In today’s article on Effective Leadership, we are doing to discuss the consequences of providing too much freedom to the team members. In the past, we have discussed providing enough space for the team members to share their views and suggestions. But there is definitely a limit for the same. If it goes beyond the limit, we may end up in an uncomfortable situation where the team members may no longer listen to what we are trying to say. This is a diplomatic situation where you can neither blame the Leader or the team members. It just becomes an outcome of a lenient leadership. But such situations can have a great impact on the way how the business runs. If a leader is not having a proper hold on certain situations, it becomes highly challenging to handle the team members. It will not be comfortable for even the staff members on the team to listen to the leaders. At times they even start to feel that they make better decisions or they do a better job than their leaders. These thoughts are highly poisonous for a good team to function.
Taking the Leaders for Granted
In some of the sensitive decision making, leaders involve the team members and ask their opinion just to get an expert to advise. In such a situation just because the leader approached the team member for a suggestion, they take the leaders for granted and from next time onwards they will not be giving the necessary importance to a leader. It will even create an opportunity for the team members to bypass a leader during a situation where decision making is involved. In such situations, leaders will have to try hard to get their control back. These are all because of the outcome of lenient leadership where the team members take the leaders for granted and assume the leniency for everything.
There are potential solutions to this problem where leaders can have a proper control on certain situations even though they involve the staff members. Leaders should be very careful during discussions with the team members. Communication is the only way by which a path is created for the staff members to take the leaders for granted. Leaders should be cautious in every word and sentence they utter to the staff members. If there is no strict rule imposed on the staff members, they easily take the leaders for granted and friction between the leaders and staff members will increase. Strict rules need not be unfavourable always for the staff members but the point is, leaders should not hesitate to impose unfavourable decisions on the staff members.
Sometimes in a team, when the voice of the team members is not heard by the leader, there will be a drastic decrease in the team’s productivity. A similar thing happens even when a leader is finding it very difficult to gel with the team members and implement their ideas. If the staff members think that their voice should be heard all the time, it may be due to the leniency of the leader. Even if full freedom is given to the staff members to implement their ideas, it can end up incorrect and the productivity of the team will still be affected. A good leader should be able to handle both fun moments with the team as well as serious moments with the team in a balanced manner.
If a leader of a team is very lenient with the staff members of the team, the productivity of the team will gradually reduce. Reason being the staff members on the team will not worry about the deadlines as the leader himself is not worried about it. If a leader is not taking control over the project by directing the staff members in the team, the team members will start to lose interest and as an outcome of that, the productivity of the team will reduce.
Communicating with the team
Speaking with the team frequently can provide a great opportunity for the leaders to gel with the team and understand what they feel about the team and the leadership. This will help the leader understand the team’s mindset about the leader. This can also have negative consequences if it is overdone. If a leader is having frequent communications with the team members, there is a high possibility that the team members can take them for granted. Communication is fundamental to everything. If the communication is not established well with the team members, then in certain instances either the team members will get offended by the points made by the leaders or the leader will get offended by the way the staff members react to them.
Providing enough freedom for the team members is very important but at the same time, it is highly essential to understand how it should be regulated. Too much of freedom can backfire on the leader itself. The final conclusion is that a leader should neither be very lenient with the team members nor very strict. Both ways will spoil the productivity of the team. Even though they are not lenient, being very strict will definitely spoil everything.
Hope you had an interesting read. Share your views on this topic in the comments section.
My previous articles in this series: