Reflection on Communication and Leadership
Published 28 Feb 2017
Leadership is often defined as the sole role or function of a leader. It is also defined as the act of giving guidance and overall directions to a group of people that aims to achieve the worthwhile goal of the organization or group of people. Since the first week of classes, I was able to contemplate on ideas and leadership roles that I have been learning. The discussions on leadership and communication throughout the course gave me a bright idea of how exactly an effective leader could be and ought to be. Using communication as a medium to achieve a valuable way to connect people and to create a process by which understanding the needs for any circumstance that may affect the organization, a good leader will be able to solve almost any challenge that an organization will face.
I still recall the first paper that was required in this class entitled what kind of leader are you? At first I didn’t know what I was going to write or anything but after sometime of deep thinking I was able to make the paper. In my case, I was able to see what I am not and what I am. It was more like of a mirror that showed me the real me. The leadership skill assessments also made me realize what levels of trustworthiness, assertiveness and locus control I have during the first module.
In my most basic understanding, communication and leadership will always go together and that was proven in our studies progress. DuBrin stated that it is inevitable to separate leadership and power, in such case the grasp about the classification of leaders becomes very necessary. With the types of power that the author discussed, it is more worth while to consider on legitimate and personal powers. Both types of powers are more conducive for a leader and subordinate relationship. Personal power, specifically the referent power is very important in creating an atmosphere of ease and comfort for the subordinate. The followers give themselves a satisfaction for following a leader that they personally admire based on the trait. At first, I thought that legitimate power is enough to become a good leader which was based on my personal observation on very serious organizations around me. However, I missed something as I observe during those days, and it was just lately that I was able to see that legitimate powers alone will not be that effective. There should be this “internal respect” of subordinates not because of what a leader’s position is, but what he really is. A personal characteristic of a leader comes in this way.
I still remember the leadership integrity scale in chapter 6 which in such case I believe that is not 100 percent accurate. Sometimes persons act as a leader based on different situation. It is actually a case to case basis that would determine the probable result. The justification of your actions may be different due to situation that is being considered thus the integrity of the leader is most probably cannot be measured just by one scale which might provide a result that is far beyond the reality.
Since leadership involves people, interacting with the subordinates is necessary. Before learning transformational leadership, I kept on thinking that leadership is all about boring interaction of a superior to his inferior. However, lessons on transformational leadership made a big difference. Transformational leadership is the key to achieve a very a unique experience for both the leader and the subordinate. If the subordinate is totally encouraged by the superior and motivation comes into way, due to his admiration and respect, chances range from intellectual stimulation to a promising character development of the members of the team. This will lead to a two way system that is both beneficial for the human resource and the organizational goals. Before taking this course, I thought that leadership was all about directing the subordinates you have, making them fulfill a task and telling what they ought to do in response to the aims of the organization. That was very different from what I look at it right now. I find leadership more exciting for leadership does not stop in directing people, I find it more emotionally stimulating to consider how a leader can change the way his subordinates think, act and view life itself. I find it more self-fulfilling if you can involve the members of the team on a more strict sense of personal development which will likely result to a beneficial remark for both the organization ands the human resource.
I was able to realize the real value of communicating in order to influence others when I was working with the third paper. I was able to excavate the value of leadership via contemplating on the communication requirements to influence others. I was able to think that leadership needs a perfect maneuver to direct and most of the time influence other’s behavior is the key to attain that maneuvering process. The way I look at it, influencing others in terms of behavior, way of thinking, and action provides the key to a promising leadership career. The only way to influence others is by using an effective communication. An open communication with your subordinates will most likely occur onto an influential talk especially when the leader is charismatic in nature.
It is essential for a leader to posses an empowering characteristic to make a more productive team. In reference to DuBrin he was able to state that the more powerful the subordinates are, the more productive they can become. That statement is absolutely true for the reason that subordinates tend to feel more capable of doing something under the circumstances of the power that was delegated to them. Empowerment is very essential for it makes the members feel their essence in the organizational goals. One of the dimensions of empowerment is to find the meaning on what you are doing. The realization of worth of your work makes a big difference. Once a subordinate felt the effect of his work, he will even be more determined to do the work. Self determination is another dimension. The feeling of right to choose makes an individual more motivated to do the task because he has the capability to use his personal approach in completing a job thus, a more productive and fulfilling part can be achieved by the members of the team. I realized that being a leader requires trust with respect to your subordinates. A combination of trust and belief that the follower can fulfill the job and will take into account all the responsibility that was incorporated in the task.
On the other hand, empowering people is not as easy as it seems. To achieve effective empowerment, DuBrin discussed certain practices which will certainly promote empowerment. Among these are poster initiative and responsibility, link activities to the goal of the company, give enough information, and encourage self leadership. Self leadership is the most promising activity in relation to empowerment. The logic of the former statement is that if everyone is a leader in stheir own basic sense, then work may progress on a fast pace. As I was discussing above, it is also related to the trusting your subordinates.
