EM|Pre-Int|4. Leadership style theories
An urgent project with a tight deadline. That’s not an unusual situation at work. But different managers can deal with it differently. Let’s have a look at some examples. You’re going to read how three managers announce a new project to their team and give orders. Even these short examples can say a lot about the managers, for instance, about their personality traits.
Read these managers’ orders to their subordinates. For each manager, choose one adjective that is not applicable to them
How would you announce such a project to your subordinates? Write your ideas
During the break, Emma, Max and John are discussing the managers of their company. The managers happen to be very different. They all have their own management style, which can be described with different idioms. You’ve already seen some of them in the orders the bosses gave. Let’s learn some more.
Read the conversation and match the idioms in bold to their meanings
Max Emma John
M: It always surprises me how different our managers are. I mean, they may have the same position in the company but they are like night and day.
E: Right. I really admire Doris. She’s a guiding spirit for her team.
J: She’s just lucky to have a great team. They all think outside the box, that’s why they show great results. People on Robert’s team are not so bright, frankly speaking. So he has to be stricter.
E: It means that he just crushed their spirit! You don’t want to go the extra mile if your boss doesn’t motivate you.
M: I agree with Emma. I guess Michelle is a great example of balance in dealing with her subordinates. She often raises the bar, but her team does a great job all the time. What’s important is that she never forgets to say, «Keep up the good work, Max!» Oh, I have to get back to work, actually.
Answer the questions
1. How does your boss motivate the team to keep up the good work?
2. Do you find it more interesting to work when the boss raises the bar?
3. Can you say that your boss is a guiding spirit for their employees?
4. What actions can crush a team’s spirit?
5. Does a good manager always think outside the box?
How you give orders to your subordinates, how you control the work process and motivate your team — all of this shows not only your personality, but also your leadership style. You might not even be aware of it, but every manager can be described by a certain leadership style. Let’s start with the basics — the definition of a leadership style, what it includes and what it’s influenced by. First, give your ideas and then find out what the expert says.
Complete the left column with your ideas. Then listen to the audio and complete the right column with the mentioned ideas
A leadership style is how managers…
Factors that influence the leadership style are…
There are a lot different theories that classify leadership styles. In this lesson, you are going to learn about some of them. Let’s start with Theory X and Theory Y. Have you ever heard of them? Now you are going to find out which one you stick to.
Do the test and read about your results
Tick the correct statements for each category
Let’s get back to the managers you saw at the beginning of the lesson and look at their orders once again. It’s easy to notice that each order has a different focus. That’s what another theory is based on.
Read the orders and mark the correct options
In your opinion, who is a better leader, Robert or Michelle? It’s very likely that most people would choose Michelle. Everyone wants to have an understanding boss who cares about the happiness of their employees. But actually, both task-oriented and people-oriented styles have their pros and cons. What’s more, even the advantages of each approach can lead to some problems.
Look at the list of pros and decide which approach they belong to
Look at some pros of each approach and think about the negative consequences they can lead to. Then listen and check your ideas
Listen again and complete the consequences in the order they are mentioned
Every manager can choose any style according to their personality traits and beliefs. Sometimes, good advice can help, like in the situation below.
Read the situation. Listen to the speakers and match them with the theories they talk about
Manage to Manage is a radio show where experts in management answer questions from the listeners. Max, Emma and John love this show and sometimes participate in it as experts. Today they’ve got a question from Ben:
I’m the owner of a small design company. Lately, the performance of my employees has fallen. They do not meet deadlines, and because of that, we’ve lost some clients. I don’t know what measures to take. Should I punish them? Or, maybe, I don’t motivate them enough? I thought they were satisfied with their job. I always give clear instructions, which is, I believe, very important in design. Any advice?
Let’s listen to what Max, Emma and John say.
Think about the advice you would give to Ben. Explain which theory you would use to support it
Let’s now see what theory you prefer.
Read the task and prepare your 2-minute speech
1. Prepare a speech about the theories you’ve learnt about today. Use the following questions to help you:
🔹What is a leadership style? What does it include?
🔹Is it the same as a management style?
🔹Why do you think there are so many leadership style theories?
🔹What’s the difference between Theory X and Theory Y? In your opinion, which one is better?
🔹What’s the difference between task-oriented and people-oriented managers? Which one is closer to you and why?
2. Use some of the words and phrases from the wordlist.
3. You may use the text area for taking notes.
Allow your browser access to your microphone, press the button «Record» and record the speech you have prepared
Choose the correct statements
Now you know some leadership theories, but there are more of them. In the next lesson you’ll start studying Lewin’s leadership styles. You’ll first focus on autocratic and democratic styles, learn about their particularities, advantages and downsides.
- Giving orders
- Work idioms
- What is a leadership style?
- Theory X vs Theory Y
- Task-oriented vs people-oriented
- Giving advice
- Which one do you prefer?
- Assess your progress