Bosses don’t always let you do it. Moreover, there are even bosses who are real bottlenecks due to their difficulty in delegating. We know that no one is born a leader, that it is a learning process, that requires time, tools and examples to be inspired by. Along this path you need to know yourself, learn to trust and overcome your own fears. However, there are those who confuse the process of delegating. There are bosses who, rather than delegate, abdicate. Or said in a technical way, they are the bosses that fall into the laissez-faire or laissez-faire style (as always, it is more technical in other languages).
Well, this style has its advantages, especially when the teams they lead are experienced and mature. However, as recent research has shown, it is an inappropriate style for innovating and, curiously, it is not recommended for learning from mistakes. Bosses who overdo things don’t help their teams use mistakes as learning tools . They act as a brake, just like authoritarian styles.
In research published in 2018, the ability to learn from error in 554 employees in Europe, the United States and China and its relationship with perceived leadership style were analyzed. To do this, the possible management styles were classified into four:
- Transformational: “my boss speaks optimistically about the future”
- Transactional: “my boss expresses satisfaction when expectations are met”
- Laissez-faire: “my boss is absent when I need him”
- Authoritarian: “My boss reprimands me when my performance is not up to par.”
Well, as expected, the best leadership style to encourage innovation and learn from mistakes was transformational , that is, the one that excites and helps bring out the best in people. And the worst, the authoritarian. So far, predictable, right? However, the surprise came when it was discovered that the laissez-faire or laissez-faire style (or “step”, in the language of being at home), was just as pernicious as the authoritarian or even worse in certain cultural environments. Reason? It seems that the lack of motivation from leaders harms the willingness of employees to talk about or learn from mistakes .
Finally, another curious finding from the research was the relationship between leadership and mindset. Leadership is an important part, but it is not everything. There are professionals with a fixed mindset, where they blame the world for what happens to them, despite having great leaders. For this reason, once again, how important it is to know how to select and how important it is to learn to accompany professionals who have some difficulty in changing. The mentality for change or change mindset is inherent in all of us, but we need time, learning, inspiring leaders and, of course, personal will . It also takes determination to face the mistake and get out of the world of excuses.
In short, the leader creates contexts where people want to give their best . Styles that foster transformation are best suited for us to learn from mistakes, and authoritarian or laissez-faire styles do our teams and companies a disservice.