Transformational vs Transactional Leadership

imageYour team needs you to be a transformational leader.

The difference between a transformational and transactional leader is that one asks questions and the other one tells people what to do. I know that’s kind of simple but at the foundational levels, transformational leaders teach people how to think, where transactional leaders tell people what to do.

In David Rock’s book Quiet Leadership, the premise of his book is that leaders must teach people how to think, not tell people what to do. I love this idea because what it does is it makes your people the expert, rather than you. It elevates their status, not yours.

When we ask people questions rather than just telling them what to do, it teaches them to think for themselves, rather than making you the point of all decisions. As a leader, to do this, you need to practice short-term patience for long-term productivity. You need the patience to sit down and ask your staff questions with the perspective that it will create long-term productivity.

On a neurological level, it actually creates a sense of autonomy in people, which has been found to be directly linked to high levels of empowerment.

Here are three great questions you can ask your staff this week:

1. How would you like it to be?
2. What’s preventing you from making it how you desire?
3. If you knew what to do, what would be your first step?

Make a commitment this week to ask at least one of those questions to your staff, rather than telling them what to do. Practice patience through asking questions and enjoy the empowering of others.




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