There are three words I like to use when I think about a working group.
Sporting teams work together to compete against other teams to complete a common goal. They train long hours to learn to be in harmony with their colleagues. They know, who is fast and who is agile. They are united in a common cause. Sport teams have captains. They tend to set that pace of the game and guide their team to score goals. Players tend to look to the team captain to provide leadership. Many sports teams have coaches. The coach is charged with the safekeeping of the team. They are responsible for teaching the rules and safe play among their players. The coach is the steward of the players and the game.
Participative: Group members are able to participate, share ideas freely, and discuss options. The democratic process focuses on group equality and free flow of ideas. the leader offers guidance and control. The democratic leader is charged with deciding who is in the group and who gets to contribute to the decisions that are made. Participative members are encouraged to share ideas and opinions. The leader retains the final say over decisions. Members of the group feel more engaged in the process.
A delegative leader focuses on delegating initiative to team members. Leaders who adopt this style have trust and rely on their workers to do their jobs. They don’t micromanage their team. Delegative leaders allow their team to use their creativity, resources, and experience to help them meet their goals. This strategy is effective if workers are competent and take responsibility for their work. However, delegative leadership can also lead to disagreements among team members and may split or divide a group. It can be challenging for staff members to develop an understanding of who is ultimately in charge and responsible for outcomes. Therefore, this leadership style must be kept in check.
Authoritative leaders influence through motivation to inspire those around them. They provide overall direction and provide their teams with guidance, feedback, and motivation. This promotes a sense of accomplishment or achievement. The authoritative leadership style relies heavily on knowing each team member. This allows a leader to provide guidance and feedback on a more personalized level, helping individuals to succeed. This means authoritative leaders need to be able to adapt. Authoritative leadership gravitates towards micromanaging. This is a tendency with this style, which can be viewed as harsh or forceful for team members and create negative sentiments.
Transactional leadership is a style that relies on rewards. The leader develops a structure and assumes individuals may not possess the motivation needed to complete their tasks. As A reward-based system, the leader sets clear team goals or tasks. This leadership style is focused on efficiency, routines and procedures. Not all workers are interested in rewards. The incentives need to match the goals they are working on.
Transformational leadership is focused on change in individuals and social systems. The leader provides an environment to allow valuable and positive change in the followers with the end goal of developing followers into leaders.
Encourage differences in opinions Agreeing on a common goal is essential. But it shouldn’t come at the cost of suppressing alternative ideas and opinions. Having divergent opinions within a team enhances team performance; a diverse team is its competitive advantage.
Clear direction Sometimes, teams are in such a hurry to start that they do not spend time defining their goals and desired outcomes. Keep your project list of deliverables close at hand so you will have a clear direction forward.
Mutually accountable Teams accept responsibility as individuals and as a team. They don’t blame one another for team mistakes and failures. No one should spend any time in personal justifications. Celebrate successes together and recognize special contributions that each team member makes to the total work of the team.
Risk taking can be as simple as trying something new. Taking on a task before you know all the facts. Supporting an idea of a colleague. Good teams support appropriate risk taking and experimentation for change. They look on mistakes as opportunities for learning.
Today we discussed the intersection of Teamwork and leadership. Regardless of your specific role on your team you are all stewards of the project. Step up to bat, take a risk and become the best version of yourself this semester. Recognize your assets and join a group that will collaborate best with you.
Go take the quiz on team building on blackboard in the assignments tab, Teams quiz.