Have you ever had a “do your own thing” employer? Someone who trusts you to do your work, come up with your own ideas, and gives you space and time to thrive in your work environment? Well if you have, then you’ve experienced laissez-faire leadership.
On the flip-side, you may be a laissez-faire manager yourself, or you may be looking to implement this style of management.
Read on below for tips, information, and strategies to implement a laissez-faire leadership style.
What is Laissez-Faire Leadership?
According to BusinessDictionary.com, Laissez-Faire leadership is “a non-authoritarian leadership style. Laissez faire leaders try to give the least possible guidance to subordinates, and try to achieve control through less obvious means. They believe that people excel when they are left alone to respond to their responsibilities and obligations in their own ways.
In other words, Laissez-faire leadership is a when a team leader allows their group members to feel independent while working; giving them the opportunities to flourish in their work environment.
When does laissez-faire leadership work best?
This depends a lot on the employees and team members.
If you have motivated individuals who are qualified and have a good grasp on their field, employing a laissez-faire management style should be easy and effective.
Laissez-Faire Leader Characteristics
The best foundation for this type of management is TRUST.
Further, ACCOUNTABILITY is a key necessity for Laissez-faire managers – you must be confident that your team members are working hard, even though you don’t know exactly what they are working on.
One great way to manage this is by using a tool that provides visibility when necessary. This way, you have a high-level overview of where the priorities and responsibilities of your team members lie, and you can dig deeper when you need.
As long as this information is centralized, whether in a spreadsheet or in a project management software tool, rest assured that you have the visibility you need to manage effectively without “looking over your employees shoulders”.
When does laissez-faire leadership not work so well?
If you are working with interns, “green” employees, or workers that need a lot of guidance, then laissez-faire management may not be the best option.
These employees may need a more hands on boss who can be there to “hold their hand” as they work. If you still wish to use a more laissez-faire leadership style in the future then ask yourself the following questions…
- Do your employees quickly grapes what you instruct them to do?
- Do your employees rarely ask for help when doing a project?
- Do you trust your employees enough to let go of the reins a bit?
- Will you be able to commit to a laissez-faire management style?
If you said yes to all of the above then you should definitely give laissez-faire leadership a try!
If not, then keep working towards being comfortable enough with your team and your management style.
A good way to ease into this new style with out alarming or confusing your team is to let go of little things. These gestures could be as big as letting a lower level employee run a team meeting or as little as letting your team pick what your having for lunch.
As a leader you have the ability to gague whether or not your team is ready for bigger responsibilities or if you should pull back.
Laissez-faire leadership benefits
Are you tired of having to go through all your teams work when you already know that its good and ready to go?
Does your team already provide interesting and innovative ideas without your help?
Have you ever taken time away from the office and come back seeing that your team was busy and able to function without your guidance?
A laissez-faire leadership style can give you all these benefits and more!
With this new style of leadership you will be able to work on your own important projects without feeling the need to check in constantly on your employees.
So how do I make my switch to laissez-faire leadership easier?
Ready to take the plunge into laissez-faire management but a little worried about how it will all go over?
Well look no further than the helpful prioritization and collaboration software Priority Matrix!
Priority Matrix makes it easy to lead your team (whether local or remote) efficiently, allowing them to have control over their responsibilities while still showing you everything they’re working on.
Priority Matrix will make switching over to this new leadership style easy and effective!
Try Priority Matrix for free and give your team the professional and creative freedom they need to thrive.