Q 6Q 6
To determine appropriate leadership styles in group situations.
The primary skills developed through this exercise are:
1. Management skill - interpersonal
2. AACSB competency - analytic
3. Management function - leading
Assess Your Preferred Leadership Style
Following are 12 situations. Select the one alternative that most closely describes what you would do in each situation. Don't be concerned with trying to select the right answer; select the alternative you would really use. Circle a, b, c, or d. (Ignore the D ____ and the S ____ following each answer choice; these will be explained later.)
1. Your group works well together; members are cohesive and have positive norms. They maintain a fairly consistent level of production that is above the organizational average, as long as you continue to play a maintenance role. You have a new assignment for them. To accomplish it, you would: D ____
a. Explain what needs to be done and tell them how to do it. Oversee them while they perform the task. S ____
b. Tell the group how pleased you are with its past performance. Explain the new assignment, but let them decide how to accomplish it. Be available if they need help. S ____
c. Tell the group what needs to be done. Encourage them to give input on how to do the job. Oversee task performance. S ____
d. Explain to the group what needs to be done. S ____
2. You have been promoted to a new supervisory position. The group you supervise appears to have little talent to do the job, but they do seem to care about the quality of the work they do. The last supervisor was fired because of the group's low productivity level. To increase productivity, you would: D ____
a. Let the group know you are aware of its low production level, but let them decide how to improve it. S ____
b. Spend most of your time overseeing group members as they perform their jobs. Train them as needed. S ____
c. Explain to the group that you would like to work together to improve productivity. Work together as a team. S ____
d. Tell the group how productivity can be improved. With their ideas, develop methods and make sure they are implemented. S ____
3. Your department continues to be one of the top performers in the organization. The members work well as a team. In the past, you generally let them take care of the work on their own. You decide to: D ____
a. Go around encouraging group members on a regular basis. S ____
b. Define members' roles and spend more time overseeing performance. S ____
c. Continue things the way they are; leave them alone. S ____
d. Hold a meeting. Recommend ways to improve and get members' ideas as well. After agreeing on changes, oversee the group to make sure it implements the new ideas and does improve. S ____
4. You have spent much of the past year training your employees. However, they do not need you to over see production as much as you used to. Several group members no longer get along as well as they did in the past. You've played referee lately. You: D ____
a. Have a group meeting to discuss ways to increase performance. Let the group decide what changes to make. Be supportive. S ____
b. Continue things the way they are now. Supervise them closely and be the referee when needed. S ____
c. Leave the group alone to work things out for themselves. S ____
d. Continue to supervise closely as needed, but spend more time playing a maintenance role; develop a team spirit. S ____
5. Your department has been doing such a great job that it has increased in size. You are surprised at how fast the new members were integrated. The team continues to come up with ways to improve performance on its own. Because it has grown so large, the department will be moving to a larger location. You decide to: D ____
a. Design the new layout and present it to the group to see if the members can improve on it. S ____
b. Allow the group to design the new layout. S ____
c. Design the new layout and put a copy on the bulletin board so employees know where to report for work after the move. S ____
d. Hold a meeting to get employee ideas on the layout of the new location. After the meeting, think about their ideas and finalize the layout. S ____
6. You are appointed to head a task group. Because of the death of a relative, you had to miss the first meeting. At the second meeting, the group seems to have developed objectives and some ground rules. Members have volunteered for assignments that have to be accomplished. You: D ____
a. Take over as a strong leader and change some ground rules and assignments. S ____
b. Review what has been done so far and keep things as they are. However, you take charge and provide clear direction from now on. S ____
c. Take over the leadership, but allow the group to make the decisions. Be supportive and encourage them. S ____
d. Given the group is doing so well, leave and do not attend any more meetings. S ____
7. Your group was working at, or just below, standard. There has been a conflict within the group, and as a result, production is behind schedule. You: D ____
a. Tell the group how to resolve the conflict. Then closely supervise to make sure people do what you say and production increases. S ____
b. Let the group work it out. S ____
c. Hold a meeting to work as a team to come up with a solution. Encourage the group members to work together. S ____
d. Hold a meeting to present a way to resolve the conflict. Sell the members on its merits, ask for their input, and follow up. S ____