Empowerments sometimes give negative result which might affect the totality of achieving the goal of the organization. Empowerment may lead to unwanted results such as dissatisfaction. Thus preventing this event can be attained by clearing the borderline between managers and empowered subordinates. If a clear barrier will be established, a greater chance of long and lasting satisfactory experience for both parties will be attained. So it is very important to clear the limits of empowerment to prevent further complications. As I consider the negative implication of empowerment, I find more importance in relevance for communication between the leader and subordinates. Communication and the act of clearing things out will surely prevent the possibilities of negative result as what I have stated above.
In relation to designation and empowerment, my primary thoughts were that they are the same; however discussions made me realize the difference. Assigning the task or delegation is necessary for a promising empowerment; after all delegating a task is the mainstream process of empowerment. Letting the people feel the responsibility and the essence of what they have in their hands makes a real difference. However delegation itself is very different from empowerment. Delegation itself speaks of narrower coverage of responsibility pertaining to very specific task unlike empowerment which covers a much wider sense of responsibility in response in achieving the goals of the organization.
Organizational politics was also discussed which I perceive as a form of introducing personal agenda in relation to the goals of the organization which may promote unwanted result and in worse case could hinder the achievement of organizational goals. The leaders that are engaged in political organization can have negative and positive sides. The leaders that use political organization to stay in power may result into a Machiavellian one which is relatively unhealthy for the organization due to concerns on balancing of interests. On the other hand, it has also a positive remark to use political organization in building relationships which is very healthy on the organization. Leaders that promote building relationships may enhance the work capacity of comfortable members.
Due to negative outputs of the organizational politics, a good leader must set control over the office politics. It is necessary to make himself a good example thus making it possible for him to initiate control against organizational politics. Organizational politics may be positive or negative depending on the realization of the leader with respect to his goal and the goal of the company.
I was able to contemplate on the needs for a competent leadership communication. It is almost inevitable to become a great leader without gaining competency. The realization of its needs is actually enlightenment for me. As of now, I am thinking of myself improvements to become a very competent leader. I still wonder if the concept of unmanagement and leader competency would result into a more dynamic relationship inside the organization or would there be a little turbulence due to the fact that unmanagement provides no boss but all leaders. As I think deeper I inferred that competent leadership communication and unmanagemnt can go together due to the fact that leaders will always behave for the benefit of the greater good.
I still can remember the exercise in chapter 4 the quiz regarding the effectiveness as a leader. I believe that my effectiveness as a leader changes from time to time depending on the environmental factors and of course certain situation to be considered. In my opinion, the exercise of effectiveness as a leader should be conducted from time to time for the leader to have a quick grasp regarding his effectiveness during certain situations in his life. In relevance to the exercise, I was able to asses my standing in effectiveness as a leader and I believe that this is not all that I can do. I firmly believe that my effectiveness as a leader will soon be fortified as I go along studying this course. An idea came up to my mind upon thinking of effectiveness as a leader. The more communication the leader has with his subordinates, the more the effective he will be. Another thought is that a better communicator might have better chances of being effective since directing and guiding the human resource is based on communication process.
The topic regarding goal setting amazed me in astonished me in such way. Actually, my personal goals are not clear before the moment I realized the need for goal setting. I learned that no organization ever existed without any goals upon its creation. The importance of goal setting is as important as a map to travelers. It defines where you are, where do you want to go and the directions that you will be taking upon pursuing that path. Goals demand great attention for they will be the basis of the actions of the organizations and it will be the defining meter of how far the organization have gone. It is the soul of an organization for it is the reason for why an organization exists. The most important thing about goals is that it is the basis of corrective actions upon realization that something is wrong. It will also dictate the flow of activities that the organization throughout the life of the organization.
Another topic that I enjoyed was the one relating to teamwork. I believe that teamwork is the key to a harmonious functioning of the organization. Balancing of individual interests to promote the interest of the organization is necessary to have a functioning teamwork. As I see it, teamwork will not be possible without the leader spearheading the teamwork process. What is hard in team work is that, the team requires constant motivation from the leader. Team motivation promotes trust within each other inside the team for the belief that they are pursuing one common goal and thus that common goal will be the basis of the coordinative actions of the team. Once the team is motivated, every obstacle will surely be surpassed with the joint effort of the team members pointing toward one common sentiment and that is to achieve the worthwhile goal of the organization.
After several weeks of learning leadership and communication I always find myself contemplating on the things that I could have done before but I never did. Leadership roles that I could have achieved before but I never did. As I think of the things related to leadership, it becomes inevitable to relate it to communication. My sole realization of what I have and what I want to have can be achieve as leader and a communicator. I realized that I can make a change, in my self, in my family and especially in my society. I picture myself as an empowering leader, a transformational leader that has referent power to influence the people within the space that I occupy. The most astonishing fact that I unravel was the fact that ensuing social change must begin from leadership, a leadership leading oneself. I was able to understand that to be able to make developmental changes to my society; I first need to know how to lead myself.
DuBrin, A.J (2004). Leadership: Research Findings, Practice and Skills. New York, Houghton Mifflin