Colleen Brooks, who was the past Healthcare Plus Manager, now, was the new regional director of nursing efficiency overseeing the nursing operations in 4 states namely, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. She had 14 managers who were to report her directly after reporting to their functional directors. Her team comprises of 3 managers from Healthcare Plus and 11 managers from Medical One; as Healthcare Plus and Medical One were merged recently (Reynolds, 2017).
Colleen inspected while she called for the first meeting, some managers were quiet and hesitant for the new change while others were very open, receptive, and quite excited for the change. Every one of them was punctual and arrived on time for the meeting at the Denver Hotel. The managers of the two different parties were reluctant to each other in terms of the new norms and decisions which had to be made (Untoro, 2017). On one hand, where Sarah, Nursing Manager at Cheyennes, Wyoming was quite excited for the new decisions and changes which were to be made during the meeting, while on the other hand, Jim Lucci, another Nursing Manager blamed for his functional director to seem unwilling for the change. Similarly, Donna Mitchell and Todd Rappers who were the Nursing Managers at Medical One were strongly reluctant to the changes that were suggested by Colleen during the meeting. Though every team member was excited to meet each other at the Denver Hotel for the upcoming meeting with Colleen, yet they were disinclined to work in integration with each other post-meeting (Singh, 2015).
The specific “team effectiveness” that Colleen aims to achieve for this team was the unique and focussed decisions made by her before the first meeting. She chose the venue as Denver where the largest Medical One hospital operated because the new merging of the two companies was causing the Healthcare Plus to be dominant on Medical One. Secondly, she called the 14 managers and introduced herself over the call to know each manager individually.
Moreover, to make everyone feel more equal and comfortable, Colleen made the venue as the Denver Hotel instead of the general conferencing room of the Denver Hospital. As due to the new merging of the two companies were bringing in the thought constrictions, Colleen called upon the managers to the venue one night before the meeting to know each other better and feel free to present and accept the thoughts during the next day meeting. She addressed the potential ideas to describe the cost reductions that were made at Healthcare Plus. The strengths of Healthcare Plus were employed to overcome the weaknesses of the Medical One but due to thought-disinclination amongst the 14 managers, this could not be addressed appropriately by Colleen. This posed a problem of “Us vs. Them Mentality” for Colleen (Mehta and Mehta, 2017).
Colleen could address the specific problem of “Us vs. Them Mentality” by diagnosing the immediate team goals, by assigning the specific team roles, by following a pre-set procedure where the management style and expertise both are employed collectively, and by building strong interpersonal relationships amongst the managers of the Healthcare Plus and the Medical one. Moreover, the differentiation and partiality between both parties should be avoided by Colleen to achieving the “team effectiveness” factors amongst every manager of both the companies. Clear and concrete decisions respecting both the mentalities should be kept in mind by the regional director to overcome the problem of disinclination in thoughts (Rajnoha, Novák and Merková, 2016). Also, brainstorming sessions and regular feedback meetups should be organized to avoid the reluctance amongst the 14 managers reporting to Colleen. Mutual and personal interests concerning each manager should be taken care of by the director and address them appropriately. Building a common platform where the managers can share their day to plans, activities, and problems may prove to be the milestone for Colleen to manage everyone without having further disputes (Michinov and Juhel, 2018).
The effectiveness of the power tactics that Colleen has used so far was notable and praiseworthy throughout. She employed personal appeals and coalition tactics to support her decisions and potential idea during the meeting to persuade the managers. Colleen also used her expert power and charismatic power to pose her decisions that worked best for the Healthcare Plus company. She tried to influence all the 14 managers in every best way possible. She arranged the venue that was best suited for the Medical One manager so that they do not feel left out due to the new merging of the two super great companies. Then, she used her authoritarian power to book the Denver Hotel instead of the Denver Hospital Conferencing Room to make everyone feel more open and equal amongst each other. Also, she used ingratiation power by calling every manager personally for the meeting. These power and tactics seem to work somewhat but not as expected by Colleen (Wang, 2018).
