1. Why do you think it is so difficult for managers to empower their people?
People empowerment is defined as “ the delegation of authority, accountability, and responsibility to employees for improving the business processes under their control without obtaining permission from management” (Civerolo, n. d.). Empowerment fails when this concept is not understood and internalized. Most often management imposes their “ command-and-control” policy and consequently, people would have to seek permission from their superiors before doing anything small task (Civerolo, n. d.).
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Another difficulty is that the people have very high and broad expectations. With empowerment, they feel that they are given a “ blanket authority” without any limitations to attack each and every business problem. The teams can be stuck with the “ paralysis by analysis” compounded by lack of clear course of action from a leader will therefore result to a failure of empowerment (Civerolo, n. d.).
Moreover, the greatest difficulty is when there is lack of teamwork among the members of the group. When people or team members lack the skill to solve problems and work together, it would be difficult to solve problems at the root and achieve agreement among the members (Civerolo, n. d.).
2. Discuss the similarities and differences between setting goals for other people and setting goals for yourself. When does goal setting fail, and when does it succeed?
An organization’s success largely depends on the goals it has set to accomplish. Goals are the foundation and basis for the driving force of the company. “ Goal Setting is the idea of establishing a level of acceptable performance to increase motivation and performance” (Stelzer, n. d.). There would be not much of a difference in setting goals for myself with that of setting goals for others. Basically, the similarities are:
1) Goals set are specific, clear and challenging. The goals should be objective and that which inspires to avoid boredom. 2) Goals should be difficult but acceptable. This means that the goals should be realistic and achievable. 3) Participation and communication can clarify the goals and 4) Immediate feedback mechanism is necessary to check performance levels (Stelzer, n. d.).
The difference would be that I would set goals higher for myself than those for others. I am confident about my own abilities considering that I know what I am capable of achieving as well as my limitations. On the other hand, I would set lower goals for others whom I do not know since I am not aware of their potentialities. This is strengthened by a research study conducted by David Matz and Verlin Hinsz (2000), entitled “ Social Comparison in the Setting of Goals for Own and Others’ Performance” where it revealed that the participants set lower goals for others that they do not know as compared with themselves or those whom they personally know.
Goal setting becomes a success if the following principles are observed: 1) The goals must be specific; 2) it must be measurable; 3) it must be achievable; 4) it must be realistic; and 5) There must be an agreed time table for accomplishing it (Armstrong, 2006). The absence of one of these principles would lead to a failure in goal setting. 3. Why do you think some people resist the idea of working in teams? How would you deal with their resistance?
According to Katzenbach and Smith (1993), people resist the idea of working in teams because of “ lack of belief that teams can be effective, fear of changes and distrust, lack of focus on success and performance levels and when people refuse to take risks.” In overcoming resistance, there should be massive information seminar on how beneficial it is to work in teams. In addition, there are training and development of new social skills that should be implemented so that there can be proper management of change.
Thereafter, team building and development can follow. This is achieved through the use of “ forming-storming-norming-performing” model (Tuckman, 1965). 4. Consider the various roles members have to perform for a team to be effective. Which roles would play to your strengths and which to your weaknesses? How can you become a better team member?
Using the nine roles defined by Belbin (1993), I would play the following to my strengths: as coordinator, shaper, resource investigator, implementer, and team worker. As coordinator, the goals of the team will be clearly defined and specified. My discipline and maturity will help me encourage team members to accomplish these goals. My decisiveness will be a positive trait for me to analyze and decide on the views of the members. As a shaper, I have strong initiative to drive the ideas of my team members forward. I am creative and would enjoy pulling together things to make it fit into a feasible whole so that the team members can work on it. I would also be an implementer as I am a very logical person who can manage plans and tasks to be accomplished. I am methodical but not so flexible.
My networking and contacts would allow me to be a resource investigator. I can contribute information and secure external support whenever necessary. This role is very apt for me since sometimes I have a problem in sustaining my enthusiasm. I can also be a team worker because I have humor and can promote harmony and cooperation among team members.
I cannot act as a ‘ plant’ because I do not challenge the traditional way of doing things. Although I am creative, my creativity is limited to pulling ideas together and not for changing original ideas. I cannot play the role of finisher and completer because I am not good in meeting deadlines. I also am not detail-oriented and therefore cannot check if details fit the plan or goal. I cannot play the role of specialist considering that I view things on a general perspective and not on a single-minded approach. Finally, I cannot play the role of monitor evaluator because it is my natural trait to inspire people and not be overcritical. Moreover, I can be a strategist and determine situations correctly by being able to have a general perspective and approach to all options.
To become a better team member, I should work on better communication and listening skills. I should be able to make my team members understand my ideas and proposals as well as allow them to freely express their own ideas. I should also learn to respect everyone so that there would be harmony and cooperation in the team. This will enhance my persuasion skills for them to participate and cooperate in the accomplishment of the goals and objectives set.