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How leaders can create good relations with the out-group members

This article looks at how leaders can build relationships with 'out-group' members.

At the beginning of this week, you were introduced to LMX theory and you learned that leaders assign their followers to two groups, i.e. the in-group and the out-group and form distinct relationships with each group.

It’s important that leaders rebuild their relationship with the out-group members by understanding their lack of motivation or performance and giving them further attention, enriching their tasks and providing feedback to establish better relations with them. These issues could be resolved by empowering followers or giving them challenging tasks and further feedback and encouragement.

Skill/will matrix

The skill/will matrix also known as the delegation matrix is a tool derived from the model of situational leadership created by Hersey and Blanchard that could be used by leaders to determine the appropriate the level of autonomy and empowerment given to the out-group members.

People who have high will and low skill need to be guided, people who have high will and high skill are delegates. People who have high skill and low will need to be excited and people who have low will and low skill need to be directed

The Pygmalion effect, or Rosenthal effect, is the phenomenon based on the idea that an increase of a leader’s expectation of the follower’s performance will result in better follower performance.

Leaders can use the ideas of the Pygmalion effect to build better relations with out-group members. To improve out-group members’ motivation and performance, leaders will show trust, respect, obligation in their relations with followers, provide opportunities for followers in the out-group members including training and specific goals, and give feedback on followers’ performance.


Please reflect upon the key question below and respond using the comments section below.

Have you experienced the Pygmalion effect as a leader or a follower?
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