Skills for Building Personal Credibility and Influencing Others

Chapter 8

Skills for Building Personal Credibility and Influencing Others

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Lecture Script 6-1

Chapter Outline

Building credibility

Communication

Listening

Assertiveness

Conducting meetings

Effective stress management

Problem solving

Improving creativity

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Building Credibility

Credibility: Ability to engender trust in others

Leaders with high levels of credibility are seen as trustworthy

Tend to have a strong sense of right and wrong

Comprises the following components:

 

Expertise: Technical competence, organizational knowledge, and industry knowledge

Trust: Clarifying and communicating one’s values and building relationships with others

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Figure 8.1: The Credibility Matrix

Source: G. J. Curphy, Credibility: Building Your Reputation throughout the Organization (Minneapolis Personnel Decisions International, 1997)

Jump to Figure 8.1: The Credibility Matrix , Appendix

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Lecture Script 6-4

Expertise and Trust: Credibility Matrix

Leaders are grouped in four quadrants in the credibility matrix

First quadrant: Leaders have high levels of expertise and trust

Likely to be seen by others as highly credible

Second quadrant: Leaders do not follow through with commitments, are new to the firm, or have not invested time in building relationships with followers

Third quadrant: Leaders may be new college hires or new to the industry

Lack technical competence, organizational or industry knowledge, or time to build relationships with coworkers

Fourth quadrant: Leaders are promoted from among peers or transferred from another department within the company

The former may need to develop leadership knowledge or skills and the latter technical competence if they wish to increase their credibility

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Figure 8.2: A Systems View of Communication

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Communication, 1

Effective communication: Ability to transmit and receive information with a high probability that the intended message is passed from sender to receiver

Quality of a leader’s communication is positively correlated with subordinate satisfaction and productivity and quality of services rendered

Effectiveness of the communication process depends on the successful integration of all the steps in the communication process

Effective communication skills give leaders and followers greater access to information relevant to important organizational decisions

 

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Communication, 2

Communication breakdowns

Causes

Purpose of the message was unclear

Leader’s or follower’s verbal and nonverbal behaviors were inconsistent

Message was not heard by the receiver or the message may be misinterpreted

Often lead to blaming someone else for the problem

Communication model can minimize conflict associated with communication breakdowns

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Communication, 3

Leaders can improve their communication skills through the following means:

 

Determining the purpose of the communication

Choosing an appropriate context and medium for the message

Sending clear verbal and nonverbal signals

Actively ensuring that others understand the message

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Listening, 1

Good leaders and followers recognize the value of two-way communication

Listening to others is just as important to effective communication as expressing oneself clearly

Leaders are only as good as the information they have, which usually comes from watching and listening to what is going on around them

The best listeners are active listeners

Passive listeners are not focused on understanding the speaker

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Listening, 2

Active listening improves understanding and visibly demonstrates respect toward the speaker

Can be improved in the following ways:

 

Demonstrating nonverbally that you are listening

Actively interpreting the sender’s message

Attending to the sender’s nonverbal behavior

Avoiding defensive behavior

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Assertiveness, 1

Assertive behavior and assertiveness skills are composed of behavioral, knowledge or judgment, and evaluative components

Individuals exhibiting assertive behavior are able to stand up for their own rights, or their group’s rights, in a way that also recognizes the concurrent right of others to do the same

Differs from acquiescence and aggression

Acquiescence: Avoiding interpersonal conflict entirely either by giving up and giving in or by expressing one’s needs in an apologetic, self-effacing way

Aggression: Attaining objectives by attacking or hurting others

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Figure 8.4: Relationships between Assertiveness, Acquiescence, and Aggression

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Assertiveness, 2

Leaders who fail to be assertive with friends and peers run the risk of becoming victims of the Abilene paradox

Abilene paradox: Occurs when someone suggests that the group engage in a particular activity or course of action but no one in the group really wants to do the activity, and this feeling is expressed only after the activity is completed

 

