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MGT8037 Reflective Analysis Assessment
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Based on a series of reflective tasks, this article will examine my leadership style and talents to date, as well as if they are consistent with modern leadership theories (Cox, Newton and Huuse, 2020). From academic and empirical investigations, I will use evidence-based research results to critically examine my own personal characteristics as a leader, as well as my learnings to give suggestions for continued growth and development.
Critical Assessment of Leadership Self-Assessment
"Revealing my weaknesses" and "relying on intuition" were two of my strongest qualities, according to my self-evaluation. Speaking with my teams on issues of importance has taught me that I'm prone to being too enthused and that I need to learn how "to pull back." To show that I am human, I've decided to reveal a weakness that shows that "he genuinely cares and wears his heart on his sleeve," which is a positive characteristic. I've learnt to trust my intuition the most in this position as a member of a management team (Barré et al., 2019). Keeping an eye on people's body language and facial expressions, as well as their reactions to new ideas and their willingness to try something different, is a continual challenge for me. I must also be able to detect personalities and politics so that I can find effective change advocates.
Management with "tough empathy" was the trait that I evaluated as my poorest. For me, building trust and credibility in my professional and interpersonal relationships takes time and effort that I don't want to sacrifice when it comes to balancing my feelings of empathy and closeness with the need for "tough love." Using selective exposure of flaws as an engagement method, I've been able to show to my peers and followers that I'm human, comfortable with a degree of vulnerability, and so approachable and accessible over the previous several years. Until recently, I didn't realise that I was following a formal leadership engagement approach when I did this out of instinct (SHEFER, LEBEDEVA and GORYUNOVA, 2018). As a way for building trust and fostering collaboration, this engagement approach emphasises the need of openly discussing both strengths and faults in order to foster stronger bonds between leaders and their teams. New genre/transformational leadership and shared leadership are the most relevant leadership theories to my workplace at the moment.
New Genre or Transformational Leadership
As a team leader, I am committed to fostering a feeling of mission alignment and a clear vision of what is achievable, and I strive to communicate and illustrate how the work we do contributes to this purpose and vision (Richter et al., 2019). This is something I often do in meetings with my team and in other forms of communication in order to arouse the team's sense of purpose and commitment to the organization's goals.
There has not been a direct line manager for the team in question for the last 12 months, thus team members have had to give each other with leadership and support as a means of achieving the team's objectives. For several of our initiatives, this approach is increasingly being used owing to budgetary constraints and a desire to do away with tiered administration (Vasileiadou and Karadimitriou, 2021). Because of my company's commitment to community service and our employees' commitment to upholding their own personal moral and social frameworks based on their own values, my team members have readily accepted a transformational leadership style.
It has been encouraging to observe the team's positive engagement and readiness to go above and beyond their roles in order to reach agreed-upon objectives as a result of my efforts to inspire. However, I'm well aware that I can do better in several areas of my strategy. Transformational leadership relies on 'individualised attention.' In order to get better performance results, leaders and subordinates need to have a more trusting relationship, which is fostered by more empowerment and a greater level of trust between them (Richter et al., 2019). I've come to terms with the fact that most of the time, when it comes to connecting with others, I focus on the group as a whole rather than on the individual. Using a shared leadership model has brought about certain difficult dynamics, such as the assumption of power by some team members and the difficulty in reaching agreement in team decision-making over work procedures.
As a consequence, there has been considerable friction amongst co-workers and inside the project itself. Since we're aware of these issues, I've worked with the team to develop an operational strategy that incorporates a variety of means of sharing information and ensuring that everyone has a voice in the decision-making process. In light of this, developing successful self-managed teams necessitates establishing a clear framework and maintaining order in the workplace in order to foster long-term beneficial connections among team members (Vasileiadou and Karadimitriou, 2021). However, it is clear that additional development is needed in the area of structure and process development in order to eliminate the continuous process uncertainty and interpersonal tension that is still present in the workplace.
Critical Assessment of Colleague Assessment of Myself
My self-assessment scores were in line with both of my colleagues' evaluations. As one said, "this is an area that is more challenging for him as he is highly sympathetic and does not want to inflict any harm to anybody," they both agreed that "share your vulnerability" and "rely on intuition" were my two most valuable strengths, and that "tough empathy" was my weakest one (Gordon and Plüddemann, 2018). According to the "difficult empathy" evaluation findings, I find myself listening and validating a lot, but not enough "honest discussions" about what's required at times.
