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Peer leadershipWhat is it?Peer leadership is a concept that may be integral to any peer-based intervention and is most often found in peer education programs.1,2 Peer leadership programs are also used to foster the development of leadership skills within the context of social justice.3 How does it work?

Peer leaders are individuals who already possess natural characteristics of leading others and who are nominated to take on a leadership position to carry out a more guiding and facilitating role.1,2 Peer leadership programs are based on the following premises:

* Peer groups are powerful influences on the attitudes and behaviors of their members. * When young people come face to face with the realities of intolerance, they are often highly motivated to take action. * Peer leaders need to learn and practice basic skills and competencies to be effective. * Skill development occurs best when peer leaders are first exposed to a body of knowledge and then have opportunities to integrate that knowledge into their lives.3 Common ways peer leadership is used

The types of roles and responsibilities of a peer leader may include acting as a role model, educator, mentor or counselor for the respective peer group.1,2 Within the context of social justice, peer leaders are often trained to acquire knowledge and skills which help to promote the development of respectful, inclusive schools and communities. Peer leaders are encouraged to take active roles to address issues that are of most concern to them to work together in order to improve schools, communities and organisations for young people. 3 Examples of peer leadership program approaches

Peer Group ConnectionPAL – Peer Assistance Leadership ProgramPartners for Youth with Disabilities – Peer Leadership Program

General Management

How to lead your peersBy John Baldoni on March 31st, 2011 | 854516 comments on this Tweet

Sometimes the best way to put yourself forward is to take a step back. Leadership is an act that requires stepping forward as a means of asserting authority. When it comes to leading peers, you can demonstrate authority by showing that you are willing to share your authority with others. Peer leadership is something that is often overlooked in leadership circles because, most often, we focus on what and how leaders lead their followers.

This is appropriate, but much of what’s accomplished within an organization is because of people in the middle who get things done. Sometimes it requires leading up — what you do for your boss — but often, it requires what you do with and for your colleagues — leading peers. Throughout history, we have seen seemingly ordinary folk step up and take charge. Call it the “Cincinnatus model.” Cincinnatus was a Roman farmer who left his land behind to serve as Rome’s leader when the city was threatened by warring tribes.

When peace was restored, Cincinnatus resigned his post and returned to his farm. Selfless service by Cincinnatus served as inspiration for George Washington, who followed his example. Leadership from the middle need not be an act of heroism, but it should be done with forethought and planning. The first thing to understand about leading peers is that it is a means of exerting control over someone else. If you have brothers and sisters, or if your children do, then you know the frequent complaint: “You’re not the boss of me.” With peers, you do not boss — you lead — and most often you do it by setting the right example. Let me offer some suggestions:

* Find the pain. Sometimes the need to act is urgent; it will hit you with the force of a two-by-four across the face. Crises provoke the need for immediate action. But you do not need to wait for a burning platform to step forward. Sometimes the need to act comes from what is not being done — processes that are malfunctioning, employees being misdirected, or customers not being served.

That may call for action from the middle. * Listen more than you speak. Before you go too far, listen to others. Get their assessment of the situation. Find out if they want or need help. None of us like a meddler. If people do want help, do not pull a “command and control” act. Listen to what their needs are, and identify the true problem before you act. When trouble brews, it may only be a symptom of a larger issue. Therefore you need to size up the situation and assess what you can do. * Stand back. If you have the power to act, do it. But work with people — not in spite of them. Think like a film director. You are the one behind the camera. The actors are doing the work. You are simply providing some direction, but they are doing the work.

Be willing to lend a hand but do not try and take over. Remember that you are a colleague, not a boss. Peer leadership is fraught with peril. Too often, those who try to do it get burned. Sometimes this is because they have overreached, or because they do not have the authority to do what they want to do. Often there are rivalries among peers, such as two or more people going for the same job. Navigating that terrain can be treacherous. There is no easy way around such issues, but one method is to lead with your project. Let what you are seeking to accomplish — your project, your initiative, your process — be the star. Demonstrate its benefits for the organization.

