Task-oriented vs. People-oriented

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Those of us in long-term leadership roles are probably aware if we are task-oriented or people-oriented leaders. But understanding the strengths and challenges of both helps us manage our style into a more balanced approach, benefiting ourselves, our team, and the business simultaneously. 

Task-oriented leadership is centered on achieving goals and completing tasks. It prioritises efficiency, productivity and emphasises the importance of meeting deadlines and achieving results.

These leaders:

  • are detail-oriented
  • analytical
  • focused on results
  • communicate clear expectations
  • ensure accountability
  • and can motivate a team to achieve goals

Team members feel a sense of achievement through accomplishments. 

People-oriented leadership is focused on building workplace relationships, promoting collaboration, and supporting personal / professional development. It prioritises empathy, emotional intelligence, effective communication, and recognises the importance of creating a positive work environment and culture.

These leaders:

  • build trust and loyalty
  • promote open communication and feedback
  • and support team-member growth

Employees feel more engaged, valued and stay longer. 

However, task-oriented style can lead to a lack of empathy and emotional intelligence, while people-oriented style can lead to a lack of focus and accountability. 

Every successful business requires a balance of both leadership styles. We all hope to achieve objectives, pivot quickly, have clear directives (task-oriented) . . .  as well as nurture creativity, flexibility, engagement, team cohesion, and leverage individual strengths (people-oriented). 

Are you more focused on the successful completion of goals vs the overall well-being of your team?

Or are you more focused on people’s journey rather than the business’s?

Merging the two leadership styles is critical to creating a robust, productive, enjoyable and inclusive workplace. Which means you attract the best, keep the best, increase productivity and profitability. Yup, it’s worth adapting your style to get better outcomes.