Hersey and Blanchard developed a Situational Control Style of management and control styles to be able to present the ideal progression of any team from immaturity (level 1) through to maturity (stage 4) where management and command style progresses from directing(1), through the periods of increased management participation of instruction (2) and helping(3) to the ultimate stage where the administrator becomes relatively removed - delegating (4). This is actually the point of which the team is almost self-sufficient and perhaps includes at least one managerial/leadership successor.
I have applied a Hersey-Blanchard type questionnaire to determine my own management style. The research of the replies showed that I have a slight propensity to be directing above supporting and delegating with a smaller inclination towards a instruction style of management.
Four situations where different management styles would be appropriate for your team
Directing style - this is generally applied when personnel in the team are highly motivated to do their work but do not have much experience. It really is characterised by the manager providing close guidance and supplying specific instructions on what must be achieved.
This style would be suited, for example, to a fresh beginner to the team who may need considerable guidance relating to the functions and procedures that your team applies in the first instance.
Coaching style - this is most appropriate when staff have begun to build up in their assignments and hence have grown in confidence which has possibly lowered their level of motivation. In this instance the manager takes on a more consultative persona, asking for questions and ideas, but finally makes the ultimate decision.
I would be prepared to apply this command style to personnel who have perhaps experienced their role around 6 months, trying to pull thoughts and ideas from people to show that their opinions make sense and are valid.
Supporting style - applied when staff have progressed to an increased degree of competence and possess key ideas and input which they prefer to be heard. However, these staff may still lack self-assurance regarding taking making decisions. This style is symbolized by a reduced level of supervision and the manager becoming more participative, forming part of the group and allowing the group to reach its own decisions and apply them.
I would apply this management style when personnel have advanced to being totally proficient in their role, but perhaps there is still some self-doubt to consider the final step to make a key decision - i. e. they still need a level of re-assurance that the activities they can be taking will be the appropriate ones.
Delegating style - this is utilized where staff are highly skilled and are also stable performers, where the team is self-managing, i. e. it can plan its work, sort out its problems and take its own decisions.
This style is suitable when the team have reached the stage to be high-performers. This might be the stage where I possibly could step-back from day-to-day management of these, considering strategic management instead, and even think about progression to the next part of their/my own occupations.
Feedback from others using appropriate authority model
As I presently don't have any direct accounts (vacancy being progressed). I requested 3 of my fellow workers to complete an identical questionnaire (reactions were private). The analysis of the replies was quite various as follows:
First respondent recommended a well-balanced use of all of the 4 styles;
Second respondent suggested "directing" was my least-preferred style and this I mostly preferred a "accommodating" management style;
Analysis of the 3rd respondent's questionnaire exhibited a strong desire towards "directing" and "training" styles with the others to a much less extent.
Possibly, these reactions are not logical to analyse, as these individuals aren't my direct-reports and got to only use their knowledge of my behaviour from working alongside me to determine how I would behave in various situations recommended in the questionnaire.
I suggest that my very own hypothesis of a "directing" management style is (semi-) reinforced by the examination of my collegues' reactions. Certainly, it has been an approach I have used when performing Management System audits before.
How leadership behavior can be improved in the framework of the model
One area I have to develop is an appreciation of the huge benefits to be gained from being able to switch from one management style to some other depending upon the problem (i. e. a particular task, task or concern). A directing approach, if applied too frequently can be demotivating for the reason that staff may believe that they cannot be left alone to get on with their work, and also that they are also not asked to create their own ideas.
My own control behaviour could be improved if, where in fact the situation merited it, I required a far more "consultative" or coaching method of try to sketch ideas out of the team and make them feel as if they can be making a positive contribution. Eventually, I would like to reach the main point where I am applying a "participative" or promoting procedure - i. e. still being the first choice of the team but with a greater degree of integration so that planning and decisions are created collectively. The biggest shift that I have to make is away from a attitude which says "no-one can do the job as well as I could" and micro-managing people in order that they deliver products to my exact specs and towards a idea where I give staff more freedom to think for themselves and come up with their own (possibly better) solutions.
Recognised model to describe how groups are formed
Tuckman (1965) devised a model to explain the behaviour of groups of individuals in a number of environments. The model advises 4 unique periods that all teams experience and moreover Tuckman states a group must experience all 4 phases to use at their maximum potential.
