Do people accomplish more when they are allowed to do things their way?Do people accomplish more when they are allowed to do things their way?

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englishteacher72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a very interesting question, one I've given thought to recently in both my classroom and my personal life.  I think this depends on the type of person one is.  For those who work better as leaders, I would say that yes, they are able to accomplish more when they can do things their way.  In other cases, though, people are able to accomplish more when they are told what needs to be done and how they should go about doing it.  I think when it comes to kids and high school students, the more structure the students are given, the more they will accomplish.  They need to have a goal in mind, but they will be more successful if they are guided along.  For adults, however, this could be different.  They are able to see a goal and the steps needed to achieve that goal, and they are able to do it themselves.  Additionally, they may steps that are different from the next person with the same goal.  I hope this made sense!

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes in terms of motivation, not necessarily in terms of skills.  As a teacher, I frequently see students who love a particular unit of study or class elective topic, and they pay more attention, work harder, and learn more.  If I allow students to express their learning in ways more suited to their interests and talents, they also tend to perform better.

That being said, many students have difficulty learning new or different methods of writing, studying, test taking, speaking as it is new and unknown, and often makes them uncomfortable.  If I assigned a speech with guidelines and they did it freestyle, not only would they not necessarily be more comfortable, as without rehearsal and format they would be more nervous and less successful, but they would not be learning the skills necessary for success in the work and college worlds.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to the philosophy of constructivism, people are able to accomplish more when the task at hand are relevant, self-selected, but most importantly, rewarded. It is all part of the classical conditioning of behavior.

However, one cannot assume that the performance will be flawless, therefore, it is suggested that if an organization is willing to honor a diversity of strategies to attain a goal, these strategies should come from a pool of research-based choices that are proven to work. 

In other words, you can allow your workers to come about solving a situation their way, or coming up with their own ideas, but you must limit a margin of practices and strategies to choose from (through research) that are proven effective, and from which the employee can select.


amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that depends on the situation and the goals set.  For instance, Macbeth did things his own way and he did not last long on the throne at all.  He did whatever he deemed necessary to attain his goal of King--murdered the current King, murdered his friend Banquo, attempted to murder Fleance, murdered MacDuff's family, and trusted completely the advice and prophecies of the witches.  In the end, Macbeth ended up with a dead wife, no loyalty in his kingdom, and his head on a stick. 

More often than not, a thinktank where everyone brainstorms the best way to acheive the desired goal is the best way.  The best of everyone's ideas can be worked into the plan that way, and weaknesses in a plan might be more easily detected.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, that varies a great deal depending on a few things.  Mostly, it varies depending on the personality of the person and it varies depending on the kind of task they are being allowed (or forced) to do.  If the task is something that goes well with the person's personality, it is good to allow them to do it their own way.  Otherwise, it is likely not to work.

For example, I have taught online classes where students are pretty much expected to do things on their own.  Students who are already good students are fine, but students who are not all that motivated tend to have a hard time making themselves do the work (the school I taught for didn't allow us to have deadlines except for the end of the course).

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many variables here that would influence this answer. Does the person want to accomplish the task s/he is being asked to accomplish? Does s/he have the skill to accomplish it? Does s/he understand the needs of the task? Depending upon the answer to these, the answer to your question could be yes or no. One thing I always try to remind my students when they want to branch out on their own is that people can work really hard on something without being productive.

ilovepriscilla | Student

If you want something done right- do it yourself” is a popular and true statement. When people are allowed to do something their own way, they do indeed accomplish more. Examples of this include the United States government, and the intergration of African Americans in the middle 20th century. If a person follows their own method when trying to accomplish this task they do indeed accomplish much more, and eventually end up achieving their overall goals.

nusratfarah | Student

Yes, allowing a little more freedom to work on one's own style paves way to success in a job more smmothly, and adds pleasure to the work, I believe.

giorgiana1976 | Student

Individuals in human society can not be guided only by personal inclinations .

krishna-agrawala | Student

People are likely to be better motivated and enthusiastic about performing their jobs or work in their own way. But this doesn't always result in better performance. For example if a person does not have the required skill or knowledge to perform a complicated task, and still insists on doing the task in his or her way,refusing to take advice and guidance from others, he is most likely to perform very poorly.

Also frequently people have their personal objectives and agenda, that may not be completely congruent with the the objectives that their jobs are designed to achieve. Because of this people may be tempted to pursue their private objectives at the cost of their their job effectiveness. When people have complete freedom in their jobs without suitable checks and balances, the likelihood of deliberate dereliction of duty and dishonest practices also increases.