This way, you show that you are more interested in helping the company succeed than in shining your own star. Leading peers, of course, is a good way to get noticed. When done correctly, it positions you as someone who knows how to make things happen. It’s even better when your peers support you. Then, you demonstrate that you have the support — and most often — the trust of others. Those who lead from the middle are a rare breed, but one that is essential to the success of any enterprise.

Task-oriented (or task-focused) leadership is a behavioral approach in which the leader focuses on the tasks that need to be performed in order to meet certain goals, or to achieve a certain performance standard. Relationship-oriented (or relationship-focused) leadership is a behavioral approach in which the leader focuses on the satisfaction, motivation and the general well-being of the team members.

Task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership are two models that are often compared, as they are known to produce varying outcomes under different circumstances. Contents * 1 Qualities of task-oriented leadership * 2 Qualities of relationship-oriented leadership * 3 Task-oriented vs. relationship-oriented leadership * 4 Fiedler contigency model * 4.1 Relevant studies * 5 Situational leadership theory * 6 See also * 7 References| Qualities of task-oriented leadership [edit]

Task-oriented leaders focus on getting the necessary task, or series of tasks, at hand in order to achieve a goal. These leaders are typically less concerned with the idea of catering to employees, and more concerned with finding the step-by-step solution required to meet specific goals. They will often actively define the work and the roles required, put structures in place, and plan, organize, and monitor progress within the team.[1][2] The advantages of task-oriented leadership is that it ensures that deadlines are met and jobs are completed, and it’s especially useful for team members who don’t manage their time well.

Additionally, these types of leaders will tend to exemplify strong understanding of how to get the job done by focusing on the necessary workplace procedures, thus can delegate work accordingly in order to ensure that everything gets done in a timely and productive manner.[3] However, because task-oriented leaders don’t tend to think much about their team’s well-being, this approach can suffer many of the flaws of autocratic leadership, including causing motivation and retention problems.[4] Qualities of relationship-oriented leadership [edit]

Relationship-oriented leaders are focused on supporting, motivating and developing the people on their teams and the relationships within. This style of leadership encourages good teamwork and collaboration, through fostering positive relationships and good communication. Relationship-oriented leaders prioritize the welfare of everyone in the group, and will place time and effort in meeting the individual needs of everyone involved.

This may involve offering incentives like bonuses, providing mediation to deal with workplace or classroom conflicts, having more casual interactions with team members to learn about their strengths and weaknesses, creating a non-competitive and transparent work environment, or just leading in a personable or encouraging manner.[5][6]

The benefits of relationship-oriented leadership is that team members are in a setting where the leader cares about their well-being. Relationship-oriented leaders understand that building positive productivity requires a positive environment where individuals feel driven. Personal conflicts, dissatisfaction with a job, resentment and even boredom can severely drive down productivity, so the these types of leaders put people first to ensure that such problems stay at a minimum. Additionally, team members may be more willing to take risks, because they know that the leader will provide the support if needed.[7]

The downside of relationship-oriented leadership is that, if taken too far, the development of team chemistry may detract from the actual tasks and goals at hand [8] The term “people-oriented” is used synonymously, whilst in a business setting, this approach may also be referred to as “employee-oriented”.[9] Task-oriented vs. relationship-oriented leadership [edit]

In the 1940s, research in leadership began straying away from identifying individual leadership traits, to analyzing the effects of certain leadership behaviors – predominantly task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership.[10] The table below compares task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership styles side-by-side: Task-Oriented| Relationship-Oriented|

Emphasis on work facilitation| Emphasis on interaction facilitation| Focus on structure, roles and tasks| Focus on relationships, well-being and motivation| Produce desired results is a priority| Foster positive relationships is a priority| Emphasis on goal-setting and a clear plan to achieve goals| Emphasis on team members and communication within| Strict use of schedules and step-by-step plans, and a punishment/incentive system| Communication facilitation, casual interactions and frequent team meetings|

