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I have found this course to be very appealing to me and believe that it has helped me grow as a person and as a leader. With the emphasis it has on the development of communication skills, building rapport with colleagues and subordinates, developing strategies, and delegating tasks, the knowledge and abilities I received in this course will be extremely useful in the workplace.
This course allowed me to find my weaknesses as a leader and improve on them through both theory and practice. It has permitted me to engage with people more, and I enjoyed having a team, working with it to keep everyone involved and not just compliant with my leadership, but committed to me and our educational goals. I learned to be more empathic, to better interact with the emotional and irrational sides of my followers, and efficiently motivate them.
I was able to test the full extent of my progress as a leader in our collective work, in which my group of five members analyzed the Spree Cruise Lines case study. This project was useful in two ways. On the one hand, our group was able to examine how a professional team would be dealing with a minor public relations situation, which could still be damaging if not addressed swiftly and appropriately. On the other hand, this was a good exercise in teamwork, organizing the workflow and responsibilities, as well as building respect for each other and our contributions. To achieve this goal, I employed several leadership styles. In particular, a lot of my organizational and motivational work was influenced by the affirmative and democratic styles (Barret, 2014). I endorsed discussion and interaction among my fellow students, made sure people connected to each other, learned each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and worked in a friendly atmosphere. I also made sure people were not afraid to actively participate and voice their opinions in discussions. But my leadership approach of choice and the one that I enjoyed using the most was the visionary style. I enjoyed describing the big picture, making inspirational appeals, appealing to the group’s enthusiasm. Through charm and charisma, I was able to subtly direct conversations in the direction the project needed, to the point where the team would then eagerly develop the ideas on their own.
Of course, merely charm wouldn’t get me far as a leader. The best way I found to preserve my status, was to lead by example and through respect. My part of the project was to develop the crisis-defusing message for the case study, and then to investigate the most efficient ways to communicate that message to the target audience, which in our case were the concerned and frightened passengers of the Spree Cruise Liner. I had to be impeccable in my work to maintain authority and did my best to provide material of an inspiring quality.
I used a lot of what I learned in this course as leadership tools. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, which was done for the second journal entry, played a very useful part during an early group meeting (It’s so incredible to finally be understood, n.d.). As a way to break the ice, I started discussing the test. Everyone joined in very quickly, and either recalled their past results or did the test. This not only created a fun and interesting way to get everybody to communicate but also covertly gave me glimpses into the other members of the group, allowing me to evaluate what strengths and weaknesses they might have. I also looked over my results occasionally, to determine what features of character I needed to improve, and where my weaknesses might have been.
Overall, I believe that I integrated with the group very well, which is a significant improvement from the results of my Self-Assessment of Leadership Communication Capabilities test. It was very satisfying working with other people, sharing ideas, directing workflow, analyzing criticism, providing it in return, and then seeking the reasonable compromise which would provide the best possible solutions.
Barret, D. J. (2014). Leadership Communication (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
It’s so incredible to finally be understood.(n.d.). Web.