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Being a group leader requires an individual to have particular personality traits, as being in such a position may be challenging. This paper discusses the qualities of effective leaders and the challenges they may encounter while working with a team. It also addresses the feeling of employees’ security from the team members’ perspective and suggests a way to eliminate the adverse consequences of it. Finally, the paper considers cultural diversity and how it can be supported, concluding that this issue should be a crucial concern of a leader.
Leader’s Qualities and Challenges
Being a group leader means being responsible for other people and supporting them in their personal and professional growth. Such a position underlines that an individual sets an example for a group, which implies a lot of responsibilities. Platow et al., note that individuals need to work on their leadership position, as people follow them because of their traits and achievements, not blindly (26). Salfi et al., suggest that the qualities of a good leader may include managerial and problem-solving skills, commitment to development, clear vision of goals, and the desire to establish positive interpersonal relationships (182). Additionally, leaders should be flexible, as often they need to change the work tactics to lead the groups to success. Being courageous to implement innovative approaches and having patience during failures are other significant traits. Finally, a leader should be always present and available for the group to listen to their concerns and discuss their ideas.
There are several challenges leaders may encounter while guiding a team. One of them is perceiving positive mood within the group when something is out of the plan, or when people feel discouraged. A leader should always try to make them enthusiastic about working towards the common goal and ensure that they are ready to work for the result. Moreover, it may be challenging to manage resistance within a group, that is why a leader should be responsive to the feedback and consider individuals’ opinions while making decisions. Another significant challenge is unifying the team and developing positive relationships between its members. Finally, it may be difficult for a leader to generate ideas that could effectively solve existing problems or ensure development and growth.
Individuals should feel secure in a group as it eliminates negative emotions they may experience while interacting with each other and the leader, as well as improves communication within the team (Liu et al. 110). Moreover, the feeling of insecurity can harm their performance. For group members, it is necessary to feel valued by the company to reduce the feeling of insecurity. For example, if employees’ concerns are ignored, they may become self-conscious and anxious. Moreover, many team members may experience a feeling of physical insecurity. For example, women may worry about possible sexual abuse in the workplace. To eliminate such concerns, leaders need to establish trust-based relationships with the team. They ought to address the concerns and explain that harassment will not be tolerated and that they aim to create a safe working environment.
Another condition that is necessary for establishing the feeling of security in a group is that the workplace is open for discussions. Team members need to be sure that they are encouraged to create innovative ideas, and that their suggestions for improvement will be heard. At the same time, anonymity is also crucial for the group’s security. If there are sensitive topics involved in the work, it is necessary to provide the team members with the opportunity to express their honest opinion through anonymous feedback forms. These aspects may seem insignificant for a leader at first sight but can have a great value for the group.
Cultural Diversity Issues
Adhikari and Groeneveld suggest that cultural diversity can have a significant impact on individual and group outcomes (151). It means that managing diversity in the workplace is one of the primary tasks of an effective leader. If not addressed effectively, it may result in communication difficulties, conflicts, and a high turnover rate. One of the techniques a leader can utilize to support diversity in establishing educational programs on the topic for the team members. It will ensure that all individuals understand what impact various cultural backgrounds may have on employees’ decisions and ideas and how to approach them. Moreover, a leader must communicate with minorities of the team to learn about their concerns and eliminate them. For example, if a Hispanic employee feels insecure working with exclusively white team members, a leader should consider his or her interests and either establish a culture-related discussion with the group or move the worker to a more diversified unit.
Effective leaders ought to be able to perform problem-solving activities, consider the group’s concerns, be committed to the development, courageous, and patient. The challenges they may encounter include remaining positive, managing resistance and distress, and developing healthy relationships within the team. To enhance individuals’ feelings of security, leaders should address their concerns and creating space for both open discussions and anonymity. Managing diversity issues is also crucial to establish a positive environment for the group.
Ashikali, Tanachia, and Sandra Groeneveld. “Diversity Management in Public Organizations and Its Effect on Employees’ Affective Commitment: The Role of Transformational Leadership and the Inclusiveness of the Organizational Culture.” Review of Public Personnel Administration, vol. 35, no. 2, 2015, pp. 146-168.
Liu, Sheng-min, et al. “Authentic Leadership and Whistleblowing: Mediating Roles of Psychological Safety and Personal Identification.” Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 131, no. 1, 2015, pp. 107-119.
Platow, Michael J., et al. “There Is No Leadership If No-One Follows: Why Leadership Is Necessarily a Group Process.” International Coaching Psychology Review, vol. 10, no. 1, 2015, pp. 20-37.
Salfi, Naseer Ahmad, et al. “Qualities of Good Leader: Perceptions of Teachers and Head Teachers and District School Managers.” Public Policy and Administration Review, vol. 2, no. 2, 2014, pp. 171-188.