从团队成员的自信果敢行为看个人效能与团队效能的必然关联

joanne vt

每一个团队的领导者都希望提升自己所带领的团队的效能。美国团队建设著名专家和学者McGriffin曾指出团队的效能有三个方面的表现形式:一是绩效的高低;二是团队建设的成败;三是团队成员对于团队经历的满意度。当然,三者密切关联,互相影响。那么,如何成功打造一支有效的团队呢?这与团队成员在沟通互动中所营造的氛围密切相关。过于和谐以及只停留在表面上的和谐氛围都会阻碍团队的有效性。相反,笔者认为,一个有效的团队必定是一个强调和充分发挥个人效能的团队。通过提升团队成员的个人效能,特别是培养团队成员的果敢自信的行为,团队管理者可以全方位的提高团队的整体效能。首先,过于和谐的团队很难做到决策上的有效性。事实上,通过对美国历史上失败案例的分析,美国学者Janis 提出了著名的团队迷思(groupthink)的观点。也就是说,当一个团队过于团结时,团队成员很难从批判的角度或不同的思路去看待问题。结果很可能是团队凝聚力很强,而大家的思路和价值观却单一化,最终导致决策无效甚至是灾难的发生(譬如“挑战者”号的失事很多分析认为与团队成员不能理性评估异议有关)。

显然,过于和谐的团队很难真正发挥团队的优势功能,做出正确或高质量的决策。相反,一个有效的团队必然是一个充分发挥每个团队成员的潜能的团队。在这样的团队里,每一个决策过程都融入了集体的智慧,团队成员能够做到集思广益,敢于直言,各抒己见,并能够积极倾听不同的见解和观点。

同样,在中国的文化背景下,团队成员很容易过于顾及“关系”和“面子,”逃避和拖延处理冲突。长此以往,团队成员之间表面上和谐友好,暗地里勾心斗角,矛盾重重。显然,在这样的团队中,和谐只停留在表面,团队也无法实现有效。事实上,虽然成员之间表面上一团和气,暗地里对于彼此心怀怨气,无法敞开心扉,长此下去会造成关系的破裂,甚至团队的解散。至少,在这种情况下,团队成员会将大量的有限的精力和心思花费在应付人际关系的复杂性上,而忽略了团队的工作内容本身和绩效。

针对上述的问题,笔者认为,团队的有效性可以通过改变和提升个人在沟通中的效能来实现。通过果敢自信行为训练,团队成员个人效能可以等到提升,从而使团队达到“和而不同”的理想状态,这样真正的有利于团队效能的提升。如何做到呢?我们的行为训练关注个人的三种行为:敢于直言,敞开心扉,和坚持己见。敢于表达,是“不同”的起点;敞开心扉,是达到更高层次“和”谐的必经之路;在此基础上的坚持立场,才是真正的“和而不同”。

具体的说,首先,团队成员能够做到在团队决策的过程中,知无不言,言无不尽。有观点就会讲出来,即使是未成熟的观点,也不怕被别人笑话。团队在头脑风暴(brainstorm)的过程中,应形成鼓励发表各种相关的观点的氛围,因为一个看似不成熟甚至荒谬的观点常常可以引发许多思考,间接帮助找到最终的最优解决方案。另外,当个人形成敢于直言的习惯后,团队成员之间也会更加勇于表达个人的需求和原则,敢于说“不,”减少人际交往过程中的怨气和心理压力。当然,这一切都需要良好的沟通技巧,也就是我们培训所追求的坚持自己又不冒犯他人。这种敢于直言又具备良好的沟通技巧的个人行为不仅仅会提升团队效能,也有助于个人得到团队的认可。因为一个没有声音的团队成员一时可以做到避免冒犯他人,长远的看无法对团队做出贡献,不会被关注和认可。

