A1. & A1a. Complete and reflect on the “Seven Habits Profile”
From the Self-Scoring seven habits profile, my score seems to be higher which means that my leadership style is aligned with the principles of seven habits profile. Stephen Covey introduced these seven habits of the highly effective people (Senaratne & Hewamanage, 2015). These seven habits mainly defined the means of thinking, living as well as doing which is reliable with these principles.
My score in this category is 14 which is a good score as well as on the higher side of the seven habit profile. This habit is all about enchanting control of our lives which includes not allowing any other influential factors to shape our lives, acknowledging responsibilities for our own actions as well as for what happens to us, taking our own decisions, selecting our responses for our circumstances and lastly, not being the victims in other’s games.
However, regarding my leadership style I have seen that at my professional life I have very proactive regarding every step I take. I do every work responsibly and am always proactive in taking responsibility of my decisions and actions. Moreover, I feel I have total control on my life and can very well take my own decisions without anyone else’s interference.
Begin with the end of mind
My score in this category is 15, which is also a very good score and is at the higher side of the profile. This second habit from the seven-habit profile is to have a clear goal, which is based upon our principles and what we actually want to become. However, in my personal life I feel I always try to make sure that my daily activities contribute massively to my vision in life so that my time is not wasted in accomplishing null successes at the cost of the thing, which are far more important in life.
Put first things first
The score in this category is 13 and can be said to be on the higher side. As per Covey, this habit is all about having apparent priorities and spending our time as well as resources reliably with those priorities. I feel that regarding my style of leadership in my professional life there are situations where I use the power of YES or NO to analyze the importance as well as urgency at that moment. Therefore, I always try to focus on important and urgent works, which needs an immediate attention. Moreover, I feel I am focused, balanced and flexible enough to manage myself intelligently bearing the primary things in mind.
Think win win
The score reflected in this category is 12. However, as Covey has defined this is more about cooperation than competition. There are competitions both in the market as well as within the teams to achieve their common goals but this habit is more about accomplishing the mutual remuneration to all the parties involved. I am a person who always wants to work together with other colleagues and more than dominating my power as a leader upon others I prefer respect, appreciate and empathize other’s point of view.
Seek first to understand
The score obtained in this category is 14, which is considered a good score. However, this habit is about the worth of the communication process between more than two parties. Moreover, active listening plays an important part in this habit because we usually search, gather and clarify information to increase our understanding from the point of view others through active listening. Therefore, it is after understanding other’s point of view we can communicate our thoughts and ideas in a way through which others can accept it.
Regarding my leadership style, I have found myself as being empathetic while listening to others. Moreover, in maximum of the situations both in my personal as well as my professional life I have found I like to communicate with the other person first and understand his or her point of view so that I can make appropriate judgments. These I feel help me as well as others to open up more and find better solutions in any issue.
Lastly, in this category my score is 13. As per Covey, this habit defines assessing and building on divergence for ultimate assistance of all. The word Synergy actually means that the sum total is larger than summation of its parts. However, I feel that I am synergized in a way to understand the differences people have, I respect them and try to construct strengths on them and balance on the faults. However, the habit of mine is not that developed thus, as an emerging future leader I need to work on it more.
A2. Evaluate your leadership practices using a scholarly leadership theory
Participative theory of leadership is also known as democratic leadership. This leadership theory states that this democratic leadership style is mainly among the four decision-making styles in organizations like collective, autocratic, consensus and democratic style of leadership. However, in proactive leadership is the one where the followers as well as the staffs are asked to take part in the decision making process (Northouse, 2015). Leaders who invite their subordinates to come together and take part in the organizational decision-making are said to be participative or democratic leaders. This theory further states that this type of leaders is found to have facilitated conversations with their teammates or higher authority. Moreover, they share their information as well as their experiences and knowledge freely whenever it is necessary for decision-making and they also motivates their followers as well as others in the organization to share their thoughts and ideas. However, more importantly they combine all the information and solution suggested by the group through which he comes out with the best probable solution and further communicates it back to the group (Lam, Huang & Chan, 2015). Therefore, this type of leadership is always grow through mutual respect as it needs a partnership among the leaders and well as the people they lead. Thus, this type of leadership always places noteworthy responsibilities on both the leaders and the employees.
Thus keeping in mind the participative leadership theory, the strengths and weakness that I have identified are as follows-
- The main strength of this leadership is that the followers under this type of leaders feel that they are heard as well as valued. They feel satisfied, as they know that their decisions and ideas have equal weight age in the organization.