8. Your organization allows flextime. Two of your employees have asked if they can change work hours. You are concerned because the busy work hours need adequate coverage. The department is very cohesive with positive norms. You decide to: D ____
a. Tell them things are going well; we'll keep things as they are now. S ____
b. Hold a department meeting to get everyone's input, then reschedule their hours. S ____
c. Hold a department meeting to get everyone's input; then reschedule their hours on a trial basis. Tell the group that if there is any drop in productivity, you will go back to the old schedule. S ____
d. Tell them to hold a department meeting. If the department agrees to have at least three people on the job during the busy hours, they can make changes, giving you a copy of the new schedule. S ____
9. You have arrived ten minutes late for a department meeting. Your employees are discussing the latest assignment. This surprises you because, in the past, you had to provide clear direction and employees rarely would say anything. You: D ___
a. Take control immediately and provide your usual direction. S ____
b. Say nothing and just sit back. S ____
c. Encourage the group to continue but also provide direction. S ____
d. Thank the group for starting without you and encourage them to continue. Support their efforts. S ____
10. Your department is consistently very productive. However, occasionally the members fool around and someone has an accident. There has never been a serious injury. You hear a noise and go to see what it was. From a distance you can see Sue sitting on the floor, laughing, with a ball made from company material in her hand. You: D ____
a. Say and do nothing. After all, she's OK, and the department is very productive; you don't want to make waves. S ____
b. Call the group together and ask for suggestions on how to keep accidents from recurring. Tell them you will be checking up on them to make sure the behavior does not continue. S ____
c. Call the group together and discuss the situation. Encourage them to be more careful in the future. S ____
d. Tell the group that's it; from now on you will be checking up on them regularly. Bring Sue to your office and discipline her. S ____
11. You are at the first meeting of an ad hoc committee you are leading. Most of the members are secondand third-level managers from the marketing and financial areas; you are a supervisor from production. You decide to start by: D ____
a. Working on developing relationships. Get everyone to feel as though they know each other before you talk about business. S ____
b. Going over the group's purpose and the authority it has. Provide clear directives. S ____
c. Asking the group to define its purpose. Because most of the members are higher-level managers, let them provide the leadership. S ____
d. Providing both direction and encouragement. Give directives and thank people for their cooperation. S ____
12. Your department has done a great job in the past. It is getting a new computer system. You have been trained to operate the computer, and you are expected to train your employees to operate it. To train them, you: D ____
a. Give the group instructions and work with people individually, providing direction and encouragement. S ____
b. Get the group together to decide how they want to be instructed. Be very supportive of their efforts to learn. S ____
c. Tell them it's a simple system. Give them a copy of the manual and have them study it on their own. S ____
d. Give the group instructions. Then go around and supervise their work closely, giving additional instructions as needed. S ____
To determine your preferred leadership style, follow these steps:
1. Circle the letter you selected for each situation.
2. Add up the number of circled items per column. The column with the most circled items represents your preferred style.
The more evenly distributed the numbers are among the four styles, the more flexible you are at leading groups. A total of 0 or 1 in any column may indicate a reluctance to use that style. Is your preferred leadership style the same as your preferred management style (Chapter 1)?
Assigning Appropriate Leadership Styles to Group Situations
To help you understand the stages of group development and to select the appropriate leadership styles for group situations.
You should understand the stages of group development and have completed assessment of your leadership style.
Step 1. Determine the level of development of the group in each of the 12 situations. Place the number (1, 2, 3, or 4) on the line marked D at the end of the situation.
1 = orientation stage
2 = dissatisfaction stage
3 = resolution stage
4 = production stage
Step 2. Identify the leadership style described in each answer choice. Place the letter A, C, P, or E on the line marked S following each answer choice.
A = autocratic
C = consultative
P = participative
E = empowering
Step 3. Now circle the letter of the answer choice that represents the leadership style that is most appropriate for the level of development for the group in each situation. See Model 12-1 for an illustration of the four levels of development and their leadership styles.
What did I learn from this experience? How will I use this knowledge in the future?
Your instructor may ask you to do part of this Skill Builder in class as a group. You may be instructed, for example, to break into teams to assign stages of development and leadership styles to each situation, or you may be asked to discuss the reasons behind your stage and style decisions.