Novice employees are often enthusiastic and motivated to work. They often have numerous ideas and have the stamina to implement a variety of projects. Julie Mok is one of such enthusiastic employees. Nonetheless, this category of people can often be dissatisfied with their jobs due to certain disappointment (Pfeffer 2007). Pfeffer (2007) notes that this disappointment is a result of wrong expectations and conflicts. Again, this is the case with Julie as she was promised to work in a team of professionals where she could generate creative ideas. Instead, Julie’s ideas are ignored, and, more so, one of the team members has taken up the role of a senior. It is possible to consider three possible strategies Julie could use to overcome existing issues.
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However, before assessing possible methods, it is important to understand what is happening in the team. Hence, Julie is a young HR professional who has numerous ideas but who is ignored by the rest. Harry Main is an illicit leader in the group, which is supposed to be a team of equals responsible for different tasks. Apparently, Enrique is facing certain personal issues, but he does not get support from the team. Moreover, Harry threatens to tell the boss about Enrique’s early leaves.
It is clear that Harry is trying to be an autocratic leader. Gonos and Gallo (2013, p. 159) stress that such managers tend to “change subordinate’s obligations,” do not leave the space for employees, and are uncompromising. At the same time, Vondey (2008) notes that any leadership presupposes followers. In other words, the rest of the team accepted the rules set by Harry and took up the roles of followers.
It is difficult to understand how exactly Harry gained this kind of authority, but it is easy to trace tools he uses to remain a leader in the team. Gonos and Gallo (2013) note that autocratic leaders often become a link between team members and top management. Harry utilises this strategy, for example, in his relationships with Enrique. He also takes up the role of a speaker of the team to tell Julie they do not need her ideas. He always appeals to his experience when talking with Julie. This is also one of the strategies used by autocratic leaders who are not eager to listen to other members of the team.
It is important to have these tools in mind while considering ways to act in this kind of conflict. The first strategy to be analysed can involve the development of proper leader’s and followers’ roles. Vondey (2008) emphasises that these roles should be properly defined to avoid any conflicts. Thus, Julie can address other members of the team talking about their responsibilities, their experience and the way they see Harry or the leader in the group. This can help Julie, as well as other members of the team, understand that Harry has taken up the role of the leader but cannot handle this responsibility adequately. Clearly, this should not be gossiping or accusing Harry of everything. This should be a constructive discussion of the way team works. In any case, Julie will have more information on the history of the team and the responsibilities of each member. This is unlikely to lead to new conflicts as Julie will not oppose to anyone but will simply ask for help from more experienced colleagues.
It is also possible to play according to the rules which exist in the team. Confrontation can spoil Julie’s credentials and compromise her whole work on the project. She can lose the opportunity to work on the international project, but this project is one of her goals and, hence, she has to make wise choices. It is noteworthy that researchers state that it is possible to become a follower when all principles and values are shared by the leader and the followers (Pfeffer 2007). Therefore, even if Julie accepts the role of the follower and follows Harry’s instructions, new conflicts will appear in the future. Admittedly, this strategy will have short-living outcomes.
It is also possible to address the HR professionals and supervisors Julie was talking to before her employment. Julie can clarify her responsibilities and appeal to their promise to work in an open team where her ideas can be heard. However, this way can also lead to confrontation with Harry and the rest of the team as the rest of the members seem to be submissive to Harry. This strategy will also lead to new conflicts and can have negative effects on Julie’s plans to work for the international project.
On balance, it is possible to note that Julie has found herself in an unpleasant situation involving conflict with a team member who has taken up the role of the elicit leader of the team. There are several strategies Julie can employ, but some of them can lead to new conflicts. The most effective strategy is to talk to other members of the team to identify the reasons why Harry has the authority to decide for all the team members. This can help Julie and the rest of the team members to understand that all members of the team can be creative and take responsibility for their decisions.
Gonos, J, & Gallo, P 2013, ‘Model for leadership style evaluation’, Management, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 157-168. Web.
Pfeffer, J 2007, ‘Human resources from an organizational behaviour perspective: some paradoxes explained’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 115-134. Web.
Vondey, M 2008, ‘Follower-focused leadership: effect of follower self-concepts and self-determination on organizational citizenship behavior‘, Emerging Leadership Journeys, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 52-61. Web.