自信果敢行为的另外一层含义便是在与团队成员出现冲突时,能够敞开心扉的沟通个人真实的想法和感受,以化解冲突。如上所述,很多时候,团队的矛盾被隐藏,和谐表面化。原因之一便是矛盾双方缺乏有效的沟通技巧,怯于处理矛盾。另外一个诱因便是我们东方的文化导致很多人避讳袒露真实的情感,也不善于理性化的表达情感体验。这样做的后果是使矛盾升级乃至关系的彻底破裂,比如,团队成员的离开。因此,我们的果敢行为训练致力于培训学员能够形成在沟通中敞开心扉化解矛盾的行为习惯。比如,通过有效提供反馈的培训,团队成员可以学会如何真诚而有所触动的表达对别人的言行的感受并敢于及时提供反馈。要知道人际关系中98%的冲突都因误会而起。因此,当团队成员普遍做到及时有效的反馈时,可以避免很多因误会而引起的不必要的矛盾。这样,团队可以实现真正意义上的和谐,而不是只停留在表面上。因此,敞开心扉有效反馈可以有助于团队矛盾的解决,减少人际关系的复杂性,提升团队建设的效果。

自信果敢行为的最高境界是能够在各种挑战和困境面前能够学会影响别人的行为,坚持己见。这需要与积极倾听的技巧相结合。我们认为,自信果敢的行为不只是强调以自我观点为中心,相反,我们反复强调,尊重他人是自信果敢行为的重要要素和前提条件。若想影响他人,首先需要做到听懂也尊重他人的观点,出发点,以及顾虑所在。在此基础上的坚持己见,才是我们所推崇的。另外,一个能够坚持己见也意味着不轻易被他人所左右,能够识别别人谈话表面信息之外的用意(如通过甜言蜜语达到利用人的目的),婉言拒绝扭转不合理的行为。如果在一个团队的情景下,每一个成员都能做到在积极倾听基础上的坚持己见,团队的氛围最终可以实现“和而不同。

综上所述,当一个团队的成员学会了果断自信的行为和提升个人效能之后,我们可以预见团队整体效能的提升。敢于直言,敞开心扉,坚持己见,不仅有助于个人在团队中有一个愉快的经历和感受,更有助于团队真正建设成和谐的关系和氛围。更重要的是,敢于直言,坚持己见等行为可以创造条件促成有效沟通和高质量的决策。这样,无论从哪个层面来看,团队都是有效的团队。可见,个人效能与团队效能可以通过果敢行为训练同时得到提升。

我们诚邀您抽空回答本问卷,以帮助我们做得更好。谢谢您!(请在选择答案后,点击”Submit Survey”提交,谢谢)

[SURVEYS 1]

—————————————————————-

Leadership Is All About Influence

joanne vt

Leadership is a very broad term that has been defined in numerous ways. Accordingly, leadership studies shed lights on various aspects of leadership, for instance, leadership traits, situational leadership, charismatic and transformation leadership, etc. Nevertheless, influence is a core element that is included in most popular definitions of leadership. Consequently, in this article, we focus on the influencing aspect of leadership. We argue that leadership is all about influence. In addition, we discuss various styles of influencing.

In this perspective, we argue that the effectiveness of leadership depends on the types of relationship that leaders establish with their followers. Leaders are servants of their followers, that is, they create conditions for others to be successful. Leaders without followers can hardly influence anyone, and therefore, do not have leadership. Followers’ willingness to be influenced by their leaders gives them their power base. Leaders could earn power or influence through their legitimate position, however, their influence could be far more powerful and far reaching if it is based on other sources, such as being role models and experts for their followers. There types of influence are based on reusable resources and are located within individuals and their behaviors.

Subsequently, we view leadership not as something that is given or static, instead, but in terms of how leaders act and interact with their followers. For instance, in our training, we normally discuss a very powerful and widely used interaction model, i.e., Rose of Leary, which examines behavior patterns in interaction in terms of influencing and being influenced, and in terms of orientation for people/relation and task/results. Therefore, in our view of leadership, it is always enacted in interaction and it is dynamic, i.e., it changes with changes in behaviors.

