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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Review of Lectures 11-16

We observed three lessons from the discussion of the “lost on the moon” exercise in lecture 11:
·       Teamwork in more effective than individual efforts in solving complex problems.
·       Effective teamwork doesn't just happen by assigning people to a team. It’s important that they are trained or mentored in how to work together in a way that utilizes the best knowledge and skills of each team member.
·       People must be in job assignments that match their styles. Not every worker does well on a team; some are best as individual contributors.
There were two messages in our brief review of Stephan Covey’s teachings on habit 5 from the The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People in lecture 12. We learned that if we expect people to listen to our logical arguments we must first establish our credibility with them, and second, we must listen empathically to them until they are convinced we understand their concerns and problems. Only if they are provided evidence that we are someone they should listen to and only if they believe we understand their situation will they listen effectively to us. The hardest part for most people is listening empathically. Effective managers must learn this habit and use it with their workers, their bosses and the customers for their work.
Lectures 13-16 addressed fear in the workplace. Key points included:
        Fear of perceived consequences (real or not) causes workers to avoid proper actions and substitute inappropriate or ineffective actions.
        Managers induce fear by negativity, disloyalty to their boss or to the enterprise and excessive emphasis on numerical goals.
        Oppressive policies and procedures written in attempts to control the behavior of the 5% of workers that cause problems are counterproductive. They cause fear and distrust in the many good workers and don’t deter the few problem workers.
        A poor business environment can induce fear; counter this fear with openness and honesty.
        Blaming people for problems caused by the system induces fear
       Remember the 85/15 rule. Problems are caused by the system 85% of the time and by people only 15% of the time.
        Managers that focus on fixing the system and seeking help from workers without expressing negativity build trust and reduce fear.
        Energy spent on issues you can influence is positive and grows your circle of influence. Energy spent on issues you can’t influence is negative and shrinks your circle of influence.
        Fear of change and of knowledge are inherent fears. Managers have to deal with both and must learn to help workers overcome fear of change.
        Cultural change requires patience, persistence and typically training time of about 10% of the total annual hours worked by the organization.
You last reviewed and modified your action plan at the end of Lecture 13. Review your plan after studying the review of lectures 13- 16. Are there changes or additions you should make based on what you have learned in lectures 14 - 16? If so, make the changes now.

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