Leadership Development Case Study
Leadership is an influential activity or a set of behaviors that are required from ta leader in different social situations in order to make the followers or subordinates motivated to peruse their goals. A leader is expected to provide guidance and direction and act as an example. However, whenever one approach or leadership style may be successful with one group of people, this same approach may turn out a failure in other situational contingency. (McCleskey, 2014)
In changing organizational environments, a leader must carefully assess the situation, before applying a certain leadership style. In this case study we will analyze how a leaders’ failure to diagnose, adapt and communicate can lead to a leadership failure. (Babatunde, 2015) This report will analyze “Why Aren’t They Listening” case and provide recommendations that would help Jim, the trainer who failed to capture attention of his audience, to improve his training sessions. When organizing the training session for the R&D staff in communication and listening skills, Jim did not put of restrictions regarding attendance, tried to create easy, friendly atmosphere with frequent coffee breaks and emphasized on interesting types of presentations to involve managers into the learning and networking process. According to SLII model of situational leadership, Jim used S3 model to run the seminars.
The S3 model is a Supporting style of leadership, which implies High Supportive and Low Directive behavior. In this type of behavior a leader does not focus on the goals but rather provides support in order to motivate the team to use their existing skills and talents to complete the tasks. According to this style, the leader grants control over progress of task delivering and intervene into process to provide with support, like listening, praising, asking for input and giving feedback. (Northouse, 2013) According to the situational leadership theory, supporting style of leadership is appropriate with D3 type followers, namely those who lack motivation but possess a certain level of competency. But did this type of followers match Jim’s audience?In order to define the Development level of the managers, we need to look at the two factors: their competence and the commitment level. The competence level implies skill and knowledge that allow performing a certain task easily. The training session was designed for the middle-managers that work in research& development department in a pharmaceutical company.
Although the middle management is described as “experienced” we should understand that their technical expertise may not necessarily imply they have competence in the subject of the course, namely communication and listening. Therefore, we may assume they may have little competence level. The company employees had some negative experience with the previous training programs, one of the managers saying: “Here we go again: a fancy in-house training program from which we will gain nothing.” The managers perceive training as a waste of time and are not committed to participating actively from the very beginning. Another factor adding to their low commitment is their poor understanding of the importance of listening and communication …