Ways to behave more assertively

Use “I” statements

Ask for help when required

Learn to say no to others

Monitor one’s inner dialogue

Be persistent without becoming irritated, angry, or loud

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Conducting Meetings

Can help accomplish goals, exchange information, and maintain open lines of communication

 

Guth and Shaw’s tips for conducting meetings

Determine whether a meeting is necessary

List the objectives

Stick to the agenda

Provide pertinent materials in advance

Pick a time and place as convenient as possible for all participants

Encourage participation

Take minutes for the record

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Effective Stress Management, 1

Stress: Process by which one perceives and responds to situations that challenge or threaten him or her

Responses may include:

 

Increased levels of emotional arousal

Changes in physiological symptoms

Increased perspiration, heart rate, cholesterol level, or blood pressure

Often occurs in situations that are complex, demanding, or unclear

Can either facilitate or inhibit performance, depending on the situation

Stressors: Characteristics in individuals, tasks, organizations, or the environment that pose some degree of threat or challenge to people

 

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Effective Stress Management, 2

Guidelines for effective stress management

Monitoring stress levels of oneself and one’s followers

Identifying the cause of stress

Practicing a healthy lifestyle

Learning how to relax

Developing supportive relationships

Keeping things in perspective

Applying the A-B-C Model to change self-talk

A: Triggering event

B: Your thinking

C: Feelings and behaviors

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Steps for Effective Problem Solving

Identify problems or opportunities for improvement to ensure that the task is clear

 

Analyze the causes of the problem using cause-and-effect diagram and force field analysis

 

Develop alternative solutions using procedures such as the nominal group technique

Nominal group technique: Group members write down ideas on individual slips of paper, which are later transferred to a whiteboard or flipchart for the entire group to work with

 

Select and implement the best solution based on established criteria

 

Assess the impact of the solution using measurable criteria of success

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Figure 8.5: A Cause-and-Effect Diagram

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Figure 8.6: Force Field Analysis Example: Starting a Personal Exercise Program

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Improving Creativity

Brainstorming stimulates creative thinking in groups

Seeing things in new ways enhances creativity but it can be difficult because of a mental block known as functional fixedness

Can be overcome in the following ways:

 

Thinking in terms of analogies

Putting an idea or a problem into a picture rather than into words

Leaders can use power constructively to encourage the open expression of creative ideas

Forming diverse problem-solving groups increases creativity, but may also increase conflict

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Summary

Every leader should be equipped with the following skills:

 

Building credibility

Communication

Listening

Assertiveness

Conducting meetings

Effective stress management

Problem solving

Improving creativity

 

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Appendices

 

Figure 8.1: The Credibility Matrix, Appendix

The slide contains a 2 by 2 grid, which is divided into four quadrants. Outside the grid, the top-left corner is labeled high, the bottom-left corner is labeled low, and the bottom-right corner is labeled high. The y-axis of the square is labeled trust. It has five points marked on it. Starting from the bottom, the points are 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The x-axis of the grid is labeled expertise. It has five points marked on it. Starting from the left, the points are 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Within the grid, each quadrant contains a number. The upper-left quadrant contains the number 4. The lower-left quadrant contains the number 3. The lower-right quadrant contains the number 2. The upper-right quadrant contains the number 1.

Jump back to Figure 8.1: The Credibility Matrix

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Figure 8.2: A Systems View of Communication, Appendix

