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AmerEQ: America's EQ, America's Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

Organizational Change, Organizational Designs, Conflict Resolutions, Leadership Topics, Conflict Issues, Negotiation, Team Work, Bagdad Burning, Leadership Effectiveness, Leadership Role Models, Organizational Culture, SWOT, ADR, Alternative Dispute Resolutions, Vision, EQ or Emotional Intelligence popularized by Daniel Goleman, New York Times Writer; USEQ, US Emotional Intelligence, EQ for California's Norteno and Sureno groups

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Leadership: How Do You Build Trust

Building Trust: How Do You Build or Develop Trust?

I believe that trust is built by the following components:
* Communicating openly
*Self-awareness. Know Thyself first
* Being genuine
* Being able to follow through when you have committed to a goal, person, or objective
* Demonstrating competency
*Respecting others (regardless of title, influence, or power)
* Honesty. It is great to be honest. People know they can come to you with their most private issues.
* Being able to listen: Listening skills are also important.

In a few words, I use humor, listening skills, compassion, presence, and consistency to gain the trust of others.

At this point, it’s convenient to quote Warren Bennis:
“…trust becomes the emotional glue that can bond people to an organization. These are the factors that generate trust -- at work or in a partnership, a marriage, or a friendship: competence, constancy, caring, candor, congruity. What I call congruity -- or authenticity, feeling comfortable with oneself -- is a further reflection of character. It is at the heart of any honest relationship. But congruity goes beyond simply knowing yourself; it is being consistent, presenting the same face at work as at home. Candor is perhaps the most important component of trust. When we are truthful about our shortcomings, or acknowledge that we do not have all the answers, we earn the understanding and respect of others.” http://leadertoleader.org/leaderbooks/l2l/spring99/bennis.html

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Developing Trust: Leadership

Developing Trust

Barbara Braham, author of “Be Your Own Coach” writes, “Negotiation is a highly sophisticated form of communication. Without trust, there won’t be communication. Instead you’ll have manipulation and suspicion masquerading as communication. Be trustworthy. Honor your commitments. Tell the truth. Respect confidences.”
Furthermore, Mike Allen, Director of Quality and Training, Dawson Production Services writes,
"Building Trust should become a required workshop for Corporate America. ...”
Whether it’s with our employer, our family, colleagues and friends, we often find ourselves in a situation where we have to negotiate. We all communicate, negotiate and want to build trust.

At my workplace, I had the opportunity to attend a two-day seminar on the Covey training. What I took out of that training was that knowing oneself is very important. Self-awareness, knowing one’s emotions and applying the principles of EQ allowing one to examine others’ actions, words and behaviors are very important skills necessary to develop. Also, trust starts with you. “Transforming a corporation, work team, and family begins at the personal level,” observes Covey. In the session on Building Trust: They Key to High Performance, I learned about things that can have an impact on my character, competence and relationship with others.

Depending on the situation, I may be more willing to trust my teammates if I see that each one of them is goal-oriented, achievement-oriented and doing their best to increase the performance level. In our current system of competitiveness, back-stabbing, manipulating and deliberate undermining of one’s projects, I tend to be cautious. The team spirit breaks down when it comes to sharing profits and having access to personal gain. “Values and relations are important to trust,” Hughes, R.L. et al. In Leadership: Enhancing the Lessons of Experience.

In my experience of working and negotiating with various groups of people, I have learned that others, other parties will be quick to take advantage of any weaknesses or areas of improvement. The best thing to do is to trust to a certain point.


Hughes, R.L. et al.: (2002): Leadership: Enhancing the Lessons of Experience. New York: McGraw Hill



Monday, February 14, 2005

Is culture the only determinant to internal organizational change...?

After reading the answers posted by our colleagues on this topic, I decided to dig into it deeper. I found out that a learning organization can also cause internal change. Let's take a look at how learning organizations function. In a learning organization, everyone is engaged in identifying and solving problems, enabling the organization to continuously improve and increase its capabilities. A few examples come to me. In Leadership Is An Art, Max Depree puts the spotlight on Herman Miller, a furniture manufacturer whose Eames chairs were in the permanent collections of New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Louvre's Musee des Arts Decoratifs. (By the way, I am using a very comfortable Herman Miller chair at work). The author carefully noted the year when America barely woke to the Japanese industrial challenge

Using the Scanlon Plan (when workers suggest ways to improve productivity, they are cut in the financial gains that result from their contributions), in 1987-88, Herman Miller employees made suggestions that led to cost savings of some twelve million dollars (or, about three thousand dollars for every U.S. employee).

This was a direct consequence of internal change and motivation about increasing the company's productivity. That also led into the overall increase of U.S. productivity. Furthermore, CBS's 60 Minutes Correspondent Morley Safer presented a segment on the story of Aaron Fuerstein who felt responsible for his employees by giving them jobs. It was not an easy decision to make considering that his Malden Mills textile company had burned down a few years earlier. He did not run away from his responsibility and commitment to his workers. He decided to rebuild right in Lawrence, Massachussets. He paid his employees for 60 days. The residents of the town and employees believed in him. Based on the company's history of output, Feurstein thought it could bounce back. Loyalty was built because of all the natural disaster that brought change to this company.

