Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Building Effective Working Relationships

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Leadership for Learning and Innovation

DESCRIPTION Developing positive and effective relationships is found to have an impact on making work become more enjoyable and productive. Leaders need to develop a working relationship with the professional colleagues they manage (SMT members, teacher and LSAs), with minor staff, and also with clients (students and parents). Trust, teamwork, communication and respect are keys to creating and cultivating effective working relationships.

Strong working relationships take time to mature. This study-unit engages participants in appreciating all these facets while working at developing the skills of being consistent, present and supportive.

In this study-unit, students will learn the skills needed in building effective working relationships. There are key aspects that will be dealt with, namely:
- nurturing an environment that is safe and unthreatening;
- developing trust, being honest and fair;
- create collaborative structures;
- develop communication;
- showing understanding and respect towards colleagues.

Study-Unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to:
- Offer participants the key skills that they need to create healthy learning environments;
- Provide situations that demonstrate working relationships;
- Engage participants in describing, analysing and critiquing situations showing groups of people working in a team;
- Support participants to develop collaborative environments based on trust and respect;
- Enable participants to identify strategies that work in establishing effective working relationships.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Describe the key tenets for building effective working relationships;
- Demonstrate awareness of the need to communicate effectively, show understanding and respect;
- Discuss how collaboration and teamwork may be initiated, cultivated and sustained;
- Identify some of the important skills necessary for the effective functioning of teams;
- Reflect on personal attributes, values and decision-making styles and strengths;
- Discuss how to create a supportive relationship with colleagues.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Use the skills necessary to facilitate communication and collaboration with others;
- Explore techniques of how to deal with students, parents and colleagues;
- Design strategies for developing listening and communication skills;
- Analyse situations of trust and respect within learning environments.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:
- Guzzo, R. A., & Salas, E. (1995). Team effectiveness and decision making in organizations. San Francisco: Jossey‐Bass.
- Reina, D. S., & Reina, M. L. (2006). Trust & betrayal in the workplace: Building effective relationships in your organization. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
- Rhodes V., Stevens D., Hemmings A. (2011). Creating positive culture in a new urban high school. High School Journal, 94, 82-94.
- Taylor, P. (2017). Learning about professional growth through listening to teachers. Professional development in education, 43(1), 87-105.

Supplementary Readings:
- Bryk, A. S., & Schneider, B. (2003). Trust in schools: A core resource for school reform. Educational leadership, 60(6), 40-45.
- Datnow A. (2011). Collaboration and contrived collegiality: Revisiting Hargreaves in the age of accountability. Journal of Educational Change, 12, 147-158.
- Drouin, N., & Bourgault, M. (2013). How organizations support distributed project teams: Key dimensions and their impact on decision making and teamwork effectiveness. Journal of Management Development, 32(8), 865-885.
- Fullan, M. (1995). The school as a learning organization: Distant dreams. Theory into practice, 34(4), 230-235.
- Naidoo, L., Muthukrishna, N., & Hobden, S. (2012). The leadership behaviour of the school principal: An exploratory study in five special schools in kwazulunatal. Gender & Behaviour, 10(2), 4883-4912.
- Walumbwa, F. O., & Lawler, J. J. (2003). Building effective organizations: Transformational leadership, collectivist orientation, work-related attitudes and withdrawal behaviours in three emerging economies. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 14(7), 1083-1101.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Ind Study, Ind Online Learning, Lecture & Seminar

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Reflective Diary Yes 40%
Assignment Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Christopher G. Bezzina
James Calleja (Co-ord.)
Maria Montebello
Mario Testa

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.