Government crisis: Angela Merkel's leadership style is the only chance for Europe

Did the moderating type of Chancellor maneuver you into the crisis? Psychologist Dieter Frey says that her style has not been consumed – and is positive.

Government crisis:   Angela Merkel's leadership style is the only chance for Europe
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    An ultimatum, an offer of resignation and seemingly irreconcilable positions in asylum policy: how could union's dispute be so unavoidable? In past weeks, months and years, Chancellor in particular has been criticized for her leadership style: it is too late to react and does not deal with major problems. Dieter Frey, psychology professor at LMU Munich, explains wher this is true. Frey has been researching and advising companies and science on management issues for many years and leading center for Leadership and People management at LMU.

    Online Time: They have been dealing with different management styles for decades. Angela Merkel's leadership style is characterised by a great willingness to compromise. Does current government crisis show that this style has now been consumed?

    Dieter Frey: We are now seeing very nicely what Merkel's leadership style is all about. She persistently tries to minimize conflicts. Their style is always based on values – both security and humanity play a major role in ir politics. And she is looking for holistic solutions in which she wants to reconcile various European and national interests as much as possible. This is, of course, extremely difficult at times. Neverless, I do not believe that Merkel's leadership style has been consumed.

    Dieter Frey is professor of psychology at LMU. He has been dealing with leadership issues for years and is leading center for leadership and people management. © LMU Munich

    Online Time: But chancellor is currently trapped in a very complex situation, with a wide range of demands, both within own CDU and in sister party CSU, and in addition also at European level.

    Frey: For such complex problems, re are no simple solutions, even if Horst Seehofer wishes that. It may not be in such a situation to eir-or go, we need a both-as-well. Angela Merkel sees this very clearly. Exaggerated: It stands above things because it knows complexity. From outside, this sometimes seems to make no clear decisions.

    Online Time: Some also say that Angela Merkel has been wurschtele for years. This is not a guide.

    Frey: The Nobel laureate Herbert Simon has shown: The muddling through, i.e. muddle, is often only solution. In organizations, it is often not a matter of maximizing or optimizing result, but of making decisions that are reasonably satisfactory. It's about skipping a hurdle without knowing how to make next one.

    Online Time: In contrast to Merkel's style, which is characterized by pragmatism, small steps and late decisions, this is what men's team of CSU is doing: The Ultimates and coalition partners are blackmailing. Do you have impression that conflict we are watching is also a conflict between different leadership styles?

    Frey: Absolutely. Merkel's leadership style is moderating, trying to negotiate different values. Horst Seehofer's style is directive. He stands for a clear statement: Security over everything. The CSU is probably afraid of losing even more consent. Because y are often fears of loss, which produces this way of conduct. Sociological studies from 1930s from workers ' settlement of Marienthal show this. Unemployment led to fact that fars suddenly started beating ir children and yelling at ir wives. They tried to restore control. Psychologically, this is a faulty and destructive reaction. Instead of responding to control loss with a directive style, one needs a vision to solve crisis and good communication. This is true in personal relationships, in organizations and especially in politics.

    Online Time: The directive style of CSU is mainly maintained by men such as Horst Seehofer, Bavaria's prime minister Markus Söder and head of regional group Alexander Dobrindt. On or hand, Angela Merkel, CDU general secretary Annegret Kramp-cart builder and Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner are more visible to women. Does that explain different styles?

    Frey: Not per se. The fact that Merkel and Kramp cart builders are putting on moderation and communication and trying to build bridges cannot be explained solely by fact that y are women.

    Date Of Update: 03 July 2018, 12:02

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