Influencing is an important skill for managers. Leaders need to ensure that people move in certain directions and work toward certain goals. Therefore, influencing skills are important for leaders when they motivate their employees. What are some of the interactions styles that leaders could use to influence their followers? In our training, we normally discuss five styles of influence, namely, urging, convincing, investigating, inspiring, and avoiding. Urging style is about dictating, complementing, and judging. When a leader uses urging style, he/she focuses on what he/she wants and tasks that need to be done. Convincing is to propose and to influence with logical arguments. Therefore, when a leader uses convincing style, he/she tends to give reasons for taking actions first. Investigating leaders focus on active listening skills and they invite their followers in decision making. They ask questions such as, “How do you see that problem?” “What would you do about it?” “How can I help you?” In contrast to all of the approaches discussed above, inspiring leaders focus on building a vision for their followers and work on making them become passionate and enthusiastic about something. They start a conversation with expressions like, “Would it be fantastic if…” “Can you imagine if …” None of the above influencing styles is necessarily better than others. Instead, just like different situations demand different leadership styles, they also call for different influencing styles.

我们诚邀您抽空回答本问卷,以帮助我们做得更好。谢谢您!(请在选择答案后,点击”Submit Survey”提交,谢谢)

[SURVEYS 1]

—————————————————————-

What is your dominant management style?

Managers will always set different accents, when it concerns their contributions to the organisation. They apply different management styles. Below we describe three styles, on the basis of the ‘input-processing-output model’.

Management by exception (MBE)
MBE is an input and resource-oriented style of management. The manager sees to the required resources. The manager, who applies this style, will usually only intervene in the execution when calamities occur. This means that he gives his employees much leeway: ‘Let them do it their way.’ The question is, whether the desired results are reached in this way.

It is of course unthinkable that a manager does not concern himself with the question of what resources are required for achieving results. You negotiate with suppliers of materials and accessories of (equipment), you make the required resources and information available, you determine when an order can be accepted and processed without any insurmountable problems, you think about the qualities of your (new) personnel and you determine which information is usable for the organisation. All of these are examples of the areas of focal attention on the input side.

Managers adopting MBE style of management tend to delegate and give directions or coaching only in case of problems. They tend not to monitor the progress of their employees work, instead, give solutions when the employees ask in case of calamity. In terms of motivation, the MBE managers expect their employees to motivate themselves.

Management by prescription (MBP)
This is a management style that is oriented on the process and the execution. The manager regulates the working activities and primarily asks himself the question how the work will be done. This is due to insecurity: ‘If they only do it well.’ Management is primarily a matter of determining what has to be done, which is carried out by means of rules, regulations, procedures, handbooks and the like. This manager sees monitoring the observance of rules and processes as his most important task.

He busied himself primarily with the development of working processes and procedures, with safety regulations, with quality-oriented directions and with questions such as: ‘How do I get the right person in the right place?’, ‘What is the maximum capacity of my machines?’, ‘What is the processing time?’, ‘What is the optimum of information that is required?’, ‘Which technology is that we have to develop, so that we can do our work as efficiently as possible?’ He also takes the requirements of workplace legislation into account and, within governmental organisations, such questions as: ‘How do we assure that legal security, equality before the law and justice are maintained?’
Under MBP style of management, power and influence is primarily located with managers and expert staff. Employees report regularly and the manager control. MBP
managers stress precise observation of rules and procedures. They motivate employees by pressuring them.

Results-oriented management (ROM)
ROM is a management style that focuses on the output or the final result. This manager gives a lot of attention to defining the desired end-result. He describes the requirements that the result must fulfil: ‘They have to know what I expect of them.’ The employee determines himself how he achieves this result. The manager focuses his attention on monitoring and possibly adjusting the achieved results.

He examines, whether the desired results are in agreement with reality. And he checks the degree of satisfaction of his consumer, and whether the products and services are qualitatively and quantitatively sufficient. If the results and its consequences (or effects on society) are not taken as a central point of departure, then one runs the risk of becoming bogged down in bureaucratic transactions, in fighting flash fires, in taking ad hoc decisions etc.

ROM Managers emphasize on delegation and expect employees to regularly inform them on work progress and achievement of results. They motivate by means of encouraging.

我们诚邀您抽空回答本问卷,以帮助我们做得更好。谢谢您!(请在选择答案后,点击”Submit Survey”提交,谢谢)

[SURVEYS 1]

—————————————————————-