Committee Using a Reflective Approach to Leadership Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

committee using a reflective approach to leadership in democratic leadership behaviors and methods. This will make use of channeling the energy of strong personality members rather than to suppress strong committee members and guide and facilitate gently these styles into crafting a solution to the problem. We also need to make sure that we are engaging all of the stakeholders internally and externally to ensure the success of the project.

In this mediation environment, the church wants to rent out space in the building to a charitable community group that functions as a day care center for developmentally adults. It is hoped that with this business, more money will be coming in. However, as with any proposal, it is not without problems and complications. The church is finding out that the project may put it in trouble with the village government on issues such as zoning, safety. Additionally, the office space will be rented to an organization that operates on Sunday, so parking space (already scarce) will be at a premium.

This raises a number of internal questions such as whether the additional gravel parking lot will serve the purpose or if the church will have to borrow money to have the space paved (causing temporary parking problems to be even worse. The decision committee is negotiated about the balance way to meet the agreement.

During the negotiations at the last meeting, there were four people with strong personalities trying to lead. We appointed a mediator to help us to negotiate internally and externally with the various groups that will be affected by the project. Many churches with big budgets hire professional consultants. However, we do not have the money, so the mediator is doing online research to see how to do their job properly.

Mediation Background

In this section of the white paper, we will go over background issues that have to be considered first before proceeding. Several of the stakeholders in and outside of the church have expressed concerns about the projects environmental impact.

Without going into specifics at this early stage, it is important for the churches image as well as moral responsibility to make sure that the project is as "green" as possible. We have a number of webinars online for free that will be used to educate the committee during this process ("The trend of," 2012).

A general rule of thumb that the committee discovered was that there was a need for a paved parking lot for every 300 people when a church building occupies an acre of space (our present configuration. When we know the number of extra people in the area on a Sunday, this will need to be taken into consideration ("Church building 101," 2012).

Another issue will be raising money for the parking lot it is decided to pave it. A book on church building by Stephen Anderson in church building provides some useful information regarding the raising of money to afford a church project. We will need to consider if we can pave it with the extra rent money or to borrow money with a conventional loan or by offering bonds. Since the financial issues internally are the most controversial, this part of the project will require a good percentage of the steering committee's time (Anderson, 2007, 73). This will also entail consulting the church guidelines on building to see if they reflect the village zoning ordinances and that we are functioning within the bylaws of the organization ("Administering the church," 2012).

The more plans that we can get online, the more money we will save. There is a website available with all kinds of free blueprints we could give a contractor who would be paving the parking lot ("Church plans for," 2011). We will have to review this material in committee to see if it meeds our needs or if we need to have the planning professionally done for liability purposes. This will require a lengthy consultation with the church legal counsel, accountant and insurance agent.

Finally, since the parking lot affects the neighborhood, we will need to make sure that the meetings are open to the public. This will entail a detailed knowledge of Robert's Rules of order for the proper and legal running of meetings and that we are in full compliance with the state's open meetings act that was enacted last year ("Robert's rules of," 2012).

In many states this has become a major legal issue and has resulted in some litigation being carried out against churches, especially when the building projects touch upon the quality of life in the neighborhood. Even condominium board meetings are this way, so it is logical to assume that church steering committee meetings need to be the same way as well ("Dear nonprofiteer, can," 2012).

Once the church has a comprehensive plan, this will need to be made public. A comprehensive plan is a statement of goals/objectives that that seeks to establishes the churches' vision for the future that will be brought about by the project. While this would not technically be a legal document that would dictate how the project is developed, a comprehensive plan is intended to outline a vision to be realized over a period of time (usually 20 years in length) via the planning policy and the regulatory tools. For this reason, a comprehensive plan contains the policy goals for every aspect of the project. This would include, land use, transportation, housing, open space, infrastructure and project economics. In essence, this is a "comfort" measure that ensures that we will be seen as good neighbors by the village and by the neighborhood population who might not be comfortable with a facility for the developmentally disabled in the area ("Comprehensive land use," 2011).

Finally, we will need to make sure that insurance liability issues have been dealt with adequately. The last thing that the church needs is to have the project to rent out the space and deal with the parking cost it in lawsuits. This will also ensure that this covers aspects of church security to make sure that the renter is providing adequate security to keep their clients and the surrounding area safe in case of an unforeseen incident or incidents ("Specialist church insurance," 2011).

What we do not know about security and liability for the church that is entailed by this project could make us just another lawsuit statistic. After all, the project is meant to bring in much needed money. We certainly do not want it to cost the organization money in possible litigation.

Step One of Reflective-Thinking Process-Establishing Criteria

Now, we need to examine the dynamics of problem resolution and the leadership that is needed to make sure that this is done amicably. The first step in the avoidance of problem conflicts and in building better relationships is to understand that various people have different responses to disagreements. Some of these types of conflict styles clash dramatically as well dynamically. Some negotiation and leadership styles seem to work very well together. However, in the long run, they may be problematic. If one has to choose between scenarios, one should assume a worst case scenario that Swan Consulting calls "clashing" styles (Swan, 2012).

Without belaboring the issue, this author would guide the committee into the "arena" part of reflective leadership so that everyone would acknowledge each other's strengths and therefore establish a basis of respect for each others positions. This would channel strong members in the constructive direction of solving the problem. In this way, the committee can accentuate the positive and avoid the blind spots of the different people's characters, especially the strong personalities, but also to avoid making the other members defensive as well. In larger organizations, blind spots multiply and the leader has to be sensitive to this (Oestreich, 2008). This will build the solidarity that the group now needs to proceed.

Step Two

In this step, we will be establishing authenticity. This is what Oestereich calls 'the practice of "showing up" in a way that is genuine and true and real as a person (ibid)." In this way, the leader opens themselves and the others up and avoids facades. This is what Oestereich "models a connective, respectful vulnerability" that will allow the committee to go on to his step three.

Step Three

Now, everyone can enter the unknown zone together. This is what the author Oestereich calls entering the unknown. With this methodology, this process can be done together successfully as a group. All of the committee members have now grown individually and the leader will be open about hearing about their blind spots so that they are not defensive about proceeding on to examining the steps to mutual compromises and a solution.

Step Four

The solution process can now be implemented. This will involve defining the problem objectively, which is to stay the present church situation in the church or to rent out the space. The problem can then be analyzed in terms of criteria for…

Sources Used in Document:


Anderson, S. (2007). Preparing to build. New York, NY: Anderson Marketing, Inc.

Church building 101 rules of thumb. (2012). Retrieved from

Church plans for less. (2011). Retrieved from

Comprehensive land use plan. (2011). Retrieved from

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