ISACA COBIT 5 – Team Management (BOK III) Part 3

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  • January 27, 2023
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10. Group Behaviors (BOK III.C.1)

Hey, welcome back. Earlier in this section when we talked of team phases, team stages, stages such as forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. There we talked about different leadership styles. Depending upon the stage of the team building, you need different style of leadership in different phases of team formation. So here we are talking of situational leadership depending on two things in your team, whether your team is willing to do the job and whether your team is able to do the job.

So, depending upon these two factors, you can change your leadership style because it is said in leadership we don’t have one size fit all solution. So you need to adapt to the need of the team, need of your followers. So depending on the level of your followers, whether they are milling or less willing, whether they are able or less able, you need to change your leadership style. So based on these two things, which is willingness and ability, there are four different approaches of leadership and these are directing, coaching, supporting and delegating.

On the next slide we will be looking at this matrix which tells under which condition you use what leadership style. So let’s look at that and that will give us a better understanding of this topic. So, as we earlier talked, depending on the willingness and ability, you can use one of these four leadership styles. So here in this matrix we have x axis which is willingness. So here is the willingness. On this side this is positive, on this side it is negative. Similarly on the vertical axis we have ability. So ability is positive at the top and negative at the bottom. So the top two are the boxes when your team has ability to do the job and the bottom two boxes are when your team has less ability to do the job. Let’s take one of the example here, let’s take directing. So when your team is less willing to do the job, they are less motivated to perform and they have low ability.

So it’s a low willingness, low ability. Then the leadership style needed for that case is directing. You will be directing your team to do the job, specifically telling what to do and what not to do and give you the result. Similarly, if we take another end of this, which is delegating. Delegating is used when your team has ability to perform, they know what they have to do and they are willing. So they have willingness, they have ability. In that case, you need delegating. You delegate the job to the team and let them do and give you some feedback how things are going. And in exceptional cases they might ask you a question or two. So that’s how you do delegating. Let’s go through these four leadership style one by one on next four slides, starting with directing on the next slide.

So, as we earlier said, directing comes when your team has low willingness and low ability to do the job in hand. So in this case, leader takes the direct instructive rule. Leader instructs the team what to do, what not to do, defines that task closely supervises and it is one way communication, it’s more of a giving direction to the team and getting the job done. This is usually done when you have less time, less time to build your team. Preferably you will want to build your team, teach them how to do that, so that next time they can do that, you might want to coach them. But here the time is less, team is less willing, team has low ability. So you just want to get this thing done. And mostly when it is time is less and the consequences are serious. So that’s where you use the directing approach of leadership. Coming to the next style of leadership which is coaching.

Coaching is done when you have followers or your team which has high willingness to do the job. They want to do the job, they are willing to do the job, but the only thing is they have low ability, they don’t know how to do that. So in that case you need to teach them, you need to coach them so that not only they do this job, but that coaching will be helpful in future jobs as well. So this thing which is coaching is done by defining the task. You seek ideas and suggestions. So it’s a two way communication and you provide supervision as a coach, you support and boost confidence of the team. So that’s how coaching is done. In case of high willingness and low ability, your team will not only finish this job, but similar job in future they will be able to do themselves.

And at that time in future you might want to dedicate the job rather than coaching because at that time they would have ability to do the job. Coming to the next style of leadership, next approach of the leadership which is supporting. Supporting is done when you have followers who have low willingness but have high ability for the task. So these people are masters, they know how to do the thing, they know what to be done. But the only thing is they are lacking motivation, they are lacking willingness. Probably they are not clear why this job is being done. So you might have to explain to them the reason and why this is required.

So in this case, the role of leader is to persuade, to cooperate, to motivate and build confidence. Because team knows what to do. You just need to motivate, you just need to tell them why this job is important and team can do the job, but they are refusing to do because they don’t know why this job is being done. So here in supporting leader lessons, praises and makes team feel good. That is all they need. They don’t need technical expertise, they don’t need how to do the job. Just like in coaching, where the role of leader was to tell them what to do and how to do. Here leader doesn’t need to tell them what to do and how to do, because they know that leader only needs to motivate them by explaining why this is important and asking them to cooperate and motivating them coming to the next approach, which is the fourth approach of leadership, which is Delegating. And delegating is done when the team has high willingness and high ability, they know what to do and they are willing to do the job, then what do you need as a leader? Just leave them alone.

