*Each discussion response should be at least 75 words min
Discussion 1
1. Why do you think storytelling is such a powerful means of communicating for a leader? How is active listening related to storytelling?
To convey not only information, but a company vision at an effort to influence others, storytelling can be a very useful tool (Daft, 2018). Stories can help pass the message of why something should be done and not merely what should be done. Storytelling can be a welcomed addition to training programs. This method allows for an understanding on how to lead by influence as opposed to leading by command (Daft, 2018). Human beings are wired for storytelling, so it stands to reason that an effective leader must utilize such to be an effective communicator (Why storytelling is essential, 2018). Perhaps what is so powerful about communicating through storytelling is the notion that a story allows people to experience information rather than merely attempt to consume the material (Why storytelling is essential, 2018). In addition, a leader that can establish a skillset of active listening will further enhance his sphere of influence. Active listening is also directly related to storytelling. When a leader is engaged in the story being told by a member of their team, their body language and verbal affirmations help demonstrate authenticity of their interest (Eastwood, 2020). In addition, active listening can also lead to asking questions. Questions are a great tool to assist in allowing the story to move forward (Eastwood, 2020).
2. What style of handling conflict do you typically use? Can you think of instances where a different style might have been more productive?
I tend to utilize the collaborating style to handle conflict. This method often allows for additional trust by those under my leadership as they get a sense of having power in deciding the issue. I strive to empower my team to be apart of the solution. It also shows my team that I am willing to listen to their ideas or methods even in areas where I disagree. In addition, the collaborating style is effective in leveraging diversity within my team. However, there are times when I should have utilized a dominating style as opposed to collaborating. The downfall of a collaborating style is that is can often take time to implement. There are numerous voices that need to be heard. These ideas do not mold into a finished product overnight. As a leader, I can be given a directive that must yield results immediately. During these instances, a concise, assertive plan must be activated (Daft, 2018). There can also be times where the ultimate decision would not be popular, yet it would be necessary. Such an example would be terminating an employee that violated company policy. This is not a situation to allow for collaboration. Oftentimes, the decision is already made by the human resources department. In such cases, the leader has to execute the plan quickly and there is no acceptable reason to allow for input from the team.
Discussion 2
Storytelling is important for leaders when it comes to communicating with their followers. Storytelling is a way to connect with people and share all the facts and information about the goal trying to be performed rather than just giving commands about what needs to be done. It leaves people feeling more invested into what the leader is saying opposed to sitting down watching a slide show about what needs to be done to reach the next goal. Personally I’m always more invested in listening if someone is capable of sharing something as a story rather than just saying “here this needs to be done”. Active listening is also an important part of communicating for leaders. Active listening allows for a leader tone fully engaged in what an employee is saying and give off the general ques that they are actually engaged in what is being said. It shows your employee that you care and value them while also allowing for better communication. In all of my jobs since I was a teen, I have seen that every manager could work on active listening. I noticed not a lot of employees were happy with their concerns seeming to go in one ear and out the other.
I would say my style handling conflict is the collaborating leadership style. This style allows the leader to consider all the concerns of employees and come to a compromise to ensure happiness of everyone. I personally feel like this is one of the best styles because this allows you to engage with all of your employees and not leave some feeling left out. Everyone gets to feel valued as important and heard. However, coming to a compromise can take awhile with this sort of style and requires a lot of thinking time. I think in many incidences other styles of handling conflict would be beneficial and honestly it would be best to have a mixture of all of the styles because I think different peopled different situations respond differently to different styles of conflict management. Each style does come with it’s pros and cons though. One of these styles being compromising. I don’t think this is a great style just because I think it always leaves someone singled out and doesn’t give much thought on how the other employee may feel. Or the avoiding style which can make employees all around feel like they just aren’t valued and that management can’t handle such issues.

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