All entries for May 2010
May 23, 2010
In this game nick is a really aggressive and talent person. I really appreciated the contribution from my team members, Roy, Sid and Nick. I learned a lot by working with them.
I found a common drawback of leaders in this module, people always forgot to clarify their plan and goal at first. So team members do not know what to do next. Although the leader has clear idea of whole plan, team members cannot follow and support him due to lack of knowledge.
As a capable leader like Nick, he can do the whole game by himself, but team members feel a sense of loss because of less contribution to this work. We were discussing about how much work should be done by managers? It is fine for a leader to do work overtime in a day or in a week, even in a month. However, work is years by years, do you want to work overtime for years. This is not only practical but also rational. Cleaver leader like to delegate his jobs to suitable person and support him to finish it.
I commit the same mistake in SM module, and I am too aggressive in the game and make a lot conflicts. I know it is hard for aggressive person to follow other's ideas, but if you want to be an excellent leader, you have to support others' ideas and delegate your authority to team members.
May 22, 2010
I always think that leader is not to lead the team but he need to coach the team members to do the right thing. In Wednesday¡¯s exercise, people think coaching is providing options rather than suggestion. It makes a different idea what is leadership. I still kept the habit talk to others my ideas at first until this year, that makes me less listen to others ideas. Sometimes I try to persuade them do things according to my way. This is dangerous habit for a leader, because if I tell my opinion first, other team members will not tell their ideas in order to avoid conflicts. I suggest the way which may be the best, if they do thing only because they are afraid of me rather than they indeed accept that, this definitely causes lower efficiency. Give them some options, and let them choose which they like best. People involved in decisions will feel more responsible for this task, and they generally pay more attention and energy to fulfill this goal.
In hotel game I volunteer to be a leader of our team. I am confident of myself, but I feel uncomfortable competing with other team members when I am working in china. Whether I win or not, it may break harmony in this team.
When I was an undergraduate, I liked to compete with others, I was eager to win, but this made a lot of conflicts between me and our classmates. After I worked in engineering company, I tried to avoid competitions, however, some colleagues were hostile to me, because they thought I may be their competitors.
To work with talent team members is always a challenge for everyone. Lack of essential professional skills, it make me feel unimportant and depressed. I rely on myself too much rather than our team, which is vital drawback of many confident people.
In an energetic team, I learned that I should delegate my tasks to these talent employees, they may challenge my authority. How to manage this? Try to balance the influence of all employees, especially the introvert ones. Find a job or task they can do better than these talent employees, this may unlock people¡¯s potential. After they build their confidence, they may get respects from other. This reduces the influence of stars, but it makes the whole team running efficiently. As for extrovert person, I should support them and appraise them after they do a good job.
In a passive team, I should lead the whole team for the goal. I should work by myself at first, and then bring them to this task. If they feel they do a lot of contribution to this project, they will work harder to the goal since they enjoy the successful feeling. In this situation, I should be more extrovert and responsible for my tasks, because if I do not stand out, the team will be disordered and out of my control or silence all the time.
May 19, 2010
I have to attend endless meetings which are useless to me when I am working in former company. That become one of my major job, but comparing with my director it is a piece of cake, because he hardly do anything else except meetings. However, meeting is usually useless and waste of time, there are various reasons, such as no right to make decision. The real reason is people holding meetings seldom know how to arrange successful meetings, they organize meetings by their habits rather than successful process. If they are luck, the meeting may be effective.
This is some tips learned from module, wish it is useful.
l Send agenda and content ahead of time, make sure right person come to the meeting, do not try to ask everyone to come, if the meeting is useless to someone, you still ask them to come, this may breach mutual trust.
l Restate agenda at the beginning, let people know what they will do in this meeting.
l Summarize the main point after a topic, to make sure everyone got the idea.
l Check all of participants involved in this meeting, and check whether they understand the opinion, and then tell them what they have to do after meeting.
l Stop people who do not listen or respect to others, guarantee spokesman feel their presentation is important to others.
