Reflection piece on
As part of this critical assignment, it is a requirement
that I reflect on my own experience as a Leader where I have demonstrated a
high level of emotional intelligence, as well use theories to demonstrate my
I was a Human Resources Manager for a Mining organisation,
supervising four staff members at various locations within Queensland, my goal
was to oversee and ensure that all contract employees were processed in a timely
manner, for example, inducted, reference checked, accommodation booked and
cleared for medicals before entering a mining site, all data was required to be
updated in the company’s data base. Furthermore all letters of offers were to
be cited for my approval.
I found it difficult to manage one of my staff members’s who
was habitually taking time off or not turning up for work, this was proving to
be detrimental in the organisations ability to function, and furthermore her
absence was notably having an adverse impact amongst the other team’s members,
this was creating animosity, this in turn was placing a tremendous amount of
pressure on me.
I was able to exhibit
and maintain self awareness, (Goleman, 2009) by organising a team meeting to consult and
update the team on their accomplishments and reinforce the organisations goals.
During the team meeting,
members were encouraged to participate, be proactive and articulate a vision
for the organisation. Effective teamwork
is critical for success and teamwork starts with team players (Parker, 2011). The team were enthusiastic
as this involved them in decision making. They were informed during the team meeting that
I would be having a one on one informal catch up, which provided me with an
opportunity to discuss my concerns with the staff member’s absenteeism.
As the meeting concluded, I observed that the team were
motivated and empowered, this concept of Leadership connotation was amicable with Transformational
Leadership Theory (Burns, 2012), which in
turn lead on to positive outcomes associated with intrinsic motivation (Brown et al., 2015), furthermore this enabled the
team member to feel at ease and upfront when faced with the situation of
I chose to approach The
Transformational style of Leadership based on the discussion with the team
member after I was provided with a considerable amount of information together
with an explanation. In conclusion of our meeting, I drew her to the attention
that she was a valuable member of the team, furthermore I enabled to provide
her with an opportunity to enhance her performance and initiate a vision that
aligned with the organisations goals, by referring her to an agency to support
her, by doing so I wanted to create a positive change, furthermore enable to
create a culture of trust and respect. This created synergism amongst the team;
as a result of great performance, we reached our organisation’s goal, with
everyone being on board, harmony was created within the team.
Having empathy and social skills as a Leader is paramount,
by delegating more responsibility within the team, provided an opportunity of
ownership, growth and accountability.
I was a Recruitment Manager for a labour hire company,
overseeing four staff members. My goal was to develop and manage strategies,
lead the team and report on their performance. Oversee that all labour hire
employees paperwork was entered and updated in the database. Manage major
shutdowns, furthermore to monitor costs, as well as contribute to
organisational growth, by seeking out new opportunities.
I found it arduous in managing one of my employees who was
demonstrating unsatisfactory performance, for example, arriving late for work
on a regular basis, leaving early, making personal phone calls and not
following up on customer’s requests for labour hire therefore not filling in
orders or following my instructions. Even though she had just returned back to
work after maternity leave, I felt that was no excuse and seemed unfair that
the rest of the team was left to complete her work, I felt that everyone was
required to pull their weight to reach the organisations targets.
Due to increased work pressure, I found that I was becoming
irritated, frustrated and showing a dark side personality trait of scepticism, (Hogan, 2004), towards the staff member for example I was
constantly checking and questioning work that had not been completed, she was observed
demonstrating no motivation, ultimately this type of behaviour was interfering
with my ability to maintain the team’s performance within the organisation (Tilin), furthermore, I
felt she was enticing me and thereby attempting
to cause instability within the team (Kellerman, 2004).
I assessed the situation before deciding which leadership
behaviour would be the most effective to approach the team member; I came to
the conclusion that Directive Leadership style (House, 1971), in this instance would be best, I felt I needed
to set firm boundaries, clarify how the work that she did connected with the
other team members, remind the team member of the organisations targets that
were expected to be met quarterly, I explained that an organised a daily work
schedule would be maintained, in addition mandatory meetings once a week to monitor their performance.
The impact of this style of leadership was used on this
particular team member as there was a sense of urgency, the team were showing
signs of stress at the possibility of not meeting their targets; eventually the
team member left the organisation; however the team members expressed their
relief as we had an opportunity to employ another team member and meet the
organisations quarterly target.