Tough empathy requires “giving people what they need, not what they want”. To have professional will, leaders must be unwavering in their commitment to doing whatever it takes to get the job done, even if it means telling others what they need to hear (Haider and Sundin, 2022). As a result, I'm aware that my Big Five Personality evaluation indicates that I'm most pleasant, which may explain my reluctance to use 'tough empathy'.
Critical Assessment of Leadership Functions I have and have not Responsible for
For the last several years of my career, I've been in charge of developing the structures and procedures required to get new initiatives up and running and ensuring their success. I've generally done this in an internal/formal position. The majority of the transition functions, such as forming teams, defining objectives and expectations, and establishing a framework and strategy, have been completed in this process. For each of the action phase duties listed, I am also accountable for and actively involved. Managing team boundaries, accomplishing work when resources are few, and fostering a positive social atmosphere are all part of this process (Tourish, 2019). The emergence of interpersonal difficulties and conflict in certain recently established teams has the potential to jeopardise team unity. When it comes to transition and action phase functions, I am aware of areas where I could be more effective in order to improve team functioning and outcomes.
Even though I have given structure and plans for teams on several times as an informal/internal team leader, it has become evident to me that I need to properly define and explain the 'how' the work will be coordinated throughout the team. Task performance techniques that assist coordinate and clarify team procedures are included in an integrated work plan. In my intra-team operating planning, I don't usually go into this much depth. I am aware that I need to improve my ability to manage team boundaries in the action phase (Ansell, Sørensen and Torfing, 2021). In certain cases, I think I'm spending too much time and effort attempting to placate powerful stakeholders, rather than more strategically influencing them in favour of the team's benefit. At the same time as serving as a buffer against potentially disruptive stakeholder effects, this role requires serving as a go-between in interpersonal interactions, pitching the team's ideas to upper management for their support and buy-in.
My job as a buffer is important, but I also need to step up my efforts to sell the ideas of my employees since certain change attempts are inhibited by a lack of buy-in. Conscientiousness and agreeableness are the traits that best describe my personality, according to the IPIP Big Five Factor personality evaluation. I'm a strong-willed person who has a strong tendency to take control of things in order to attain my goals. In order for me to flourish, I need a clear plan in place to help me reach my objectives (Alvesson and Einola, 2019). The real concern I have for the individuals I want to lead drives me to be as nice as possible, but I also desire harmony among the members of my team. A profound feeling of compassion drives me and I freely express my desire to empower people via high participation and shared decision-making, which I like to do.
Conscientiousness and agreeableness have been shown to have the greatest favourable effect on individual performance. When it comes to leading a team, I've found that certain personality traits may have a beneficial effect, but the study has also shown me some negative tendencies that need to be addressed. Taking charge when the team isn't working properly or when there's a lack of structure is one example of this (Solinas et al., 2020). Conscientious leaders are more likely to micromanage, which may be seen as a sign of dominance and have a detrimental effect on the performance of their teams.
If I am in a team with a high-power distance, this approach may be more acceptable. As a result of my efforts to cultivate a culture of trust, transparency, and interpersonal harmony, my teams are not like this. This strategy is in line with my reputation for being a very affable person (Upadhyay, 2020). Consequently, I need to keep an eye out for these "control"-related flubs in order to prevent sending confused leadership signals.
Critical Assessment of my Global Mindset
My struggle with technology is an example of a vulnerability that can be shared by all members of my team, and by doing so, I am able to build trust with my colleagues and show them that I am just like them in that I have my own struggles in the workplace, and that they can relate to me on a human level. When a leader admits to a flaw or shows signs of weakness, it may elicit deep emotional attachments from those who are following them (Peng, 2019). Make sure that whatever vulnerability I show does not undermine my leadership qualities in the eyes of the people I am tasked with leading. High levels of intuition enabled me to pick up on subtle signs and identify any underlying stresses the team was under, which gave me the insight I needed to tackle difficult circumstances in the right way.
The efficiency of an organization's decision-making and problem-solving processes was shown to be enhanced when intuition played a significant role. Emotional intelligence has been shown to have a favourable correlation with subordinates' high ratings of managers who underestimate their own leadership qualities, according to a recent study. Forging new experiences and insights into the business field by applying for short-term jobs within my organisation that are out of my comfort zone (Jiang, Ananthram and Li, 2018). Working in a high-pressure atmosphere with increased levels of responsibility, managing cross-functional areas, or managing diversity would be ideal chances for me to build and test my leadership capabilities.
