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Leadership, Team Building and Communication

Introduction

The case of the River Café shows that effective leadership, communication and team building are the main success factors for every organization Communication and leadership are two essential parts of modern organizations, so my interests are to investigate the relations between these two concepts and their impact on staff and managers (Segriovanni and Glickman, 2006). Communication and leadership are concerned with setting goals, establishing policies and programs, and implementing business action for the entire firm. Its major tasks are to translate consumer wants and needs, actual and potential, into profitable products and services that the company is capable of producing; to cultivate markets to support these products; and to program the distribution activities necessary to reach the markets. Management, like leadership, is ethically neutral. Managers mobilize and allocate resources; they staff and ensure the continuing vitality of the team; they create and maintain appropriate procedures.

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Discussion Section

Leadership

Leadership style of Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers allows me to say that they are good leaders and managers who take into account short-term and long-tyerm goals of the Café. Rose Gray’s leadership style can be determined as situational leadership. The uniqueness of leadership approach followed by Rose Gray is that she, as a leader, usually communicates on several levels at the same time. While she is imparting information (or listening to it) he is also communicating ideas and values, feelings and emotional energy. Rose Gray is looking for a response on this level: a change in morale which will lead to the more energetic pursuit of an attainable success. As a good leader, Rose Gray is not impersonal transmitter of information. She communicates his inner thoughts, emotions and spirit. In particular, he imparts energy. “Ruth and Rose philosophy” is to use what’s in season and then select the best quality” (Case study p. 139). The style and skills of Ruth Rogers can be described as transformation leadership. Ruth leadership can be characterized as a process when a leader is truly inspirational able to influence others to achieve extraordinary result from high potential performance (Smith1982). Motivational work must be done from a leader towards his employees whose performance accomplishments help the organization to compete and succeed in different spheres (Armandi et al 2003).

Still, the leadership skills of Rose and Ruth appropriate in one context may be irrelevant or inappropriate in another organizational context. Situational leadership style is effective only if it is applied to task behavior and relationship behavior. This style is based on the idea that leaders evaluate unique characteristics of subordinates and adopt their leadership styles to employees’ needs and organizational demands (Barker, 2001). This model vividly portrays that it is impossible to create an ideal leadership style because successful leadership can be achieved only by careful selection of the right style (Higson and Wilson 1995). Rose’s style should reflect acceptance and readiness of the followers, their ability and wiliness to perform a specific task. In some satiations, leaders should select the direction themselves and direct employees. If employees are passive and unmotivated, path-goal leadership could help a leader to assist followers and support them. Other leadership theories would not work in this situation (Boehnke and Bontis2003).

Emotional Intelligence Competences

The emotional intelligence competences are seeking others’ highest good, treating others with dignity, showing respect for others and genuine interest in them. He also was seen to be firm and to reprimand when necessary, to give autonomy to followers, to encourage self-development of followers, to be participative, to be willing to teach followers, and to mix easily socially with followers. Leadership may be exercised from any direction in the space, or any value location, depending upon the dynamic constellation of the pattern of unification polarization in the group at a particular time, thus, depending upon one’s value system, leadership at a given time may be malevolent as well as benevolent (Conger 2002). A person may be appointed or elected as leader with the expectation that he or she will lead in a particular direction or directions of behavior and value realization, but may find that to hold leadership under changing conditions of polarization and unification, he or she must deviate from the expected directions, at times even need to controvert them (Charan et al 2001). There are various means of leadership, and a given leader may employ various means and combinations at various times, or change gradually over time. Behavior and change of behavior is one means, the expression or symbolization of values and change of value emphasis is another. A successful leader like Rose acts at one time or another as a model for emulation, as an evoker or provoker of other salient images, as a target of identification, projection, or transference, as a provoker of insight, as a therapist, teacher, trainer, shaper or modifier of behavior, or manager of rewards and punishments. Although leadership is usually salient, it is not always so. It may be accomplished by indirect means, and may not be easily recognized. To provoke or encourage another person to become salient as a temporary or secondary leader is an indirect means. To initiate a change in the situation, task, or crisis external to the group which provokes or requires a given kind of behavior or value emphasis, or which changes the conditions of reward and punishment, is an indirect means. This model is effective only in those situations when leaders are able to provide individualized considerations and intellectual stimulation to the followers. This style is effective if a leaders needs to motivate employees, but it would not work in low performance teams (Martin et al 2005). Continued exercise of successful leadership in most groups and situations will require the employment of indirect as well as direct means of leadership. It also follows from this conception and definition of leadership that, if one wishes to select, elect, appoint, or train individuals for leadership, one needs to be clear about the directions of behavior and values in the group that one wishes to have maximized in the longer run (Grant and Hardy, 2004).