Mixed conclusions have risen from studies that try to determine the effects of task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership: some show that relationship-oriented leadership produces greater productivity,[11][12] while some show that task-oriented leaders create greater group efficacy.[13]

However, a common finding is that relationship-oriented leadership will generate greater cohesion within groups, as well as greater team learning.[14][15][16] It is also supported that relationship-oriented leadership has stronger individual impact, and a positive effect on self-efficacy.[17] A meta-analysis (Burke et al. 2006) conducted in 2006 integrated a wide spectrum of theoretical and empirical studies, and looked at the effects of leadership behaviors through multiple dimensions, including breaking down the specifics of task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership into subgroups such as “initiating structure”, “consideration”, and “empowerment”.

Its main set of analyses investigated the relationship between task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership behaviors on the following outcomes: perceived team effectiveness, team productivity, and team learning/growth. Results concluded that task-oriented leadership and relationship-oriented leadership produce a relatively similar perceived team effectiveness, however actual team productivity was higher for relationship-oriented led teams than for task-oriented teams (measured increase of 8% and 4% respectively).[18] It has also been theorized that groups who perceive their leaders as more task-oriented achieve higher levels of task accomplishment.[19] Fiedler contigency model [edit]

Main article: Fiedler contingency modelThe Fiedler Contingency Model argues that three situational components can determine whether task-oriented or relationship-oriented leadership is the better fit for the situation: 1. Leader-Member Relations, referring to the degree of mutual trust, respect and confidence between the leader and the subordinates. 2. Task Structure, referring to the extent to which group tasks are clear and structured.

3. Leader Position Power, referring to the power inherent in the leader’s position itself. When there is a good leader-member relation, a highly structured task, and high leader position power, the situation is considered a “favorable situation.” Fiedler found that low-LPC leaders are more effective in extremely favourable or unfavourable situations, whereas high-LPC leaders perform best in situations with intermediate favourability.[20] The table below shows a breakdown of the theory:[21]

Leader-Member Relations| Task Structure| Leader’s Position Power| MostEffective Leader| Good| Structured| Strong| Task-oriented|Good| Structured| Weak| Task-oriented|Good| Unstructured| Strong| Task-oriented|Good| Unstructured| Weak| Relationship-oriented|Poor| Structured| Strong| Relationship-oriented|Poor| Structured| Weak| Relationship-oriented|Poor| Unstructured| Strong| Relationship-oriented|Poor| Unstructured| Weak| Task-oriented|Relevant studies [edit]

An experiment was conducted in 1972 with a total of 128 United States Military cadets in 4-man groups, to test the predictive validity of Fiedler’s contingency model of leadership effectiveness. The experiment, which involved strong manipulation and specification of variables affecting situational favorableness, produced strong support for the contingency model.[22] A study was conducted that determined if basketball athletes of different age groups (lower high school to university level) preferred training and instruction (task-oriented) behavior or social support (relationship-oriented) behavior.

Analyses and results revealed a quadratic trend for preference in task-oriented behavior that progressively decreased lower high school through junior to senior levels, and increased at the university level. A linear trend was seen for preference in relationship-oriented behavior, which progressively increased as age went up.[23] Situational leadership theory [edit]

Main article: Situational leadership theoryIn the 1950s, management theorists from Ohio State University and the University of Michigan published a series of studies to determine whether leaders should be more task or relationship oriented.[24] The research concluded that there is no single “best” style of leadership, and thus led to the creation of the Situational Leadership Theory, which essentially argues that leaders should engage in a healthy dose of both task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership fit for the situation, and the people being led.[25]

The Blake Mouton Managerial Grid, also known as Managerial grid model, serves as a framework to determine how one can balance task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership. It plots the degree of