Nowadays, preferences of customers are changing at faster pace. So, only those companies can survive which can rightly predict such changes and realigns its strategies for fulfillment of business goals. In order to do that, you need to motivate people to get out from the stereotype environment, which is a challenging task. If you forcefully dictate your terms on your staffs, most of the time it will happen that they will quit your organization and you will be at loss. So, in order to handle a critical situation, you need to demonstrate effective leadership in place.
If somebody asks you about the basics of good leadership role, what will you say? Perhaps you will use terms or phrases like motivating people, building integrity, leading from the front and many more.
Effective leadership comprises of many different attributes. There are also some common factors, which link many of them.
One of the effective forms of leadership is the Four Factor Theory of Leadership that offers many advantages for attaining the best business growth.
Four Factor Theory of Leadership – Origin and Idea
The Four Factor Theory of Leadership was developed by the researchers Stanley Seashore and David Bowers in mid 1960s. The theory became public in 1966. The researchers observed that four factors were involved in implementing effective leadership. These factors are goal emphasis, work facilitation, interaction facilitation and personal support. Personal support deals at helping team members to value themselves and their respective tasks, so that they can build a sense of self worth and this trait will lead to increased business productivity.
Researchers Stanley Seashore and David Bowers reviewed the findings of other researchers as well who were finding out what it takes for becoming an effective leader. They observed that there were four factors, which emerged during studies at consistent basis.
The Four Factors
- Personal Support – Helping other staffs to value themselves and their tasks, so that they can build a sense of self worth
- Goal Emphasis – Motivating people for feeling enthusiastic as well committed to shared goals and performing well
- Interaction Facilitation – Encouraging team members for establishing collaborative, close and successful working relationships with each other
- Work Facilitation – Providing assistance to team members for fulfilling their goals and also offering materials, knowledge and resources
Seashore and Bowers came to conclusion that every business leader has to perform all these things in order to lead a team in effective manner.
Applying the Four Factor Theory of Leadership
It has been found that the recent idea of transformational leadership is often used as the best approach for handling critical business situations. But, it will be more helpful to you if you keep Bowers and Seashore’s leadership factors in mind, when you work with your team.
The Four Factor Theory of Leadership also helps you in knowing about various leadership styles. This helps you to select the best approach to address a given situation.
How to Apply these Four Dimensions for the Best Business Result?
The four factors of this kind of leadership theory include interaction facilitation, support, work facilitation and goal emphasis. Dr. Bowers and Dr. Seashore came up with such leadership model when they studied many managers, who were employed with different insurance companies.
The result of the research led to development of leadership theory, which is used widely nowadays for quantifying a manager’s relationship to his or her direct peers, reports and company. This kind of leadership theory is implemented during development training sessions. The four factors are also used for predicting organizational effectiveness.
# Providing Personal Support
Offering support is the first factor, which Seashore and Bowers observed. With respect to the leadership theory, support can be defined as acting in a manner, which increases self worth and feelings of value among persons who are around you.
As per Seashore and Bowers, it is vital to offer support as a leader for raising company’s morale, carrying out positive interaction with peers and motivating direct reports effectively. Companies, which do not employ leaders who can provide support, can predict lower compliance and morale with leadership directives.
# Focusing on Goals
Goal emphasis is one the factors of effective leadership formulated by Seashore and Bowers. Managers who are proficient at goal emphasis can manage to behave in a manner, which stimulates dedication and excitement for attaining goals from team members.
Goal emphasis can also be observed as a leadership quality where team members want to work toward combined goals, instead of simply requiring working for earning a living. Companies can predict their output and in some scenarios, where their profit margins are based on how their leadership abilities measure goal emphasis.
# Encouraging Teamwork
Interaction facilitation is one of the factors of Seashore and Bowers leadership theory, which shows how a leader encourages team members or company for communicating and building relationships with each other.
Companies, which employ managers who are capable of carrying out interaction facilitation, can predict increased efficiency. This leadership model is suitable for those organizations, where many people learn the details and process services or products before they get delivered.
# Helping People to Work Efficiently
Simply showing enthusiasm for fulfillment of goals is not sufficient. As per the theory of Seashore and Bowers, a manager should also assist in actual accomplishments of business objectives. A leader can demonstrate his or her proficiency towards work facilitation, when he or she makes it a necessity for assisting the team through effective planning, operations management and resource allocation. Companies that deploy leadership, which is weak in implementing measures of work facilitation, can predict a wide gap between perceptions of employees and management and it leads to high attrition level and results in lowering of overall productivity.
It is a classic model which defines four basic dimensions of efficient leadership. As a leader, you will think how you can deploy these dimensions with your team for fulfilling your company’s business goals.