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Team Leadership and Resolving Conflict Essay

In this paper I will summarize the main points in the unit. The main points in the unit are the five major leadership perspectives, power and influence, and resolving conflict. I will review the key points by using cited passages from the assigned reading and selections from the unit three course room. I will also summarize course room discussion postings relevant to my central topics.

In unit three McShane and Von Glinow (2010) discuss the five major leadership perspectives and list them as Competency, Behavioral, Contingency, Transformational, and Implicit (p. 378). There are a variety of ways to lead and different leaders may see fit to guide in various ways depending on the situation. Leaders must learn how to lead and what perspective to take in critical situations to achieve success. McShane and Von Glinow (2010) says, “Leadership is defined as the ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute towards the effectiveness and success of the organization of which they are members” (p. 378).

The Competency Leadership Perspective names the distinctive qualities an efficient leader will likely have. McShane and Von Glinow (2010) identifies personality, self concept, integrity, drive, leadership motivation, knowledge of business, cognitive and practical intelligence, and emotional intelligence as valuable leadership traits (p. 362). Based on my professional work experience every good or successful leader I have encountered possessed almost every trait above. The Behavioral Perspective seems to focus on the correlation between behaviors exercised and successful leaders. Leaders who seem to be task and people oriented tend to do better in the world of leadership. McShane and Von Glinow (2010) says, “…job dissatisfaction are higher among employees who work with supervisors with very low levels of people-oriented leadership” (p. 365). Employee’s who feel their supervisors or managers don’t provide clear tasks and show the effort to express understanding for their needs will not bode well for that leaders success.

The Contingency Leadership Perspective is centered around the idea that each individual situation warrants a unique combination of leadership tactics. McShane and Von Glinow (2010) says, “”The contingency perspective of leadership is based on the idea that the most appropriate leadership style depends on the situation” (p. 365). The Transformational Leadership Perspective basically is about the leader building a mutual vision and demonstrating the way it should be done at all times. Leading by example is key to gaining the necessary influences needed to enable followers. If a leader effectively shows their followers they are committed by walking the walk it helps in building the necessary connection needed between leader and follower. The Implicit Leadership Perspective is based on fixed ideas of what a successful leader should be. McShane and Vin Glinow (2010) says, “We are more willing to allow someone to influence us as a leader if that person looks and acts like our prototype of a leader” (p. 375).

McShane and Von Glinow (2010) describe power as “the capacity of a person, team, or organization to influence others” (p. 300). McShane and Von Glinow (2010) discusses the ways power is gained and through what method which are referent, expert, coercive, reward and legitimate (p. 301). I have encountered every type of power listed above. Based on my past experiences I prefer to use and be managed by referent power. Referent of power allows those in leadership roles to be approachable and allows them to relate to their subordinates which creates a feeling of trust and respect. Once this level of respect is established it will be easier for the leader to use more aggressive types of power methods if need be. For example, I had a supervisor in a previous position that was able to identify on every level with all of his employee’s. His communication skills were excellent so this allowed him to gain the trust and respect of his workers.

McShane and Von Glinow (2010) says, “people have referent power when others identify with them, like them, or otherwise respect them” (p.303). McShane and Von Glinow (2010) describes influence as “…behavior that attempts to alter one’s attitude or behavior” (p. 309). Knowing how to effectively influence others is key to becoming a successful leader. The influences tactics discussed in our course text are silent authority, information control, assertiveness, coalition formation, upward appeal, persuasion, impression management and ingratiation.

Recognizing what combination of power and or influence you need to use in a specific situation is essential to becoming a successful leader. Resolving conflict in the work place can be very difficult to achieve if the right approach isn’t taken by management and employees. Broome, DeTurk, Kristjansdottir, Kanata, and Ganesan (2002) says, “Differences in perspectives, frames of reference, values, norms, and communication styles are often aggravated by stereotypes, prejudices, and misunderstandings, so that decision-making, problem solving and conflict management become extremely complex” (p. 240).

Interactive Management is a process that helps diffuse potentially explosive conflict issues and allows for a productive resolution for both parties involved in the conflict. This process involves all parties to first identify the problem, second establish a course of action moving forward, and third build an effective plan that will be successful. With this type of approach to conflict it allows for communication to stay open and gives the conflict a fair chance to be resolved. Broome, DeTurk, Kristjansdottir, Kanata, and Ganesan (2002) says, “Devoting time to bring together informed individuals with interest in an issue, and to carefully examine its source, can prevent the waste of time, effort, and other resources that would otherwise be devoted to pursuing ineffective solutions or fighting unnecessary battles” (p. 261).

In unit three course room discussions Ray 12/9/11 talked about the importance of the Transformational leader’s perspective; building a mutual vision and showing their commitment to get that goal accomplished. McShane and Von Glinow (2010) says this about the Transformational perspective, “…agents of change who create, communicate, and model a shared vision for the team and inspire followers” (p. 371). I also feel that it is essential for a leader to get complete support from their followers to ensure a positive outcome. Once a leader has everyone on board with the vision, they are able to start building trust which will help establish a concrete foundation for success.

Nakia 12/7/11 also had this to add, “In my opinion transformational leaders are the most inspiring leaders. They can take over a horrible company and change the entire culture of the organization”. In conclusion I have summarized the main points in unit three. These points were the five major Leadership Perspectives, power and influence, and resolving conflict. Leaders who understand how to use the right combination of proper perspectives, power and influence will be the most successful leaders. Additionally, successful leaders must know how to resolve conflict effectively.

References
Benjamin, Broome, J., DeTurk, S., Kristjansdottir, E. S., Kanata, T., & Ganesan, P. (2002). Giving voice to diversity: An interactive approach to conflict management and decision- making in culturally diverse work environments. Journal of Business and Management, 8(3), 239-264. Retrieved from

http://search.proquest.com/docview/211509295?accountid=27965 McShane, S.L., & Von Glinow, M.A. (2010). Organizational Behavior (5th Ed.). New York:

McGraw- Hill/Irwin.


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