Effective leader-follower relations are crucial to the survival and success of groups and organizations. With the rapidly evolving advances in technology and an increasingly globalized world, leaders continuously face challenges of maintaining a close relationship with their followers in the absence of the traditional face-to-face interactions (Luisser & Achua, 2010). Conflict between leaders and followers are common in most organizations, and various theories have been proposed to define the most effective leader-follower relationship. The quality of leader-follower relationship is defined by extent of trust between a leader and a follower, the competence of the inferior perceived harmony in the relationship and the degree of reciprocity. The purpose of the case study analysis is to explore real-life or situational conflicts in an organization and to recommend how such conflicts should be management using various leadership and relation theories. The paper subsequent section of the paper is organized into three sections. The first section identifies what the leader (Betty) did wrong prior to the meeting and what she and Don ought to have done to avoid missing the deadline. The Second section describes characteristics, actions and utterances during the meeting that made the meeting ineffective and what ought to have been done to improve the meeting. The third section describes what the follower (Don) should have done to be effective. The fourth and fifth sections conclude the case and provide recommendations to both parties on improving leader-follower relationship.
What did Betty do wrong prior to the meeting, and what could have been done to avoid missing the deadline?
Betty delegated the responsibility of completing the staffing report to Don. Betty made two key mistakes prior to the meeting. First, she delegated her responsibilities without assessing the competence of the subordinate. Secondly, she failed to follow-up on the delegated job to check on the progress. Effective delegation requires that a leader carefully to consider various factors related to the task, and time needed, and characteristics of the follower before delegating. A leader should delegate tasks work when there is not adequate time to attend to priority tasks, when followers need more challenges and opportunities, and when the tasks and responsibilities match follower skill levels and experiences. Also, a leader must find the proper person for the job and provide careful instructions. Effective delegation allows people to prosper in their uniqueness. In this case, Betty should have considered the competence of the subordinate. According to the description, Don has not been meeting his deadlines and as such delegation would not serve to improve his uniqueness. In addition, she was away for one week, and we have not been told whether she was following on the progress of the work. If a delegation is to be effective, then the individual who is delegating and the individual to whom the task is delegated must regularly communicate (Pankake, 2010)
What did Betty do wrong in the meeting itself, and what could have been done to make the meeting more effective?
During the meeting, Don does several activities that reduce the effectiveness of the meeting. First, he is defensive and uses tactics such as excuses and apologies in a defensive way to avoid blame for his poor performance. He states that the report was complex that expected and it required more time to complete. He also stated that he was waiting report from other departments to compile the final draft. Consequently, he is shifting blame and using a lot of excuses that make him sound defensive. In order to improve the meeting, the two should have engaged on a constructive discussion on the factual factors that could have led to the delay. Betty should not adopt the approach she used while Don should not have gone defensive, but rather accept his delays. The two would have then worked on modalities to finish the report on time.
What should Don have done to be more effective?
Don should have used various tools to manage his work perfectly. Planning and scheduling are two important tools that could have helped him (Winker, 2010). Planning involves prioritizing activities and identifying the necessary resources to ensure the activities are completed on time and within the allocated resources. Don should have considered the urgency of the report and its priority in what was assigned to him or his daily responsibilities. After identifying tasks and their order of priority, Don would have developed an effective schedule assigning each job according to the urgency and availability of resources to complete. That way, he would have ensured he has all the necessary input to complete the report on time. In the case of non-cooperation from other departments, an open communication with the manager would have helped. The manager would have intervened to facilitate his progress by ensuring the other departments give him the necessary reports. In addition,
Luisser R & Achua C (2010). Leadership: Theory, application, & Skills development. Cengage learning.
Pankake A (2010). Implementation. Bartlett Publishers, New York, USA.
Winker I (2010). Contemporary leadership theories. Enhancing the understanding of complexity, subjectivity and dynamic of leadership. Springer publishers, USA.
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