- There exist a sense of empowerment can bring out creative and innovative ideas from the people as they are assured by their leaders that there are no idea called bad. Thus, this enhances their confidence and boosts their morale.
- Participate leaders can in a best way extract their insights, which they use to guide any projects.
- Participative leadership style is actually a time consuming approach as there is a lot of time that is wasted in between the problem and the solutions. Along which too many ideas as well as viewpoints can at times make it difficult for the leaders to reach an appropriate solution.
- Another weakness is that not everyone in the organization has similar goals, which can be successfully merged with that of the organizational goals. Therefore, in that case those employees might not be very keen in participating for decision-making.
- Most importantly, employees whose ideas will not get accepted for action might feel alienated which might further create a frustration and dissatisfaction among those employees.
A2a. Evaluate at least three strengths you demonstrate as a leader
The strengths that I think demonstrate, as a leader is that firstly I feel that I genuinely seek opinion from others. In the previous self-evaluation section, I have explained about participative leadership theory and keeping that in mind, I think this strength is what I really think I possess because I motivate my teammates as well as seek for other team member’s input in my professional field. While doing any group task or taking in decision, I always promote sharing of ideas so that various expertise and skilled ideas are put forward before considering the final decision for the benefit of the organization. Secondly, strength as a leader I have is that I feel I can effectively delegate tasks. I always try to delegate tasks which best fit those employees who have the capability to pursue with the tasks. However, I try to know the strengths and weakness of my team mates so that I can delegate the tasks accordingly as per their expertise. However, I feel that giving the right person the right task I can fully trust them with full responsibility. Moreover, I feel that through this technique I can bring out the best from every employee to get the most flourishing outcome. Lastly, I am always willingly to help and guide my team members, which I feel as another strength that I have as a leader. My team members always find me approachable as well as trustworthy as I am always ready to help whenever there is an issue. Moreover, through my guidance, I feel that my teammates realize their potential and can effectively use their skills as I encourage them to become leaders one day. The results of these strengths have definitely taken me step ahead to become a successful leader. Moreover, it has also helped me to understand my own self as well as others in my workspace.
A2b. Evaluate at least three weaknesses you demonstrate as a leader
Apart from the above strengths, I feel I have few weaknesses as well that is obstructing me from becoming a successful leader. The very first weakness, which I consider prime, is I lack the active listening skill, which I feel is necessary, as I am very much open towards suggestion. To communicate with others I think active listening skill is very important but I feel it I lack this skill at times and miss on strong opinions of others. However, another weakness, which I feel being a democratic leader, is empathy. To understand people’s viewpoint I need to put myself in their shoes, which I feel I deviate at times. There are many situations when I make judgments before even knowing the other person or understanding his or her emotions. To be an effective leader, I feel I need to be a little more empathic towards their concerns. Moreover, many a times I have felt concern for my teammates or other colleagues but I have failed in making them feel that. Lastly, Patience is what I lack. As a leader, I feel patience is the most important characteristic that one needs to deal with others. Being a participative leader, I feel being tolerant is much more important to deal with diverse opinions. However, if I can become more patient then it can actually help the team to have a positive attitude at the time of difficulties. Thus, due to these weaknesses I feel that I am facing many challenges in my workplace. Being impatient is making me frustrated at times during group discussions. Many a times I miss important points from my teammates due to my lack in active listening. Moreover, due to lack in empathy there are few employees who feel that I am a little cold at times, which is definitely not.
A2c. Recommend three theory-based changes that you could make to maximize your success
As a participative leader, the three actions or change in behavior that might help me in maximizing my success as a leader is as follows-
Recommendation and supporting theory
- The first action will be to carefully listen to what others are saying. However, as per Stimulus response theory, which suggests that, we humans have an inner tendency to expose them to only that information regarding communication, which are in conformity with their attitude and benefit. Moreover, as per participative theory active listening is considered to be among the key skills which will give employees the liberty to put forward their opinions for the benefit of the organization.
- The second action will be to make people realize that I care for them and I am empathetic towards their concern. As per the simulation theory of empathy, human beings predict as well as analyze other’s behavior by triggering their mental processes, which if they carry into behavior will display similar behavior (Engen & Singer, 2013). However, empathy and thoughtfulness are the basic requirements for any participative leader as it can help the leaders to get along with all type of team members and further helps for an open environment, which encourages association.
