JLBC CREATING EFFECTIVE TEAMS



JLBC CREATING EFFECTIVE TEAMS

In a way, JLBC leadership and parenting have a lot in common. An effective parent acts differently with a small child than with that same child as an older adolescent becoming a young adult. Maintaining one parenting style throughout the life of a child would cause great damage. Maintaining one JLBC leadership style throughout the life of a group would be detrimental as well. One style will not meet JLBC group needs and will not facilitate the development of an effective and productive team. The question for leaders, then, is, “What leadership style is best at the different stages of group development?” The following guidelines suggest ways for leaders to behave when groups are in the different stages of group development.

LEADERSHIP AT STAGE 1: BE A DIRECTIVE AND CONFIDENT LEADER WITH A STAGE 1 GROUP

In a new group, members expect leaders to be directive, confident, organized, and task-oriented. Group members have not had the time to organize themselves yet. That will come later. In the meantime, members want the leader to provide that structure. Don’t be afraid to do that. Many new leaders feel that it is best to ask members to help structure the group from the beginning. While this may seem democratic and right, it makes members feel insecure and slows group progress.

Come into meetings with a clear, written plan. State the group’s goals as clearly as possible. Run sessions efficiently and assign tasks to individuals as necessary. If decisions are called for, make them. Your initial attempts to organize things will be modified later as group members become more involved. In the beginning, however, providing direction and appearing confident of group success is essential.

Work to Reduce Members’ Anxiety,

Fears of Rejection and Concerns About Safety

In the first stage of group development, member dependency, anxiety, and needs for inclusion and safety are heightened. The leader is likely to be seen as a benevolent, competent, and security provider to anxious group members. One of the leader’s main jobs during this time is to reduce the anxieties of group members. Leaders can minimize member anxiety by expressing confidence and providing direction.

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