The leader’s role in developing and supporting a team is vital andnecessary to keep up the team’s enthusiasm, motivation, and knowledge while teachingthem at the same time. To develop a team member, a leader should know theirindividual needs and should know if they are not acting the same as theyusually do. A practical example is when Ioversaw my whole room (around 18 cadets) and a camp and someone was feelingdown and wasn’t acting the same as they usually do.
I noticed this, so I wentto him and asked politely “are you okay?”It turned out that he was being bullied. Someone had put melted chocolate onhis pillow and poured all the items outof a bin into his sleeping bag. I went to my seniors and asked for advice. This shows that if someone isacting differently, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t be bothered,and it could be caused by othercircumstances. The cadet in the example above still wanted to join in Iexplained what everyone was doing so far and gave him a specific job whilemotivating him (“you’re doing a fantasticjob” etc.) After this, he had gained moreconfidence to speak up about issues likethis and so his character had developed emotionally, and his confidencedeveloped. From that example, I did make sure I could, then told the rest ofthe followers, to be a bit ‘softer’ with him.
This shows that the whole teamdeveloped together, and their communication all improved between them. Another example of me helping ateam develop themselves was when Ioversaw all of them, but no one knew each other so I made some icebreaker gamesand they all got to know each other. This is developing their individual selvesbecause they will feel more confident and relaxedaround everyone else getting to know them.
This is also developing them as ateam because they will now work better together as they know each other, andconfidence, enthusiasm and motivation have further increased. From this icebreaker, I had used my experience to create tasks (your name,one thing you like, one thing you dislike etc.) and communicated to thefollowers that this is what I wanted them to do which increases mycommunication skills as well as the followers. And I also showed encouragementby getting them to speak for themselves. This also teaches the followers towork as a team because not only did I know their individual needs, the followers knew each other also.
To further develop followers, aleader should get to know and understand the individual needs because theleader can then delegate certainactivities to certain people to improve their weaknesses. However, to develop their characters in a differentway, I split the team up and picked a leader for both teams and set them a taskto build a tower out of spaghetti against each other. I gave them a full SMEACbrief and making sure they understood the limitationsof the time limit. Because I set themagainst each other I could see everyone’sindividual needs and the followers could identify how the other team works.
This means when they work together they will be able to work together effectively because they know the weaknessesand strengths of everyone. Finally, to further improve the development of theteam, after tasks, I will always tell them what they should improve on and whatthey did well on, so they know what to improve on in the future which isdeveloping them as an individual effectively because they are essentiallyassessing themselves on what they need to improve on.