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Carl Jung’s Theory: The Influence of Leadership Style on The Team

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This assignment will be thinking about leadership and teamwork demonstrated throughout the 302CC module. The class was assigned a scenario-based task and asked to create an intervention to achieve service improvement. This reflection will be using Tuckman’s stages of development alongside management and leadership theories and styles to look at the team as a whole but mainly focus on my role within the team. The Clinical Leadership Competency Framework was used as a self-assessment tool before beginning this reflection to identify my strengths and weaknesses when working within a multidisciplinary team and to consider ways to continue my own personal and professional development. The practice of learning and increasing leadership and management skills is vital in enabling team members to contribute effectively to a team. The importance of leadership and management skills was identified by West et al to develop principles and practices which prioritized and valued the patient’s needs and were promoted and supported within the organization to deliver high standards of care. Reflection in nursing practice is a fundamental element of continuous professional development and an essential learning tool. A reflective diary has been kept to enable me to look back and consider how my management and leadership skills have developed. The use of a reflective diary by practitioners to improve practice is supported by Oelofsen who identified its importance and benefits as a learning tool because it allows for emotional self-awareness surrounding an experience whilst identifying positives and challenges.


Tuckman’s theory developed in 1965 is a model of team development which states that a team needs to go through a set of stages for the team to grow, face challenges, solve problems, plan work and achieve their aim, the theory is not a linear theory and the different stages can be revisited if necessary. I was working in a team selected by the course leader, which bought together occupational therapy, adult and children’s nursing students into a multi-disciplinary team. This was beneficial because it provided the team with the opportunity to work with other disciplines and ensured a wide range of knowledge and experience from practice could be used when creating a service improvement.

The use of autocratic leadership was necessary during the forming stage where members are polite and positive because team roles and responsibilities are unclear, a lack of leadership can therefore lead to disorganization and chaos. I adopted an autocratic style of leadership during the initial meeting because other team members demonstrated reluctance to take a leadership role maybe because they were unsure of team goals and what to expect of the team and each other. It was therefore essential for someone to take charge and assert the team’s purpose and objectives. 

My role in the team was to suggest methods of communication such as email and WhatsApp, encourage other team members to share their ideas, and contribute to discussions. Knowing an individual’s personality within the group was important, according to Carl Jung, people have distinct personality trait that makes them unique and provides different learning and communication styles. These learning styles can impact on the effectiveness of learning and team working under specific conditions. 

Carl Jung developed this theory based on four psychological aspects, he stated that people fall into one of four categories these include extrovert versus introvert, people with extrovert learning styles like learning from experience and enjoying group work, however, Introverts are more reflective learners who prefer solitary learning. Thinking versus feeling, people with a thinking learning style take their time to analyze a situation and make their decision based on logic and reason. Alternatively, people with a feeling learning style are in tune with their emotions and base their decisions on immediate feelings. In sensation versus intuition, people who fall into the sensation category use experience gained from their environment and use common sense to solve problems, whilst sensing learning types tend to be realistic and mainly focus on the present, intuitive learners like considering ideas and base their decisions on possibilities and potential outcomes. 

Judging versus perceiving, those with a judging learning style tend to be more decisive, organized, and structured, these people are usually effective team members due to their use of carefully made plans and schedules whereas, perceiving learners are more flexible, they often make impulsive decisions and dislike structure and organization. Considering Carl Jung’s theory, team dynamics were affected by different learning styles possessed by team members, this influenced the roles and responsibilities undertaken within the team. In addition, Maples suggested team members could also be identified due to their similarities. The two students in the February cohort shared similar attributes and seemed less forthcoming during the group meetings which limited team effectiveness. This may be because they were younger, however, it could be argued that they are of the introvert learning style in comparison to the two occupational therapists and me, who as mature students shared a more extrovert learning style whereby age and experiences could be considered a factor.


It is during this stage that team members started to form opinions of each other. As a team leader, I was able to identify underlying issues such as shyness and lack of confidence by encouraging team members to verbalize their thoughts and feelings during face-to-face meetings and by confirming their understanding and satisfaction of their role within the team. Initially, the two team members from the February cohort participated less in the team and this may have been due to fear and lack of confidence needed to take on a leadership role and drive the team forward. At this stage the team still needed a directional style of leadership and my leadership and management style changed from autocratic to democratic and became more of a coaching role, this was due to team dynamics developing as team members become better acquainted. 

