Posted: September 3rd, 2013
Leading Teams and Groups
The interdependency that exists among members of a working group calls for coordination in the activities of the group. This coordination will allow the team to lay focus on achieving the common goals of the team. The collaborative efforts that are required in any successful work team must have effective leadership. Susan E. Kogler Hill developed a team leadership model aimed at helping leaders to identify the problems of the teams and to find solutions to these problems. She discusses the decisions that leaders need to make in order to ensure the team improves in their functioning. The three decisions that the author identifies concern monitoring or taking action in the team, internal and external interventions and area of intervention. In my opinion, the decision of whether to monitor the group or intervene as a leader is the most challenging one. This is because of the contradictory roles that intervention and monitoring pose on the side of the leader.
One of the main goals of a leader is to foster growth among the members of the work team. This growth should be holistic and it should allow the group members to exercise autonomy in terms of decision making and action courses. Hill identifies the importance of engaging members of the work team in both the monitoring and intervention processes. She argues that an intervention done by the integration of collective efforts will help the team to come up with accurate and effective solutions to problems. This then shows that a leader is meant to carry out both the roles of monitoring and intervention. However, these roles should not be carried out independent of the members of the group.
The external and internal environments of a work group add a level of complexity to the monitoring and intervention processes that occur in this group. Members of a team exhibit more familiarity to the internal operations of the group. The group members will have an easier time in the diagnosis of the internal problems. This subsequently enables them to be in a better position to intervene in the internal environment of the group. The team leader on the other hand, focuses on the external environment surrounding the group. The leader is at a better position to monitor the external environment. The leader will be called to intervene in the group when it comes to matters pertaining to the external environment. This distribution of focus among the leader and members of the group is a manifestation of delegation of duties. This then implies that a leader may not always have a definite answer as whether or not to intervene in the work group. The complexities provided by dimensions of the external and internal environment do not provide a simple procedure for the leader to follow while making this decision.
The decision of whether a leader should just monitor the activities of the group or engage in intervention is challenging. This is because the dynamics of the group will dictate different roles from the leader at different times. Hard lining to either one of the two will mean ineffective leadership that will be detrimental to the success of the team. A leader of a work team must be flexible enough to delegate roles of monitoring and intervention. The leader must also be ready to take up these roles when situation dictates.
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