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EDPROFST 738 Educational Leadership

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EDPROFST 738 Educational Leadership

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Course Code: EDPROFST738
University: The University Of Auckland

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Outline the theory of leadership? Describe my professional practice as a counselor who is working in the Alcohol and drug service and just tell how I as a counselor can connect to the theory.


The term leadership refers to the capabilit6y of a person to set and accomplish certain challenging goals and objectives, by taking swift decisions, and inspiring other team members to perform well in their work. A good leader is expected to demonstrate certain traits of integrity, honesty, passion and commitment towards work, accountability, innovation, and creativity (Alvesson & Spicer, 2012).
The primary aim of this report is to elaborate on the area of change, in relation to the work as a counsellor of drug and alcohol service. My role as a counsellor requires me to directly interact with several people who are subjected to substance abuse and seek professional help. I provide them assistance to understand the ill effects of drug dependency and alcoholism, followed by implementation and evaluation of treatment plans. The report will further illustrate the benefits of different tools that can help in implementing change in the area of practice.
Theories of leadership
The four most relevant theories of leadership are namely, (1) Trait Theory of Leadership, (2) Contingency Theories, (3) Transformational Leadership Theory, and (4) Behavioural Theory (Carroll, Ford & Taylor, 2015). According to the Trait theory, five physical traits or attributes such as, energy, height, appearance; 16 personality traits such as, aggressiveness, enthusiasm, and self-confidence; four ability and intelligent traits; nine social traits such as, cooperativeness, interpersonal skills and administrative ability; and six task related traits namely, drive, persistence and initiative, are expected from a leader (Chemers, 2014). Behavioural theory focuses on the study of precise conducts of a leader that determines the success (Kempster, Jackson & Conroy, 2011).
According to Waters (2013) the contingency theory, effective leadership must focus on certain aspects such as, (i) task requirements, (ii) organisation’s policies and culture, and (iii) behaviour and expectations of the peers. On the other hand, Shanafelt and Noseworthy (2017) stated that the theory of transformational leadership emphasises on the fact that leaders work in collaboration with teams for identifying necessary changes, for developing a vision and guiding the change through inspiration.
Double-loop learning theory of leadership
This leadership theory was proposed by Argyris in 1976 and relates to learning to alteration underlying morals and assumptions. According to Argyris (1977) emphasis of the theory is on resolving problems that are multifaceted and ill-structured that transform as problem-solving progresses. Double loop theory is founded on a “theory of action” viewpoint sketched by Argyris and Schon. This standpoint scrutinizes reality from the point of opinion of human beings as performers. Variations in behaviours, values, helping others, and leadership, are most involved by the theory of action. The four imperative steps in the learning process are (i) creation of new meanings, (ii) discovery of theory-in-use and advocated theory, (iii) result oversimplification, and (iv) production of new activities (Griffin & Hu, 2013). Owing to the fact that this theory is directed towards personal change and is typically oriented towards professional education, in organisational leadership, I consider it to be allied with my role as an addiction counsellor.
Professional practice
My profession as an addiction counsellor requires me to assist all patients to overcome their dependence on alcohol and drugs, and subsequent addictive behaviours like gambling. I often intervene when the patients who come to seek assistance are found to be at their lowest points, while struggling with the ill effects of addiction. I demonstrate a passion for my work and have pursued this professional domain with the belief that I will be able to bring about a real difference in the lives of the sufferers, by adoring proper leadership skills. As an addiction counsellor, double loop learning theory leadership is linked to my work domain owing to the fact that I consider it imperative for my profession to determine the goals, and motivate all team members for accomplishing the goals that are directed towards enhancing the health and wellbeing of the service users.
Furthermore, I also identify with the key attributes of people oriented leaders who are held accountable for focusing self-behaviour with the aim of ensuring satisfaction of the inner demands and preferences of the people. I always seek opportunities to motivate my staff and co-workers by emphasising on the aspect of human relations, and often focus on manifesting a range of behaviours that are in accordance with observation, encouragement, listening, and mentoring.
