The recent lesson on the psychodynamic approach to leadership was particularly interesting to me. I am a psychology major so I am familiar with psychodynamics, but it was nice to see it applied towards leadership in a way that I have not learned about before. The approach also plays into my current life quite well actually.
I just recently got promoted to manager of a store in my company, and while I could not be happier I am also a bit nervous. Not about running my store smoothly, or doing the paperwork and logistics of everything, but I am nervous about coming into the store and knowing none of the people I will be in charge of. I am a relatively chill boss (I was assistant before hand), so long as everything is done the way it is meant to be done we can still have fun at work. Going into this new store I am going to have to connect with my staff on a new level that I have never done before, this is where I believe the psychodynamic approach will actually help me a great deal.
The psychodynamic approach will be great for my role as leader of the store because it is a small staff and I will be working closely with all of them at some point or time. The psychodynamic approach focuses on the dynamics of human behavior and emphasizes the interpersonal connection between leader and follower (Northouse). I am going to be able to connect with each of my staff on a personal level, I will be able to learn their ticks, what they excel at, and what their future plans are for their career. This will help my store to grow stronger.
In the lesson several weaknesses of this approach were mentioned, the first one being that the approach was based on people who had more mental issues as opposed to ‘everyday’ people (PSU WC, 2019, L3, pg 10). I don’t think this will present itself as issue in my scenario because while none of my employees have serious problems, I will want to know more about them other than just the top layer. I am going to want to know even the smallest of personal issues incase it were to affect the operations of the store. It is also mentioned that the approach is too broad, and does not take into account other situational factors, making it a very hard approach to implement (PSU WC, 2019, L3, pg 10). I can see how this would be a problem, especially the higher up you were to go in a company, just because of the sheer number of followers there would be. Considering how small my staff is though, and how often we will be together, I do not think this will come up as an issue.
Given all the information above, I think the psychodynamic approach is going to be the best way to lead my store. There could be some flaws in the system, and I will still have to learn a lot and tweak it to make it my own, but the approach itself is a good starting block.
Northouse, P. (2016). Emotional Intelligence. In P. Northouse, Leadership: Theory and Practice (p. 295-323). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc
Pennsylvania State University World Campus (2019). PSYCH 485 Lesson 3: Psychodynamic Approach. Retrieved from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1972967/modules/items/25704854