Six rectangles are presented in this figure. Starting from the left, the first rectangle is labeled intention. Three questions are listed below this rectangle. The questions are what do you want to accomplish?, is your purpose clear?, and who needs to hear you? An arrow from the first rectangle points to the second rectangle. The second rectangle is labeled expression. 10 questions are listed below this rectangle. They are what medium?, consistent verbally and nonverbally?, expressed with receiver’s frame of reference in mind?, expressed in terms receiver will understand?, too much information expressed too quickly?, important points emphasized?, might message be ambiguous to others?, is message confounded by sender’s feelings?, biases or invalid assumptions about receiver?, and are you communicating directly with the receiver or through others? An arrow from the second rectangle points to the third rectangle, labeled reception. Five points are listed below this box. They are was it seen?, was it heard?, were there competing messages or other noise?, are there reasons the receiver wittingly or unwittingly may have filtered the information?, and has time or the medium of transmittal diluted or changed the message? An arrow from the third rectangle points to the fourth rectangle, labeled interpretation. Three questions are listed below this rectangle. They are was it understood?, do the receiver’s ego needs interfere with understanding?, and do the receiver’s biases or assumptions interfere with understanding? An arrow extends from the last question under interpretation and points to the fifth rectangle at the bottom of the image. This rectangle is labeled feedback. There is a sub point within the rectangle, which reads did you communicate what you intended? Three points are listed below the rectangle. They are history of prior communications, context of relationships and common practices, and concurrent events. An arrow extends from the fifth rectangle and points to the sixth rectangle, labeled new intentions. The sixth rectangle is placed below the questions listed under the first rectangle, labeled Intention.

Jump back to Figure 8.2: A Systems View of Communication

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Figure 8.4: Relationships between Assertiveness, Acquiescence, and Aggression, Appendix

Three lines form an unfinished triangle in the image. There are three labels where the lines of the triangle should meet. The label at the top reads assertiveness. The label at the bottom-left corner of the triangle reads acquiescence. The label at the bottom-right corner of the triangle reads aggression.

Jump back to Figure 8.4: Relationships between Assertiveness, Acquiescence, and Aggression

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Figure 8.5: A Cause-and-Effect Diagram, Appendix

The content in the box reads our day-long workshop was a disaster. The first box above the arrow reads people. An arrow from this box points to the horizontal arrow at the center of the figure. Three points are listed below this box. Starting from the top, the first point reads timing of workshop interfered with another mandatory meeting. The second point reads many participants unclear about workshop’s purpose. The third point reads participants not notified until last minute. Arrows from each of these points point to the arrow that extends from the box labeled people toward the arrow at the center of the figure.

The second box above the horizontal arrow is labeled agenda. An arrow from this box points to the horizontal arrow at the center of the figure. Three points are listed below this box. Starting from the top, the first point reads didn’t finish the final and most important activity. The second point reads not enough time for discussion. The third point reads not well designed to meet needs of this group. Arrows from each of these points point to the arrow that extends from the box labeled agenda toward the arrow at the center of the figure.

The first box below the horizontal arrow is labeled facilities and materials. An arrow from this box points to the horizontal arrow at the center of the figure. Three points are listed above this box. The first point reads hot, crowded room. The second point reads not enough handouts to go around. The third point reads because of inadequate parking, many people showed up late. Arrows from each of these points point to the arrow that extends from the box labeled facilities and material toward the arrow at the center of the figure.

The second box below the horizontal arrow reads other major causes. An arrow from this box points to the horizontal arrow at the center of the figure. One point is listed above this box. It reads minor causes. Three arrows below this sentence point to the arrow that extends from the box labeled other major causes.

Jump back to Figure 8.5: A Cause-and-Effect Diagram

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Lecture Script 6-27

Figure 8.6: Force Field Analysis Example: Starting a Personal Exercise Program, Appendix

The figure is divided into two by a dashed vertical line. Below this line is a label that reads present equilibrium point. The left side of the figure is labeled driving or promoting forces. Six points are listed below this label. Arrows extend from each of the points and point to the dashed vertical line at the center of the figure. The points are concern for health, dissatisfaction with appearance, boyfriend or girlfriend a health nut, group of work associates will enter local 10 k run, feeling heavy or have been gaining weight, and company encourages fitness activities at lunch. The right side of the figure is labeled restraining forces. Four points are listed below this label. Arrows extend from each of the points and point to the dashed vertical line at the center of the figure. The points read schedule already full, unskilled at popular recreational sports, no regular exercise partners, and rationalization, for example, I won’t exercise but I’ll eat better. A vertical dashed line extends from the last horizontal arrow in this section. This line is labeled desired equilibrium point.

Jump back to Figure 8.6: Force Field Analysis Example: Starting a Personal Exercise Program

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