The development is Forming; Storming; Norming and Performing.
As a team matures in conditions of its development and ability, the team dynamics change as do the inter-personal associations between the team members. The leadership style of the team head also modifies to suit, this has close parallels with the Hersey Blanchard model reviewed earlier.
I will associate examples of the formation of Central Assurance Team for Investment Assignments to each stage of the Tuckman Model, as an illustration The team was developed as a consequence of a re-organisation of the entire Health, Basic safety, Environment and Quality (HSQE) function within Infrastructure Investment (now called Investment Tasks), approximately 1. 5 years ago. It is a blend of four sub-teams - Audit, Systems, Reporting and Licensing.
Forming stage- Team places high level of dependence on its leader for both guidance and direction, including the aims and objectives of the team. The assignments and responsibilities of the team members at this stage are unclear. The leader may be frequently questioned on the actual team's purpose is and its connections with key stakeholders. The team members often test the tolerance level of the leader and they may also ignore process. As is recommended in the Hersey-Blanchard model, the leader is applicable a directive management strategy.
The forming level for the Central Guarantee Team (CAT) can be related to a four-day team building exercise which occurred off-site, the goal of which was for everyone to access know each other and to know very well what the role of the team was in the years ahead. At this time, there was a certain amount of wariness between associates regarding which role every individual was at the team for and indeed, as time progressed, a few of these roles actually improved.
Storming level- The associates try to set up a pecking order within the group regarding the other person and the team innovator, they may even issue the leadership of the group. The team's goal becomes clearer, however there is still underlying uncertainty. The team may split into cliques and electricity struggles ensue. The first choice will adopt a coaching design of management to focus the team on its goal and prevent unproductive distractions. Frequently progress may require compromises.
The CAT at this time, was trying to understand a strategy of how they would deliver that which was expected of these from the Investment Tasks Programmes. The four sub-teams put in time drafting up strategy and functional-plan type documents to clarify their own functions and objectives. People were keen to begin with on the day-job.
Norming stage-The innovator adopts a more participative style at this stage, and his/her main job are to assist in and enable. The team starts to experience both arrangement and concensus and their jobs and obligations become clear. Big decisions are created by agreement between the group, smaller ones are delegated to sub-groups within the team. The team is highly dedicated and there is a sense of togetherness, functions are developed and a way of working. The leader is normally well respected at this point and some of his responsibilities are shared by the team.
For the Pet cat, this was doing "business as usual". As part of the audit team, this meant drawing up an audit plan (in-line with the strategy), creating a briefing pack, planning audit protocols and the varieties and themes which form part of the day-to-day work. Then there was the real auditing activity itself, dealing with the Programs to ensure that the activity was adding value and learning lessons from each audit so that the process was upgraded each time.
Performing stage- At this stage the team has proper recognition, i. e. it knows not only what it is there for but why. The team has a distributed vision which is 3rd party of its innovator. The team take the majority of its decisions good criteria establish by its leader, they also give attention to over-achieving on the goals. The team is highly autonomous and disagreements are handled in an optimistic manner, often leading to changes to procedures and framework. The team works towards attaining its goal but also specializes in style and process issues whilst doing this. The leader's role is to delegate and oversee jobs rather than instructing and assisting directly.
With only 18 months of experience behind it, it is difficult to state whether the CAT has actually reached the performing stage in its development. So far as the audit team should go, we are still developing a long-term perspective and assessing how the audit plan will be modified to the customer/stakeholder requirements season on year. Without doubt, each member of the team is focused on producing high-quality work, it is a question of harnessing this towards one common direction.
The advantages of understanding preferred team roles
This was a location explored by Belbin in the later 1970s. He proven that a balanced team, consisting of participants of differing functions would constantly perform much better than a less-balanced team. Belbin determined 9 jobs, which, if they're all present in a team, provide good balance and raise the odds of success.
An individual's team role(s) can be determined by the use of any Belbin-style questionnaire, types of which are available via the internet. It isn't necessary for the team to consist of 9 people, each one filling up an individual role, but for all of the tasks to be symbolized by the team.
