Collaborative vs Directive Leadership – Which One to Use?

Collaborative vs Directive Leadership – Which One to Use?

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In organizational structure,  each of your employees is unique, they  all will respond differently to your attitude, choices, and leadership style. Some employees could feel at ease discussing a problem right  in the conference room but others may require more time to process the information and would like to return later to discuss problems and ask questions.

So, in order to run a successful organization which leadership style can be right in order to deal with the employees and to attain the desired profit of an organization? we will see here, about the two main leadership styles; Directive and Collaborative, and how they work.

What Is Directive Leadership? 

Directive leadership can be both desirable and unrelenting when it is practiced in a supervisory capacity. Bass in his book, “Bass & Stogdill’s handbook of leadership: Theory, research,

& managerial applications” describes the directive cluster of leadership style as “being arbitrary, controlling, power-oriented, coercive, punitive, and close-minded”. It is also called Autocratic leadership.

Responsibilities of Directive Leadership

Directive leaders are solely responsible for task management and decision-making. The following are their responsibilities:

  • Delegates duties to each team member
  • Defines deadlines
  • Establishes definite protocols and limitations.
  • Tightly monitors the team rather than granting them authority

Also Read About: How To Be a Directive Leader?

What Is Collaborative Leadership?

Collaborative leadership can be engaging, team-oriented, and dependent on others. This leadership approach is described as participative, consultative, considerate, and team-centric.  Another defining trait of collaborative leadership is decision-making which is shared among employees and leaders. 

Responsibilities of Collaborative Leadership

Collaborative leaders are responsible for;

  • Offers discussions rather than leading them
  • Invites team members to play a key part in decision-making
  • Provides guidance rather than dictation
  • Bring up one’s professional development in an open and compassionate environment

Also Read About: What are the characteristics & benefits of collaborative leadership?

Table Comparison Between Directive and Collaborative Leadership

AttributesDirective LeadershipCollaborative Leadership
StructureTop-down hierarchyCross-organizational 
Flow of InformationInformation is controlled by the leader and only disclosed if neededTransparent
Power of Decision MakingPossess by leaderWith the participation of team
AccountabilityEmployeesEveryone including leadership
Leadership RoleAutocracy, ControlFacilitation, Influence
Employees’ RolePassive engagementActive involvement
Team DynamicPower StruggleMutual Empowerment

Differences Between Collaborative and Directive Leadership 

The main difference between Directive and Collaborative Leadership is that directive leaders direct and control under the highly strict organizational framework. While collaborative leaders, unlike the directive approach, interact and guide employees in a friendly and collaborative environment. The following are the differences; 

  • Directive Leadership Supervises, Collaborative Leadership Guides
  • Directive Leadership Controls, Collaborative Leadership Interacts
  • Directive Leadership Discourages Recommendations, Collaborative Leadership Appreciates Ideas
  • Directive Leadership Is “ Know It All”, Collaborative Leadership Is Based on Sharing
  • Directive Leadership Is Authorative, Collaborative Leadership Focuses on Team Building
  • Directive Leadership Follows Code of Conduct, Collaborative Leadership Provides Friendly Environment
  • Directive Leadership Facilitates but Limited, Collaborative Leadership Provides Opportunities
  • Directive Leadership Put Blames on Others, Collaborative Leadership Find Solutions
  • Directive Leadership Lacks Engagement, Collaborative Leadership Increases Interest
  • Directive Leadership Focus on the Success of Company, Collaborative Leadership Focus on Individual Growth

1.  Directive Leadership Supervises, Collaborative Leadership Guides

Directive leadership supervises and directs tasks to the employees. They assign responsibilities and duties to employees and set goals for profitable outcomes. On the other hand, collaborative leadership’s objective is to bring people together to work in a collaborative environment. They are trusted and respected by the team members. 

2. Directive Leadership Controls, Collaborative Leadership Interacts

Directive leadership is close-minded and controlling. These traits discourage employees’ confidence and motivation to perform tasks. On the other hand, Collaborative leadership possesses open-mindedness and behaves reasonably while interacting with their team members. 

3. Directive Leadership Discourages Recommendations, Collaborative Leadership Appreciates Ideas

During decision- making process, Directive leadership does not encourage recommendations, as well as they do not want to be troubled by inquisitive workers. On the other hand,   collaborative leadership encourages discussions to produce ideas. Directive leadership behavior provides short-term results while this form of collaboration produces long-term effects.

Collaborative vs Directive Leadership

4. Directive Leadership Is “ Know It All”, Collaborative Leadership Is Based on Sharing

In directive leadership, the planning and strategic thinking are highly dependent on one person, who is the sole responsible for all the responsibilities. On the other hand, in collaborative leadership, work duties are distributed evenly among employees. Shared and distributed tasks invite creativity in the organization. 