May 10, 2010
In the interest of integrating last article, I share some of my experience.
People in followers' position always feel reluctant to influence their leaders, so do I. I think I worked short period, do not obtain enough professional experience. When team leader distribute tasks and discuss solutions, I seldom express my ideas. This make middle managers regard me as taciturn man and lower work efficiency. I do not know this until I leave the job. Actually, followers generally have three kinds of power. The first one is skills and talents in professional field, which I mentioned before. The second is to persuade leaders to approve your opinions by means of desired outcome. The third is your position which can make information flow or organize a network of relationship.
Nowadays there exists a perspective 'managing leaders'. When I am working, managers arranged tasks to me in disordered sequence, because they never ever adopt project management ways. They always follow the rule first come first done. I found that if I work in the sequence of their arrangement, sometimes I am fairly busy and sometimes I have nothing to do. So it is important to ask managers their schedule and goal, and then I can arrange the important tasks first rather than the emergent tasks.
We always care too much about ourselves, therefore we often ask managers what we can improve. However, we never consider how to help managers to be good managers. Ask them for advices, and make them think you value their advice. Do not try to deceive them and criticize them behind, sometimes disagreeing their opinion make them trust you more. As a follower it does not mean less power, we can depend of surrounding people not only boss but also colleagues.
It is easy to answer the question 'do you have to be a follower before you become a leader'. Yes, definitely. However, this question can be divided into two layers. One is how to become an effective follower, and the other is how an effective follower becomes an effective leader.
Before I came to UK, I never have a chance to become a leader in company, because our company¡¯s culture regards professional skills and age as the major criteria to choose a leader. Young generation criticizes about this structure, some have to leave this company seeking more chances. I am one of them expecting improving my knowledge structure and broaden my vision, but I got a lot of experience to observe all kinds of leader both successful and unsuccessful. I learn a lot from their behavior. From the cooperation with them and the knowledge I learned from here, there are some of my opinions to become an effective follower.
You have to change youself from dependent follower to independent follower, and then to interdependent follower. In order to fulfill this objective, firstly you¡¯d better to be proactive. Try to think about the end in your mind at the beginning, and do important thing first. After you become an independent follower, if you want to influence others, you have to consider about win-win result and understand others first, and then let youself be understood.
It is simple to say it, but hard to carry out. In western culture, people are eager to express their ideas, so they always keep talking and are aggressive to force others to agree. Seldom listen to others, it will happy to us when we are talking. In eastern culture, people always avoid conflicts, they are intended to keep silence all the time, this is a kind of passive mind.
May 06, 2010
Why do I say so? In Chinese culture, it is dangerous for a leader to let his colleagues or boss know what he is thinking. It is fairly different from western culture which regards energetic, persuasive and innovative character as the indispensible elements. The best leader in china is who can conceal his feeling best. That¡¯s why we seldom see president Hu laugh even smile.
Many Chinese students think European students are arrogant and hardly listen to them, so they keep silent all the time. It is common people feel unconfident when they do not speak fluent English. After the module of change management, I learned I have to change my working ways, I have to influence people surrounding me. The more I can influence the more others will respect you. When I become a leader in marketing strategy in our team, I encountered a lot of challenges from team members. I always give way because I want to keep harmony in our team, and this make me feel unhappy for a week. At that weekend I found if I want to be a leader I should have some skills. The following weeks I developed and applied these skills, controlling the process rather than express personal ideas, approving member¡¯s opinions to seek support.
Now I confront new issues, how can I stand out from the crowd? When there exist excellent competitors, whether should I change my character to be more aggressive and ambitious? I cannot learn leadership, if I really want to be a leader, I have to apply these management skills. Competition is what I really want to avoid, I am afraid for making others hate me. If I am eager to be a leader, does that mean I have to compete with colleagues fiercely, even make them feel disappointed and rancorous. I have no clear answer by now.