Change process
Families of individuals with serious psychological problems have often been recognised as an irreplaceable source of support for the management of issues faced by the patients. Many persons with serious mental disease either reside with their family members such as, parents, siblings, spouses, and children, or are also found to maintain contact with them (Tambuyzer, Pieters & Van Audenhove, 2014). Additionally, in the words of Meis et al. (2013) family members are usually the first people who identify behavioural variations that complement a mental malady and can support an individual in getting associated with mental health care services. Families of persons diagnosed with any such problem also adorn the role of informal case managers, thus delivering and directing care for their relatives. While working in the addiction counselling facility, I also became aware of the fact that family members often perceive the indications of addiction relapse and can inspire their kin to pursue early help from the services that I provide.
I have also encountered several instances during my professional practice where there occurs lack of family engagement in the treatment programs, due to the existing discrimination and stereotypes towards the addicts. This in turn makes the patients feel dejected, isolated and depressed, thus forcing them to flee from the situation (Mora-Ríos, Ortega-Ortega & Medina-Mora, 2017). This made me consider the option of involving the family members in the treatment programs, to provide the much needed support to the patients, and hasten their recovery process. Hence, encouraging the family members to participate in the recovery program will help in the elimination of the helplessness and sense of despair that is usually faced by the alcoholics and drug addicts (Cabrera & Tamis-LeMonda, 2013).
Justification for change process
Change process or management refers to the systematic approach that is usually adopted and implemented for dealing with the different transformations or transitions that are required for accomplishing the goals of a particular organisation. The change process is required in this case scenario owing to the fact that not only will addiction counselling help the patients with their recovery, but will also play an important role in treating any core mental health illness, the patients might have, which plays an important part in their addictions. There are a plethora of social and psychological factors that can result in a relapse such as, stress, which in turn forces the patients to return to their old environment (Wang & Sheikh?Khalil, 2014).
According to Baker-Ericzén, Jenkins and Haine-Schlagel (2013) although it is usually unbearable for the patients to resist their use of alcohol and drugs, lack of family support often triggers the onset of depression and feelings of worthlessness, thus making them resume their old habits. My professional experience has made me realise the fact that families are intricately involved in the recovery of addicts. Role of family in addiction recovery begins when families unintentionally display a system of dysfunction. With a change in the negative dynamics of family members, substance abuse recovery becomes easy and also significantly reduces the chances of other members becoming addicts (Umberson, Thomeer & Williams, 2013). Owing to the fact that recovery from substance abuse addiction is a lifelong process, I consider family support to be most effective for displaying a lifelong commitment in enhancing and safeguarding the mental health and wellbeing of the patients. Thus, I intend to foster connection between patients and their families, for facilitating the recovery process.
Critical reflection
The change process focuses on involving the family members in the treatment and recovery programs of the people who are addicted to alcohol and drugs, and seek help from counselling services. My prior knowledge and professional experience have helped me identify certain strengths of the change process. The first strength can be attributed to the fact that the change process will create provisions that will allow the addicts and their family members to develop a connection and rapport with each other, in a free and open manner, thus allowing the latter to identify the problems that are being faced by the patients (Carman et al., 2013). The initial days of recovery from addition are usually lonely. However, having the care and support of family members will lay the foundation for continual accomplishment in abstinence.
I also hold the opinion that a display of commitment from all family members will facilitate the recovery process. There is mounting evidence that considers stress as a substantial factor in the commencement of drug and alcohol abuse, besides governing the addiction relapse. Owing to this fact, it is vital to understand that the patient recovering from alcohol and drug abuse is more predisposed to stress (Carr, 2015). Hence, involvement of the family will help in the easy identification of different stressors such as, financial problems, health issues, and exposure to certain situations, and work pressure. Hence, this will enhance the relationship that the addicts share with their kin and will be easily motivated to withdraw from the use of drugs and alcohol. However, I realised that one major weakness of the change process is associated with the feelings of emotional weakness that might arise on confronting the family members. This in turn might prevent the addicts from continuing their addiction therapy and might trigger the manifestation of destructive behaviour such as, self-harm.
Challenges for the process
Some of the key challenges that I might encounter while implementing the change process are related to restrictions that might get imposed on the freedom of the client and other underlying threats. Although involvement of the family members will play a potential role in crisis intervention and will also facilitate the monitoring of symptoms for possible relapse of addiction symptoms, some parents and kin might take their participation too far for the patients. They might start visiting the addiction counselling centre so much that they grow into a cause of distraction for the patient, me and the other team members. Being excessively involved in the recovery process might also lead to their frequent stepping in for dealing with the issues that the patients face, while adhering to some of the recommended therapies (Schwarzer, 2014). Also, I and all staff members might not always feel comfortable with the presence of a family volunteer in the counselling sessions.
