Self-assessment exercise is an important tool as it creates room for personal reflection on various skills and knowledge areas. This task allows one to evaluate his or her strengths and weakness. In this post-self-evaluation, I seek to assess my team leadership skills, styles, and deficiencies based on my experiences after having led a team and being part of another team in class during this course. I have made some significant improvements as compared to my pre-self-evaluation.
One of my strengths as a team leader is my outstanding problem-solving skills in critical situations. I have a natural ability to think quickly and come up with a solution to seemingly complex problems under unlikely circumstances. This strength converges with another valuable attribute – creativity. From my experiences and extensive interaction with theoretical materials on leadership, I have realized that the best way to handle any situation, no matter how complex, is by remaining calm and taking control of my thoughts by deliberately deciding that I have the power to find a way out. Once a member of my team was becoming openly unprofessional by complaining about a matter everybody else considered a non-issue.
In one of our meetings, he stood up, and without even excusing himself, he went on a 5-minute rant castigating me as the team leader and all other members for being insensitive. At that moment, I knew I had to act ingeniously and offer leadership when needed the most. I applied constructive criticism and asked the team member to share with us what exactly he thought needed to be done. Ultimately, we all realized that we were unknowingly overlooking cultural differences and language barriers in the team. By allowing the affected member to share his concerns without openly rebuking him, the team became better, and we learned an important lesson that we should always be sensitive to cultural differences. In other words, cultural competence, which is commonly referred to as cultural capital (Korzilius et al., 2017), is an indispensable attribute in team leadership. This experience was an eye-opener and proof that there is always room to learn something new.
I am also disciplined and patient, which are important attributes in leadership. From a young age, I learned the significance of discipline and sticking to my plans to achieve set objectives, no matter what I feel. Discipline creates power, and it enables me to take control of all the aspects of my life. According to Lawson (2016), the importance of discipline to a leader cannot be overemphasized. In addition, as mentioned earlier, I am a creative problem solver, and thus I have to remain focused on the issue at hand to come up with a solution. This admirable characteristic has enabled me to exercise self-control and censor myself, especially when dealing with people to create strong relationships. I have realized that due to my discipline, I have sharpened my willpower to make better decisions and command respect from my team members. Patience with others and myself have also been instrumental in my teal leadership journey. Through combining these attributes, I have managed to conduct team member evaluations while putting together team tools assignments, norms, values, organizing team members and deliverables, dividing work and responsibilities. I have built a strong team characterized by strong and meaningful relationships hinged on respect, whereby individuals help each other out.
However, I am a perfectionist, and this attribute affects my leadership skills. I tend to demand much from others and even myself, which could strain my relationship with other people. The problem with perfectionism is that it makes people feel as if they are not good enough to meet expectations, which could affect self-esteem negatively (Steffens & Haslam, 2017). However, I have been working on this issue, and over this course, I have made significant improvements. Every time I feel like requiring too much from other people or myself, I remember the need to avoid being a perfectionist. This aspect has allowed me to create and manage a strong team with bearable levels of conflict. Nevertheless, perfectionism could be a good thing if used in moderation. Due to it, I hold myself to high standards, which is admirable as it fosters the spirit of excellence.
Another weakness that I have been battling is the inability to listen actively. Sometimes, during a conversation, my mind wanders, which affects my interaction with others. According to Fedesco (2015), for effective communication to occur, active listening should be applied, and it involves hearing more than what is being said by picking non-verbal clues to connect with the speaker. This skill promotes empathetic relationships as both the speaker and the listener create shared meaning. Nevertheless, I have been working hard to improve my listening skills as I am a strong believer that any skill could be learned through practice.
In terms of my leadership skills, I focus more on organizing teams as opposed to concentrating on member energy on the task. This value has not changed from my pre-team leadership self-evaluation. I think team organization should be a top priority of any leader because properly coordinated staff are likely to perform better as compared to those focused on individual accomplishments. I believe that when working in a team, everyone achieves more because people complement each other to leverage the aggregate individual strengths. However, I make sure that every team member knows exactly what is expected of him or her to avoid ambiguity when executing tasks.
Additionally, I am a vocal leader, and I think this is an admirable and important attribute in leadership. I do not assume that people know what is expected of them, and thus I ensure that I communicate clearly about roles and responsibilities. Moreover, if I have good ideas that I cannot share with my team members by articulating my thoughts clearly, then such ideas are of no use. Finally, I maintain a healthy balance between working with others and accomplishing some tasks by myself. As a team player and a leader, I acknowledge the importance of teamwork. From experience and theory, I understand that great leaders have strong teams around them. However, I also believe that some tasks, especially small ones, could be accomplished better, easily, and quickly when I work individually. My specific skills include managing teams by offering leadership. I coach my team members after I quickly identify their weaknesses and strengths to guide them on how to achieve shared goals (10 common leadership styles, 2019). I am also a motivational leader, thus I inspire others to take action. However, I face a few challenges starting with the issue of demanding a lot from other people.
Fedesco, H. N. (2015). The impact of (in) effective listening on interpersonal interactions. International Journal of Listening, 29(2), 103-106.
Korzilius, H., Bücker, J. J., & Beerlage, S. (2017). Multiculturalism and innovative work behavior: The mediating role of cultural intelligence. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 56, 13-24.
Lawson, H. A. (2016). Stewarding the discipline with cross-boundary leadership. Quest, 68(2), 91-115.
Steffens, N. K., & Haslam, S. A. (2017). Building team and organizational identification to promote leadership, citizenship and resilience. In M. Crane (Ed.), Managing for Resilience (pp. 150-167). Routledge.
10 common leadership styles. (2019). Web.