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Leadership Style: Laissez-Faire

When an individual's competence and motivation are both high he/she he is considered a "mature follower,"and the appropriate leadership style to use is Laissez-Faire.

Style Description

For this person you should use a delegating – "hands off" – leadership style. Such a style is characterized by deliberate efforts on your part to avoid direction or over control. You should communicate your willingness to assist as needed, but otherwise allow the individual the freedom to choose how best to proceed with the project or task. This leadership style recognizes the person's high competence and motivation and rewards it with autonomy and independence. You should keep control and monitoring to a minimum otherwise you risk demotivating the individual. If the project or task is of high risk you may need to maintain more control. If this is the case be sure to inform the person why you are maintaining more control lest you demotivate him/her.

The following is a summary of the types of projects you should assign to highly competent and highly motivated individuals as well as the types of instructions you should give, the amount and type of controls you should use, and a sample statement you can use when attempting to convey this leadership style:

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