04/05/ 2011IntroductionIn a class assignment, groups were formed to complete a group project aimed at reaching the peak of Mount Everest safely but in difficult and challenging circumstances. The teams or groups consisted of five students from which the students would also choose a leader and one other member to assist the leader. The assisting member was referred to as ‘junior leader’. I was chosen to act as a junior leader. As a junior leader my major duty was to coordinate the group members as directed by the leader.
The group participation was quite challenging, though we reached the peak of Mount Everest successfully. My participation, experience and insight of the group will be analyzed based on John’s four step model. Problem and ContextIn the first instance, I was not scared of been chosen as a junior leader since in the school I was serving as a leader in the prefect body and in other clubs or movement. However, when I saw the students who constituted my group colleagues I felt nervous and thought like quitting instantly. The group formation stage is the most difficult stage since members are not aware of each other and have not yet established their boundaries.
Lack of knowledge about each other results to consideration of trust issues; for example, I felt I could not trust some of my group members based on their behavior during classroom sessions. However, Levi (2010) suggests that teams should consider team warm-ups at the formation stage which are aimed at improving social relations within the team. Team warm-ups are social activities conducted for team members to know each other more and enhance group communication.
I was lucky because the team leader was a very entertaining person and hence he was able to conduct team warm ups that actually lightened my spirit and the spirit of other group members. The students that I was feeling insecure around became more cooperative and social to each and every member of the group. However, there was still some resistance from members in certain decisions that the team leader felt would be effective. As a junior leader, appointed to assist the leader, the members’ resistance had a negative impact on me too.
I feared that if the group did not cooperate, then the goal of the team formation would not be accomplished effectively. Having been a leader once, I knew if the team was to achieve the goal then members should be very supportive of the leader and provide views on different areas. I therefore advised the team leader to provide the team members with a chance to give their suggestions. The issue of trust was also a consideration for the team, specifically trust in the leader.
The leaders must not only have the ability and hard work but acquire leadership skills. Leadership qualities include: innovative, sensitive, courteous and respect for others. According to Rossiter (2004) a leader provides ideas to his followers while he remains open for suggestions. In addition, he should criticize as well as welcome criticism.