Team Working

In River Café, the main advantage of teams is cooperation and effective project fulfillment, brainstorming solutions and positive culture. Ruth and Rose introduce informal team working. Charlie comments: “We all work together so we feel a common purpose” (Case study p. 138). At the River Café, work teams are most effective when there is high task interdependence or a high degree of coordination and collaboration required between team members to accomplish tasks. Thus, a group of consultants who are geographically dispersed and have little interaction with one another to carry out their tasks would most likely be an inappropriate context in which to implement teams (Cole, 2005). The agents would probably see such an effort as an empty, poorly developed strategy designed to capitalize on a management fad. Work teams are also more appropriate when the tasks that their members carry out are complex and well designed. The main disadvantage is a possibility of conflicts and personal differences which prevent effective communication. Teams are a good idea in the US as they allow companies and organizations to increase and improve productivity and solve problems one individual cannot do. Work teams are also more appropriate when the tasks that their members carry out are complex and well designed Effective team work is crucial for learning and knowledge acquisition process. For this age group, team communication is one of the main elements which help the organization to create high performance teams and achieve further growth and development. The benefits of teams are that a team involves individuals working together to solve problems or accomplish tasks. It is the ever-changing collective feelings, hopes, problems and pains of the community. Rather than simply “tell” employees that a certain situation or problem is interesting or important, researchers suggest that the teacher try to arouse their sense of curiosity and personal achievements (Hoyle and Wilmore 2002).

Team Competences

The main team competences are effective communication and positive climate (based on coordination practices). At the River Café, effective teamwork depends upon a number of factors including motivation, mutual understanding, cohesiveness and team spirit. Teams react to success. Just as success can enhance self-confidence and release energy potential for individuals, it also can help develop cohesion and camaraderie in groups. An example of this was reported on the basis of undersea marine research teams. Each successful undersea mission, according to the account, led to increased team cohesion. Thus, building a high-performing team is difficult, particularly if the team is working on a variety of tasks and, possibly, line activities at the same time (Cross et al 2005). Plans reduced to specific figures show where money is going or where physical input and output have taken place. At the Fiver Café, teams are an essential part any organization. Critics explain that for successful performance, team members must cooperate to achieve overall objectives of the project. In many organizations, work statements are closely connected with plans, which can be defined as a statement of intent and must be owned by the people who own the project. Even on a single project the planner’s role is to interpret the ideas held in the heads of the project team and put them down on paper. It is not the planner’s role to decide and tell people what they should be doing. This shows the quality policy at the top of the pyramid as there is probably only one policy and this singular policy might be contained within a quality manual. Board or senior-management prepare statement describing the company’s commitment to quality and the principles that the board wishes to be followed. This style can be applied to different leadership contexts but it will not work if employees are lo motivated and lack knowledge and skills. Good leaders should have full command of the three main areas of leadership model and be able to use each of the elements according to the right situation (Reed 2001).

Communication

The study of skills encourages learners to evaluate and analyze advantages and disadvantages of different approaches and tools used by management. The case of the River Café teaches that communication skills refer to the exchange of information and ideas within an organization, which helps employees do their jobs, develop a clear sense of the organization’s mission, and identify and react quickly to potential problems. There are two types of communication within the River Cafe: formal (official) and informal (unofficial). While formal lines of communication follow the company’s organizational chart, informal lines of communication are illustrated by a sociogram representing other organizational members with whom members typically interact (Cunningham and Hyman 1995). The internal communication, whether formal or informal, is done vertically and horizontally through the employees up to the management and back down, and between officers on the same level or between the department. Usually, vertical communication flows from top to bottom and on the reverse with the tasks created by top management and performed by their subordinates. In its turn, the horizontal takes place amongst similar ranking officers from left to right and vice versa. In order to create effective communication flows both official and unofficial communication are important, each fulfilling its own purpose and targets (Fulton and Maddock, 1998; Papadopoulou et al 1995).

