Pete explains the finer points of team leadership strategies
Kate Aoki
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Kate Aoki

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Team Leadership and the ELP

Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Team

Learning how to navigate team dynamics is integral to the shaping of a leader. We can all recall experiences with managers who expertly weave workers’ efforts into happy and productive teams versus those whose people and managerial skills lead the team into a slump. We would all like to see ourselves becoming that leader who is knowledgeable enough to recognize which situation calls for a specific tactic; does Situation X require us to insert ourselves to provide more direction? Or should we wait a little while to see if the team figures it out on their own? It can be a tricky proposition, and learning how to look for the nuances in these situations is an important skill to gain.

Last month’s ELP class meeting investigated this concept of team leadership. We discussed both personal and hypothetical experiences related to the theme, and we listened as facilitator Pete DeLisle broke down the various possibilities behind our examples. Using a Situational Leadership questionnaire to illustrate the ideas behind effective team leadership, Pete was able to clarify for us what types of people respond best to what type of management, and how to assess a team and its performance in order to make the best decisions moving forward. 

And in order to really hammer the theories home, we got to have a little fun…breaking into pairs, we gathered around a board game on a table, and we got competitive. Pete had prepared a Situational Leadership board game for us, and in fast and furious fashion we played to see who could move furthest on the board towards a successful outcome! Drawing cards giving multiple-choice options to various scenarios, each pair was required to choose a response and either move forward on the board, or regress as we made great or terrible decisions. Not an easy endeavor, but a lot of fun and a great way to get a handle on the ideas.

We put our newly learned skills to use after the game and lecture ended when we broke into our two teams to discuss our class project. This year’s project deals with Fair Park, and is proving to be a good testing ground. Our project has two components to it with many responsibilities required for each, and we’ve enjoyed getting to know each other through planning and executing our duties. We have been rapidly preparing for Phase 1 of our project which will take place during Fair Park’s 80th Anniversary Celebration on June 10th from 5pm-8pm, and June 11th from 8am-6pm, behind the Science and Nature Museum. We would love to see you there, so please come support us!