|Module Four: Student Leadership|
|Basic Leadership Qualities|
|People in leadership
positions may use a variety of "styles" in reaching a decision.
Basically, these styles differ in the amount of participation they allow
from those they work with.
||The amount of confidence the leader has in the group to perform the task.|
The amount of trust the leader has in the group to act in a responsible and mature manner.
||The amount of confidence the leader has in himself or herself, (or possibly the fear of losing control of the group).|
||The amount of security the leader feels with his own supervisor(s).|
||The nature of the task the group has to perform.|
The objectives the leader wants to accomplish.
The ethics or values of the leader.
|Listed below are
descriptions of five different leadership "styles." Remember,
the leader NEVER gives up the AUTHORITY or the RESPONSIBILITY for the
|Style #1||YOU DECIDE ALONE.
You make the decision without discussing the situation with anyone. You
rely entirely on personal knowledge or information available in written
documents. in this style, the leader TELLS the decision.
|Style #2||YOU SEEK INFORMATION
AND THEN DECIDE ALONE. You seek additional information from one or more
group members to arrive at a decision. You may or may not describe the
problem to them, but you solicit information only, not solutions or suggestions.
With this style, the leader SELLS the decision.
|Style #3||YOU CONSULT WITH
INDIVIDUALS AND THEN DECIDE ALONE. You share the problem with selected
individuals. You gather additional information from them and seek their
advice about possible solutions to the problem. Still, you make the decision.
With this style, the leader TALKS the decision.
|Style #4||YOU CONSULT WITH
YOUR ENTIRE GROUP AND THEN DECIDE ALONE. You meet with group members and
discuss the possible alternatives, essentially using them as consultants.
You may use their feelings and opinions as additional inputs, but you
retain the final decision power. With this style, the leader CONSULTS
regarding the decision.
|Style #5||YOU SHARE THE PROBLEM
WITH THE GROUP AND YOU ALL DECIDE WHAT TO DO. Here you give your group
full participation in the decision-making process. You may define the
problem for them, provide relevant information, and participate in the
discussion as any other member, but you do not use your position as leader
to influence them. The group is the decision maker, and you accept not
only their decision, but also the responsibility for it. Your description
to others will be, "We decided to . . .," and NOT, "The
group decided to . . .." or "I decided to . . ."
W this style, the leader JOINS the decision.
|Remember, no single leadership style is always the appropriate style to use. As the situation changes and as the task or goals change, the style may change. Leaders should be aware of these various styles and seek to use the appropriate style in the proper situation.|
|A leader must be
an effective listener. A few simple rules and considerable practice can
help you become an effective listener. Effective listening will not only
improve your ability to communicate, it will also improve your leadership
ability. The leader who learns to listen will project an image of interest
to team members that will in turn motivate those team members to become
more productive. Everyone is hungry to share their ideas if they feel
the ideas will be heard and considered.
principles will improve your effectiveness as a leader. An effective listener
must also be able to demonstrate that he or she is listening by responding
to the communication being transmitted. Two simple tools will further
improve your ability to communicate and demonstrate that you are listening.
The tools are:
|It is important
that you understand what has been transmitted. You may have been listening
but may not have received the message being transmitted. Confirmation
should be used when you feel you understand exactly what was said and
why the message was transmitted. Confirmation is especially important
if you disagree with the message or if you are being called upon to commit
yourself to a particular course of action.
For example, you are a committee chairperson
responsible for planning the Health Care Community banquet at your school,
and you are talking to Mary, an active HOSA member.
|Mary||"It's not that
I don't want to go to the banquet, I just don't have the money. I've had
some money problems recently and I don't have it."
|You feel you understand
what Mary said and why. You feel that Mary has money problems, but you
want to be sure you understand correctly.
|You||"Let me see
if I understand correctly. You want to attend the banquet, but due to
money problems, you don't feel you can. Is that correct?"
that all you have done is attempt to confirm what Mary has said. Mary
now has the opportunity to agree or disagree with what you've said. She
also can see that you are trying to understand her and her concerns.
Now, assume you are president of your HOSA
chapter. Your chapter is discussing criteria for selecting delegates
to the National Leadership Conference. You won't have any competitors,
but your chapter enthusiasm is high and many chapter members want to
attend. Your chapter advisor has turned the responsibility for selecting
three members to attend from your chapter over to your executive council.
|John||"I think we've
got to decide tonight so they can get busy making plans. I think only
second year members should be allowed to go. This is our last chance,
and the others will have another year."
|How would you respond
to John using confirmation?
Remember - Don't assume you understand.
Confirm the message.
used when you don't understand what is being transmitted or you are not
certain of the speaker's motives. For example, if you are sitting at a
chapter meeting and:
I don't want to get out of being on our chapter's Parliamentary Procedure
team, but it'll be the best for everyone if I do."
|To use clarification,
you might respond by saying:
|You||"Jean, I don't
think I understand what you mean. Explain it to me."
|Note that as the
listener, you are making no judgments or assumptions. You want to understand
what Jean is saying before responding to what she is saying - and that
is effective listening. To answer prior to understanding does not demonstrate
good leadership skills.
