1. REVIEW THE POST BELOW
“Discuss the level of trust in your department or, in the words of Patrick Lencioni, your “first team”- that team that has and deserves your loyalty and best efforts. What’s the temperature? Can people speak freely and embrace new ideas? Does your department suffer from silence or cynicism- a chilling effect in a team?” (Longman, 2012, p.136).
The temperature of my previous educational institution was positive or warm. Individual’s could speak freely about ideas and were able to embrace new concepts and suggestions for the team. Although this culture existed there were some that still suffered from silence or an unwillingness to speak up. In my opinion, this was due to their introverted nature, lack of self-confidence, or fear of being wrong or looking uninformed. I too have had feelings of insecurity that have ultimately limited my willingness to speak up. However, I do not believe that this was the dominant reaction or behavior within the institution or that it was the result of a culture of silence. When students or other faculty introduced new methods for instruction or suggestions for improvement they were welcomed, appreciated, and accepted. These suggestions and constructive criticism were then utilized to create improvements within the organization.
2. “Every environment will have a temperature or trust fluctuations. Can you identify best practices that have built trust in your environments? What threatens trust in your environment?” (Longman, 2012, p.136).
At my previous institution, my advisor and the dean reached out to extend their condolences after my mother-in-law unexpectedly died in our home. This act of kindness established a trusting relationship that I want to emulate in my teaching career. It is essential as leaders to remember to be compassionate and supportive when others need it. This is part of our Christian faith to model and extend grace and compassion (Longman, 2012). The intentional promotion of trust enhances the quality culture within an educational institution (Dzimińska et al., 2018). Building a high reputation for the institution can help build students’ trust in the institution. When faculty support students they can attach to the school and develop trust. This occurs through the demonstration of shared values, beliefs, expectations, and commitment to quality (Dzimińska et al., 2018). However, there are things that threaten trust within an organization as well. Examples include providing nonconstructive criticism or feedback, displaying a culture of blame and negativity, exhibiting a lack of follow-through, and being unwilling to change or listen to suggestions or ideas. Additionally, when staff minimize current research-informed teaching, they undermine trust (Longman, 2012). All these behaviors threaten the development of trust in the faculty as well as in the organization.
3. “What are the obstacles, if any, for building new levels of trust?” (Longman, 2012, p.136).
Obstacles for building trust include fear, individualism, and barriers to commitment (Longman, 2012). Individualism is stressed in education and is a by-product of the job as an educator. However, this can be an obstacle to overcome when seeking to understand each other and team roles. Moreover, the overwhelming responsibilities and duties of faculty can be an obstacle to building new levels of trust. Sometimes it may feel as though there are not enough hours in the day to provide the individualized feedback required for adequate student engagement. Fear of change and a lack of self-confidence can also pose a challenge to attaining higher levels of trust within an organization. Lastly, barriers to commitment, such as a perceived lack of sufficient time to hold individuals accountable as well as to appropriately follow-through with agreements, can also inhibit the attainment of the next level of trust.
4. “What simple steps could you take to value another person in your department or on your team?” (Longman, 2012, p.136).
There are several simple things that can be done to show that a team member or department is valued within the organization. Showing staff that they are appreciated can be as simple as verbalizing your appreciation for their individual hard work or by acknowledging them among their peers and the organization. Cultivating a culture of gratitude not only exemplifies value but also reinforces trust (Longman, 2012). Moreover, listening to the concerns, suggestions, and ideas of team members demonstrates the individual’s value to the organization and processes.
5. “What could you do to show that you are for the other in your team or departmental relationships?” (Longman, 2012, p.136).
Being for others and departmental relationships mean having their back and making hard calls with humble sensitivity. It requires an individual to look out for the interest of others and not just one’s self. Furthermore, supporting, promoting, and defending staff are essential elements to being for others. Lastly, getting to know the roles of others within the department and the team and making a commitment to truly understanding their part within the team illustrates this quality (Longman, 2012).
