Leadership Education

LDR 200 Theory Application: Behavioral Approach

In my LDR 200 class, we learned about leadership theories through workshops presented by my classmates. In these workshops, my cohort and I learned not only the theories, but ways in which they are applied in real life. One workshop that I held at high importance was the behavioral approach of leadership. This theory emphasizes both task and relationship behaviors. Task behaviors consist of anything specific towards accomplishing goals. Relationship behaviors are what keeps morale up and keeps followers interested in accomplishing goals. The behavioral approach stresses how the two behaviors go hand-in-hand.

Along with this theory, there is what is called the Managerial Leadership Grid. This evaluates leaders’ balance between task and relationship behaviors. The graph below represents the range in which people exhibit both task and relationship behaviors.

The Blake & Mouton Managerial Leadership Grid, courtesy of mindtools.com.

This theory can be applied in my life when looking at the type of leadership style my professors exhibit. The goal of a teacher is to keep student morale high and to actively work towards accomplishing goals simultaneously. I’d say that most of my professors are at middle-of-the-road management or produce-or-perish management. The concern for students is high in the aspect of getting work done, but lower in student morale. I find that the most effective professors and teachers in my life have been the ones that show they care about the students’ well-beings. This gives students more of a reason to care about the class they are in, making performance levels rise.

In the past year, my LAS cohort and I have exhibited the behavioral approach. I can most effectively explain this from our time at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy from LAS in the D. We strived to keep students engaged and focused on the task in order to accomplish the goals of our workshops. I’d say the majority of groups exhibited Team Management on that trip because of how excited we were to be there. We really wanted the participants to get the most out of the activities, so we strived to keep their spirits high while focusing on the activity at hand. I’d say the day was a success in that aspect.

Our relationship behaviors are exhibited in our goofy faces.

The behavioral approach is a leadership theory that can be applied to any and all aspects of life. I will be able to apply it to my career when I’m older, and even to Leadership Safari in the fall. I will keep this in mind when I step up my roles in leadership positions throughout my life.


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