"Heard In The Boardroom" A monthly newsletter from Markar Associates                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Thank you for viewing our newsletter Heard In The Boardroom

Mike Chitjian, Publisher

 

IN THIS ISSUE

Markar - we provide you with the tools for success Consultant's Corner
Markar - we provide you with the tools for success Shaking Off A Mid-Career Slump
Markar - we provide you with the tools for success Take This Waste-Cutting Quiz
Markar - we provide you with the tools for success The Positive Side Of Complaints

Markar - we provide you with the tools for success Tips of the Month/Clipboard

BOOK HIGHLIGHTS

IT TAKES TWO by Gene Boccialetti

In today's challenging environment managers and employees face constant demands to change. And while much attention has been paid to changes managers need to make to develop new leadership skills, little attention has been given to managing oneself in the role of being a subordinate.

With a basic understanding of the different ways people approach being a subordinate and some idea of your own style, you can learn to become more flexible in your approach. Flexibility is key to you and your boss experiencing more effective working relationships.

MAIN FACTORS IN SUBORDINATE STYLE

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Deference: The importance placed on exerting influence in the relationship with your boss.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Distance: The preference for having or not having a personal relationship with your boss.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Divergence: The tendency to agree or disagree with your boss over goals and the methods of achieving them.

ORIENTATIONS TO MANAGING RELATIONSHIPS

Deference, distance, and divergence commonly combine to form nine styles describing subordinate authority relationships which can be grouped into three supercategories.

Accommodating Styles: Tend to be high on deference and low on divergence. They usually agree with those in authority.

1. Military: Rarely push for influence and tend not to see their bosses as allies.

2. Helper: Want influence, but will not push hard for it. They see their role as the trusting helpmate.

3. Diplomat: Seek personal contact with their bosses. If there is disagreement, they prefer artful maneuvering over confrontation.

4. Partisan: Their overriding obligation is to their bosses and not to the organization.

Autonomous Styles: Their common characteristic is low deference. They prefer general directions and dislike being closely monitored.

5. Independent: Want influence for both ideological and practical reasons. They are not comfortable in an implementer role.

6. Counselor: Have a strong sense of themselves as experts and like personal relationships with their bosses.

Adversarial Styles: Generally characterized by low deference and high divergence. These subordinates want pull with their bosses who they see as adversaries or competitors.

7. Gamesman: Have strong technical skills and usually disagree with their bosses over goals and methods.

8. Rebel: Openly challenge those in authority based on personal resistance to structure.

9. WhistIebIower: Defer to their bosses until their ethical breaking point is reached, then they go public with their complaints.

ACTION STEPS TO DEVELOP MORE FLEXIBILITY

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Start with dialogue and find out if your boss thinks you are working together effectively.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Ask your boss to evaluate you on the three factors of deference, distance and divergence.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Bring underused traits into play in appropriate situations.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Establish behavioral indicators that show whether you are or are not doing what you set out to do. Get ongoing feedback from your boss.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Repeat steps one through four-and keep adjusting until shifting your subordinate orientation becomes second nature.

MANAGING YOUR OWN SUBORDINATES

Since you are also a boss, it is important to "reverse the lens" and consider how you manage those who report to you. Be sensitive to their styles in relation to your own and the work tasks faced. Doing so will enhance organizational effectiveness and efficiency.End of article.

TO ORDER A COPY OF THE BOOK or for information on subscribing to The Fast Track's audio summaries of the best business books on tape call 1-800-BE-AHEAD. (1-800232-4323)

Highlights™ are based on an audio summary produced and distributed by the Fast Track Publishing Company of the book It Takes Two by Gene Boccialetti,. 1995 Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers. Summarized, recorded, and distributed by permission of Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers. Highlights™ 1995 Fast Track Publishing Company, Forest Park, IL.

Dealing With Sexual Harassment

Heightened concern over sexual harassment in the workplace has increased pressure for businesses to deal with the problem. Business owners and entrepreneurs must protect their employees and businesses from sexual harassment. Stephen Pepe, head of labor and employment law with a Los Angeles-based law firm, urges businesses to take the following preventive steps in order to stay clear of sexual harassment problems.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Establish a written sexual harassment policy. State in no uncertain terms the type of behavior you consider unacceptable, such as dirty jokes, sexual innuendoes, and sexist cartoons. Give a copy to every one of your employees. "Quite simply, when it comes to sexual harassment" notes Pepe, "you do not have freedom of expression in the workplace."

