Is Your Leadership Style Holding Back Your Team?

Is Your Leadership Style Holding Back Your Team?

Dr Karen Morley (pictured below) helps leaders realise their full potential, and is the author of Lead like a Coach and Gender Balanced Leadership: An Executive Guide. In this guest post for B&T, Dr Morley says it’s time for managers to drop their controlling ways…

The demands of leadership continue to increase in pace and complexity. Leaders are expected to get more done. They are expected to be available 24/7, to respond as if all information is always at their fingertips and to work across multiple time zones.

Karen-Morley-Executive-Leadership-Coaching-Melbourne

Under the pressure of these escalating demands, many leaders adopt a command-and-control style of leadership with their teams. They don’t delegate enough, they overwork and end up feeling overburdened. Teams disengage. Leaders and their teams end up producing less, while also jeopardising everyone’s wellbeing and increasing the risk of burn-out.

Controlling as a response to time pressure generally backfires. Controlling leadership means that junior staff don’t feel safe to bring up a range of important information that might reduce accidents and injuries in the workplace, and mistakes that might detract from value for customers. Controlling means that leaders have to continue to find the solutions.

While 80 per cent of organisations say they are keen to reduce control and grow a coaching culture, many continue to reward command-and-control styles. A core proposition of command-and-control is that the people at the top make the decisions and others aren’t to be trusted. Organisations that promote an ‘always on’ expectation reinforce high levels of control.

When leaders coach rather than attempt to control, people become more resourceful and find their own answers. Teams work more effectively together because they engage in dialogue. They listen and ask questions rather than tell others what to do. They see resistance as an opportunity to explore other perspectives, rather than as a threat. The nature of conversations between people changes. Interactions become more positive.

A coaching climate is more likely to create a level of safety for everyone to share information. When a leader listens and coaches, staff are more likely to make out-of-the-box suggestions, and to volunteer contentious information. Such an environment is rarely built where leaders are controlling.

Many leaders believe that if they spend so much time coaching, they won’t be able to get their own job done. If they spent their time on others, they won’t be successful. But they are successful in a completely different way. When leaders coach, they create a culture that is empowering and energising. When coached, people develop, their motivation elevates, and they engage more deeply.

Controlling can be hard to avoid: it’s controlling to always have the answers, for example. Most leaders find it hard to avoid automatically naming the solution. And it’s controlling to always speak first. The leadership task isn’t to be the first person to find the solution.

Both of these simple behaviours are reinforced by the status and power of the leadership role. Status comes with leadership roles: we expect a degree of dominance and influence. We expect leaders to take charge, to know the answers, to jump in. That’s fine for demonstrating you have leadership potential.

Exercising leadership is then a fine balance of demonstrating these requirements, while not overdoing them. Be mindful of how much room you leave for others.

The leader’s challenge is to stay focused on what team members need to think about and to learn. To encourage them to find their own solutions. That way they will be able solve their own problems and develop their future capability. They’re also more likely to develop innovative responses, as they consider more options.

The coaching style ripples out. This ripple effect of coaching means that the efforts of the leader are magnified through the efforts of everyone they coach.

When leaders coach rather than control they open the door to team members’ aspirations, creating the opportunity for them to grow and develop to the greatest extent possible.




Please login with linkedin to comment

Dr Karen Morley Leadership

Latest News

Documentary Australia & Screen QLD Announce SheDoc Recipients
  • Media

Documentary Australia & Screen QLD Announce SheDoc Recipients

Documentary Australia, in partnership with Screen Queensland, has announced the 2024 recipients of SheDoc – a grants program aimed at giving women a stronger and more equal voice in documentary storytelling. The six Queensland-based female documentary filmmakers are Jo-Anne Brechin, Kate Boylan Ascione, Nu’utea Marie Lea Robillot, Sasha Parlett, Mags Scholes, and Veronica Fury. They […]

Energy Safe Victoria Partners With DPR&Co For Certificate Of Electrical Safety Campaign
  • Campaigns

Energy Safe Victoria Partners With DPR&Co For Certificate Of Electrical Safety Campaign

Energy Safe Victoria has launched a new public safety campaign to alert Victorians to the importance of obtaining a Certificate of Electrical Safety from their licensed electrician. Your electrician is responsible for providing you with a certificate after any work has been completed. This is your proof that the work is safe and compliant. “Research […]

It’s Friday Quiz Time! Have You Been Paying Attention?
  • Media

It’s Friday Quiz Time! Have You Been Paying Attention?

🥳 Congratulations to Pia McMorran 🥳 of Emotive for taking the top prize in last week’s trivia! Could you be our next lucky winner? Try your luck below to find out! Think you have what it takes to be our next lucky winner? Share your results below for your chance to win.

Gen Z Abandoning “Life Blueprint” Focused On Money & Career To Hang Out With Friends
  • Marketing

Gen Z Abandoning “Life Blueprint” Focused On Money & Career To Hang Out With Friends

Gen Z have apparently jettisoned the “life blueprint” set by preceding generations with a focus on living in the moment, being happy and bonding with friends, according to a new survey. Collating responses from more than 2,680 Gen Z’ers across Australia and New Zealand, the study conducted by Secret Sounds Connect, the commercial rights, experiential […]

AMPR Group Secures 18 Client Wins
  • Marketing

AMPR Group Secures 18 Client Wins

Communications agency AMPR Group has accelerated to hit high speeds in 2024, celebrating 18 new and returning client wins across its major events, fashion, beauty and consumer portfolios. The global spotlight will be on Melbourne in March as AMPR prepares to bring a series of exciting projects to life. Kicking off with the PayPal Melbourne […]

Cannes In Cairns 2024 Agenda Revealed!
  • B&T Exclusive

Cannes In Cairns 2024 Agenda Revealed!

An almighty chunk of the Cannes in Cairns presented by Pinterest agenda has been revealed, and there is plenty in store for you. Lead image: Fernando Machado, CMO, NotCo Revellers can expect three days of cracking content from 4-7 June. From global keynotes and marvellous marketers to film directors, professors and all-round media and creative […]

Cannes In Cairns Early Bird Ticket Prices Ending Soon!
  • B&T Exclusive

Cannes In Cairns Early Bird Ticket Prices Ending Soon!

Early bird ticket prices for Cannes in Cairns 2024 are ending soon, so you’ll need to move quickly to save money on the hottest ticket in town (or anywhere!). You have until 31 March to secure your ticket at the discounted price of $1,979.99 inclusive of GST. What’s more, you can get even tastier discounts […]

The Coffee Commune’s “Finding Brisbane’s Best Cafe” Achieves Record Entries
  • Campaigns

The Coffee Commune’s “Finding Brisbane’s Best Cafe” Achieves Record Entries

To promote the launch of its latest campaign, ‘Finding Brisbane’s Best Cafe’, The Coffee Commune (TCC) harnessed the power of radio, digital and programmatic OOH. The seven-week campaign also served to increase The Coffee Commune’s membership, and via TFM Digital, it saw a record 39,633 entries garnered (28,774 unique), with 880+ cafes nominated. Teaming up […]