- The last action that is needed to enhance my success as a leader by increasing my level of tolerance. As a participative leader, the most important characteristic, which is needed, is that of patience. Having patience can maximize productivity, inspires positivity as well as show respect. According to the theory of evolutionary origin of human patience, individuals’ must at times display patience, declining the immediate benefits to obtain the more valuable one’s in the near future (Stewart & Shamdasani, 2014).
- If all the information are actively listened then the gap between attending every important information and reaching a successful decision will be minimized
- The next one is showing people that I do care for and making them realized this will definitely bridge the gap between some people thinking of me as a cold-hearted person.
- Lastly, enhancing the power of being patient will definitely enhance productivity as I will be less stressed or frustrated and can more passionately able to work with others.
- The expected outcome after becoming an active listener will be to grasp every important point of views that are shared or suggested by the teammates or other colleagues
- The result that is expected from being more empathetic will be that people will be able to open up more and approach me easily whenever needed knowing that I will understand their feelings and emotions
- By becoming patient, the outcome I will expect is that I will be more optimistic at difficult times, which will be reflected on my teammates as well because I will become more motivating and encouraging.
A2d. Discuss two short-term SMART goals that will help improve your leadership practice
My first SMART goal is listening, by 15th of March 2018, I will maintain a daily listening score card which will help keep a count of each day that whether I have made eye contact with the speaker, asked the other person to repeat because I was not attending, did not understand other’s messages, interrupted someone or forgotten important information. The specific actions that I would take to meet this SMART goal are that I would pay more attention as well as express to people that I pay attention to what they have to say. Moreover, I will try and understand the body language when others are talking as well as try and eliminate distractions so that it do not come across my ability to listen actively. However, this goal is definitely attainable but it is also challenging because there can be several barriers which can interfere in listening like interest, ill health, attractiveness of the communicator, sympathy, prejudice or previous experiences. However, overcoming these is the biggest challenge to attain effective active learning skill. Thus, by obtaining effective active learning skills I can expect that it will help me understand as well as formulate better solutions to important issues, it can further help me in diffusing conflict among team members and build more trust and respect with the colleagues and team mates.
The second SMART goal I have set for myself is Time management, by March 31st 2018 the first thing in a day will be to make a To-Do list then finishing the daily To-Do list will be the basic target. Following which I will assign myself with a personal deadline for each project, which will be prior to the final deadline and then I will take short breaks in between so that I can work fresh with no distraction. The specific actions that I will take to meet this SMART goal are that I will learn to work more efficiently without wasting much time on projects or tasks, which does not have that much importance. Moreover, I must prioritize among the projects that which one are more important as well as urgent than the other ones. However, time management is definitely a realistic goal, which is both challenging and attainable if I pay a little more attention towards it. Towards which I just need to focus myself and stay away from all kind of distractions. There can be several challenges of fatigue as well as boredom to the projects where I may feel that it is not worth it working in it but I need to overcome that and finish what I start. Moreover, I should know how to say No to extra works which is an addition of the works I have in hand. Thus, following this can expect the result to be effectively manage time and finish my projects beforehand along with the best quality work. I further expect that managing time will keep me stress free and help me in being more productive.
A2di. Discuss at least two specific actions you will take to reach each of the SMART goals discussed in part A2d.
- The first action will be to interact with more people. Listening skill will be enhanced if I interact with more people and try to understand their body language as well as their speech. I will volunteer in more interactive sessions with my employees inside as well outside my organization. Moreover, I will read more books regarding active listening and can further join a 2-week class where my active listening skill can get an expert guidance.
- The very first action I will take is that I will become more organized regarding my day-to-day work. This will help me in becoming colder, calculative as well as unemotional regarding my official works. Then I will try to wipe out the negative feelings inherited from my parents who told me that I am messy when I was a child. This can be unconsciously residing. Lastly, it will enhance my self-confidence byboosting me that I can manage time superbly in the upcoming days. Moreover, I will also take advice from my seniors who are experts in time management and will try to imply that practically in my daily work experiences
Engen, H. G., & Singer, T. (2013). Empathy circuits. Current opinion in neurobiology, 23(2), 275-282.
Lam, C. K., Huang, X., & Chan, S. C. (2015). The threshold effect of participative leadership and the role of leader information sharing. Academy of Management Journal, 58(3), 836-855.
Northouse, P. G. (2015). Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.
Senaratne, S., & Hewamanage, P. R. (2015). The role of team leadership in achieving LEED certification in a green building project. Built Environment Project and Asset Management, 5(2), 170-183.
Stewart, D. W., & Shamdasani, P. N. (2014). Focus groups: Theory and practice (Vol. 20). Sage publications.