can work both in a large corporation where a board meets and makes the final decision, or in any specialized industry which harbors field experts, scientists, and engineers working at the front lines.
When Team Agreement is a Priority
It is challenging to lead your team when you are always being thwarted by different points of view and approached with different ideas and perspectives. The consultative model is the perfect way to help you in situations where your priority is team agreement. You must show all your subordinates that you are taking everyone’s opinions into consideration and only then have you come to a conclusive decision.
It’s a Nurturing Approach
The consultative style is one where teams can be easily mentored and nurtured. The leader when making people a part of the decision-making process is indirectly also teaching them how it all works and how they can handle different situations. The style has proven to be very supportive and developmental, however, at the end of the day, it is the leader that holds all accountability. Workplaces that require mentorship can benefit from this approach as part of the informal training of their employees.
It’s the people who decide whether you are a good leader or not. A consultative leader is humble and showcases a persona where he/she is ready to listen to his or her subordinates, take the appropriate action and only then make the final decision.
Subordinates are also likely to notice how even though the leader has the power to entirely operate on autocratic mode, they do not because the leader understands that at the end of the day he or she may not know everything. These reasons make the quality of the leader’s decisions a lot better, and better received as well.
How to Do It Right?
There are ways you can introduce the consultative leadership style in your workplace.
To be an active and productive consultative leader, it is crucial that you first introduce an environment where it is okay for subordinates to speak up. This is not as easy as it sounds, especially if you are planning on switching from directive leadership to consultative only during instances that suit you.
When you initially start making this change, you will find that people are hesitant to speak up or don’t speak up at all. This is not because they have no input it might be because they are used to a directive way of leadership.
The subordinates will always take their time to mull over whether it is safe to speak up, and even then, be uncomfortable about actually doing it. This is because most employees harbor this fear that they might sound silly or be criticized for what they say which might translate to some as incompetency. Therefore, the best option for them is always to nod and agree.
It is clear that to build an effective leadership style for yourself, you must first put in to play vital communication and facilitation skills.
The results of any decision-making meeting are essential for improving the processes of a company. They are also imperative in making decisions that cover every facet of a workplace environment so that after the decision has been made, there is no room for anyone to speak up about how one thing or the other was missed.