She can better use the power tactics to persuade the 11 nursing managers from Medical One to work together with Healthcare Plus is by employing rational persuasion and exchange power tactics (Low, 2018).
The TWO soft power tactics proposals for Colleen to consider are explained as follows (Das, 2020):
Rational persuasion is a simple tactic. It combines the request of the pressure approach with logical arguments supporting the request. With the rational persuasion tactic, leaders use logical arguments and factual evidence to show that a request is feasible and relevant to reach important objectives. 10 Rational persuasion uses logic, rationale, or evidence to explain or justify a position, and to show that the leader’s perspective is the most logical alternative.
To make a case using rational persuasion, leaders rely on having the knowledge or expertise to present facts analytically or they provide charts, graphs, data, statistics,
photographs, or other forms of proof. Typical statements by a leader using rational persuasion tactics are:
The logic in rational persuasion is the leader’s logic. While the leader adds supporting
arguments, rational persuasion is still an approach to influence that like hard tactics are articulated top-down from the leader’s perspective, and not from the ground up (Feser and Manfred Kets De Vries, 2016).
With socializing, leaders start to take an interest in those they are trying to lead. Socializing uses praise and flattery before or during an attempt to get others to carry out a request or support a proposal.11 Socializing means establishing a basis for asking, behaving warmly and cordially to influence others to act, being friendly, disclosing personal information, or building a relationship. It includes building rapport by identifying commonalities and matching behaviours or conversational pacing. Socializing is based on the principle of liking, which says people are more easily persuaded by those they like (Feser and Manfred Kets De Vries, 2016). 12 typical statements by a leader using socializing tactics are:
Sometimes socializing is also referred to as “ingratiation.” Exchanging is even more focused on others because it assumes that the leader understands what is valuable and important to the people being influenced. With exchanging, leaders give something of value to the people being led in return for getting something they want. Exchanging is based on the concept of reciprocity, which says people tend to return a favour. 14 The leader offers others something they may want or offers to reciprocate at a later time if the others will do as requested. 15 Negotiating, bargaining, or trading something, offering something with explicit or implicit expectations of receiving something in return, reciprocating, swapping favours or benefits, creating a win-win or a give-and-take situation, compromising, or making a concession in return for a concession are forms of exchange. Typical statements by a leader using exchanging tactics are (Feser and Manfred Kets De Vries, 2016):
These power tactics proposed above can help Colleen to develop more persuasion for her proposed ideas and decisions which can help her to convince more easily to the 11 Medical One managers. By using rational and inspirational power tactic, Colleen can use the logical arguments, facts, and figures to prove how the management style and cost-cutting have helped the Healthcare Plus company to grow fast with few numbers of employees in less time. She can show or draft a feasible prototype model and present in front of the managers to make them realize the strengths of Healthcare Plus that can help to overcome the weakness amongst the Medical One manager. Also, she can inspire the managers' team to propose a possible solution for the idea or prototype model which she suggested so that necessary amendments could be made. Socialization and exchange power tactics can be a boon to Colleen as this is the least used but the most efficient power tactic used by managers at the higher positions (Cowie, 2015). She could strengthen her bases of power as “Regional Director of Nursing Efficiency” by gaining support from the managers in exchange for the reciprocation of the ideas presented. By combining the power of these power tactics and the previous power tactics that she possessed, she could leave a changing influential impact on the Medical One managers. Also, by considering their strengths that is their expertise in the industry, Colleen could make a huge exponential growth in the business as well as her career.
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Feser, C. and Manfred Kets De Vries 2016. When execution isn’t enough decoding inspirational leadership. Hoboken, N.J. Wiley.
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Untoro, W. 2017. Business Group and Affiliated Firms’ Performance. Sebelas Maret Business Review, 1(1).
Wang, F. 2018. Subversive leadership and power tactics. Journal of Educational Administration, 56(4), pp.398–413.
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