Egalitarian vs Hierarchical: Which Communication Model Will Unlock Your Team’s Talents?

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Businesses across the United States are missing out on untapped potential. In fact, surveys suggest 70 percent of employees aren’t committed to giving their all when they roll into work.

And communication models can make all the difference in running a business smoothly. But it’s not always easy to know what model is best for a specific company.

We’re here to help. We’ve taken a look at egalitarian vs hierarchical communication models. Read on for ways to pick the best model and for leadership ideas for each style.

Egalitarian vs Hierarchical Communication Models

First, it’s good to understand what each model is. Hierarchical models generally work from the top down. That means a leader gives commands and sub-groups act out the instructions.

On the other hand, egalitarian models tend to be more inclusive. They work to put everyone on the same level. That might mean employees are giving more input and helping shape what the company does.

When it comes to software, like chat platforms, the main difference will be who’s in control.

In a hierarchical system, the leader will be laying out instructions for users. But egalitarian systems will encourage back-and-forth from all participants.

Why Communications Matters in Business

Almost 50 percent of employees say they leave meetings without knowing what they should do next. That can kill productivity.

Much of the time, leaders simply aren’t communicating effectively. And that may be a result of the wrong type of communications model.

But when companies figure out how to communicate the right way, it can be groundbreaking. One study shows companies with solid communication had almost a 50 percent higher shareholder return over five years.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Before picking out the right communication strategy, businesses should consider the pros and cons of each system.

One big advantage of hierarchical communication is the ability to control the narrative. Messages are coming from a concentrated source.

That means it’s easier to send out instructions in an organized and clear way.

However, that also means there’s a less diverse selection of ideas and fewer alternatives to bad ideas.

Hierarchical communication is also susceptible to having leaders get hubris syndrome. That means a leader might start using power for selfish reasons and may mistreat employees.

They might also set up a negative incentive program that punishes and disheartens workers.

Egalitarian communication systems promote more ideas from more places. And they can be a great way to promote trust in organizations. Since employees or users get to contribute more directly, they tend to feel more invested in the business.

But if those contributors don’t have a grasp on the subject, it can make communication confusing.

That means egalitarian communication systems might not be the best if there’s a big knowledge gap between leaders and workers.

More in Communication and Beyond

This look at egalitarian vs hierarchical models should help businesses pick a strategy that fits their culture. But we have more tips for company leaders.

Check out our blog here for the latest ways to get the most out of any corporate team.

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