In an interesting small group session with international students
yesterday, one “burning question” of several emerged:
How do I determine how to behave in a work group without appearing
too aggressive, yet getting appropriate air-time and hearing?
Immediately, three responses came to me. One is hard
to describe in just words so I referred to it as the Participation
Model and promised to provide some detail for them to
see and understand. It is known as the Tannenbaum-Schmidt
Participation continuum model and it deals with leadership
and follower behaviors in a range of situations in organizations.
The model summarizes much work in successful organizations
as 7 levels of delegated freedom. Starting with all authority in
the leader and all support in the follower in the “direct-support”
level (#1) to the other extreme where the leader believes the
followers have all the know-how, experience and expertise to
make all the decisions and just be informed when in the “relinquish-
full-authority” (#7) level.
So, knowing the appropriate level in the continuum is most helpful.
The second response is knowing precisely what is involved or requested
or needed. For this (the easy response), “paraphrasing” is powerful.
Describe in your own words the expectation, then ask is this what you
Finally, Last Sunday’s 60 Minute segment with Sheryl Sandberg
where she talks about “leaning in” and weighing in on important
decisions. What it takes and how she sees it happening.