Value in Feedback
This is an interesting exercise. However, I do not see any addition to leadership development in it. Leaders, in most cases, do not get the approval of all the people. This distinctive nature of leaders makes them and their decisions natural. The feedback in this closing exercise is only important in character improvement exercises or value addition to the nature of leadership. It is not, however, applicable to leadership development. This exercise was for the latter.
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Human beings are opinionated. They do not paint a fair picture of everything when presented with an opportunity. This massages their critical side. Some of the recipients, for example, offer weird suggestions to improve Stan’s leadership skills. Some say that his hairstyle is not like that of a leader. Some have the nerve to tell him that he imitates real estate mogul Donald Trump just because he is a leader in a similar sector as Stan (Ideal Library, 2007).
It is not, however, an entirely bad exercise. This is when we think of people offering good advice. For example, a sizeable number of participants agreed that Stan’s reserved nature is not good for leaders. Leaders need to be assertive and confident. These two characteristics are not in favor of Stan. Therefore, if the person who is on the spot does not take the bad comments seriously, he can gain from the input offered by fellow leaders. I think restrictions should be added to the exercise to avoid too personal comments like calling someone sexist!
Takeaways from Feedback
Stan should not feel intimidated by personal opinions. For example, it is uncouth for one of the women participants to call Stan sexist. It is also quite personal to refer to someone’s hair and suggest that it is a deterrent to leadership. He should not take the fact that he may be less critical seriously (Ideal Library, 2007). This is because he was not in a position to be critical in this particular session. In a real job situation, it is possible to criticize. This is because there are persons who are under you whose actions you are responsible for. However, in this particular context, the persons involved are of the same caliber. This beats the whole sense of been utterly critical. It only presents a person with the opportunity to air his or her opinions. Stan should also take away the fact that other minor things like his supposed shyness (Dubrin, 2010). This is because there is no direct relationship between shyness and leadership performance as long a person is assertive enough.
Reaction to Comment
Virginia should not react to the comment by Hugh concerning the hairstyle Stan. However, in this particular context, the session is for leadership. It is not a personality exercise. Nevertheless, as a leader, a person is required to present a professional look. If Stan was not considerate of that, then Virginia has a right to ignore the comment and let Stan think about it. However, if by professional standards Stan’s hair was looking good, then it is rather unprofessional for Hugh to say that. This is because of the comment borders on personal rather than the intended learning that this conference offers. Virginia should also consider the other persons’ concerns as regards Stan’s hairdo. Since only Hugh found it weird, Virginia should look into the issue and find out whether it has any basis (Dubrin, 2010).
Dubrin, A. J. (2010). Leadership: Research Findings, Practice, Skills. London: Rochester Institute of Technology.
Ideal Library. (2007). Leadership Development in Organizations. Web.
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