I believe that my Leadership styles played a crucial role in
both examples in the team’s development in meeting their goals which I had
demonstrated through solving problems that arose, delegating and creating
harmony together forming a positive relationship between leader and
These examples also identified and areas where I required
further personal development, for example on reflection, I could have managed
the team member in example two by being more understanding and empathetic for
example she had come back from maternity leave and was not coping emotionally.
Leadership and Motivation
In this part of my assignment I am required to reflect my leadership
style in motivation, identify a strategy where I demonstrated motivation as a
Leader to staff that was successful.
There is an old 12th Century English proverb, which
says you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink, the horse will
only drink water if it is thirsty, I believe this to be the case when you are
dealing with human behaviour, unless employees are motivated in some way or
other to reach any targets or goals, they will simply not do it, they need to
have a reason. I believe that to
motivate or be motivated is a skill that anyone can learn for any organisation
to enable to reach its targets or goals.
I am currently employed as an Advisor in a non for profit
organisation; my goal is to target
early intervention by assisting parents who are at risk of long-term welfare
dependency, identify their education and employment related career pathways and
to participate in activities that help them achieve them. Connect parents to
local community services that are able to address their barriers to employment;
furthermore I am required to interpret The Parents Next Deed and Guidelines, monitor
service delivery and performance reporting on Key Performance Indicators as
well as drafting management and Departmental reports as required.
We were in the process of applying for another
round of funding for the Parents Next Tender, as I was collating data to
present to the Regional Manager, it came to my attention the team had not met
one of the stipulated KPI’S in the Deed, namely using the Work STAR system, this
was a tool to measure outcomes for our participants, which involves
participants to complete a survey with their case manager face to face, which
once completed, required to be updated in the Departments portal. I observed
the data and ascertained we were far behind in comparison to the all other
providers nationally, this was a serious concern furthermore it was going to
prove to be a challenge for the team to attempt to achieve. We were already
overwhelmed with appointments, meetings and other events, how could we possibly
see any more participants, how were we going to accomplish this goal due to time
constraints? As a leader I felt that to
succeed in achieving this goal, attitude was everything (Meyer, 2003).
By utilizing my Transformational
Leadership style I called a team meeting to address this task, in an attempt to
develop a strategy to motivate, inspire and encourage (Bass, 1985) my staff
to complete the STAR’s quickly and efficiently furthermore to obtain the
desired outcome to achieve this goal.
At the meeting, I outlined what the situation
was to the team, organised the steps required to accomplish this in a timely
manner specifically to be, being mindful not to impact or contribute further
undue stress on the team members.
By adopting the goal setting theory, (Locke & Latham,
2013) firstly I
needed to obtain the team’s acceptance, acknowledge and to participate, collaboratively
we all needed to be involved to focus on how we were going to achieve this. For
example, we identified that 180 Work STAR’S where required to ensure our KPI
was accumulated, by doing this I informed the team that the best way to manage
this as we were time poor was to firstly divide the stars equally, even though
my work load was heavier, as a leader I needed to set an example, the second was
to contact the participants by phoning them instead of setting up an
appointment for them to come in and see their case manager. My strategy behind
this was that by approaching the goal in this way meant it would be achievable,
furthermore based on past data, there
was evidence of participants not turning up for their appointments, we could not risk this, invariably participants
normally answered their phones when we contacted them to arrange further
appointments or activities.
This seemed the logical thing to do;
it was not an ideal situation, nevertheless by adopting this strategy, would
mean we would meet the KPI’s required by the department within the
timeframe. This meant that we needed to
juggle our appointments to fit these telephone conversations in with our daily
calendar. I acknowledged that it was going to take an incredible amount of
effort for everyone and I would provide them with feedback on a daily basis on
To ensure the team remained motivated throughout
(Bandura, 1986), this task, I advised that on completion and
in recognition of all their hard work, we would all go out and celebrate at the
Then impact using the goal setting
theory strategy for motivating staff was effective in this instance for
example, by identifying the need, the team were provided with a clear
achievable goal they could easily attain, the task was broken up in chunks over
a period of a week, to make it work they showed commitment from the start in
realising the importance it was to meet our KPI’s.
My learning experience from this was
in order to motivate teams; goals should be SMART (specific, measurable,
aggressive, attainable and time bound). Feedback is paramount, as the team were
able to track their positive changes that they were making daily. Practicing by
keeping communication open and transparent, I believe that goal setting is a
skill that can be learnt over time.
of Journal Article
Change is a process that happens within organisations globally, although at times change could be for the
better, employees resist, remain fearful (Burnes, 2017) and not
always readily embrace change. This could ultimately be perceived in a negative
or positive manner. It all comes down to the Emotional Intelligence coupled
with servant leadership as whether it will prove to be successful or not.