How would you use clarification to respond
to the following statement:
was rigged. You knew Marcos wouldn't have a chance to be elected."
How would you respond to Jack using clarification?
Being an effective listener requires practice. HOSA leadership allows you the opportunity to practice your listening skills.
As a leader, you must motivate other HOSA
members. You must gain their commitment to you and the organization.
A person who feels another person is interested in their ideas and will
consider those ideas, will respond positively to the listener.
|A person in a leadership role
accepts the responsibility of helping others improve, and for self improvement.
This process requires the leader to make observations and constructive
suggestions, and to be able to accept constructive suggestions from other
There are many who feel that feedback is the same as criticism and is not a positive tool. Feedback can be positive if it is used in an effective manner. Feedback lets a person know how to improve his or her performance or what's wrong with an idea.
Good feedback can correct a problem when
HOSA leaders learn to give the feedback in a positive manner. Practice
will help you develop your skill in providing feedback so that group
members will feel like "winners". Guidelines to follow when
providing feedback include:
|Read each statement below and determine if it adheres to the guidelines for constructive feedback. Place a (T) in the space provided for those statements that would help a member improve his or her performance.|
|A good leader is always aware
of what is happening in the organization, and how members of the organization
are feeling about chapter progress. When chapter members are active, they
need consistent and frequent feedback from their leaders.
One final note. A good leader is able to
accept feedback as well as give it. If the group shares their concerns,
a good leader listens and considers what the group members have to say.
If the chapter or state advisor makes suggestions, the good leader listens
carefully and attempts to make corrections. Remember, the good of the
organization should be everyone's concern. Using feedback effectively
can help an organization achieve its goals.
|A leader must interact with other
members of the group. For example:
Group discussions demonstrate to the membership that you are interested in their ideas. When members realize their importance to you and the group, they will be more committed to the decisions that are made.
The following recommendations are provided to improve your discussion leading skills.
Organizational Conflict Management
|Every organization experiences
conflict at one time or another. When conflict occurs, members of the
organization can try to solve the conflict - or ignore it.
Ignoring conflict is usually not helpful for an organization. Conflict is often a sign that something needs to be discussed, reconsidered, or evaluated. Ignoring conflict avoids the problem-solving process, often making the original problem even worse, or adding more problems.
When a leader notices that a conflict exists, the leader is obligated to address the problem. Attempting to resolve conflict is an attempt to view problems honestly and openly. It is also an attempt at providing an atmosphere of fairness for the organization.
How does a leader resolve organizational
|Step #1||Recognize that conflict exists - Alandra,
who is usually very vocal won't talk at a meeting. Carlotta refuses to
communicate with the chapter treasurer. Hidaki has been late for the past
three meetings. These situations are signs that something could be wrong,
or that a conflict exists.
|Step #2||Clarify the problem - Observe
the behavior of chapter members and ask non-threatening questions to find
out what the REAL problem is. "AHidaki, I notice you've been a little
late to our last few meetings. is something wrong?"
|Step #3||Determine a plan for addressing
the conflict - Not all methods and styles of conflict
resolution work for all problems. Carefully consider the situation as
well as the characteristics of the people involved in planning a strategy
for conflict resolution. "Carolotta, since you and Alandra dno't
seem to be talking, would you prefer that I ask her for financial information,
or do you think it would be better if you communicated with her in writing?"
|Make it a win-win
situation? Wouldn't it be nice if everyone in the situation could feel
good about the solution? Thoughtful problem solving can often result in
all parties feeling good.
Generally, a solution to a problem can fall
into one of the following categories:
|Competition||"I win, you lose."
My needs are met, yours aren't.
|Appeasement||"You win, I lose."
I give in, you get what you want.
|Lose-Lose||Nobody gets anything. We both
|Compromise||We each give a little and get
|Win-Win||We redefine the problem to figure
out what really matters, and then we find a solution that meets both our
|Here is an example of a problem:
There is only one piece of pizza left, and we both want it.
|Competition||I get the pizza.
|Appeasement||You can have the
|Lose-Lose|| We give the pizza
to someone else.
|Compromise|| We cut the pizza
in half and share it.
|Win-Win||We redefine our
needs and determine that we're both REALLY hungry, so we order another
|Remember, there isn't always
a win-win solution to every problem, but every problem can benefit from
the reevaluation that finding a win-win solution demands. Keep in mind
too that a win-win situation focuses on the needs of both sides equally.
It also requires a focus on the goals that surround the conflict and not
the personalities of the people involved.
In order to create a win-win situation, both sides must be willing to:
Is there always a "win-win" solution?
Sometimes, the conclusion reached is that there is no solution that will make both parties happy. In such cases, it is important that group members "agree to disagree." When that happens, it is important for group members to accept their individual differences, and understand that it is OK to occasionally disagree about a situation. As long as group members agree on the greater good and purpose of the organization and respect each other, the organization will be able to work effectively.
Now, you try it!
You want to go to a movie, but your best
friend wants to go bowling!
Remember to. . .
Most importantly, a leader takes responsibility
to make it work. There is a moral imperative that makes a leader see
right from wrong, and work toward the direction of making it right.
With conflict resolution, that means figuring out what ought to happen,
and then finding ways to make it happen.