A learning organization can devise ways to solve problems dealing with internal forces such as low performance, low satisfaction, new mission, new leadership, internal conflict, external crises, major industrial accidents, product injuries, computer breakdown, defective/undisclosed information, failure to adapt, sabotage by insiders, organizational breakdown, communication breakdown, illegal tampering, on-site product tampering, illegal activities etc.

In the end, a learning organization will never stop searching for new solutions to these problems. Internal change is inevitable. Servant Leadership, vision and a sense of responsiblity are very important factors that can cause internal change too.



Change Model and Strategies: Microchange and Megachange

As I was thinking about models, strategies or options affecting a positive organizational change, I could not help thinking about the 7 habits of Highly Effective people. The7 Habits apply at all four levels of leadership (personal, interpersonal, managerial, and organizational). I would like to briefly focus on the Emotional Bank Account which is a metaphor for the amount of trust that exists in a relationship. Each time we have an interaction with another human being, this interaction may be classified as a deposit or withdrawal. Habit 1: Be Proactive: The Habit of Personal Vision. A proactive person subordinates feelings to values based on principles. His life is a product of his decisions, not his feelings. Whereas a reactive person allows others to control his responses.

Since organizational change is inevitable, we'd better learn to adapt and try to diminish the shock.

"It's not what people do to us that hurts us. In the most fundamental sense it is our chosen response to what they do to us that hurts us." -Steven R. Covey.

Furthermore, using excerpts from these two articles will help us see some strategies that lead to positive organizational change.

Beer and Nohria (Eds.) (2000) present two dominant and
yet opposing theories of change, one based on the
creation of economic value (Theory E), and the other
on building organizational capabilities for the long
haul (Theory 0).

The editors argue that the key to solving the paradox
of which change process works best lies not in
choosing between the two, but in integrating them.
They identify the crucial considerations leaders must
make in selecting strategies that satisfy shareholders
and develop lasting organizational capabilities.

In American Medical Informatics Associates, Dr. Nancy M. Lorenzi, PHD and Dr. Robert T. Riley, PHD write about the theories of change. In 1974, Watzlawick, Weakland, and Fisch published their now classic book, Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution. Two important things to remember are: Microchange and Megachange.

"A more practical model that we frequently use divides changes into microchanges and megachanges, with no great attempt at elaborate definitions. As a first approximation, the following scheme can be used to differentiate between the two:

Microchanges—differences in degree
Megachanges—differences in kind

Using an information system as an example, modifications, enhancements, improvements, and upgrades would typically be microchanges, while a new system or a very major revision of an existing one would be a megachange. This scheme works surprisingly well for communication within organizations as long as we remember that one person's microchange is often another person's megachange. So while the system designers think they are making a minor change to enhance the total system, an individual end user may see the change as a megachange and resist it vehemently. When designing the total “people” strategy for any system, it is important to involve a variety of people from the very beginning, to clearly understand how groups function in the organization and how the work is really done.

The Cast of Characters
For any given change, people can occupy a wide range of roles that will strongly influence their perceptions of the change and their reactions to it. These are roles such as champion, end user, developer/builder, watchful observer, obstructionist, and such. As on the stage, some people may occasionally play more than one role. In other cases, the roles are unique. Unless we clearly identify both the players and their roles in any change situation, we risk making decisions and taking action based on generalizations that are not true for some of the key players."

There's no doubt about th imporatanc of communication and knowledge of one's position in the situation or on the stage. Technology is part of the change that, in many ways, affects organizations which have to adapt in order to remain competitive and produce great services and/or products.

John Seymour said it very well, "Technology has indeed taken a place next to war, death, divorce, and taxes as a prime cause of bone-shuddering anxiety."


Covey, S. (1989). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Powerful lessons in personal change. New York: Free Press.



Friday, February 11, 2005

America's Leadership Commitments and U.S. Citizens' Donations

Among reports of countries that have not kept their pledge to the tsunami-affected regions of Asia and HelpAge India reports showing that Indian elderly are overlooked, there's some measure of joy to know that America and US citizens are keeping their promises.

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle (Feb. 2005, www.sfgate.com), The relief effort does not seem to help the elderly. A few days ago, I read reports from the United Nations that many countries that pledged a lot of money after the tsunami have not given much of what they promised. Yet, money is needed to help the afflicted people who are still suffering.

In the meantime, the current administration is seeking $950 million in federal aid for the region. For sure, this amount will tripple the previous commitment of $350 million. So far, US citizens have given $800 million in private donations since the Dec. 26 disaster struck India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Everyone hopes that everybody including the elderly will receive shelter, food and medical care with all this money.

USAID and other monitoring agencies will continue to have their presence in the areas.

America's Leadership, EQ or Emotional Leadership

America has a unique place in the world. Every administration's foreign policies tend to place the US in the foreground of the world's issues. The United States of America can't afford to stay in the inertia. The country must be proactive in its affairs with other countries. No wonder why the U.S presence can be felt all over the world.

To read more about what the US is doing in the world, check out this blog, AmerikaKanKare

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