5. Directive Leadership Is Authorative, Collaborative Leadership Focuses on Team Building

Directive leadership asserts authority and takes charge of everything. They are not concerned about building relationships with the team members. On the other hand, collaborative leadership emphasizes team building. They make healthy and friendly relationships with the team members in an organization. Collaborative leadership empowers other team members. 

6. Directive Leadership Follows Code of Conduct, Collaborative Leadership Provides Friendly Environment

Directive leadership follows strict protocols and restrictions. Employees are obliged to follow the set code of conduct. On the other hand, collaborative leadership does not have strict protocols to follow. They provide a friendly and collaborative environment where employees feel free and relaxed to express themselves. 

7. Directive Leadership Facilitates but Limited, Collaborative Leadership Provides Opportunities

Directive leadership facilitates unskilled employees with training and skills but they are limited in accordance with the need of the time. On the other hand, under Collaborative leadership, employees get great opportunities to create a significant difference. Positive outcomes are facilitated by collaborative leaders who transform the organization through motivation, trust, and better planning. 

Also Read About: What to Opt? Transactional vs Transformational Leadership

8. Directive Leadership Put Blames on Others, Collaborative Leadership Find Solutions

Directive leadership avoids conflict within an organization. In times of conflict or crisis, directive leaders put the blame on others and account for others for the loss. On the other hand, instead of avoiding conflict, collaborative leadership manages it. Conflict is a necessary component of any company’s dynamics, and collaborative leaders possess conflict management skills that they apply in different situations. 

9. Directive Leadership Lacks Engagement, Collaborative Leadership Increases Interest

Directive leadership does not give a sense of ownership to employees. This reduces the engagement and interest of the employees in an organization. On the other hand, collaborative leadership owns their staff member. They provide the space to employees in which they can feel themselves as a significant part of the organization.

10. Directive Leadership Focus on the Success of Company, Collaborative Leadership Focus on Individual Growth

Directive leadership is only concerned about the successes and profitable outcomes of the organization. On the other hand, collaborative leadership is concerned about individual growth as well along with organizational growth. 

Which Is More Effective? Directive or Collaborative Leadership

Leadership today requires a little bit more flexibility.  Knowing how to show up at any given time while taking into account the demands of your team, your employer, and your customers is, of course, a challenge. It is “the art and science” of leadership to strike a balance between a directive and a collaborative leadership style.

Both leadership styles are effective. This is dependent on what the organization needs. A directive leader can execute his job perfectly if a company is just starting its setup and needs specified rules, protocols, and a stabilized structure. For a new setup, a directive leader is a smart choice. 

Collaborative vs Directive Leadership

At the same time, in today’s highly interlinked and globalized world, Collaborative leadership is more appreciated. The current demand is for innovation and openness to new ideas. The effectiveness of the organization increases when workers feel heard and are working in a collaborative environment. Choose the right and required style of leadership to increase the productivity of an organization. 

Can Collaborative and Directive Leadership Be Used at the Same Time?

Yes, both leadership styles can be used at the same time, Since a single leadership style simply doesn’t work in every circumstance, it cannot be practiced constantly. Good managers and leaders are aware of the need of the time. In a collaborative setting, there are circumstances where everyone must follow the rules without exception. 

For instance, you are required to attend regular meetings to learn what will happen on a given day.  Specific information must be recorded in order to create reports. At the same time, all employees are working together in making those reports which show collaboration. 

Learn Effective Leadership with Best Diplomats 

Which leadership style you would like to learn, directive or collaborative? Both have their pros and cons. You can read more about Directive Leadership and Collaborative Leadership with Best Diplomats

Collaborative vs Directive Leadership

Additionally, Best Diplomats is providing an excellent platform to learn effective leadership styles. If you want to be one of them, register now with Best Diplomats and enjoy a life-changing experience. 

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Conclusion

When you simply don’t have the time for a more consensus-oriented approach, it is frequently more advantageous from an operational point of view, to be more directive.  However, you must be relatively confident that your choices or decisions will likely be the correct ones. To be clear, in general, high-quality decisions are attained in collaborative leadership. This is true that teams  always do better work than individuals or organizations and have better ideas. However, knowing which style is preferable at the right time is a part of good leadership.

FAQs

What are the three characteristics of directive leaders?

The three main characteristics of directive leaders are; they adore hierarchy, assert authority, and are rational in decision-making. 

What are the three characteristics of collaborative leaders?

They empower mutual growth, provide freedom of expression, and focus on team building.

When is directive leadership appropriate?

Directive leadership is appropriate in emergency situations, to train unskilled staff members, and in new setups. 

When is collaborative leadership work?

Collaborative leadership works when there are multiple stakeholders in an organization. Furthermore, it is also used to resolve complex conflicts and reach satisfaction. 

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