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Monday, August 19, 2013

Positive Workplace Interactions Foster Transformational Leadership Skills



Developing transformational leadership is beneficial for the creation of higher levels of organizational performance. Such leaders help raise the standards within their workplace and inspire their followers toward a brighter vision.  According to a study by Trepanier, et. al leadership is an exercise of self-perception base in part on the relationships fostered within the workplace (2012). When intrinsic motivation meets a receptive environment a higher level of performance can be achieved.

Transformational leadership is a style that encourages higher levels of organizational development. It is characterized by charisma, motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration (Bass, 1985).  Such leaders are capable of using intrinsic values to achieve goals and feel as though they can engage socially with others. It is a process of self-realization for the development of higher levels of organizational performance. 

Leadership does not develop in a vacuum and is social rooted by nature. Based deeply on trust, respect, positive relationships, mutual support the leader can flourish in his or her endeavors (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995).  They rely on these pro-social behaviors and their perceptions of their environment to flourish in their skills. Such leaders are born from the people who will follow them. 

Like other workers, leadership comes with either internal or external motivation. The essential difference is that those who have internal motivations are more likely to develop a transformational style based in trust, task enjoyment and self-worth (Barbuto, 2005). Externally motivated people may simply not have the ability to follow an internal compass to step outside of the box to change their environment.

The researchers Trepanier, et. al (2012) studied 568 principles to test a model of how perceptions of quality relationships within the workplace predict the perceptions of transformation leadership behavior through the development of intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy. The self-reported surveys highlighted a number of interesting findings. 

The results revealed that managers who believed they participated in meaningful relationships at work viewed themselves as leaders who can inspire and encourage others to have a sense of mission. Likewise, those who felt efficient in their skills also believed that they display actions that promote the best interests of an organization and its members. Finally, their findings also indicate that by fostering positive work relationships between managers and their work units would help foster perceptions of transformational leadership. 

The study helps decision makers understand that leadership is a process of growth in self-perception. When positive and civil relationships are fostered intrinsically, motivated people can rise to a leadership level. Each workplace is a socio-economic entity of bounded rationality and seeks to compete on the marketplace. Encouraging positive interactions, helps foster the development of new skills and higher levels of performance.

Barbuto, J. (2005). Motivation and transactional, charismatic, and trans-formational leadership: A test of antecedents. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 11.

Bass, B. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations.New York, NY: Free Press

Graen, G.& Uhl-Bien, M. (1995). Relationship-based approach to leadership: Development of leader-member exchange (LMX) theory of leadership over 25 years: Applying a multi-level multi-domain perspec-
tive. Leadership Quarterly, 6.

Trepanier, et. al (2012). Social and motivational antecedents of perceptions of transformational leadership: a self-determination theory perspective. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 44 (4).

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