The leader’s role in developing and supporting a team is vital and
necessary to keep up the team’s enthusiasm, motivation, and knowledge while teaching
them at the same time. To develop a team member, a leader should know their
individual needs and should know if they are not acting the same as they
A practical example is when I
oversaw my whole room (around 18 cadets) and a camp and someone was feeling
down and wasn’t acting the same as they usually do. I noticed this, so I went
to him and asked politely “are you okay?”
It turned out that he was being bullied. Someone had put melted chocolate on
his pillow and poured all the items out
of a bin into his sleeping bag. I went to my seniors and asked for advice.
This shows that if someone is
acting differently, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t be bothered,
and it could be caused by other
circumstances. The cadet in the example above still wanted to join in I
explained what everyone was doing so far and gave him a specific job while
motivating him (“you’re doing a fantastic
job” etc.) After this, he had gained more
confidence to speak up about issues like
this and so his character had developed emotionally, and his confidence
developed. From that example, I did make sure I could, then told the rest of
the followers, to be a bit ‘softer’ with him. This shows that the whole team
developed together, and their communication all improved between them.
Another example of me helping a
team develop themselves was when I
oversaw all of them, but no one knew each other so I made some icebreaker games
and they all got to know each other. This is developing their individual selves
because they will feel more confident and relaxed
around everyone else getting to know them.
This is also developing them as a
team because they will now work better together as they know each other, and
confidence, 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 the
followers that this is what I wanted them to do which increases my
communication skills as well as the followers. And I also showed encouragement
by getting them to speak for themselves. This also teaches the followers to
work as a team because not only did I know their individual needs, the followers knew each other also.
To further develop followers, a
leader should get to know and understand the individual needs because the
leader can then delegate certain
activities to certain people to improve their weaknesses.
However, to develop their characters in a different
way, I split the team up and picked a leader for both teams and set them a task
to build a tower out of spaghetti against each other. I gave them a full SMEAC
brief and making sure they understood the limitations
of the time limit. Because I set them
against each other I could see everyone’s
individual 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 weaknesses
and strengths of everyone.
Finally, to further improve the development of the
team, after tasks, I will always tell them what they should improve on and what
they did well on, so they know what to improve on in the future which is
developing them as an individual effectively because they are essentially
assessing themselves on what they need to improve on.