RC Interaction of Members of Groups Leadership Discussion
You will be required to write 200–250-word replies to at least 3 of your classmates’ threads. In your replies, expand on the discussion by analyzing and building upon the thread and incorporating at least 1 scholarly reference in each reply. Integration of Scripture is encouraged, but is not required. Assertions must be supported by in-text references in current APA format. Use first person and single-spaced formatting and indent new paragraphs. Your threads and replies must be well written, well organized, and focused.
Which of the different skills addressed by Jacobs et al. and Corey et al described and demonstrated different leadership skills during this week’s reading? As I reflect on my own leadership style, I ask myself which of the skills described in this week’s reading will be easy and which will be difficult to incorporate into my own leadership style. I will say my biggest opportunities for growth will be active listening and mini -lecturing and information giving, as it reflects my own leadership style (Jacobs, Schimmel, Masson, & Harvill, 2016). Based on my DISC assessment (personality test) I am a very expressive, meaning I enjoy voicing my opinion (Carbonell, 2011). Sometimes that can get in the way of allowing others to share while I actively listen. Mini – lecturing will be an issue as well, because my strong Alpha may take over the group. However, my dominate and inspiring personality trait allows me to master use of voice, identifying allies and modeling and self-disclosure. This is true as it relates to my leadership style, because people recognize my seemingly natural leadership skills. I stand out because of my confidence and optimism. I am sought after to take charge and make things happen. I am often viewed as a successful person because of my ability to direct and influence others. (Carbonell, p137, 2011). As a person grows as a leader they will evolve and use different styles over time. Obedience, power, and status can impact the leaders and members of a group. Power and status can affect how a member interacts with the leader. The way a member views their leader will determine the skills needed, as discussed in Jacob’s books. Being obedient and disciplined also plays a part in the success of the group. The leader must maintain order, so that the group functions in a way that everyone benefits from it.
Carbonell, M. How To Solve The People Puzzle. [MBS Direct]. Retrieved
Jacobs, E. E., Schimmel, C. J., Masson, R. L., & Harvill, R. L. (2016). Group counseling:
Strategies and skills.
Group Leadership Skills
As I read the assigned readings this week, I made the determination that I am mainly a transactional leader. I can see some emerging skills within myself in regards to transformational skills, but more experience and training is needed (Forsyth, 2019). A transactional leader is skilled in recognizing achievements, providing direction and feedback for the group, defining expectations, negotiating for resources, supervising, and intervening when appropriate (Jacobs, Schimmel, Masson, & Harvill, 2016). I have some work to do as I focus on improving my group leading skills to that of a transformational level. Some difficulties include challenging members with high standards as I attempt to inspire others. This is a difficult aspect for me as I am so used to just barely keeping my head above water and I have the tendency to project that feeling as we attempt to accomplish tasks as a group. I enjoy engaging with people on an individual level (a characteristic of an ideal transformational leader) but I feel I lack the energy necessary to develop and coach people beyond that (Forsyth, 2019).
In the readings, we learn optimal attributes for an effective group leader. Some skills that come easy to me include active listening, clarification and questioning, linking, mini-lecturing, tone-setting, encouraging/ supporting and modeling/ self-disclosure (Jacobs, Schimmel, Masson, & Harvill, 2016). Personally, I find it very enjoyable to identify even the smallest improvements and victories and encourage those around me. In a group setting, I enjoy reading the body language of the members in an effort to further the conversation and set an affable tone. Digging down to the heart of the matter is fun for me, a hobby of sorts, and clarifying the main issue comes easily to me. We have all been blessed with gifts from God and I believe, at this stage in my life, I should be able to identify a few of those gifts.
Some skills that are not a natural thing for me and need continued sharpening include the skill of reflecting, summarizing, identifying allies, and developing a keener sense of multicultural understanding. In reference to reflecting, I just plain forget to do it. I like to move forward and reflection happens in my mind, but my lips forget to voice it. Reflection is extremely important in order to keep the entire group on the same page while also allowing the individual member to feel that he/ she is being understood accurately (Jacobs, Schimmel, Masson, & Harvill, 2016).
