Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership The Leadership Spectrum: II. Blended Perspectives and Practices

The Leadership Spectrum: II. Blended Perspectives and Practices

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A clear articulation of the contributions to be made by each perspective, as well as recognition of the other two-color blends (to which we turn shortly) help to make the Integration possible. An even more important process is required. This is something often called “process consultation” (Schein, 1998). A team or group that is seeking to operate in an Integrative manner should periodically stop their work and focus on the way in which the team or group is operating. Some of the questions to be asked are:

  1. How are we making use of each orientation? Have we ignored one or more of the three domains (information, intentions, and ideas), while focusing on only one? [Teams/groups frequently fail to return to the domains of information or intentions once they move on to the domain of ideas. Once an idea is being entertained, it is often critical to return to the domain of information to see if this idea is realistic. It is also critical to return to the domain of intentions to see if this idea is actually aligned with our intended purposes. Information/Intentions/Ideas should be engaged in a reiterative process: one can begin in any one of the three domains and return to it many times.]
  2. Have we failed to elicit contributions from the quieter or less active members of our team/group who might represent one of the three orientations that we are inclined to ignore? [Teams/Groups will often “plop” (ignore or talk over) members who are less likely to assert themselves. These members often represent are women or minorities–and may come from a culture that does not promote individual assertiveness. A team/group should never assume that someone who has been plopped with ask to be heard—for this request is often plopped itself, or the group becomes condescending in its compliance with the request. The monitoring of plops is the responsibility of all team/group members, as is the commitment to minimize this very destructive process.]
  3. Have we articulated our appreciation for contributions made by those members who represent an orientation that is in the minority (and is therefore particularly important)? [It is hard being in the minority and contributions by these members should be honored]

Essentially, this concern about team/group process is founded on the principle that with diversity of perspective comes both creativity and clarity (Page, 2011). Furthermore, diversity is only engaged in a constructive manner if there is a process in place that provides safety, respect and sustained communication (that leads to the surfacing of underlying assumptions and biases, as well as shared appreciation for the strengths inherent in the team/group’s membership). These principles are brought together in a concept and strategy called “constructive dialogue.” (Gergen and Gergen, 2004)

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