Newsletter for Discovery in Action Alumni and network
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June 2014

Welcome to our June Discovery in Action newsletter!

In this edition of our newsletter, we share
  • a new practical tips and hints guide on 'providing role clarity',
  • some questions to explore to help improve your organisational awareness competence,
  • an interesting article suggesting ways to help overcome workplace conflict, and
  • practical ways to practice the feedforward concept.
Thanks again for the positive feedback about the newsletter, and for taking the time to read it. If there is a topic you'd like us to feature, please drop us a note. And please feel free to forward this newsletter on to other people in your network...

Paul and Melanie Eyres

Using FeedForward to improve your effectiveness

Marshall Goldsmith writes ‘providing feedback has long been considered to be an essential skill for leaders. As they strive to achieve the goals of the organization, employees need to know how they are doing. They need to know if their performance is in line with what their leaders expect. They need to learn what they have done well and what they need to change.’

Marshall suggests an alternative way to cover the same points that may be discovered through feedback – but by focusing on the future. He uses the term Feedforward.
Click here to see some practical ways you could try to encourage a ‘feedforward’ approach…

How strong is your organisational awareness antennae?

Using the lens of ‘Emotional Intelligence’, when you have strong social awareness, you sense the social / emotional cues in others, you understand how others are feeling, what may be concerning them and what they need. You understand power dynamics at play in a group and sense the 'vibe' within an organisation.

In his article ‘The Focused Leader’ (HBR, December 2013), Daniel Goleman writes, ‘People who excel at organisational influence can not only sense the flow of personal connections but also name the people whose opinions hold most sway, and so focusing on persuading those who will persuade others.’

Understanding how an organisation works, by reading the ‘currents of organisational life’, is a skill we all need to learn. Look at the questions in our link. Can you answer them? If you can’t, make some time to find out the answers…

Practical ways to create role clarity

As Discovery in Action participants explore the conditions that need to be in place for their people to perform at their best, the issue of ‘role clarity’ is regularly explored.

A major driver of individual morale and confidence is the extent to which individuals are clear about what is expected of them, how their work makes a contribution and the degree of autonomy they have in performing their roles. An important discipline of leadership is to assist individuals achieve high levels of role clarity. Of course, role clarity on its own is not sufficient to help people perform to their optimum, however it is often recognised as an important factor. It is sometimes said that you don’t manage people, you manage boundaries – this is at the core of building role clarity.

We have prepared a ‘tips and hints’ style document that gives you 2 pages of practical ideas that could help you higher levels of role clarity. Click here to download this document.

Most work conflicts are not due to personality

Ben Dattner recently published a blog post in HBR entitled ‘Most work conflicts aren’t due to personality’. Ben suggests that ‘more often than not, the real underlying cause of workplace strife is the situation itself, rather than the people involved.’

‘For example, people’s interests may truly be opposed; roles and levels of authority may not be correctly defined or delineated; there may be real incentives to compete rather than to collaborate; and there may be little to no accountability or transparency about what people do or say.’

Do you have some underlying tension with someone at work? This article may pose some other possibilities to explore that might help you move forward …

Link to HBR post.

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