Summarizing is in the same vein as reflection as specific details are pulled from the speaker’s points in an effort to focus the group on the same raised concern. This does not come easily for me on the outside of my brain- but it is happening inside- I just forget to voice it and give the credit to the speaker. I tend to see the issue and run with it, all by myself. It would be an exercise in cohesion if I could learn to voice the great points made by group members and give them the credit for allowing the group to dig deeper.
Multicultural competence is, I believe, an ever changing skill which will always need revisiting and continued education. We can always know more than we do about the cultures, taboos, and acceptable norms for all of God’s children. Just acknowledging the fact that the group is inherently different from one another while at the same time being inherently similar as children of God- bound together in love and a desire to understand, a group can build upon that foundation and become ultimately effective.
Forsyth, D. (2019). Group dynamics (7th ed.). Cengage Learning Inc,. Boston, MA.
Jacobs, E., Schimmel, C., Masson, R., Harvill, R. (2016). Group counseling: Skills and strategies (8th ed.). Cengage Learning, Boston, MA.
Leading Group Sessions
Groups are known to prosper with a positive leadership influence. In general, people prefer to be led than to be leaderless, which leads to promoting the group-level process that evaluates members who have inherent characteristics of either task or relationship-motivated leadership skills (Forsyth, 2019). The emergence of leaders can be determined by identifying traits in an individual that are likely suitable to move the group forward towards common goals. Traits such as expertise, mental and emotional intelligence, creativity, conscientiousness, organized, self-controlled, achievement-oriented, and comfort or willingness to speak are common and desirable leadership competencies (Forsyth, 2019).
Sometimes leaders are moved forward by a group simply due to unchallenged bias such as the way someone looks. The implicit leadership theory (ILT) states that individuals in groups may be unaware of what drives their actions towards or away from leadership candidates. Group members are more likely to be acting upon preconceived ideas of leadership qualities that are believed to produce successful outcomes for the issue at hand (Forsyth, 2019).
I have a democratic relationship-motivated leadership style stemming from my personality that presents confidently and relies on emotional intelligence when navigating and motivating groups. I use keen perception to link member commonalities while managing tone, energy, and pace (Jacobs et al., 2106). Active listening, using reflection and clarification, encouraging, and relaying pertinent information are observable skills needed for leading a group. More subtle skills such as the use of the eyes, tone of voice, energy, and self-disclosure as a means of modeling are powerful group influencers initiated by the leader (Jacobs et al., 2106).
The most effortless group skills based on my leadership style promote a connection between members and the leader, so it is no surprise that the most challenging skill is in confronting, which identifies the error of an individual’s action causes isolation rather than promoting inclusion. Although I do not have a problem confronting people one on one, I have yet to learn how to confront in a group setting effectively.
A democratic relationship-motivated leadership style promotes an agreed-upon “obedience” to leadership direction allotted by the groups endorsing power and status given to their leader(s). Of course, not all groups function well in this format, particularly when goals are mandated, such as in the case of an anger management learning group. The democratic group likely relies on referent leadership power based on mutual respect, but a more structured approach is likely needed with resistant participants (Forsyth, 2019).
A court-appointed group leader would demonstrate a legitimate expert power stance to provide the structure needed to engage resistant group members. A hierarchical structure is likely to evoke more obedience; therefore, a court-appointed group leader would demonstrate status by exhibiting behaviors that signal deference and submissiveness (Forsyth, 2019).
Forsyth, D. R. (2019). Group dynamics (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage. ISBN: 97811337408851.
Jacobs, E. E., Schimmel, C. J., Masson, R. L., & Harvill, R. L. (2016). Group counseling: Strategies and skills (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage. ISBN: 9781305087309.