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Leadership Roles in a Small-Group Project

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Leadership Roles 1

Leadership Roles in a Small-Group Project Merlla McLaughlin Professor Bushnell Communications 102 February 22, 2004

Source: Andrea A. Lunsford (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004)

Leadership Roles 2 Abstract Using the interpersonal communications research of J. K. Brilhart and G. J. Galanes, as well as that of W. Wilmot and J. Hocker, along with T. Hartman’s Personality Assessment, I observed and analyzed the leadership roles and group dynamics of my project collaborators in a communications course. Based on results of the Hartman Personality Assessment, I predicted that a single leader would emerge. However, complementary individual strengths and gender differences encouraged a distributed leadership style, in which the group experienced little confrontation. Conflict, because it was handled positively, was crucial to the group’s progress.

Source: Andrea A. Lunsford (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004)

Leadership Roles 3 Leadership Roles in a Small-Group Project While classroom lectures provide students with volumes of information, many experiences can be understood only by living them. So it is with the workings of a small, task-focused group. What observations can I make after working with a my peers on a class project? And what have I learned as a result? Leadership Expectations and Emergence The six members of this group were selected by the instructor; half were male and half were female. By performing the Hartman Personality Assessment (Hartman, 1998) in class, we learned that Hartman has associated key personality traits with the colors red, blue, white, and yellow (see Table 1). The assessment identified most of us as “Blues,” concerned with intimacy and caring. Because of the bold qualities associated with “Reds,” I expected that Nate, our only “Red” member, might become our leader.

Table 1 Hartman’s Key Personality Traits Color…...

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