Distraction due to the presence of family can also lead to a loss of focus or subsequent behaviour problems. Furthermore, for addicts who suffer from severe forms of social phobia, it might be problematic for them to share their issues in front of their family members (Ek & Eriksson, 2013). Besides, for patients who have been subjected to certain traumatic events, it could be overwhelming or triggering for them to participate in discussions about the trauma that made them resort to addiction. Having to share close details of previous addiction experiences with relatives might be tough for patients with social fears. Lack of confidentiality on patient information would be another potential challenge.
Applying change process to professional practice
I have realised that involving family members in my professional practice will also enhance my role as an addiction counsellor and allow me to better fulfil my job duties and responsibilities. I intend to discuss with my family members about my regular encounters with different addiction patients, each suffering from unique psychological problems. Involving my family will help me discuss with them about my intended goals and how I want to accomplish them. Taking their advice and suggestions will largely help me identify a different perspective of the challenges that might arise in the change process, thus providing with better ideas of dealing with those trials (Hildebrand, 2018). Regular conversations with my family members will also help them to keep a track of my progress in counselling the addicts.
This in turn will help me easily identify the strengths and drawbacks of the tools that I intend to use for appropriate counselling. By observing, supporting and encouraging, my parents and other family members can be engaged in conducts that ensure that I am able to utilise each opportunity for achieving success. Some of the common challenges that I might encounter while delivering counselling services are realted to anger, anxiety, and stress. Cooperation from my family members will create opportunities that will allow me to work on my self-esteem and self-confidence. They will also play a vital role in working towards supporting me in achieving my personal goals. During the process of assisting me in my profession, my family will also encourage me in my future decisions and plans.
Resistance to change
Any kind of organisational and professional change does not come easy. In most instances, senior members of an organisation have been found to place the blame of failure of a change process on their employees. At times the middle managers have also been found resisting all changes that are proposed for betterment of a process (Bateh, Castaneda & Farah, 2013). The loss of status in the addiction service centre might make some of the employees resist the change process if they feel that the change will result in their role of being reduced or eliminated.
Although family involvement will not threaten the job of any of the employers or managers, they might feel that encouraging the family to participate in the recovery of the patients, will lessen their duties, in relation to treating the addicts (Matos Marques Simoes & Esposito, 2014). There is a common saying that leaders are often rewarded for their actions. The key stakeholders of the addiction centre might create barriers in the implementation of the change process, if they do not see any rewards or incentives. The less the team members are aware of the impact and potential benefits of family involvement, the more fearful they are expected to become, thus making them sabotage the efforts for change process.
Some of the key goals that I intend to set in my professional practice are encompass namely, (1) listening, (2) strategic thinking,  (3) coaching, (4) cross functional knowledge, (5) financial acumen, (6) collaboration, (7) talent management, and (8) time management. I need to improve my capability to observe the wider perspective of the change process and focus on “why the change is required”. Learning to pay adequate attention to the views and opinions of the team members and subordinates and using active listening skills, concomitant with a warm body language will help in easy explanation of the information that is intended to be conveyed (Huczynski, Buchanan & Huczynski, 2013). I also wish to work with all of my direct subordinates to generate their own discrete development plans. Learning about other facets of the occupation will also assist me in adorning the role of an efficient leader. I also need to communicate in a reliable way that motivates others. Learning to implement and endure transformation in my organization is another goal that I wish to accomplish in near future.
Role of change process
One primary advantage of the change process (family involvement) is associated with better outcome for the patients who are addicted and have come for counselling assistance. The addicts are expected to form a bond with their family members, thus lowering their addiction rates, demonstrating stronger social skills and improved behaviour. Engagement of the family members will increase the satisfaction of the addiction patients with the counselling services that are being delivered to them, thereby helping them demonstrate a commitment towards using the service. The family members while monitoring the behaviour of the addicts, will also play an important role in commencing and supporting the use of counselling services.
Furthermore, the family members will also be imperative in encouraging and motivating the patients to abstain themselves from the use of alcohol and drugs, thus lowering the risks of relapse episodes. Other potential benefits of the change process can be attributed to the fact that it will deepen the understanding of the drug and alcohol addicts, of the advantages that the change process will bring about in their overall mental health and wellbeing. Parents have acute information about the strengths, possessions and wants of their child that will help me make better informed decisions for the benefit of my service users.
