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Activity: Open- or Closed-Leadership Style?

(25 MINUTES)

1.) Make copies of the Worksheet below and distribute to the participants.

2.) Ask them to list ten attributes of a leader or manager in their organization. List both what they feel are “good” and “bad” attributes as well as those they may consider neutral. As an option, if participants are from a single organization or department, you may direct them to evaluate the same leader or a manager. Or, if desired, they may use this exercise to evaluate their own leadership style or that of their own manager.

3.) When completed, have the participants put a checkmark in the circle by the left of those attributes that characterize an open-leadership style that includes free discussion, non-judgmental attitudes, and acceptance of divergent thinking. Have them put a checkmark in the box to the right by those attributes that characterize a closed-leadership style, one that includes tightly-controlled discussion, highly-defensive posturing and lack of tolerance of divergent thinking in favor of consensus.

4.) Total up the number of checkmarks on the left and give ten (10) points for each, but give minus ten (-10) points for each checkmark on the right. Add, or subtract, to reach your final score. Note that neither a completely open- nor closed-leadership style is ideal. A score of –40 to –100 indicates a highly closed-leadership style which may inhibit all but the most aggressive group members from expressing their true feelings. A score of –20 to –40 indicates a moderately closed-leadership style which may be conducive to rapid decision making, but may leave the group susceptible to the effects of groupthink. A score of +40 to +100 indicates a highly open-leadership style, which may be ineffective, because without direction from the leader, the group may be unable to reach decisions at all. An ideal score would be +20 to +40 indicating a moderately open-leadership style, which may be effective in reducing the effects of groupthink.


Leadership Style – WORKSHEET

The leader’s style can have a lot to do with how group decision-making is conducted and, therefore, whether there is a likelihood that groupthink can gain a foothold or not. In the box below, list ten characteristics, both positive and negative, of a leader or manager in your organization. As an option you may use this exercise to evaluate your own leadership style.

When completed, put a checkmark in the Ο by the left of those attributes that are open, such as “allows free discussion”, “has non-judgmental attitude”, or “loves to brainstorm”. Put a checkmark in the � to the right of those attributes that are closed, such as “tightly controls discussion” or “defends his/her ideas vigorously”.

 Attributes of _____________’s Leadership Style

Ο __________________________________________ □

Ο __________________________________________ □

Ο __________________________________________ □

Ο __________________________________________ □

Ο __________________________________________ □

Ο __________________________________________ □

Ο __________________________________________ □

Ο __________________________________________ □

Ο __________________________________________ □

Ο __________________________________________ □


SCORING
: Total up the number of checks on the left and give ten (10) points for each, but give minus ten (-10) points for each checkmark on the right. Add, or subtract, to reach your final score. Note that neither a completely open-nor closed leadership style is ideal. A score of –40 to –100 indicates a highly closed-leadership style which may inhibit all but the most aggressive group members from expressing their true feelings. A score of –20 to –40 indicates a moderately closed-leadership style which may be conducive to rapid decision making, by may leave the group susceptible to the effects of groupthink. A score of +40 to +100 indicates highly open-leadership style which maybe ineffective because without direction from the leader, the group may be unable to reach decisions at all. An ideal score would be +20 to +40 indicating a moderately open-leadership style which may be effective in reducing the effects of groupthink.

Excerpted from the Leader’s Guide for the video program Groupthink.

Training Resource: CRM Learning’s best-selling program, Groupthink, shows how bad decisions can be made when teams fail to fully discuss potential risks.

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One Response to “Activity: Open- or Closed-Leadership Style?”

  1. leadership Says:

    You’ve got great insights about leadership styles, keep up the good work!

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