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The most important thing in a group is to get the job done. Many things can help or hinder the groups overall productivity. There are three things all groups must be conscious of, group development, group think and leadership teams. All these areas determine weather a group will sink or swim, while completing the task.
The first and most important is group development. Group development is something that every group must go through. It is easily explained by using Cog’s Ladder of group development, five stages of group development: Polite, why were here, bid for power, constructive, and Esprit. These stages outline the path that all groups go through to form their identity. The way your group develops can often determine your actions and your comparative status amongst the other group members. (notes)
The first stage is POLITE this happens when you are first placed into a group, everyone is trying to avoid conflict. All people in this stage just want to be liked and feel accepted in the group. The next stage is WHY WERE HERE when the group actually takes a look at the task in front of them. People a generally nice to each other -- a time of exploration. Third is the BID FOR POWER Cliques battle individuals in the attempt to impose their ideas on the rest of the group. This is a time of much confusion amongst group members as they try to find out who is the best person to take orders from. The next stage is the CONSTRUCTIVE stage. In this stage there is a huge attitude change and people begin to give up their need for power and start concentrating on their goal. At this point there are many offered solutions by all group members. The last stage is Esprit here there is a lot of high moral and group loyalty. In this stage the group is tight, they have over looked personal differences, completely focusing on the task. An outsider at this point has the potential of destroying the well developed group. (notes)
When forming a group it is important to include everyone right off the bat. Receiving good input from everyone is key to group development. Everyone in the group must respect and get along with the other members in order to provide substantial progress.
Groupthink is a trap that all groups must attempt to avoid.
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Management and leadership, yet innately different are alike in many ways. A managers main concern is profit and productivity. Where a leader has to concentrate more on personal relationships, and encouragement techniques to motivate followers. Both of these theories revolve around accomplishing goals.
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A manager is there to tell one what to do, not to help and encourage them along the way. A typical manager does not really care how you feel or how your day is going. They are only concerned if you are on time and prepared to get your share of the job done. A manager can only take one role or position, as manager during business hours, it is their job, something that they have to do.
Unlike managers, leaders usually operate a group on a volunteer basis. This causes them to have to keep moral very high, to keep people excited about participating. Participation is key when trying to become a leader. Without participation, the leader will have no followers, resulting in having no one to lead making them not a leader. (lecture)
Leaders need to concentrate on relationships amongst the group members. Groups are far more effective when everyone is getting along, sharing ideas and being nice to each other. When the group members are willing to extend a helping hand to the other members, a leaders duty is almost nonexistent. A leader has to get people going and keep them motivated to accomplish the task, when this is done the once before group following a leader, becomes a team working together with a guide.
A charismatic leader generally demonstrates three qualities that they use to effectively lead a group. These three qualities are envisioning, enabling, and energizing. Envisioning is necessary for a group to go any where. If the leader does not have a vision, they can not lead anyone, because they do not know where they are going. The second one is enabling, this is when the leader provides the group with the necessary help or insight to get the job accomplished. Third and finally a leader must be energizing. It is the leaders duty to keep the followers excited about what they are trying to accomplish, or what they want to change.
The difference between management and leadership is clear, a manager is hired a leader is there for a cause. Managers cope with complexity, where leaders cope with change. Leaders want to make a change, impact, or difference in something around them. Managers want to get the job done with as little conflict as possible. Managers and leaders both have to know manipulation skills, to help by-pass peoples personal problems and convince them that the only thing important is the task at hand. (lecture)
Communication is the most important part of leadership. A leader has to know how to talk to a group. The leader must use certain skills to help motivate their followers and provide a clear vision of the challenge to all group members. Sometimes it is unclear what the leader is trying to tell you, particularly the conversations between men and women.(video)
To communicate with a group you have to know how the group as a whole listens. There are three types of listening, empathetic listening, hearing words, and listening in spurts. The best type of listener is an empathetic listener, they sit and listen with no distraction, they care about what one is saying. Hearing words and listening in spurts are not as good because the listener will only catch bits and pieces of the conversation. (notes)
Once a leader knows what kind of listeners are in the group they can adapt what they say to keep the group paying attention. Once group members are interested and paying attention they can all work together and get something cool accomplished. If the whole group is hearing words or listening in spurts very little will be accomplished, because not one person knows all that is going on.
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Communication is a vital part to understanding someone. If a person can always be an empathetic listener they will always be able to provide good insight to what the other person is trying to say. Good listeners often make good leaders, because they are the ones always paying attention and thinking about what someone is saying.