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Tag Archives: communication

Is fear a good management style?

Management techniques have been the subject of much empirical research for many years now and one of it’s students was American psychologist, Rensis Likert. He studied management styles for 30 years and came to the conclusion that there were four types of management systems. One of which was named “Exploitative Authoritative” and Likert defined this as consisting of:

  • Threats, fear and punishment are used to motivate employees
  • Managers at the top make all the decisions
  • Concerns of those lower down are ignored
  • The manager has little or no confidence or trust in employees
  • There is little teamwork or communication between managers and subordinates

The thing about managing through fear is that although it may have the desired effect in the short term but it is not a sustainable way to manage people if you are looking to achieve long-term results by creating and maintaining the most productive workplace you can.

Fear as a motivator is little more than a scare tactic and for that reason the results of it are usually short lived. The consequences can often be more damaging, such as lower morale, which is notorious for spreading like wildfire and in turn becomes lower productivity anyway.

It’s a great way for a manager to alienate themselves from their people. They appear unapproachable, unreasonable and people don’t want to work for them. This can create relationships whereby people would rather just agree with their manager when being asked for their opinion, instead of saying what they really think. Once people are afraid to go against a figurehead’s point of view, their importance diminishes considerably as does their feeling of self-worth.

It’s also a risk that managing through fear could scare off even the best members of the team even if those tactics aren’t employed with them directly. They will soon seek employment elsewhere if they don’t like what they see – which is a style of management that cultivates dishonesty, ‘brown-nosing’ and colleague sabotage.

So can a leadership and management style ever be used to the benefit of the company and its employees? Have you ever been on the receiving end of such practises? Perhaps you think there are times when it’s appropriate to rule with an iron fist?

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Managing your state

We can’t exactly measure our states but we know when our state is changing. However, it’s not true to say we have no control over our states – not only that, it’s a limiting and unhelpful belief.

Everybody manages his or her state to some extent. For example, ‘I will take a long bath; that will make me feel better’ or ‘I will go out for a run’ are both strategies to change our state.

As we pass from state to state, we think of them as good or bad and we know the states we enjoy and the ones we don’t, so we have a basis for deciding whether to maintain a state or change it to something quite different.

External Event

We usually think that a state happens as the result of an external event, however, a state is not always directly linked to the external event, and it only occurs after some other processing takes place. This processing is unique to each of us, so the state that results from an event will be different for each of us.

Events themselves are neutral, it’s only after we have processed them through our filters that we label them as good or bad. If the majority considers an event bad, this does not make it so. It simply means the majority have filtered the event in a similar way and come to the same conclusion.

The good news is that just because we think an event is ‘bad’, this does not mean it cannot change for us if we change our filters.

Internal Movie

Another way that states arise is when we imagine something or replay a memory. This can be completely unrelated to what is going on around us, yet it can still generate a powerful state. If we really get into the process, an internal movie can generate just as powerful a state as an external event.

Behaviour

By behaviour, we mean any activity. This could be something subtle, such as the way you stand or breathe, or something much more obvious, such as a brisk walk or talking. 

Our state is affected by activity, even a subtle activity. How do you stand when you put on that really expensive and sharp-looking suit? You are power dressed and you know it. If you stand that way right now, even without the suit, how do you feel?

Changing state

We can change our state in the moment by changing any of the above things that affect state and we can make more permanent changes to the way we generate states by changing our filters.

What state do you want?

Your state influences everything you do. If you are clear about the optimal state for doing something and then access that state, you will be making it much easier to achieve your outcome.

Whatever your planned activity, you might start by considering the following:

  • What state you want to be in?
  • What state do you want other people to be in?

You then need to plan how you, and others, can achieve those states. It may well be that you can’t do it all in one jump, so what intermediate states would you or others need to go through?

Baseline State

Many states are fleeting or transitional, but each of us usually drops back into a state in which we feel ‘at home’ – your baseline state. This may be balanced and harmonious or it may be out of balance and uncomfortable. Nevertheless, it has become habitual, even if it is one of continuing anxiety or depression or dullness. The quality of your baseline state contributes hugely to the quality of your life, since you spend so much time in it.

Eliciting states in others

We are always eliciting states in others whenever we interact with them. Another person will always pass what they experience of us through their filters, coming up with a meaning which will affect their state.

The simplest way to elicit a particular state in another person is to ask them to remember a time when they were in that state as vividly as they can. This works best when you are in rapport with the other person, and you are already doing your ‘version’ of the state you want them to access. If you want them to access confidence, be in a confident state yourself, with all the voice and posture signals that exude confidence.

Post courtesy of People Alchemy – for access to the Alchemy for Managers online resource visit http://www.peoplealchemy.co.uk/catalyst

 

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How to give a great presentation

The idea of giving a presentation can be daunting but it’s something many professionals will have to do at some time or another, whether it be for a job interview or in the weekly Monday morning briefing.