A natural hierarchy became established within the team with older team members leading and managing younger members, Galinsky et al recognize the importance of hierarchy in team effectiveness, hierarchy facilitates and coordinates team interactions and allows members to know their place within the team whilst clarifying expectations surrounding roles, norms and ‘expected behaviors’ based on the members position within the hierarchy. Alternatively, Bunderson and Reagans argue that hierarchy promotes conflict and affects team effectiveness due to members’ differences and incompatibilities although this was not evident in the team. Looking back at the roles members took within the team it became apparent that myself and one of the occupational therapy students were the driving force behind the team and used a shared leadership style. An autocratic leadership style is vital in situations such as hospital accidents and emergency departments where a clear leader needs to be identified however at this stage of team development this may have been counterproductive with team members having no freedom of choice or expression, which could lead to low morale and disengagement. 

The use of shared democratic leadership was the best style for the team, it allowed for open communication, with all team members being equal and involved, this is because it encompasses and encourages those that want to learn and be involved, and although it can be argued to be less effective than an autocratic leadership style, it led to members feeling valued, higher levels of morale, engagement, and collaboration within the team. Keeping communication open with the use of technology and face-to-face group meetings and by applying Lewin’s management model, using the concept of freezing, making the necessary change then refreezing, the team was empowered in planning and implementing change in a positive manner. The use of technology is fast and efficient for sharing information however it is in fact face to face meetings that drives productivity within a team and provides the best method of communication because it offers the greatest opportunity to include others within the team, due to building positive connections that can not be reproduced in the ‘virtual environment’. Goman determined that the most effective form of communication is face-to-face because of the use of non-verbal signals, she states that people remember most of what they have seen rather that what they have heard, and therefore to be the most persuasive it is best to be seen and heard.


Positive group identity is important to the team as this will increase morale and lead to a positive attitude towards the task allocated and subsequently to its delivery. Most team members were present at each session and all team members contributed by assuming a team role. I showed a facilitating leadership style by encouraging the two team members from the February cohort to share their opinions and experiences. The combination of team members from different fields of practice allowed for challenges to team boundaries and provided ways to identify strengths and weaknesses within the team. For example, one of the occupational therapists was fundamental in the development of the service improvement, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience from practice which she shared with the team and provided other team members with a learning opportunity. 

Applying Belbin’s team role model was useful during the norming stage because it allowed me to consider the nine role behaviors such as team coordinator, team worker, resource investigator, shaper, implementor, completer/ finisher, plant, monitor/evaluator or specialist. All nine roles need to be assumed by individual team members for the team to be successful, at this point the team had settled into a cohesive team in which roles were discussed and agreed. Due to the team having fewer members than roles some team members took on multiple roles. Reflecting back on this stage of team development I had several roles within the team, I was a productive leader, a researcher, a coach, and a co-ordinator, I have considered why this was and I believe I took on these roles due to previous experiences which enabled me to facilitate a leadership role along with effective team working. I discovered that I preferred shared democratic leadership over autocratic leadership because it gave each team member a voice and an opportunity to develop their own personalities, roles, and leadership styles within the team and I would adopt the same leadership style and roles in the future.


It was important during the performing stage that there was a focus on teamwork and a consensus, the result of this was that the two team members from the February cohort who had initially been more reserved were participating more in team discussions and other team activities such as sharing information and ideas. The consensus was used to work out a plan for presenting and it was generally agreed to be the section each team member had researched. Situational leadership was used during this stage to manage the writing and rehearsal of the presentation, this type of leadership style was effective as it enabled the team leaders to adapt their leadership style accordingly, for instance when an animated discussion arose concerning the inclusion of some information, not all team members considered relevant. The democratic style of leadership was used during the discussion however as the discussion continued, it became apparent that I needed to use an autocratic approach to refocus the team, prevent conflict from arising and manage time effectively. Situational leaders are considered the best leaders as they provide the team with what it needs, offering guidance and autonomy along with the right amount of support and direction to succeed however Wroeblewski argues that situational leadership sends conflicting signals to team members and could foster resentment if members feel they are being treated differently.


Evaluating the team at this stage it was evident that the team had worked well together with trust and respect for others’ opinions, ideas, and experiences being established amongst team members. After the presentation, the team was disbanded as the team had achieved their objective and successfully worked through the stages of Tuckman’s model.


In this assignment, I have reflected on my leadership and management roles and how team working and leadership is affected by working within a multidisciplinary team. I have used Tuckman’s team development stages and leadership theory to evaluate how leadership style impacts the team. I have considered personality types using the work of Carl Jung and reflected on how leadership and personality contribute to effective team working. The CLCF Self-Assessment tool was used to create an action plan in which I considered my own strengths and weaknesses, key developmental needs, and long-term development needs. This module has taught me the importance of leadership style and shown me how and why it should be adapted dependent on the situation and stage of team development. The management qualities I have developed will enable me to practice effectively as a nurse, delegating to other team members, whilst my leadership style will enable me to motivate and influence other team members to work together effectively.


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