Saturday 19 November 2005

Amplifying Effectiveness - models to consider

Congruence Model
The intent of the Congruence Model (Figure 1) is to remind the user that in dealing with different situations, the person should consider oneself, others involved in the situation, and the context of the situation. The inclusion or exclusion of any of these elements results in a stance that that may be blaming, placating, overly reasonable, or congruent.

Figure 1: Congruence Model

NB In Psychology, the Congruence Principle is a corollary of the principle of cognitive dissonance, the notion that it is impossible for a person (or organisation) to live too long where there is incongruence between a belief and a behaviour.

Assertive-Cooperative Model (based on Thomas Kilmann)
A similar model is the
Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), this model describes possible reactions to conflict based on consideration of self vs. consideration of others. It is possible to think of this model not in terms of a negative conflict but in the positive achievement of goals (expressed or suppressed) and whether you have consideration of your own goals (assertiveness) and consideration for other people’s goals (cooperativeness). A resultant situation that ends in both parties achieving their goals is an ideal situation and one of collaboration. In contrast a situation arising from compromise could be considered to be a very poor outcome where dissatisfaction is prevalent with all parties; the middle ground may be quite unsatisfactory and lead to conflict at a later stage.

Figure 2: Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument
The TKI reactions are as follows:
  • Avoiding. The goal is to delay or avoid.
  • Accommodating. The goal is to yield.
  • Compromising. The goal is to find a middle ground.
  • Competing. The goal is to win.
  • Collaborating. The goal is to find a win-win situation.
To use the models when in an uncomfortable confrontation, the user should take a moment to consider where he or she is, in relation to the model, and where he or she would like to be. Then, modify behaviour appropriately. 
As a general rule many of us end up unsatisfactorily compromising on our goals due to a failure to engage adequately in understanding the needs and concerns of others or through not being assertive enough, in a constructive way, with our own needs. I expect that at its heart the centrist political third way aims to achieve new common goals and principles through an acknowledgement, understanding and reconciliation of historically polarised positions. 

Tips and Ideas for Building Writing Skills and Confidence

  1. Learn from others. Find role models — people whose writing you like — and study their style. Read with intentionality. Notice what strikes you as good or bad writing.
  2. Writing anything is better than writing nothing. Practice makes less imperfect. Make every writing opportunity an opportunity to develop your writing skills.
  3. All good writing starts with the initial rough draft. Your first draft is just the starting point. Learn to trust yourself and the process.
  4. Don’t fall in love with your own words. Edit ruthlessly. Focus on tight writing. Become best friends with your delete key.
  5. Write like you speak. Eschew terminological obfuscation and fancy formality. Write in a conversational me-to-you tone.
  6. Let your subconscious do your writing for you. A great deal of writing happens when you are away from the keyboard. Write, put it away and then look at it later on with fresh eyes.
  7. When (not if) you get stuck, notice your writing “shoulds.” Acknowledge them and set them aside. Take a break then write an email about what you are stuck writing about.
  8. Find a setting that is conducive to writing. Use your favorite font. Play your favorite music. Find your favorite location. Use whatever approach works best for you

    Wednesday 2 November 2005

    Morale and what employees want

    'When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotions, creatures bristled with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.' Dale Carnegie quote

    A leader's day-to-day actions and attitudes are critical. When a leader is fair, professional and optimistic, morale in the unit will be good. Good morale leads to success, and success leads to better morale.
    The "short course" in understanding what employees really work for:
    1. appreciation of the work they do
    2. being part of something - belonging
    3. Being respected and understood
    4. Job security
    5. Good wages
    6. Interesting work
    7. Personal growth and/or promotions
    8. Good working conditions
    9. Emotional security and stability
    10. A sense of personal power
    In truth when you stop and think they are the same expectation of what you and I want from work.
    Dwight Eisenhower. 'Leadership is the art of getting somebody else to do something you want done; because he wants to do it.'


    The ability to understand another person's situation. Once you understand someone's position and why they are in it, you will be in a much better position to lead them out if it.
    'A man always has two reasons for doing anything- a good reason and the real reason.' J P Morgan.


    ''I like the dreams of the future than the history of the past.' Thomas Jefferson.
    The present is important, and we must learn from the past. But the future provides a vision not yet attained - a target to aim for.

    Mature, Consistent, Optimistic, Creative, Luck .... People with inspiration & vision

    Leaders create commitment and are absolutely essential in times of chaos, crisis or change. 'Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.'

    'Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought'. Henri-Louis Bergson.

    'We are what we repeatedly do.' Aristotle. In leadership the best surprise is no surprise.

    'There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.' Victor Hugo.
    Stay up-to-date. The closer you are to the future, the easier it is to predict.

    Leaders always view a cup as being half full, not half empty. 'A leader is a dealer in hope'. Napoleon I. .

    Preparation, Learning & Destiny

    'Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.' - Henry Ford
    'The man who is prepared has his battle half fought.' Cervantes.

    Learning from the past.
    'The further back you can look, the further forward you are likely to see.' Winston Churchill.

    Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not something to be waited for but rather something to be achieved.

    on Leaders and Recognition

    The best leaders become cooler when the heat is turned up. Crisis is the true test of a person's leadership ability. 'The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy' - Martin Luther King

    Leaders recognise good work as quickly as they recognise poor work. 'The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.' William James.

    William James quotes (American Philosopher and Psychologist, leader of the philosophical movement of Pragmatism, 1842-1910)

    Other quotes from William James

    • Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
    • Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
    • Whenever two men meet there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man was the other sees him, and each man as he really is.
    • Only necessity understood, and bondage to the highest is identical with true freedom.
    • A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
    • Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second. Give your dreams all you've got and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you.
    • The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

    Confusius say

    'The essense of knowledge is, living it, to apply it; not having it, to confess your ignorance.'
    Being unselfish - 'he who wishes to secure the good of others, has already secured his own'.

    Definitions; diplomacy and tact

    Diplomacy is the art of enabling other people to have your own way.

    'Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.' (Abraham Lincoln).