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A successful leader is one who is able to influence the team members or the followers and make them believe in the aim and achieve the goals that have been defined. However, it is essential for the leaders to take into consideration the situation in hand and vary their leadership style accordingly. According to Hersey-Blanchard, the circumstances surrounding the task at hand need to be evaluated before integration of the leadership approach (Meier, 2016). Considering the four different types of situational leadership styles, I feel that Participating Style of Situational Leadership calls to me the most. The style allows the leader to build relationship with the team members and the followers, which leads to the attainment of a part in the team.
The ability to discuss and define the goals at the level of the team ensures that a more liberal and yet focused approach to reaching the goals is integrated and followed. The experienced and highly knowledgeable members of the team can be given a chance to support the leaders in making decisions. Henkel and Bourdeau (2018) suggest that the situational leadership styles have a better impact on the overall process than a fixed leadership style. I feel that it is important to make the team members and followers feel that they are valued and through the integration of participative style of leadership, I will be able to provide assistance and also give and take respect even from the senior members of the team.
The ability to match the leadership style to those being led is one of the most important aspect of the situational leadership process. Vance (2016) has highlighted that the relationship between participative leadership style and the employee satisfaction levels is significantly higher as compared to other adopted styles. In the order to successfully execute the participative leadership style I need to develop a habit of participation, whether it be work decisions or consultation. in doing so, I will be able to understand the cloud of confusion and doubt that linger over the head of the team and also decipher the issues being faced by them. The facilitation of conversation is an essential element in the participative leadership style and so is sharing the information and knowledge.
The discussion carried forth by Pidgeon (2017) highlights that the core competencies for leadership execution revolve around the ability of conducting effective communication and being patient. Thus, I will need to ensure the adoption and development of strong communication skills to lead clear and effective discussions. Communication also plays a critical role in communicating the decisions to others and therefore, being confident in communicating the ideas and execution plans should be imbibed by me. The trait of providing encouragement to others should also be developed by me to promote collaboration of ideas and the probability of team members participating in the process of contributing to making decisions. Finally, patience is the key to virtue and with the responsibility of encouraging others to participate, I need to hold onto it, firmly.
One of the most crucial elements to be focused upon in today’s globalised world is the management of diversity in the teams. It is evident that there is a growing diversity at workplaces, as the organisations expand abroad. The individuals from different backgrounds with different viewpoints and cultural understandings come together to achieve one defined purpose or goal of the company. Through the discussion by Shaban (2016) it is indicated that managing and leading a culturally diverse team is one of the biggest challenges faced by the management. My personal experience during the coursework comes from the group project, which was led by me. I failed in managing the issues and eventually a conflict arose.
We all took a break from the project and asked for an extension for its submission. However, the problem was that I lost my patience and did not agree to listen to others. During the break I calmed down and tried to figure out the centre of problem. I eventually realised that the team members were from different time zones and cultural backgrounds and the inability to reach a sync with respect to the time zones affected the overall work dynamics. I finally devised a plan to conduct group meetings at hours that were comfortable for all through mutual discussion and succeeded in making things work favourably. The learnings of the module highlight that though diverse teams are difficult to manage, they bring out some of the best ideas and solutions due to diverse viewpoints.
Another key learning from the module is associated with the importance of the clear and effective communication among team members, especially from the leader’s end. The research by Pidgeon (2017) has already highlighted that the communication skills are an important competency of the leaders. An overwhelming experience during the coursework further strengthens my inclination towards the development of effective and confident communication skills. In one of the projects wherein I was a team member, we eventually lost our 70% time given for project completion due to the lack of engagement of the leader in communication. The division of the work and the set up of meetings was only emailed to us and never communicated in person by the leader, which led to a lot of confusion.
The outcome was the inappropriate and untimely response of the group members, which eventually sent our entire work to a toss. The leader did not say anything during our meetings too, which left rest of us on our own. Through the incident I did realise that communicating on a regular basis with the team members is an important aspect to be integrated by the leader. Banaeianjahromi and Smolander (2019) have highlighted the consequences of lack of communication collaboration as project failure and loss in business. Therefore, I have decided that whenever I lead a team, I will ensure effective as well as regular communication with my team members and subordinates.
Banaeianjahromi, N. and Smolander, K., 2019. Lack of communication and collaboration in enterprise architecture development. Information Systems Frontiers, 21(4), pp.877-908.
Henkel, T. and Bourdeau, D., 2018. A Field Study: An examination of managers’ situational leadership styles. Journal of Diversity Management (JDM), 13(2), pp.7-14.
Meier, D., 2016. Situational leadership theory as a foundation for a blended learning framework. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(10), pp.25-30.
Pidgeon, K., 2017. The keys for success: Leadership core competencies. Journal of Trauma Nursing, 24(6), pp.338-341.
Shaban, A., 2016. Managing and leading a diverse workforce: One of the main challenges in management. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 230, pp.76-84.
Vance, D.L., 2016. The relationship between participative leadership style and employee satisfaction with possible moderators of emotional stability (neuroticism) and years of experience. Trevecca Nazarene University.
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