Leadership in groups Essay Example

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  • Level:
    Undergraduate
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In the course of this unit we have completed weekly tasks in groups. The experience I have gained working in these groups will be highly valuable in my future career as teamwork is an important aspect in the workplace. I have had the pleasure to work with two very highly effective teams. In the first group, I was the team leader while in the second group I was appointed the group secretary. In this report I recall the various concepts of leadership and group communication that I employed that ensure the groups were effective in completing the tasks assigned.

In the first group where I had the role of the leader, I applied the transformational leadership style resulting in my group’s high productivity. As the leader I went out of my way to show the other group members were valuable contributors and the success of the project was pegged on them. I remember in my acceptance speech I reminded them we were partners and I was not there to supervise them. To motivate my fellow group members, I ensured I was a good role model. When I was assigned a group task, I would make sure I would complete it as fast as possible. When a leader serves as role model and shows people by an example of leadership he/she is said to have idealized influence (Bass and Riggio 2012). Furthermore, I would motivate my group members to complete their task by praising those who did a stellar job. However, some of the group members had difficulties in completing the task they were assigned by the group as they failed to understand the instructions. The problem was acute on one of the members who had learned English as as second language, sometimes he was unable to understand task instructions. To help him out I gave him individualized consideration and took extra time to explain what he was supposed to do (Bass and Riggio 2012). Reflecting on what I had learned about intercultural communication I would reread the instructions slowly to him while using non-verbal signs to enhance his understanding.

To promote good interpersonal communication in the group I employed a number of strategies I had learned in class. First, I avoided criticizing group members even when their work did not reach the high quality standards we had set (Shockley-Zalabak, 2011). Secondly, I would listen keenly to any issues that member of the group pointed out personally after the completion of the group discussion. I also stressed to the group the importance of honesty in their work. Honesty would increase the trust members had towards each individuals contribution.

In our group meetings we also experienced a lot of conflict among the members. When we tackled the first group assignment there were a lot of conflict over the roles each member should play in completing the task (Engleberg and Wynn, 2007). The assignment consisted of several parts but some of them needed a lot of research and commitment from the members. Most of the members wanted the easy parts assigned to them and a bitter discussion that took more than one hour ensued. Confronted by this problem I applied the transformational leadership style to the problem. According to Bass and Riggio (2012) transformational leaders make decisions that are fair and serve justice to all the people involved. I started by asking the group member to accept as final the method I would use in determining which part of the assignment each individual would tackle. I also retaliated that the method I would use would be fair and just. We simply divided the assignment into parts and assigned a number on each part. We prepared lots and each member would do the part whose number he drew from the lot. To make the process more flexible, member were allowed to exchange tasks if they deemed the assigned parts to difficult. By acting fairly, transformational leaders are able to achieve leadership credibility among their followers (Bass and Riggio, 2012)

In our group discussion I was also worried that some members would dominate while other would under-participate (Eidelson and Eidelson, 2003). To overcome this problem we used the round robin technique where each member would contribute his views of the issue under discussion. However after ensuring every member had contributed I would open the discussion to ensure members who were more knowledgeable about the issue contributed effectively (Engleberg and Wynn, 2007). However each member was allowed limited time to make his contribution to the group.

References

Bass, B. M., & Riggio, R. E. (2012). Transformational leadership. Psychology Press.

Eidelson, R. J., & Eidelson, J. I. (2003). Dangerous Ideas: Five Beliefs That Propel Groups Toward Conflict. American Psychologist. Vol. 58. No. 3, 182–192.

Engleberg, I.N & Wynn, D.R. (2007). Working in groups. 4th Edition. Boston New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Shockley-Zalabak, P. (2011). Fundamentals of organizational communication. Allyn & Bacon.