Question 1: Understanding human behaviour is critical to organisations - discuss the benefits of self-evaluation/self-assessment as it relates to leaders today. Introduction
As more organisations become complex and competitive, human behaviour cannot be ignored. Leaders need to understand the strategic factors that influence human behaviour. Success of an organisation is largely based on understanding ‘the interface between the human behaviour, organisation and the organisation itself’ (Griffin 2010:4). Human Behaviour
Understanding ‘why... people behave the way they do’ Clawson (2001a) is a critical factor in predicting human behaviour. Human behaviour is not innate but is learnt, we are shaped by what we see and experience in our lives and the way we respond to circumstances. Research and study has shown that human behaviour is a function of ‘Personal Values, Assumptions, Beliefs and Expectations (VABEs) about the way the world should be’ Clawson (2001a). Thus, human behaviour is influenced by ‘VABEs’. Effective leadership becomes a process of understanding other people’s VABEs. As asserted by Clawson (2001a) leadership is influential ‘guessing is not managing...unless leaders understand why people behave the way they do their efforts to influence others’ ... [will be futile.] (Clawson, 2001a:1&22) According to Robbins, Judge, & Campbel (2010:84) understanding personalities in an organisation is very critical, he described personality as ‘the sum total of ways in which an individual reacts and interacts with others’. ‘Big Five personality model’ is an outburst of personality, a critical theory of predicting human behaviour and personality traits in relation to job performance. As an assessment tool for leaders it helps to identify five key personality dimensions: Extroversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotion Stability and Openness to Experience. Other personality attributes, Locus of Control, Machiavellianism, Self-Esteem, Self monitor and Risk Taking also contribute to human behaviour. Self Evaluation/Self-Assessment
As George (2007:2) asserted that, ‘the journey to authentic leadership begins with understanding the story of your life’. According to Clawson (2001a:7) ‘memes are the building blocks upon which we erect our behaviour’, unless leaders embrace the call to assess ourselves and to be self aware of our ‘memetic endowments’; We are not architects of own lives, much less the lives others: we are rather mere executors of blueprints of previous generations (Clawson 2001a:8) Self-awareness, an ‘insightfully processing of feedback about oneself’ (Dubrin2007:453) is a key construct of authentic leadership; in principle self-assessment results in self-awareness. The greater benefit coming from authentic leadership is the objectiveness of leaders in accepting their weakness and strength. Self-awareness as it relates to authenticity in leadership creates openness and encouragement that followers will be able to emulate. Through self-assessment, leaders can achieve their optimal balance without going through crucible circumstances. Quinn (2005) defined this as the ‘Fundamental State of Leadership’; he identified four transformative questions that are direct benefits of self-evaluation: * Am I Results Cantered? – ( willing to be called out of your comfort zone) * Am I Internally Directed? – ( Deciding on core values rather than succumbing to pressure) * Am I Other-Focused? – ( being a team player putting team goal first) * Am I Externally Open? – ( being adaptive)
Leaders could reach the state of fundamental leadership by answering these four questions. According to Quinn (2005), leaders possessing these four characteristics are likely to be influential and authentic. Contingency Theory- Least Preferred Co-Worker (LPC): ‘an instrument that purports to measure whether a person is task- or relationship oriented’ (Fiedler, 1967) is arguably considered as an inflexible self-assessment tool,...
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