Effective leadership requires communicating and engaging with followers. The interactive style of leadership makes it a priority to inform followers about important matters related to their goals and tasks and to clarify understanding. Interactive leaders are proactive in seeking information and opinions from followers. Reaching out to employees in this way helps build their commitment to achieving team and organizational goals.
Interactive leaders take the opportunity to meet with followers to explain their vision and persuade them of its value. This encounter facilitates behavior change; the better people understand what is expected of them, the more they can modify how they act. While interactive leaders may make use of technology to share information, they also seek the richer exchanges that face-to-face communication allows.
Examples of Interactive Leadership
Interactive leaders engage followers in a variety of ways. When making group decisions they may solicit information, perceptions, and even recommendations from team members. To underscore a commitment to openness and to build trust, an interactive leader freely shares information rather than keeping it as a basis of power over others.
Interactive leaders value individual contributions and maintain relationships that foster mutual respect. They also make themselves visible and accessible to followers; some maintain an "open-door" policy to signal that they are open to dialogue and hearing from others. In this way, interactive leaders are role models who exhibit the quality of reciprocal interactions they seek with others.