6. “How could you personally do or be something that contributes to moving your team or institution to a higher level of trust?” (Longman, 2012, p.136)
I can contribute to the development of higher levels of trust by being for others, providing timely and useful feedback for improvement, promoting a culture of gratitude, learning team roles and responsibilities to better support the needs of my team, being honest and respectful, and actively listening and responding to the ideas and needs of others (Longman, 2012).
7. “Take these questions to the next rung of your institution” (Longman, 2012, p.136).
As I continue to investigate these questions and their application to all levels of the organization, I will be able to promote a trusting relationship with others and cultivate higher levels of trust within the organization and institution. These questions can also assist in cultivating a culture of quality and honesty thus improving the overall temperature of the environment.
Chapter 7 Questions
1. Which of the factors described in the chapter might have been at work during an incident that surprised or irritated you? Does understanding their perspectives help to understand their response?
Looking back at an incident where I was irritated by a response when working with faculty it is clear to see after reading this chapter that they were doing what they have been trained to do and following their chain of command and the current policies (even if the policies were outdated). It does help me understand where they were coming from. There is a specific process that must be followed in order to achieve desired results that will stand the test of implementation.
2. On your faculty, who has the greatest authority? How was the authority negotiated?
The team has the greatest authority because no one man can do it all. Even the dean must have support. I feel that although the dean is the head of the institution the board, staff, and faculty all have stake and place within the decision-making process. The authority was negotiated based on the determined roles and responsibilities of each team member. I think the quote in this chapter said it best, “authority works only to the degree that subordinates accept it and choose to cooperate with it” (Longman, 2012, p. 163).
3. If you needed to bring about change that would affect the faculty, where would you start? Which people would you involve?
I would begin with the people on the front lines in which it affects directly. This would allow me to determine how the process affects them and to obtain their concerns, suggestions, ideas, and any other input regarding the change. Next, I would approach the key stakeholders to obtain their input. Depending on the change I would approach students, administrators, other educators, and equipment and logistics managers. Later I would advance the proposal to the chair, board, and dean.
4. Is Roland similar to anyone you know? Explain a situation this reminds you of.
I have worked alongside people like Roland. I was part of a committee that was trying to obtain approval to implement a new process within the organization. It was very similar to the example in that the details had been discussed at great length prior to the presentation, however, once it was time for the questions and answers portion, one of the team members began to reexamine aspects of the process that had already been ironed out. I think that this was not an attempt to sabotage the proposal but instead to bring light to continued concerns regarding the process. I think that the individual really wanted to new process to not only work but be sustainable and that he raised these concerns as he did in an attempt to ensure the success of the future implementation.
5. Strategies for securing buy-in to the institutions mission? Does staff and faculty buy-in differ?
Strategies for securing buy-in include taking the time to obtain input from staff, faculty, and those on the frontline of the work, demonstrating the purpose, value, and passion behind the mission, being humble, honest, accepting, and appreciative of any and all input, and illustrating that at the core of the mission is our theological heritage and the role of Jesus Christ at the center of everything (Longman, 2012). Staff and faculty buy-in may be different because of the roles, responsibilities, and varying personalities between them. What is most important to one may not be the most important element to another individual. However, at the core, the buy-in will have a similar target with the institution’s mission to serve for God and through his word.
6. What new strategies can you take to increase the level of trust within your organization?
I think I will make sure to be for others by supporting others in any way I can. I will grow a culture of gratitude by acknowledging the hard work of others and recognizing their value to others within the organization. I will be honest, accountable, and follow-through with my actions. I will learn the roles of other members of the team to gain a better understanding of their part within the mission.
AFTER Reviewing the posts, offer feedback or suggestions.
What elements of the culture of higher education are similar? different? Provide examples.
Consider the assertion that in higher education (and in nursing education), diversity is essential. Not only does the organization have a culture, but each person, whether student, faculty, staff, or leader, also comes from a unique experience and/or culture. How does this impact the communication from the leader?
1 page, 3 scholarly references within the last 5 years.
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