When considering the Central Assurance (Audit) team, it could be seen that, among 5 people, all 9 roles are in existence, although some are "bought-in" from outside of the team to provide the full complement. For instance, we utilise "specialists" from beyond the team where we don't have an in-depth understanding of a particular subject matter. The "plant" is seen as the older manager who has responsibility for all feet of the Central Guarantee function as a whole.
The team has a very strong "completer-finisher" bias. This is because the work dictates a great focus on information and the closure of issues once discovered. Also, the "implementer" role is strong information as the team must convert an audit plan into simple fact and one older member of staff within the team operates as the "co-ordinator".
Belbin's study figured folks are more encouraged and perform better when they are working in accordance with their own natural style. Hence it is a benefit to the director to allow individuals to work to these talents to boost team efficiency and the cohesion between your team members.
What may have caused the conflict
One issue situation I had been directly involved with was within my time on the Network Rail Western Coast Option Modernisation Program on the Lichfield Trent Valley 4-Monitoring project (Tv set4).
The task management team were concerned about if the Network Rail Field Designers were signing off a sufficient level of Inspection and Test data sheets. The Inspection and Test plan doc is effectively proof that Network Rail has accepted the building contractor's work as being of sufficient quality and functions as a sign-off file for a specific section of work.
As the product quality Engineer on the TV 4 project, I used to be accountable for providing assurances these sign-offs were occurring (or a sufficient proportion were being completed). In one particular geographical area of the works, it was found out that hardly any of the Inspection and Test sheets have been completed by the Field Technical engineers. One of the reasons for this was that the task was spread over a 2-mile stretch out of keep tabs on and it was very hard for such a small team of Field Engineers to maintain place and witness the works and sign it off prior to the next portion of works started.
I reported the data to the Television set4 Management Team and, alas, this triggered a conflict between myself and the Network Rail Field Designers for that area as they found the exercise i had undertaken as something of the "witch hunt" resulting in a lot of criticism of these from older management.
Effects of the turmoil on specific and team performance
The effect that had was to make me very unpopular amongst the Field Anatomist team and to limit the amount to which they were prepared to assist me in future. They were also quick to make the news known to other staff focusing on the task! However, the exercise does point out to management that there have been resource problems if indeed they were to provide everywhere near a significant proportion of authorized Inspection and Test documents going forward.
Recognised ways to minimise and take care of conflicts
In a paper called "Resolving Issue in Work Teams" by the Team Building Directory, the creators state that turmoil can happen from numerous sources within an team environment and generally get into 3 categories: Communication Factors; Structural Factors and Personal Factors (source: Varney 1989). Obstacles to communication are some of the most important factors and can be major sources of misunderstanding - such as the example I've given.
The communication hurdle that has been noted this is a difference between interpretation and conception - i. e. the team aren't producing the required outcome and are therefore lazy and have to be warned to improve their performance. When possibly the more likely final result was that these were drastically under-resourced to attain the process required. The methodology taken was to enforce the rules which typically results in hard feelings towards those who instigate it.
When negative turmoil occurs, there a 5 accepted options for managing it: Compete; Collaborate; Avoid; Accommodate or Bargain (Thomas and Kilman). Each can be utilized effectively in several circumstances. For the particular example cited, most likely the best strategy to apply was a bargain approach where a bargaining position could have been desired between two get-togethers who got differing ideas on a remedy but cannot find a common surface (i. e. and agreed target for putting your signature on the documentation until the resourcing issue could be fixed).
Creating a positive atmosphere and minimising the result of conflict
Negative discord can be avoided by evaluating the 6 potential areas referred to by Nelson in the newspaper "Interpersonal Team Command Skills" (Medical center Management Quarterly, 1995).
Administrative strategies - a good groundwork for the effective coordination of work
People resources - adequate resources to do the job to avoid some carrying too heavy a load.
Process for cost overruns - proper resources in place so that the team knows how to proceed when cost becomes a problem and extra funding must be sought. This way the condition is resolved before it becomes issues for management.
Schedules - the job schedule should be apparent. The team should work together so that everyone achieves their deadline.
Responsibilties - what areas are assigned and who is accountable for them?
Wish lists - adhere to the project at hand, don't be side-tracked to try to fit other things involved with it. Do the other activities you would like to after the original task is effectively completed.