Almost everything that has been attained in the mental health system has occurred because of encouragement by peers and family members of persons who were affected. It is significant for clinical decision makers at all stages to perceive the opinions and views of the persons the health care service is supposed to aid; otherwise, it cannot perhaps be receptive or accommodating. The change process discussed in this essay emphasises on involving the family members in the counselling process, owing to the fact that most of the time, the family is aware of variations that the affected being is unable to detect or perceive. To conclude, although several challenges might arise during the change process implementation, I intend to overcome the challenges by enhancing my leadership skills and convincing all employees of the advantages of the change process.
Alvesson, M., & Spicer, A. (2012). Critical leadership studies: The case for critical performativity. Human relations, 65(3), 367-390. 
Argyris, C. (1977). Double loop learning in organizations. Harvard Business Review, 55(5), 115-125. 
Baker-Ericzén, M. J., Jenkins, M. M., & Haine-Schlagel, R. (2013). Therapist, parent, and youth perspectives of treatment barriers to family-focused community outpatient mental health services. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 22(6), 854-868.
Bateh, J., Castaneda, M. E., & Farah, J. E. (2013). Employee resistance to organizational change. International Journal of Management & Information Systems (Online), 17(2), 113.
Cabrera, N. J., & Tamis-LeMonda, C. S. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of father involvement: Multidisciplinary perspectives. Routledge.
Carman, K. L., Dardess, P., Maurer, M., Sofaer, S., Adams, K., Bechtel, C., & Sweeney, J. (2013). Patient and family engagement: a framework for understanding the elements and developing interventions and policies. Health Affairs, 32(2), 223-231.
Carr, A. (2015). The handbook of child and adolescent clinical psychology: A contextual approach. Routledge.
Carroll, B., Ford, J., & Taylor, S. (Eds.). (2015). Leadership: Contemporary critical perspectives. London, England: Sage. 
Chemers, M. (2014). An integrative theory of leadership. Psychology Press.
Waters, R. (2013). The role of stewardship in leadership: Applying the contingency theory of leadership to relationship cultivation practices of public relations practitioners. Journal of Communication Management, 17(4), 324-340.
Ek, H., & Eriksson, R. (2013). Psychological factors behind truancy, school phobia, and school refusal: A literature study. Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 35(3), 228-248.
Griffin, M. A., & Hu, X. (2013). How leaders differentially motivate safety compliance and safety participation: The role of monitoring, inspiring, and learning. Safety science, 60, 196-202.
Hildebrand, J. (2018). Bridging the gap: A training module in personal and professional development. Routledge.
Huczynski, A., Buchanan, D. A., & Huczynski, A. A. (2013). Organizational behaviour (p. 82). London: Pearson.
Kempster, S., Jackson, B., & Conroy, M. (2011). Leadership as purpose: Exploring the role of purpose in leadership practice. Leadership, 7(3), 317-334. 
Matos Marques Simoes, P., & Esposito, M. (2014). Improving change management: How communication nature influences resistance to change. Journal of Management Development, 33(4), 324-341.
Meis, L. A., Griffin, J. M., Greer, N., Jensen, A. C., MacDonald, R., Carlyle, M., … & Wilt, T. J. (2013). Couple and family involvement in adult mental health treatment: A systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 33(2), 275-286.
Mora-Ríos, J., Ortega-Ortega, M., & Medina-Mora, M. E. (2017). Addiction-related stigma and discrimination: a qualitative study in treatment centers in Mexico City. Substance use & misuse, 52(5), 594-603.
Schwarzer, R. (2014). Self-efficacy: Thought control of action. Taylor & Francis.
Shanafelt, T. D., & Noseworthy, J. H. (2017, January). Executive leadership and physician well-being: nine organizational strategies to promote engagement and reduce burnout. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 92, No. 1, pp. 129-146). Elsevier.
Tambuyzer, E., Pieters, G., & Van Audenhove, C. (2014). Patient involvement in mental health care: one size does not fit all. Health Expectations, 17(1), 138-150.
Umberson, D., Thomeer, M. B., & Williams, K. (2013). Family status and mental health: Recent advances and future directions. In Handbook of the sociology of mental health (pp. 405-431). Springer, Dordrecht.
Wang, M. T., & Sheikh?Khalil, S. (2014). Does parental involvement matter for student achievement and mental health in high school?. Child development, 85(2), 610-625.

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