Leadership/ more participative than directive “Leadership should be more participative than directive.”—Mary D. Poole

Do you agree with this statement? Why?

Leadership/ more participative than directive; Yes and no, it should be both.  When in a leadership position I believe it is imperative for the leader to work closely with those they are leading while maintaining a professional ground so to speak. When a leader has great communication skills, those being led will remain motivated, when a leader possesses good people skills and is relatable to those being led, they will remain motivated. A leader recognizes the responsibility of stepping up and taking ownership when things don’t happen as they should. This shows the team that he or she is in it with them. This leads to a boost in morale. Leaders are supposed to enable and motivate, not put the “I” in the team. Those being led are going to practice what their leader is teaching or their leaders attitude, therefore it is imperative for a leader to deliver a great image, by setting a positive example. This can all be accomplished when a leader is participative, so yes I agree with the statement.

In correctional facilities, how easy or difficult is it for leaders to be participative in their leadership styles? It is difficult because many if not all correctional facilities still implement authoritative styles of leadership, they practice the more directive approach which can make it difficult to maintain morale among the officers, other staff and inmates. If they were to shift to a more transformational style of leadership, it would be easy for them to be participative in their leadership styles. For example,

Michael Pittaro writes,   “Correctional institutions have historically relied on punitive and authoritative styles of leadership. However, I believe correctional leaders must adopt a transformational leadership approach to governing correctional officers, staff members, and inmates within their facilities. Shifting leadership styles to focus on transformational, coaching, and mentoring practices can help to: Leadership/ more participative than directive

  • Empower corrections staff to accept the organization’s mission in correcting socially unacceptable criminal behaviors through rehabilitative efforts and means
  • Create a sound therapeutic, rehabilitative atmosphere
  • Provide opportunities for inmates to acquire the social skills and values necessary to become productive law-abiding citizens
  • Enhance rehabilitation efforts and prepare inmates for community reentry, which could conceivably reduce escalating recidivism rates

Making the change would be beneficial because it would lead to the practice of the participative style, because leadership is a crucial element for in corrections (Pittaro, 2016)

What are the obstacles that stand in the way of participative leaders in prisons?

One of the main obstacles is the process itself. While participative leadership style includes the employees in the decision making, includes them in the actual planning, they aren’t necessarily considered in the implementation because the leader reserves the right to make the final decision based on what they think is best. This creates a problem because employees will quickly lose morale/motivation and this could lead to tasks not being completed and them losing trust in the leader.

What would be more effective in dealing with a high employee turnover—participative leadership or directive leadership? Participative if it is done fairly. They can’t implement it if they aren’t going allow the employees to truly be an integral part in the decision making, from planning to execution. Using the ideas developed as a team, not what the leader wants.

Pittaro , M. (2016, August 31). Improve Your Facility by Changing Your Leadership Style. Retrieved from https://inpublicsafety.com/2015/04/improve-your-facility-by-changing-your-leadership-style/