We came across a framework a little while back that we felt helped managers go about building the “BEST” team. Put simply: B = balance – look at individual team styles to determine how the individuals preferred to contribute in their team. E = engage – look at the individuals talents and strengths, but also why they seek to make different contributions. S = share the goal T = trust them, let go. There are also ongoing leadership behaviours that seek to strike a right balance between care and commerciality. (Blake & Mouton’s 3P’s model) Our recent article on “engage your brain” gives some insight into how a leader might begin to work with these principles :
- Informed free choice ……….. people are kept informed and encouraged to influence outcomes that affect them.
- Active participation ……………this is the key to gaining engagement, commitment and creativity. High productivity with high morale
- Mutual trust ……………………..confidence is based on demonstrated competence by both leader and individual
- Open communication ………..an open expression of thoughts and feelings is promoted
- Goals and objectives ………….understanding and agreement with goals and objectives provides the basis for co-operation
- Conflict resolution …………….when conflict arises, differences are confronted and resolved
- Personal responsibility ………each person is responsible for their own activities as well as sharing responsibility for team effort
- Feedback …………………………feedback is used to learn from experience why actions are effective or ineffective and to learn from them
- Work activities …………………engaging in complex work activities or a variety of work activities is more conducive to effective performance
Leadership needs a balanced approach at all times.
It’s by now a well established fact that productivity, creativity, mental and physical health are better served when leaders adopt behaviours that encourage engagement.
Blake & Mouton’s “3P’s Model” enabled us to identify with the practical behaviours needed for leaders to strike the right balance between care and commerciality.
This approach promotes the idea of leaders, pausing, engaging their brains, thinking about the situation they are in and adopting the following behaviours :
- Giving information that can then lead to a free choice and using this approach as the basis for personal action rather than enforced compliance.
- Seeking active participation in problem solving and decision making as the basis for growth and development.
- Working from a position of mutual trust and respect as being the basis for sound human relationships rather than suspicion and defensiveness.
- Communicating openly to seek mutual understanding rather than one-way, hidden, or closed communication which increases barriers to understanding.
- Ensuring that activities are carried out within a framework of goals and objectives for self-direction rather than direction from outside.
- Conflict resolution is by direct problem-solving confrontation rather than by other ways i.e. suppression, smoothing, withdrawing, compromising or manipulation.
- Promoting that one is responsible for one’s own actions rather than being responsible to someone else.
- Using feedback to learn from experience rather than repeating one’s mistakes because experience is not reviewed or learnt from.
- Ensuring a person is engaging in complex work activities or a variety of activities in contrast to engaging in simple ones or in repetitions of the same activity.
This is situational leadership, but with an emphasis on engagement.