Facilitative Leadership
The days of the dominating, stand-alone charismatic leader are long gone. Given that today’s projects are often costly and complex, and that group members are talented, specialized, and expensive, the charismatic leader model is something to be avoided—it’s the business equivalent of putting all your eggs in one basket. A preferred technique is Facilitative Leadership, which has been shown to be the most effective manner in developing a loyal followership. Remember, one cannot lead without followers.

In today’s complex business climate, the successful leader cannot afford to be ignorant of the goals, objectives, and values of his or her team members. An old saying applies here: “You have two ears and one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you talk.” This should be the marching order for any successful leader, whether it’s a leader of an informal group of three or of a multinational corporation. The facilitative process involves active listening and constant creative questioning.

As a leader begins to understand the group’s values more clearly, he or she can facilitate leadership more easily by using the group’s own momentum. This allows the group members to discover how their personal aspirations, professional goals, values, and objectives fit the goals and tasks of the whole group. Workers tend to be more passionate about and committed to an idea that they have developed themselves, rather than to one that has been passed down as an order. The leader’s job is to facilitate this congruence.

Bernard Bass, an innovative business psychology professor, has demonstrated that facilitative leaders are more successful than conventional leaders in a variety of groups and venues, ranging from nuns managing convents to Fortune 500 leaders. In all likelihood, this approach will work in your setting too.

An old Indian proverb illustrates this concept: “ The creator, like a spider, builds her world then enters into it.”

Learn more about leadership, occupational stress, conflict management, change management, team development and motivational speaking at Ian Glickman Consulting. Visit our web site at ianglickman.com

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Glickman is a psychologist licensed in Pennsylvania and Iowa. For ten years he was a professor at Immaculate University teaching courses in leadership, team development, occupational stress, conflict resolution, business communication, and human development. He was on the teaching faculty of the leading national healthcare Devereux Foundation’s Institute of Clinical Training and Research. Dr. Glickman studied extensively in Europe and Asia and earned his bachelors degree in Creative Intelligence from Maharishi European Research University, Selisberg Switzerland. His master’s degree is in Counseling and Human Development from the University of Iowa and his Ph.D. in psychology is from Lehigh University. Dr. Glickman has participated in numerous conflict resolution projects nationally and internationally. Due to his work at the Devereaux foundation, he is the former chairman of the Pennsylvania committee for stress-free schools. He is a Fellow at the American Institute of Stress and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress with an additional certificate in war trauma. Dr. Glickman has had numerous TV and radio appearances. He’s lectured at Princeton and Harvard universities and has published in Princeton’s Innovations: The Journal of Science and Technology. Dr. Glickman has done innovative research on occupational stress and body types. He is a certified facilitator of the Steven Covey Speed of Trust Program. Dr. Glickman is a sought-after coach and speaker with years of consulting experience.