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As I attempt to advance in my career, it is important for me to determine my ability to work with other employees. Three key areas that should be examined include communication skills, leadership and team skills, and power and conflict skills. After completing the second section of assessments, Working With Others, I have a better insight into my communication style and leadership abilities.
The first component that I explored was my face-to-face communication style. According to the assessment, I scored high in the areas of being attentive, friendly, open, impressionable, animated, and contentious. The best skills in my communication style are being attentive to the other person and making sure that he or she knows that I am listening. However, I am contentious and can be argumentative. If I disagree with someone, I will defend my beliefs.
As I reviewed my communication style, I began looking at my job performance from my supervisor’s perspective. Since I am an attentive listener who is friendly and open, I would assign myself to work with a team. I would be a beneficial addition to the team since I scored relatively high in the areas of being impressionable, animated, and contentious. Being contentious or argumentative is not always a negative trait if I use it correctly. This trait can lead to debates and discussions between members which can help to keep the team from migrating toward groupthink.
Another component that I reviewed was my capacity of having good listening skills. These skills can build stronger relationships and encourage openness as well as create a foundation for understanding. Good listening skills are essential in every aspect of a person’s life which also holds true in the organizational setting. After being assigned to work in a group, it is important to use good listening skills so that everyone in the group feels like his opinion counts and is being considered. This will also reduce the chance of conflict among the members of the group.
After reviewing my communication style, the next component that I explored was my leadership and team skills. I discovered that I possess a people-oriented leadership style instead of task-oriented leadership. As a supervisor, I would assist an employee like me to learn how to balance the two leadership styles. One way to achieve this task would be to assign me to complete large tasks (such as organizing a warehouse in preparation of the yearly inventory) with an assigned team. This would allow me the chance to improve my group management skills and to manage conflict while directing the team toward completing the task before deadline.
Next, I studied my charismatic leadership abilities. This assessment incorporates six leadership patterns, and my top scoring patterns were management of attention, meaning, trust, self, and feelings. A charismatic leader can influence and build trust among his followers. He can also motivate his team more easily and get an increase of buy-in.
From a supervisor’s perspective, if there was a situation or decision that I felt would have great resistance from the company, I would work toward getting the employee with charismatic leadership qualities to buy into the situation at hand. Once I had him or her in agreement with the situation, I would utilize his charismatic leadership qualities to motivate other employees to buy-in and support the unpopular decision.
Another trait that complements charismatic leadership is being trustworthy. A leader who has successfully built trusting relationships with his team will earn their support and respect. A few ways to be viewed as trustworthy are to follow through with promises, admit mistakes, share decision making with others, and accept responsibility for outcomes. Trustworthy leadership is extremely valuable in the organizational setting.
As I continue to review my leadership assessment scores, I assessed my ability to discipline others. My score of 23 demonstrated that I have excellent skills at disciplining. I usually try to provide ample warning, use a serious but calm tone, and keep the process impersonal and progressive. One way for my supervisor to utilize my disciplining skills would be to place me in the lead position in my department. Since I would not be working in a managerial capacity, I would report circumstances to my supervisor and contribute my recommendation for disciplinary action.
Along with the ability to discipline others, I have a strong ability to build and lead a team which would help reinforce my supervisor’s decision to place me in a departmental lead position. This trait is critical in the success of a small business such as my current employer. I would be able to help the team to understand its shared goals and to make sure they have the knowledge and skills to be successful in its tasks and purpose. I would also be able to promote good problem solving and decision making skills.
In an organizational setting, the team leader needs to establish his or her preferred type of power to influence the members. I prefer to use a combination of three powers of influence which include legitimate, expert, and referent; and I prefer not to influence people by using rewards or being coercive. I do not believe in utilizing fear to influence my team members. Instead, I am a firm believer of influencing people through the power of knowledge and expertise which can be beneficial to my company and supervisor.
The next assessment determined which impression management strategies that I prefer to use in an attempt to control how other people view me. These strategies are self-promotion, ingratiation, and exemplification. Through self-promotion, it is important to me for my team to view me as a competent leader based on my abilities and accomplishments. I also use favors or flattery in order to be viewed as likable by others, and I try to use self-sacrifice in order to be seen as a dedicated employee.
I finished the review of my leadership abilities by looking at my conflict-handling abilities. Depending on the situation, there are a couple of techniques that I like to use in order to solve conflicts. First, I prefer to handle conflict in my group through compromising where each side of the conflict is willing to make a sacrifice to arrive at a mutual agreement. I also like to solve conflict by using collaborating where each side wants to satisfy each other’s concerns and accommodating where one side of the conflict is willing to place the opposing interests above his.
Through the Self-Assessment Library section of Working With Others, I gained insight into my communication skills and leadership skills. I learned that I am an attentive, friendly, and open listener with charismatic leadership abilities. I also learned that I possess the ability to discipline others and handle conflict among members of a team.
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