Posted: August 12th, 2013
Chapter 9 and 12
Part 1-Foundations of Group Behavior
Tuckman initially proposed four stages of group formation referred to as forming, norming, storming and performing. When it comes to the forming stage, groups are usually keen with orientations attained through tests. In most cases, dependency relationships occur. Norming is characterized by overcoming of resistance that usually occurs during the storming stage. In the performing stage, roles are usually functional and flexible and the energy within the group is seen in increased productivity. A fifth stage is present in the update of the four stages. This stage is the adjourning stage that is characterized by dissolution or termination of roles, decreased dependency and completion of tasks. These five stages are critical when it comes to forming and developing groups. Every group leader should be aware of these stages so that they gain the insight of the different issues that affect the formation of their group at each stage. The leaders of the groups are able to solve the issues and ensure group formation through this insight.
For instance, during the second stage of storming, most groups are characterized by polarization and conflict mainly around interpersonal matters with associated emotional response to the task environment. These behaviors usually lead to formation of resistance to the task requirements of the group and its influence. It is the responsibility of the group leader to decrease this resistance to ensure successful formation of the group. The leader ought to pinpoint the source of conflict and polarization and address it to ensure that there is no polarization and conflict within the group. Removing the sources of these behaviors ensures that the group develops cohesion. Cohesion removes conflicts and ensures that the group forms successfully. As it follows, it is the responsibility of the leader to ensure cohesion within the group.
Part 2- Leadership Style
According to the self-assessment library, I scored a five in task-oriented leadership and the same in people oriented leadership. Task-oriented leadership is involved in ensuring that the job or task is accomplished. On the other hand, people orientation leadership is concerned with interactions between groups and the different needs of the individual group members. For both leadership styles, I scored a five, both of which are low for both of the leadership styles. Nevertheless, the fact that I can balance between my people and task orientation to various situations indicate that I am an excellent leader. Best leaders are the ones with the ability to balance their orientations. The fact that I scored a five on both of these orientations indicates that I have this balance. In this case, I am not an autocratic leader because I did not lean too much on task orientation when compared to people orientation. This means that I am the type of leader who keeps the workers happy at work, but at the same time get the job done.
As a leader, leadership is less about my own needs, and more about the needs of the people and the organizational needs. This means that for me to choose a leadership style, I should consider the demands of the situation, requirements of the people and the challenges facing the organization. As an effective leader, I should adopt the styles important to my image as a leader. As a leader, I should be visionary, which helps to move people towards new set of shared dreams. This will show where a group is going and not how it will get there, which allows people to be more innovative, experimental and be able to take calculated risks. As a leader, my focus will be to develop individuals, showing them how to improve their performance, helping them to connect their goals with those of the organization. As a leader, I should be facilitative. This means that I would put emphasis on teamwork, which creates harmony in a group.
Part 3- Trust in Leadership
Trust is increasingly crucial for developing effective leadership. This is because the role of leaders is to get work done through employees, and leaders have to be concerned with the productivity of the workers, in addition, to the development of excellent relations with them. Leaders who are usually strong or effective in technical capabilities usually focus on planning and structuring the work, defining roles and scheduling them. Alternatively, leaders who have excellent personal characteristics focus on developing trust, creating responsibilities and, therefore, motivating workers and creating meaning for their work. As it follows, a leader who develops trust with the employees is more motivating than a leader who is only concerned with accomplishing tasks. Trust in leadership is crucial because it ensures that workers are happy and, therefore, motivated. Motivated workers are usually productive and effective in accomplishing tasks more than workers who are unhappy. As it follows, it is crucial for leaders to develop trust with their employees to increase productivity.
Trust is earned. It is supposed to be given away slowly and taken back quickly. In leadership, lacking trust makes fear the primary motivation within the team. As a leader, the team will be afraid of your decisions, evaluations and yourself as a person. To develop trust, be open to your team members in an honest and humble way while still preventing them from taking advantage of you. You can also do this by taking the fall for bad outcomes. As a leader of a team, one needs to accept and embrace the responsibility. Nurture the team members up as a leader. Applaud all their efforts and never try to take credit for the team’s efforts. Allowing the freedom to explore new ideas and creativity also helps in building trust. If the team members feel like one micro manages them, their trust will end. Trust is crucial for a team to work together. Members shall be cooperating, respect shall be maintained, and the result will be a productive team.
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