Quiz 15: Managers and Communication


R's personality and leadership style is a little complicated and doesn't fit directly into a fixed quadrant on the Situational Model of Leadership. While trying to understand the tasks at hand and the resources available with him, he has had to focus highly on the task needs. At times the focus on people's needs has gone for a toss. The various people working under or rather with R at various locations have been bombarded with a lot of work and have barely managed to strike the 'Work-Life Balance'. With the large scale of the project and a small deadline, R has been using the 'Directing style" of leadership at most times. He has been authoritative in allocating work. Moreover, the ability of his workers might not be considered up to the mark at times and often ignored. "Supporting style" from the situational Model of leadership would be the best bet for R in this situation. The leader here needs to be more encouraging, supportive and a confidence booster for his teammates. It can be easily seen that the team has problem within and their moderate readiness to do the tasks has to be leveraged using the right traits of leadership. These traits would include persistence and patience for R as the changes would not happen in a day.

Traits are distinguishing personal characteristics of a leader, and include areas such as intelligence, energy level, personality, and interpersonal skills. The most valuable traits of a leader would vary with the situation. For instance, consider a leader in a highly stressful environment such as a business turnaround. He/she would likely need very high self-confidence and excellent communication skills to inspire a discouraged staff to work toward new goals. A leader in a think tank would need high intelligence and tactics to communicate and inspire brilliant but task-focused research scientists.

Vice president J has a dilemma: her employee D has been spending time outside of work volunteering at a local youth center, an activity the company strongly supports. However, he has been insisting that his employees should work for the center also, on an unpaid basis. When vice president J talks to D, she needs to emphasize the voluntary nature of the employee work for the youth center, and make sure he understands that he cannot coerce staff to do so, or allow their choice to impact their employee appraisals. Vice president J should also discussed with her boss the possibility of setting a specific hourly amount of time that the staff is allowed to work on volunteer projects during company hours, since they do want to encourage this activity. They might also set up a request process for supplies to support volunteer work, such as postage and printing. This would allow for employees to support outside volunteer work without impacting their personal life.

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