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How Can a Leader Recognize a Regressive Cycle

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Leaders are the active person in the organization who is responsible and liable to maintain and develop the effectiveness. In situational leadership, managers or leaders have a diagnose ability to adapt in changing environment which can be influenced by internal and external factors. The managers can use the two cycles for changing or maximizing the task-relevant performance readiness of their followers: the developmental cycle and the regressive cycle.

The regressive cycle can be defined as the declining level of performance readiness of individuals and groups. It involves an intervention that leaders need to make an individual or a group is becoming less effective. Leaders can recognize a regressive cycle by the shift in a subordinate’s performance. Regressive cycle in a work force hampers growth and development of the workers. When workers enter into regressive cycle there is an extreme decrease in their productivity.

The subordinates or employees readiness and willingness towards their work goes on a decline. In a regressive cycle, once an appropriate intervention has been made, the leader may often move back to the former leadership style without going through the process of positively reinforcing successive approximations. At this time, leaders should guide the path in creating a positive attitude in the workplace and should try to maintain this positive attitude and feeling within the organization. Leaders should prior to two-way communication, willing to listen actively and be supportive. Team building should be focused in organization as the levels of accomplishment received from a team success are greater than individual performances.

Depending on have much the subordinate’s readiness level have decreased the manager should adjust his/her leadership style approximately to harmonize with that of the subordinate. The regressive cycle should be taken one step at a time. If the employees who are able and willingness, or self motivated shows decline in their performance, then the leader should move toward a participating style and support their problem solving. If leaders are being supportive but not directive (S3) and performance declines, then he should move to a selling style by continuing to engage in two-way communication and by being more directive (S2). If leaders are providing both task and relationship behavior (S2) and performance still declines, he should move to a telling style (S1) and reduce some of supportive behavior while increasing direction and supervision.

Thus, in a regressive cycle, managers must use a leadership style appropriate to the present level of performance readiness. Leaders or managers should not make a mistake of jumping from one style to another, otherwise it may be disruptive to the relationship a manager has with a staff member and to that person’s individual growth and development as well.

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