Leadership Development Portfolio: Self-Assessments and AnalysisPart One: vLeader SimulationsScenario One: One-on-One MeetingScenario One was successful in that my leadership potential in the group improved as a result of the interaction, and the important objectives – getting business cards, getting the computer set-up, and being invited to the team Coffee Break – were all achieved. The final results indicated that I used a participative style; and the final scenario score was 92.The participative style was my intention, even though the scenario of course suggested trying alternatives as a learning exercise.
This was the most practical approach in view of the circumstances; even though I was in the role of the leader, I was the least-experienced person in the room in terms of the nature of the workplace. Thus, while the main goal of the exchange was to ensure that at least two key tasks were accomplished or planned (getting business cards and setting up the computer), the real objective was to learn something about how tasks were accomplished in my new environment. I might discover those ways need to be changed, but in order to that I would need to find a starting point or frame of reference.
Putting Oli at ease by being receptive to what he had to say follows the advice of Bryan (2010), who suggests that communication and team-building should be the main objectives in any uncertain situation. Having a participatory exchange and listening as much as or more than talking also reduces the bias from my own internal beliefs and perceptions of my external environment, because the more information I can receive, the more accurate my perceptions will be (Darling and Beebe, 2007, pp.
158-159). From Oli’s point of view, it’s recognition of his (and the team’s) value and experience, and a signal that I will give directions based on what is practical and achievable in the organisation. Scenario Two: The New PersonThis scenario was much more difficult because it presented some objectives that were not viewed positively by the participants, and at the same time presented two participants (Oli and Rosa) who were competing for influence. The overall result of the scenario was positive and the main objectives were achieved, but it also took a very long time.
According to the style descriptions, this means the approach was something in between a participative or delegative style. My perception of the situation was that both Oli and Rosa wanted to be assured that their inputs were important to me as the manager, and that neither wanted to be placed in a position of being less important in that respect than the other. So the goal for me was to seek a consensus, and focus on the common concern.
The objectives of achieving 65% customer retention and implementing automation were the common concern for all three of us, so the other issues that were not as important were bypassed. My main task was to draw out all the views and make sure no one’s views dominated the entire discussion (Fogler & LeBlanc, 2008, p. 29), so the perception was that everyone was at least temporarily equal in control of the conversation, which is reflected in the sharp drop in my personal influence towards the end of the scenario.