Case 9 – The Forgotten Group Member 1. Christine’s leadership abilities could benefit by having knowledge of the stages of group development. Specific to her situation, it seems that aside from the very first group meeting, Mike was not present for the forming stage of the group. As a result, questions such as “What can the group offer me?” , “Can my needs be met and still contribute to the group”, and other discovery inquiries did not get answered for Mike so he has not felt part of the team so he has withdrawn from the group.
As a leader, Christine could have encouraged to Mike the importance of being present for group meetings so he can be part of the team. For example, at the lunch room incident when Mike walked away, she could have talked with him individually and explained to him that she perceives that he does not feel welcome and has been avoiding team meetings. Christine could address the how important it is to attend the team meetings, explain to him the ” WWI FM” (what’s in it for me) aspects and the fact that team needs him as he has so much that could contribute and add value to the team. She could also indicate that the team’s success will only be possible when every member contributes. By doing so, she can help ensure that Mike is able to join the group during the forming stage and hopefully move quickly to the nor ming and then performing stages. 2.
Christine should understand that the blend of individual personalities and how people related to one another in groups based on their needs to express and receive feelings of inclusion, control and affection are important to the success of the team. By understanding the needs of her team members, she can build group processes to address those needs. For example, since Mike initially revealed himself as a class clown, she could allow him the opportunity to be creative with his contribution to the project and present part of the case in class to let his humor shine through in a manner that compliments the case. For Steve, she could let him draw up an agenda and project plan. Janet could be the one who researches the materials needed for the project. As a result of understanding the needs of the team members, Christine would be able to draw on the strengths of each team member by building group processes that compliment those strengths and as a result, would support positive and, hopefully, successful work group performance.
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3. At this point in the case, Christine has the opportunity to be an effective group leader if she takes prompt action to include Mike into the group. If Christine lets Mike continue to withdraw and not contribute in a meaningful way, then she would not be an effective group leader. However, I believe that since Christine describes herself as a person who tries to give her best in whatever she does, that she will search out information on group development to understand and learn how she can be more effective as a group leader and put the principles learned into place so that her team can be successful..