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While the main purpose of the formal communication is to apply and manage the corporate policies, regulations and rules to keep order and corporate balance within the company, informal communication serves to improve employees’ loyalty to the company and develop their professional and personal interactions and relations. Communications in organizations follow informal channels more frequently than they follow the formal chain of command. Though, there are situations where informal and formal communications interchange within an environment. For instance, telephone conversations, email enquiries, and interactions at social gatherings may either be formal or informal, depending on the message and the manner the sender handles it. In order to ensure effective decision making, it is vital to apply appropriate communication tool or channel to carry necessary information. In the case of police departments, which are characterized by strategic, tactical and administrative decisions, communication systems like command and control, management information and operations information systems are important elements of daily communication flow. Each phase starts with a set of information and ends with a set of deliverables. At the end of each phase is a ‘gateway’ through which the project can only proceed with the relevant approvals. The team selected for analysis is a real team working for a pharmaceutical company (Zaccaro and Klimoski, 2001).

For the River Café, informal communication is not controlled by the organization, but can be very useful in analyzing the impacts for the management, interpersonal communication of employees and its influence on employee-employer relations. Usually, unofficial form of communication occurs during lunch breaks when employees interact in a more relax and informal atmosphere having their conversations within and outside the office complex (“WYPS cuts” 2008). It improves and strengthens relations between colleagues making them partners, friends, soul mates, etc. For example, in the police such unofficial communication gives an opportunity for partners to know each other better in order to develop not only professional, but personal relations as well, which are very important in stress and dangerous situations so common in that profession. If informal communication is strong, the outcome of the performance at work will be most obviously high with increased loyalty and devotion to the organization. Moreover, it helps to make the right decisions whether they are administrative, tactical, strategic, street-level or policy-related (Zaccaro and SKlimoski 2001). They also direct, delegate, and coordinate, and they provide a system of incentives to motivate and encourage productive behavior. Managers also establish reporting systems, perform evaluations, and assign accountability. Common to both managers and leaders is the focus on the results they produce, which are based on the goals they pursue. An organization’s communication climate is a reflection of its corporate culture: the mixture of values, traditions, and habits that give a company its atmosphere or personality. Successful companies encourage employee contributions by making sure that communication flows freely down, up, and across the organization chart. These companies create an open climate in two ways: by modifying the number of organizational levels and by facilitating feedback (Segriovanni and Glickman, 2006).

Conclusion

The analysis of the River Café shows that given a choice, people would rather talk to each other than write to each other. Talking takes less time and needs no composing, keyboarding, rewriting, duplicating, or distributing, and oral communication provides the opportunity for feedback. Nonetheless, oral communication, whether official or unofficial, has drawbacks. There is far less opportunity to revise the spoken words than to revise the written words. While good downward communication ensures the coordinated direction of change, efficient upward communication improves management responsiveness in sudden changes. All these communication directions are used either to support morale and productivity among the workforce or to assure that management takes advantage of employee input.

References

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Boehnke, K., Bontis, N. 2003, Transformational leadership: An examination of cross-national differences and similarities. Leadership & Organization Development Journal. 24 (1/2), 5.

Charan, R., Drotter, S., Noel, J., 2001 The Leadership Pipeline How to Build The Leadership-Powered Company, Jossey Bass: San Francisco.

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Cole, K., 2005. Management –Theory and Practice, Pearson: Australia.

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Fulton, R. L., Maddock, R. C. 1998, Motivation, Emotions, and Leadership: The Silent Side of Management. Quorum Books.

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Martin, A., Mactaggart, D., Bowden, J. 2006, The barriers to the recruitment and retention of supervisors/managers in the Scottish tourism industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. 18 (5), pp. 380 – 397. Web.

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Zaccaro, S. J., Klimoski, R. J. 2001, The Nature of Organizational Leadership: Understanding the Performance Imperatives Confronting Today’s Leaders. Jossey-Bass.

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