So leader still engages in decision making, but execution is mostly by the team. So there’s a less need of technical support, less need of praises. But occasionally leaders should recognize the good work because whatever you say, everyone needs a bit of praise, a bit of support, a bit of appreciation for the job. So these are the four styles of leadership situational leadership. Depending on each situation, you can use a different style of leadership.

Let’s relook at the Matrix once again on the next slide, which we saw earlier. So here we have depending on ability and willingness, you can either go for supporting delegating, directing and coaching. So as a team leader, when you need to work as a team, when you need to work as a team leader, you need to be aware of behavior, of group behavior, how things change from individual to group. So there are certain aspects which you need to be aware of when you are leading the team. And the first thing here is group thinking.

So group thinking is a term which is used when members avoid conflict and agree on a point without any critical evaluation. So if one person says that, yeah, we need to do this, then everyone will just support that without critically evaluating that. That’s a group thinking. In group thinking you are not putting your individual thoughts, your individual opinion. And that is the whole reason of having the group, having the diversity in the group, because you have a different sort of a people in the group which can give you different opinion.

But when everyone agrees to one suggestion without even evaluating that, that is the sign of group thinking. And this is a dangerous because people are not evaluating. One person says something and everyone just agrees to that. Why this happened is because when a group feels that they are invulnerable, they cannot be defeated, they are the best team. That is the time they start thinking that whatever decision one person says, everyone agrees to that.

Without thinking, without evaluating, everyone has unquestionable belief in the group that whatever we do as a group, we are going to succeed. There is no way this group can fail. And then if there is someone who opposes that, opposes the idea, then there is a group pressure, group pressure on that individual not to oppose. So if you see those sort of signs in your Six Sigma team or your any team, you need to be aware of that, that you need to avoid group thinking, because then there is no point of having a group. Another behavior in group is reluctant participants. Some people in your team, when you are having brainstorming, when you are having discussions, some participants will be reluctant participants. They will be just keeping quiet.

They will only be answering to something which is directly being asked to them. They are not actively participating in the discussion. You need to identify those reluctant participants. You need to encourage them to be part of that. And when you encourage them, make sure that you are not embarrassing them by specifically pointing out at them that you are reluctant participants or something. So that is how to deal with reluctant participants, that you need to encourage them to participate. You need to first identify that if someone is reluctant to participate, because that person is not adding value to the discussion, value to the brainstorming. And on the other hand, there will be some participants who will be dominating. So you need to identify them as well and keep control of them. So let’s look at the dominating participants on the next slide.

So just like reluctant participants, you need to identify dominant participants also in the team, in the meeting, in the brainstorming session, because they create unbalanced in the participation. Because one or two persons only out of ten if they are the only one who are speaking, then all the decisions will be made as per their opinion. Only because others don’t have a chance to put their opinion. So you need to identify people who are dominating. And if somebody is dominating, then you need to take your position as a leader to support other people and ask these dominating people that let’s listen to what other so opinion is on this subject so that you can have a balanced opinion on the subject. Another group behavior you need to monitor as a team leader is digressions.

So digressions is if you are in a meeting and meeting goes off track, your topic goes in a totally different direction, you need to monitor that. You need to bring back the discussion to the main topic or the topic of the discussion or the topic of the meeting, rather than talking about different things which was not as a part of this agenda or this meeting. In this case.

If you are doing a Six Sigma project, your team charter might help you. Your team charter tells that what is part of this project, what is not part of this project. So if things are going off track which are not part of this Six Sigma project or which are not part of this meeting agenda, then you can point out that let’s keep that out of this meeting.

We can discuss this out of the meeting or something so that your meeting is on track. And meeting agenda is one thing which is very important, because if you have a meeting agenda that will definitely help you in keeping your meetings well in time and well on track, that’s another thing you need to consider that when you have a meeting, make sure that you have a proper meeting agenda. So this completes our discussion on various types of group behaviors which you need to monitor as a team leader.

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