We assume The GILS-model is a better and more complete leadershipmodel than most other models in this field. But there is more. In our professional view The GILS-model also offers professional trainers the opportunity to design better and more efficient trainingcourses in effective managementbehavior.
To indicate our main arguments in this we first sketch the common practice in managementtraining:
- a model of leadershipstyles is presented and discussed.
- sometimes a questionaire presents a trainee with an indication of his or her's preference for or ability in each of the behavioral styles.
- a trainee is learned to implement the cluster of behavioral elements of each leadershipstyle via roleplay. The roleplay is activated by a case brought in by the trainers or by the trainees themselves out of their daily practice. Often in cases by trainers the choice as to what behavioral style the manager-trainee has to engage in, is prescribed.
- the other trainees in the course are either asked to play an instructed accomodating role or to be attentive observers and provide the central trainee (the fish in the fishbow !) with constructive feedback on the effectiveness of the behavior presented and/or suggest more effective influencing behavior by trainee. Often it is deemed necessary to engage trained actors to roleplay trainees counterparts. In these situations the other trainees are even more inactive.
- sometimes it is standardprocedure to videoreplay the entire interaction process so that the trainee is able to observe his or hers own behavioral interaction in the full. Other trainees are thus asked to watch the same interaction a second time.
- after feedback and discussion there sometimes is time to replay the situation by experimenting with new behavior.
In general these steps do their work. And as trainees must position themselves as disciples/followers of professionals-trainers they must submit themselves to what is presented. But very often the consequences are:
- trainees are presented with a relatively small number of opportunities to learn-experiment with the behavioral styles as manager-leader and thus also obtain relatively small amounts of feedback
- trainees engage in prescribed roleplay not in self choosen managementgoals ánd managerial behavior. So the feedback is not on self choosen behavior and has less or no learning impact
- trainees learn to be actors in situations and are not empowered to be themselves and authentic
- standard full videoreplay consumes lots of time, then resulting in lesser learning moments for all trainees. Managerial influencing effectivity aks for adequate observation of the ongoing interactionproces during interaction. Too much videoreplay after experimental interaction often neglects this learning goal.
- the focus is on behavioral skills. There is no structural attention (and time) for the decisions, values, thoughts, assumptions and attitudes of trainees that steer their decisions to choose managementgoals and implement certain behavior. Much like the proverbial learning people to eat fish caught by othres not learning them to catch fish by themselves.
In this way these courses cán factually often be not more then introductory courses. And their consequence is that in the final stage of a training trainees are presented with the sentence: "go and please try to implement in practice".
The GILS-model helps professional managementtrainers to design more efficient (and effective) trainingcourses in leaderbehavior by:
- offering full interactivity resulting in more trainees at a time learning: in each excercise not only one trainee experiments as "manager" with a behavioral style. Also one or more other trainees experiment with styles and complementary styles as "workers".
- trainees are asked to be and "play" themselves. In exercises they are either in the position of manager or co-worker as in their reality. They are invited to experiment with own chosen behavior and to reflect on own chosen goals. And they (both) receive collegial and professional feedback on what is theirs: this feedback will be perceived as more personally relevant.
- stressing the need to focus on the situational decisions managers make to implement influencing behavior not entirely focussing on behavioral skills in influencing but: the model helps to detect idiosyncratic management thinking on what effective managementinterventioning is all about and stresses the need to reflect on the roots, values, norms, cultural perspectives, assumptions etcetera from wich their trainees arrive at these decisions.
- learning trainees to consciously observe the dynamic managementreality during interaction as they should be able to do in their own daily managementpractices.