Behavioral Science Theory Applied in Leadership

Executive Summary

Behavioral science theory is quite effective in helping us to understand the effectiveness of leadership. This theory stipulates that a leader that posses some character traits and is in a position of displaying consideration is capable of structuring follower’s behavior; therefore, such a leader is considerably effective. This person can hardly compare to other leaders who lack some of these skills in managing either an organization or a particular group.

However, the success of a leader cannot be determined through the application of this theory, although with a combination of other theories such as trait theory, one can easily put a distinction between an effective and ineffective leader.

While in an organization, some people tend to display leadership characters and even implement those roles without their knowledge. For instance, where a conflict arises in a group, one of the members might initiate a negotiation to solve the conflict without necessarily taking the matter to the group leader. At other times, the group leader may find himself or herself in a position where he or she cannot solve the conflict amicably. It is always crucial for the leader to involve all other members of the group as they may have the solution to the issue at hand. A leader is a person who assumes responsibility for all his or her duties.

When a subordinate is assigned some tasks, he or she tends to assume the role of leadership without consent. For instance, s/he should clear all tasks assigned to him or her, make, and submit a report to the administration concerning the completed task. These are some of the responsibilities of a leader, and when one initiates them, he or she tends to assume leadership roles and traits. This paper aims at giving an analysis of my personal experience. The paper shall begin by stating the purpose of the study, which aims at giving a concise description of the behavioral science theory.

Purpose

Behavioral science theory aims at describing facts behind the difference in behavior among members of a society, organization, or even a group itself. However, this theory can also be crucial in the stipulation of policies and conflict prevention measures within an organization. These conflicts may be due to different behaviors, hence the application of the theory. When an organization comes up with intervention measures to change human behavior, it is always crucial for the administration to understand why people behave in a certain way.

Moreover, a leader must ensure that he or she knows about the factors behind the performance or non-performance of certain behavior. Through this aspect, he or she can come up with an intervention measure that influences the displayed behavior successfully. Through research, one can determine which one of the several theoretical factors predicts and explains a particular behavior as depicted by a certain group of people. Intervention can be developed to influence the intervening factors and thus facilitate the desired behavioral change.

In a bid to have a clear comprehension of this theory, several concepts have been utilized by researchers to enrich the theory. These concepts include leadership, communication, conflict resolution, perception, motivation, power, and negotiation. These concepts are some of the traits that should be displayed by a leader. For a person to acquire leadership, s/he should have traits and the ability to influence a group of people or the entire organization towards achieving a set of goals or a certain vision. Some people may possess this trait naturally, whereas others acquire it through the managerial position bestowed upon them by the organization.

A manager becomes a leader by his/her position as his or her position in the organization bears some formally designated authority. However, this aspect does not guarantee that all leaders are managers or all managers are leaders. However, strong leadership is crucial to ensure the optimal and effective management of an organization. The trait theory of leadership stipulates that an organization should consider personal qualities and characteristics that differentiate a leader from all other members of the organization.

Some researchers differed with the trait theory and thus came up with the behavioral theory, which proposed the consideration of specific behavior that differentiated leaders from non-leaders. Every leader should have the capacity to influence the behavior of other people. However, those influenced should also act following the wishes of the leader and not be rebellious; therefore, this element depicts power.

A leader should also appreciate other people’s perceptions and try to initiate a change in them. Perception defines the process by which an individual organizes and interprets various impressions harbored in his or her brains to give meaning to the environment. Individuals tend to behave differently due to differences in perceptions. This aspect may lead to conflicts among individuals in a group or even the entire organization; hence, a leader should initiate measures to curb this problem.

For instance, conflicts in an organization can be prevented through various ways including efficient communication, whereby a leader ensures that relevant and timely information reaches the intended group or individuals. Communication is vital, as it underscores the only way through which a leader provides sufficient information to others. However, in the case of a conflict, conflict resolution can be initiated.

Leaders can employ different strategies to end conflict including negotiations where the leader listens to the conflicting parties and helps them to reach an agreement without being the sole source of the resolution. In the operation of an entity, one of the sole purposes is to make a profit and even expand the organization. In a bid to achieve this goal, the organization must ensure that employees’ performance is up to standard. Also, employee motivation is crucial as it encompasses processes that account for the employees’ intensity, direction, persistence, and willingness towards attaining a particular goal. These are all concepts that a leader should be well versed with to ensure efficiency especially in the management of an organization.

Background

Leadership comes in when a person can consider other people’s interests before personal interests. Leadership can also be demonstrated even within the family circle. I never realized that I carried leadership traits until later in college where I discovered my potentiality in leadership. All along, I thought I was a follower although I could get others to follow in my footsteps. Back at home, I would easily influence my siblings to do what was right, especially when they rebelled against our parents. I would help them to understand what was good for them; therefore, their attention and support would change for the better. I followed this same trend while in elementary and high school.

During my studies in high school, I was capable of convincing other students any time a controversial issue came up. For instance, I was in a position to liaise with administration and students to have some changes to the teaching schedule after some students raised their concerns over the same. I presented their grievances to the administration and through negotiations; I managed to convince them to do some reshuffles (see appendix 1). The reshuffling was done in favor of students, and through this single act of leadership, I rose to be a student leader in my school. Currently, I am on the management team in one of the companies here.

Analysis

As one of the management team members of a well-known company, I am bound to face various challenges because in performing my day-to-day chores as a manager, I deal with people of different personalities, cultures, and behaviors. Currently, I head a sales department, thus depicting an internal locus of control. Locus of control defines the extent to which a manager exercises authority, power, and control. My authority and power are limited within the department I serve.

Though I manage a small group of people, this aspect is a crucial move towards developing my career in management because being in a position to manage a small group of people sheds some light on what to expect later in the career (see appendix 2). Communication involves passing on information and instructions to subordinates. For communication to be effective, the message passed must reach the intended recipient on time and unaltered.

I always ensure that effective and efficient modes and channels of passing information are utilized. Too many details are not offered to ensure that the recipient understands the message being passed on to her or him. However, communication can never be complete without feedback from the recipient.

Once feedback is not delivered to me, I make a follow up to ensure that all is okay and that the message reached the intended recipient. Communication mix-ups are natural in an organization, especially where several channels are utilized. I experienced this aspect when some mails were delivered to the wrong recipients, as their emails closely resembled each other. This could be avoided by having unique emails that could easily be distinguished.

Management role is complex, as managers tend to socialize with people of different characters daily. It would be against ethics for the manager to judge people based on the first impression as this element leads to biases in making crucial decisions. As a leader, I value performance and employee welfare to ensure that the involved parties’ goals align with each other. I have a passion to develop other people and this trait influenced my career path towards management.

Conclusion

While in my career as a manager, I play the role of a manager and a leader at the same time. Not every manager can be a leader, just the way not every leader is a manager. A leader is one who can study how a certain group of people behave, then come up with an alternative measure to cultivate positive change into the followers. There exist various styles of leadership and a manager will treat people depending on the leadership style s/he utilizes. However, every leader should take time to study how other people behave for smoother operations either within a group or within an organization.