As a means of overcoming these problems, I would be more driven to research other techniques to conquer certain issues, which would expose me to alternative perspectives from typical work patterns and company tactics. An aspirant leader's performance may be enhanced by achieving outstanding outcomes via the execution of difficult operations, therefore practising in real-life work settings is a must for developing and applying effective leadership solutions (V?t?m?nescu et al., 2020). Leaders who are in the midst of an efficacy spiral might benefit by engaging in demanding work tasks that have been successfully completed by others. Statistical data shows that males have a considerable edge over women when it comes to being selected for high leadership positions across the world.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Developing better individualised connections, structure and planning, and regulating personality-driven inclinations to manage group activities are the three major topics I've recognised and categorised. While I know that in order to be a transformational leader, I must exude charisma, confidence, and the ability to articulate my goals with passion and clarity, I've also realised that despite my best efforts to enliven and motivate my teams, I don't spend enough time getting to know those around me personally. "Attend to the unique needs of followers, work as a coach and listen to their problems," is what is meant by individualised attention.
As a result, leaders and followers have a stronger foundation for trust and connection, which in turn leads to better results. As a leader, I need to be able to apply harsh empathy more easily, and I think that the foundations for doing so are deeper interpersonal connections founded on mutual trust. Tough empathy is a genuine way of demonstrating to others how much one cares about them. Having empathy for others is an important part of my leadership style, but I find it difficult to use it when I'm trying to be kind, pleasant, and not upset anybody. Individualised time with team members will help promote possibilities for one-on-one engagement and coaching between leaders and their subordinates, which will help build trust and enhance interpersonal connections, as well as provide opportunity for coaching. It's reasonable to believe that this will lead to more dedication from followers, better individual performance, and better team results.
Individualised involvement may be cultivated by holding frequent "one-on-one" meetings with team members and by taking advantage of more deliberate ad hoc casual occasions. After reflecting, I've realised that even while I endeavour to provide clear objectives and goals for the team, I make assumptions about the implicit degree of agreement among team members around essential work flow procedures. As a result, I don't make it clear enough how the team's processes work. A team's efficiency and effectiveness may be improved by defining processes that describe and standardise the team's work flow (Prasad, 2020). It is individuals in a formal position within the company who are in the greatest position to put in place this need since they are directly involved with running the business and can make modifications as needed.
It was a simple but significant realisation for me that I had allowed the team to deal with this need for coordination and process clarity informally between themselves and recognised the inefficiencies and strain on interpersonal relationships that this may cause. To avoid strained team relationships and team disintegration, a shared leadership paradigm necessitates a higher requirement for procedural clarity. Acknowledging that procedures and interdependencies among members of a shared team are critical to the success of the group's overall mission is essential (Dirani et al., 2020). The need for procedures that make clear the work flows, processes, and process ownership that allow the coordination of team activities and deliverables is therefore clear. These procedures are clearly needed! Lead a group exercise to sketch out how the team will manage and coordinate the task and process interdependencies. Each team member has been given specific tasks and duties for supporting process ownership.
At moments of uncertainty, lack of coordination, or interpersonal conflict and pressure, I have a propensity to micromanage. It is my belief that this situation makes me feel uneasy, and I try to alleviate this by stepping in and taking control. In addition, my high level of conscientiousness means that I appreciate well-structured plans, and I may be rigid at times when my co-workers wish to break from them (Cheng et al., 2019). Clearly, the low-power remote strategy I often utilise is incompatible with my clear goal of empowering team members and including them in key decision-making processes is apparent.
As a result, my team's members have greater expectations for having a say and a stake in the decision-making process than members of teams with more remote authority. My inclination to micromanage may be countered and mitigated by applying these procedural instructions, as indicated above (Lacerenza et al., 2018). As a result, allowing team members to take responsibility for the creation and evaluation of key procedures that have an influence on team performance helps me avoid being dogmatic or domineering and promotes a more empowered team. Process improvement, engagement, and ownership may all be supported via iterative team process reviews.
It is clear to me now, after completing this exercise in self-reflection, that I strongly identify with a participatory and genuine leadership style that encompasses a wide range of ideas and techniques. The more I've worked at it, the more I've realised that I've developed a range of very effective leadership traits and behaviours throughout the years. My openness, honesty, and inclusivity, as well as my consultative approach with the teams I've led, lead me to feel that I do encourage the best in my teams. My leadership style has been improved as a result of the evaluation and study.
What I mean by this is that this covers my values, personality traits, behaviours, psychological processes and team dynamics as well as their influence on the team's processes and results. Some practical suggestions have been offered to help me enhance my own leadership style, including ways to improve the quality of interpersonal interactions, increase the structure and coordination of the team, and control personality-driven inclinations that have an influence on group operations. As a final step, I need to ask for and receive feedback from my supervisors, co-workers, and peers, and work with my trusted mentors to define and accomplish personal objectives to further my leadership growth and learning.
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