Anyone who’s stood up and delivered a speech of some kind in front of total strangers, or indeed people you know relatively well, knows it is not an easy task and that it takes practice to get it right.

Delivering a good presentation also requires preparation and if you put in the time and research certain key areas then your chances of blowing away your audience increase immeasurably.

Think about who your audience will be

How many people will be there?

What will their attitude be? 

How much do they already know?

Are they there by choice?

What language will be most appropriate?

Prepare you material 

Brainstorm all your ideas

Aim for no more than eight main points

Open with an inspiring, positive, attention-grabbing statement of intent

Make sure each part of the material has a purpose

A simple, effective plan for any presentation is to keep in mind the following:

  1. Tell them what you are going to tell them. Then they know what to expect and there will be no surprises and tell them what they will get from it.
  2. Tell them. Deliver the presentation as you have told them you will and invite questions throughout.
  3. Tell them what you have told them. Succinctly recap and review what you have delivered in the presentation and invite questions.

If used in the right way, visual aids are a fantastic addition to any presentation because if something is written down in a clear format it is often easier to understand. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for using visual aids:

  • Do keep each visual as simple as you can
  • Do maintain eye contact with the audience. Resist the temptation to stare at your work.
  • Do check the equipment for your presentation and have spares of everything.
  • Don’t write everything down on the visual, leave yourself some things to say – it’s not a script
  • Don’t use just one colour – vary between light and dark and texts and backgrounds.
  • Don’t leave a visual up if you’ve finished talking about it.

For more information on the courses Catalyst offer or to find about our FREE Leadership & Management seminars, click HERE 

 

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It’s not nice when people ‘snap’ is it? Here are some anger diffusion techniques

We have all at some time or another lost our temper and been around people who have lost theirs. You may even have found yourself in a confrontation where you need to diffuse the situation but be unsure of how to do it. There are certain disengagement techniques people use for just these types of situation.

In the workplace, it’s arguably even more important that we know how to deal with our emotions and, of course, that can include anger. So here are a few tips on…

Diffusing Anger

To diffuse anger in a situation, one of the things to consider using are Distraction Techniques. But it’s important to recognise the following distraction techniques won’t work in every situation.

  • Give the other person a direct command. Be assertive but be sure of your ground
  • Be funny. But ensure the humour is directed at yourself and steer clear of sarcasm
  • Pay the other person a compliment

Something else to consider when trying diffusing anger are Calming Techniques.

Make sure you communicate clearly by: 

  • Speaking softly
  • Slowing down the conversation
  • Sitting down with the other person
  • Allow the other person to vent their frustration
  • Show them you are listening by doing things like maintaining eye contact

Finally, see what solutions are possible which satisfy both parties. You can do this by:

  • Trying to understand the situation from the other person’s perspective
  • Listen to their ideas
  • Put forward you own thoughts in an open way

It’s also important to remember that if you feel you are in danger in any way whatsoever, that you should remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible.

If there are any techniques that you have found particularly useful for these types of situation, we’d love you to share them in the comments section below.

Visit our website at http://www.cbduk.biz/Catalyst_Business_Academy.asp to see how we can help train your staff in soft skills just like these.

 

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Successful communication is a two way street

There’s no doubt about it, effective communication is a two-way street – it needs a sender (speaker) and a receiver (listener) and both of these people have responsibilities.

Effective communication means the receiver has understood the message conveyed by the sender – otherwise there is no point in communicating at all. Whether or not the desired outcome is achieved is a reflection of how effectively the information was passed on.

For all the statistics that go around about how much of what we communicate is non-verbal (body language and the like) there is still an awful lot of importance to be placed upon the words we choose when speaking to one another.

The thing to remember is that each person will, to some extent, have their own interpretation of the words they hear. Many other factors come in to play as well – just imagine how much you can completely alter the meaning of a sentence just by changing the following:

  • Tone
  • Pitch
  • Volume
  • Pace
  • Emphasis
  • Inflection
  • Intonation

Now back to that old chestnut of body language. Consider the following and their potential impact on the listener:

  • Facial expression
  • Stance
  • Posture
  • Gestures
  • Proximity to receiver
  • Eye contact

As I said before, the person on the receiving end has a responsibility as well. It is important to be an active, rather than passive, listener. Show that you are interested in what is being said by using:

  • Posture – keep it open and lean in slightly towards the other person
  • Questions – encourage them to clarify their points
  • Repeat back to them what you understand their message to be

Matching and mirroring things like posture, mannerisms and the type of language they use also helps because it gives the impression you are more in sync with the other person.

Catalyst deliver courses in soft skills such as effective communication which can help you and your business become a more harmonious and efficient environment. Our website can tell you more about our ILM accredited leadership and management courses as well as our FREE interactive workshops:

http://www.cbduk.biz/Book_Leadership_workshop.asp

 

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