The servant leadership philosophy focuses on fulfilling the needs
of the employees, it is a different type of leadership in comparison to other leadership styles, servant leadership is intended to inspire leaders
into a more caring and serving leadership role rather than a controlling one (Greenleaf, 1998).
Emotional Intelligence which is perceived as being able to monitor and
understand one’s own feelings and have empathy for other people as well (Salovey & Mayer, 2004).
The challenge of Lewin’s model demonstrates three processes where
leaders can manage stages of organisational change, (Baldomir & Hood, 2016) as explained firstly is to unfreeze. Subsequently followed
by the implementation of change where the leader of the organisation advises
and prepares employees for this change. It is during this process the that leader demonstrates a clear and concise delivery alternative, the third and final
stage in Lewin’s model is the refreezing stage (Baldomir
& Hood, 2016), in this stage the leader demonstrates a vision moving forward
for the organisation, with this process, employees are willing to embrace the
During an organisational change, one aspect of dark side could definitely
manifest in servant leadership, for example, the servant leader’s role is to
serve and not to control (Greenleaf, 1998), so much
so that the leader could become aggrieved, causing undue mental anguish on
themselves. For an example, the organisation where I am employed were providing
a service for refugees and asylum seekers on Naru. Towards the end of our
project, our CEO in consultation with the Executive team announced that our
organisation would not be seeking a further term contract to deliver our
service in Naru from the Turnbull Government. In turn, this was to add pressure on the
Government to make a conscious decision to find a solution on how and where
they were going to resettle the asylum seekers and refugees.
At the time there were over 100 staff employed in Naru who were providing
health, education, job opportunities, furthermore assisting refugees and asylum
to assimilate in Naru.
Our CEO at the time raised
concerns and reported the horrific conditions on Naru for example, sexual
assault, self-mutilations, poor living conditions, all of which were
traumatic that was going on in Naru to the Australian Government. Our
CEO felt that the as these conditions were so alarming, the impact on
individuals and communities, therefore our organisation decided to walk away
and not accept any further funding from
the Government, she felt that as our employees were experiencing stress and
anxiety facing those conditions on a daily basis was unacceptable.
This had presented huge ramifications within our organisation as
the CEO announced that as result, the company needed to go through an organisational
change as we were not going to be receiving funding as a result the
organisation was required to downsize. There were a series of discussions and
where possible, employees were redeployed. Reluctantly, redundancies were
offered where a solution could not be found and within 90 days of the
announcement of our organisation leaving Naru, 150 employees subsequently left.
We would receive emails daily of a staff
member leaving our organisation, morale was visibly low. Our CEO was very emotional about the whole
ordeal and apologised when she explained
to all the staff her reasoning for
decision was that her values
and ethics would not allow her to accept further funding from the
Government, however we all needed to work together to overcome the challenges
that were about to face us in the near future. Throughout the process, however she sensed in
order for our organisation to survive the storm, tough decisions were
necessarily; furthermore, she had to set clear visions and goals and create
more opportunities for all. She informed the employees to take this set back to heal and grow from
this as in (Maslow, 2013), that
this was a time we can be both broken and strong. This is an example of how
dark leadership can manifest when the servant leadership becomes so emotionally
exhausted to a point that they have a need to be forgiven for the choices they
The emphasis on servant leader is to advance employees inspiration
and aid them with talents, as well as to guide and provide a sense of
responsibility as well as provide a safe environment to work in which aligns
with Maslow’s second level of motivation.
This is important as unlike
Transformational Leadership (Bass and Riggio, 2006), where a leader focuses on the team,
servant leadership focuses on an individual’s improvement. With servant
leadership, it is the servant who puts the needs of the followers, employees
and the community first (Greenleaf, 2002). The
servant leader is the one who listens, who demonstrates a connection with
followers, furthermore who always encourages participation and above all values
input from employees.
Using servant leadership style can play an important role in
organisational change, not only does
this style of leadership value their
employees it also has humane effect, for example, empowering individuals to
cope with difficult changes. Servant leaders must be wise when commencing the
change, employees need to see a vision or a goal, with this the employees are
prepared therefore embracing change is more acceptable. Employees engaging and
who believe in the way the organisation is being managed are the pillar for the
succession for any organisation, and therefore servant leaders are the best
leaders to bring out the best from these employees.