Any employee can be driven to high performance with the use of the appropriate managerial approach based on the employee’s experience within an organization. Formal and informal leaders on organizations are bound to guide collaborators into better professional performance for which this article works as a guideline comprising four guidance styles on the delicate and subjective art of communication.
This article describes the key characteristics, cautionary behaviors and benefits of each style. The suitable timing for the use of each style is also suggested to vary chronologically as collaborators advanced and grow within a company. The styles diverge on how directive and supportive the leader should be and the corresponding readiness for task execution from the collaborator.
To this extent the disclosed communication approaches target:
• The starting employee (No readiness): Requiring high direction and low support
• The low experienced employee (Low readiness): Requiring high direction and high support
• The high experienced employee (High readiness):Requiring low direction and high support
• The expert employee (Full readiness): No direction nor support required
“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. “ – Peter Drucker
An instructional type of communication characterized by a leader who tells team members what they are expected to do and sometimes even how to perform the expected tasks. The directive method is more benign than aversive communication, but still top-down, expressing leadership through direction, instructions, and command. A directive communication style might be useful within a business where team members have jobs that are not particularly specialized and hence need more guidance to avoid uncertainty. (Henry P. Sims Jr., 2009).
Identifying Directive Communication:
A Directive’s desk will be busy with paper projects, and material separated into piles. Their offices are decorated to suggest power. Directives are formal and keep their distance physically and psychologically. Their offices are arranged so that seating is formal-face to face with a big power desk separating them from their Visitors. They don't appreciate people talking three inches from their nose, so becoming your friend is not a prerequisite to doing business with you. Their weak traits include stubbornness, impatience, and toughness. Directives tend to take control of others and have a low tolerance for their feelings, attitudes, and inadequacies. They are fast paced and are impatient with delays.
Examples: Hard-driving newspaper reporter, stockbroker, independent consultant, corporate CEO, drill sergeant, or monarch.
When Directive Communication is used?
• When goals are clear
• When the leader is considerably more experienced than the followers
• When short-term goals, learning, and compliance are more important than follower development.