To achieve Step 5, individuals will have to show that they can manage group discussions towards shared decisions.
In earlier steps, the focus was on how leaders manage tasks by sharing them thoughtfully and fairly, and then managing time and resources so that team members can complete those tasks. This step expands on that by engaging team members in that decision-making process.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
In education, groups of people frequently gather to discuss an issue. The School Council is a classic example, others might include the planning of an assembly or school/college newsletter. If a discussion is to lead to shared decisions then the group needs to be managed in just the same way as a meeting, with a chairperson, note taker and timekeeper. The strategies and organisational advice included in the step are equally relevant for large groups as for a small meeting between student and teacher.
In the workplace, meetings are extremely commonplace and groups are regularly required to reach a shared decision. Some managers may hold or attend meetings as many as six or eight times in a day, particularly if they have a large area of responsibility. Others may simply attend one weekly or monthly meeting: for example, a regular meeting with members of their team.
Discussions which need to conclude in a decision all require the same degree of management,whether it be a small informal grouping - for example, an employee and their manager undertaking a performance review - or a significant and important gathering - for example, national government. Confidence at this step will enable you to apply the same structure and framework to each and every meeting regardless of size or nature.
In the wider world, we often have to attend meetings if we belong to clubs or associations. The people gathering to make shared decisions may not attend regular meetings and may be unfamiliar with decision making. The management of such discussions and the reaching of a shared decision can often require very careful management.
How to practise this skill step
To best practise this step of Leadership, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step, and have a go!
To teach this step:
This step can be well reinforced if learners have an extended project, although it can also be reinforced through shorter tasks. Reminding learners of the role of a chair and what makes a productive meeting, and then carrying out a reflection afterwards will help them to build their confidence in running sessions in this way.
This step is best assessed through observing a meeting and how the leader organises and then chairs a meeting. The teacher should look for evidence of effective chairing using some of the guidelines above.
This step is relevant to all individuals who have the opportunity to manage a team conversation.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill in the workplace:
For those already employed, this step is best assessed by observing how the individual sets up and then chairs a meeting. Evidence of this skill step in action can be found in the individual showing they are calm, polite and in control of the meeting.
During the recruitment process, this step can be assessed by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
At home, you can easily support your child to build their essential skills. The good news is that there
are lots of ways that you can have a big impact, including: