Over the past few weeks I have gained some new insights on leadership style, communication and work preferences, understanding of motivation theories in a workplace, and approaches to resolving conflict. These insights of my own has also brought light onto my teammates, also lead, communicate, motivate, and resolve conflict. The following reflective essay I will talk about more in detail on these concepts based on insights, application and implication.
“Goals and resources emerge from the environment, not from the leader directly”, so leaders interact with followers as necessary to achieve routine performance of established goals[footnoteRef:1]. Through couple weeks of team working, I realized that both leaders and followers are significant to contribution for building an effective and efficient team. The relationship between leaders and followers is the basic activities in the team. I think that the role of the leader is to give orders for the benefit of team or for better completing tasks, so that, the leader has the authority to direct and arrange the activities to the followers. Utilizing personal power rather than position power to minimize the gaps of statues[footnoteRef:2]. On the other hand, I think good followers should follow the leader’s command and obey the leader’s arrangement, so that the team can function normally and produce maximum performance for the team and even the big organization. [1: (Bickell, Leadership & Followership 2019)] [2: (Elsbach A 2016)]
I have ability to self-manage. Therefore, I did not entirely rely on group members. I could think, work independently, and did not need the guidance of the leader at all times. Hence, I have a strong sense of commitment. I promise the team leader I would finish editing the game plan by Sunday night before the due day and prepare snacks and drinks by Friday night. Therefore, I fully achieve the goal of final reviewing plans and food preparation by virtue of my own capabilities. So that, I think this could increase team work efficiency and push team event forward. Also, I have ability that could learn materials fast and put everything in order and make a schedule plan. Therefore, I have the skills of schedule planning, problem identifying and recording what are useful to the team.
Since, I am an introvert[footnoteRef:3]and English is not my first language causing that I am afraid of communication. This is a weakness for me and my team. For me, it is hard for me to express my thoughts completely and freely. For the team, less communication with the teammates makes the leader cannot know me really well and may misleading some assigned tasks and also can cause misunderstanding some important team works. For example, we did “Five Tricks” activity during the class, I watched my classmates play silently for three rounds, during the activity they were not allowed to speak, only gesture and drew pictures were allowed to communicate[footnoteRef:4]. After the small class activity, I realized that communication is an indispensable step in team activities. Even with the help of body language; still, important information cannot be transmitted through just gesture and pictures. This reminds me that in the team work, the lack of communication can affect the relationship between the team members, which leads to the embarrassing situation of teamwork. Also, because of the lack of effective communication, I do not know the strengths and weaknesses of the team members. Therefore, necessary and effective communication can make team tasks more efficient and accurate. I was impressed with this class activity and it made me realize the importance of communication. Similarly, if I want to be a successful leader in the future, lack of communication skills will not work. [3: (Naomi Quenk 2001,2003,2015)] [4: (Bickell, Diversity & Communication 2019)]
Application- Action Plan
I will inevitably become a leader in the future. Therefore, I should learn how to be an effective leader in order to form a team that could better provide efficiency for the organization. For increasing communication, I will start from text talking first. I am shy to speak face to face because of my personality- an Introvert person[footnoteRef:5]but I can talk through electronic devices such as text messages, email, WhatsApp and etc. Therefore, I will encourage myself to chat more in words. Next, I will start speaking English with close friends first instead of the first language that I am familiar with. Moreover, I will practice my listening by utilizing spare time to listen to English radios or even TED Talk programs. Then, I will start barely introducing myself to others, let others know me and want to be known by me. Also, I will increase using more eye contact because I think more eye contact will give others a feeling of being trusted and respected, and also give them a feeling that I am interested in what they are talking about, and also, I am going to practice listening by asking questions to let others think that I am willing to communicate. There is also a very important point, for formal email communication, introvert people tend to write brief emails, unless the content is important and familiar with that they can write a lot, but this may cause misunderstanding of the content, so I need to review the email and ensure that simple email is not misinterpreted[footnoteRef:6]. [5: (Naomi Quenk 2001,2003,2015)] [6: (Bickell, Diversity & Communication 2019)]
The other important element to be an effective leader is to get know of team members well. We need to build trust with each other because I believe trusting is the most solid foundation of corporation for a team. If the leader gives full of trust to followers, the followers can feel a sense of security, and then, everyone will treat team works as their own thing and they could maximally play their strengths; it is the stage for personal development. First, I will listen to team members and let them participate in decision making since listening is as convincing as speaking. Second, I will respect followers’ suggestions and create a bridge of communication to encourages followers to speak freely. Also, I can give followers more opportunities to carry out their favorite work content. Finally, I will praise my followers timely. Praise can make them more confident in themselves, more passionate about their work and able to encourage followers to improve their work efficiency.
Through organizing the event and becoming a follower, I have a clear goal and direction to contribute to the whole team and in the future to the organization. We learned from each other and exchanged experience among teammates. Under the leader’s leading, all teammates effectively using their strengths to complete their parts. For example, Raghu was a good communicator and leader in our team. He maintained positive contact with each team member and make sure everyone is following the rules and processes when planning this event. Tina had the ability to use photoshop in computer to make poster. Simran and I were good followers of the team, and we were able to share generate ideas to the event. Michael is good with communicating well with all team members. Therefore, our team performance becomes more effectively and efficiently.
Meanwhile, I realized the importance of effective motivation that will help to increase all teammates’ satisfaction and self-confidence and reduce turnover rate. In the future, being a leader at a workplace would be an unavoidable situation that I must face. Therefore, being more extroverted can help me to integrate with new groups and establish leadership more quickly and easily. As Amanda mentioned in the class based on the MBTI report: a “ESTJ” type[footnoteRef:7]person will be considered as a successful business person in the business. Fortunately, I am already a “ISTJ” type person[footnoteRef:8], I think it is not hard for me to perform more extroverted, even though I cannot change my personality, this does not affect my desire to improve. So, it is clear to see how important communication is. Improving my communication skills became my priority. I realized that expressing my ideas clearly, making sure followers are understand what I am asking of them. Create a conversation-friendly environment and give followers the freedom to express their thoughts and concerns. These require good commutation skills too. [7: (Naomi Quenk 2001,2003,2015)] [8: (Naomi Quenk 2001,2003,2015)]
Moreover, motivation to encourage followers is also vital to be an effective leader. It can make the team more accession, high efficiency, and high performance, and the followers are more willing to contribute to the team.
In summary, if I want to succeed in an activity and also in the future workplace, effective leadership is necessary. Similarly, a good leader needs to communicate with others using proper languages and attitude, and the objects of communication are not necessarily your subordinates or followers. A successful leader also needs to know how to deal with conflicts between employees, how to persuade employees to better help you complete the tasks in the plan, and also how to work with others to complete the tasks that are not released.
- Bickell, Amanda. 2019. ‘Diversity & Communication.’
- Bickell, Amanda. 2019. ‘Leadership & Followership.’
- Elsbach A, Kayes A, Kayes C. 2016. Contemporary Organizational Behaviour from Ideas to Action. Pearson Education.
- Naomi Quenk, Jean Kummerow. 2001,2003,2015. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator| Step II. The Myers & Briggs Foundation. [bookmark: _txct6dhbz43p]