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Enforce your policy. Encourage employees to report sexual harassment without fear of retribution. If there appears to be a strong basis for the claims, act upon them. Pepe suggests discipline ranging from warnings and suspensions to termination, depending on the amount of evidence available.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Lead by example. If a certain behavior. even if done unintentionally, could be construed as sexual harassment, don't do it. Any kind of inappropriate behavior should not be tolerated.End of article.

by and reprinted with permission of "Successful Supervisor," The Dartnell Corp., 4660 Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640 (800) 621-5463.

"Getting Lucky"
By Tom Peters

Several readers have criticized some recent columns that suggested business success was largely a matter of luck. They miss my point: If you believe success is mostly due to luck, there are strategies you can pursue to lure luck out of hiding. (By contrast, if you believe that orderly plans and getting up an hour earlier than the next person are the answer, then by all means arise before the rooster and start planning.)

Try following these 30 strategies:

1.  At bats. More times at the plate, more hits.
2.  Read odd stuff. Look anywhere for ideas.
3.  Visit odd places. Want to "see" speed? Visit CNN.
4,  Make odd friends.
5.  Hire odd people. Boring folks, boring ideas.
6.  Cultivate odd hobbies. Raise orchids. Race yaks.
7.  Ask dumb questions. "How come computer commands all come from keyboards?" That's how the mouse was born.
8.  Empower. Folks who "own" the task take more at bats.
9.  Pursue failure. Failure is success's only launching pad. (The bigger the better!)
10. Root out "not invented here." Swipe from the best.
11. Constantly reorganize. Mix, match. Shake things up.
12. Listen to everyone. Ideas come from anywhere.
13. Nurture intuition. If you can find an interesting idea that's come from a rational plan, I'11 eat my hat.
14. Forget the same tired trade association meetings, talking with the same tired people about the same tired things.
15. Smash all functional barriers. Unfettered contact among people from different disciplines is magic.
16. Spend a workday each week at home.
17. Open the books. Make everyone a '"businessperson," with access to all the financials.
18. Share all information. The more real-time information front-line people you have the more "neat stuff" happens.
19. Vary your pattern. Eat a different breakfast cereal. Take a different route to work.
20. Spend half your time with "outsiders." Distributors and vendors will give you more ideas in five minutes than another five-hour committee meeting.
21. Spread confusion in your wake. Keep people off balance: Don't let the ruts get deeper than they already are.
22. Stir curiosity. Igniting youthful curiosity in followers is the lead dog's top task, per Sony Chairman Akio Morita.
23. Take sabbaticals.
24. Take off your jacket and tie.
25. Roll up your sleeves.
26. Take off your shoes.
27. Get out of your office. Tell me, honestly, the last time something creative happened at that big table in your office.
28. Destroy hierarchies.
29. Nurture peripheral vision. Most interesting "stuff" goes on beyond the professional's ever-narrowing line of sight.
30. Don't "help." Let people slip and trip--and grow and learn. As a manager, you earn the bulk of your pay for zipping your lips and letting.them stumble forward.End of article.

Reprinted with permission from the Chicago Tribune.

Get away and relax - let Markar handle your HR and Personnel Consulting Take sabbaticals. Take off your jacket and tie. Roll up your sleeves. Take off your shoes. Get out of your office. Tell me, honestly, the last time something creative happened at that big table in your office.

Shaking Off A Mid-Career Slump

The symptoms of a mid-career slump are easy to spot, the solutions not so easy to apply. Sometimes a slump can last a week, sometimes a year. Maybe forever. If you're in a slump, try to get out of it immediately. Here are symptoms and some solutions:

Slump symptoms:

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Lackluster? Do you work half-heartedly? You'll know this symptom if it takes longer to get things done in the first few hours of the day.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Tired? Do you tire frequently? This is worse than working half-heartedly. You'll know this symptom if you're tired in the morning and exhausted by 3:30 p.m.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Procrastinator? Do you procrastinate--especially in the area of decision making? It's a sure sign of job weariness.

Slump solutions:

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Change. Remember that you must change, not your organization. Try looking at your job through different eyes, and tell yourself you'll accomplish one task one step at a time.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Rededicate. Work as hard as you can on every project.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Set goals. Write them down. Strive to achieve them!

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Beep, don't sleep. Buy a watch that beeps on the hour. Every time you hear a beep, ask yourself if you're working as hard as you believe you can and if you're accomplishing your goals.End of article.

by and reprinted with permission of "Effective Executive", The Dartnell Corporation, 4660 N. Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago. IL 60640

Take This Waste-Cutting Quiz

Candid answers to these five questions could help you cut waste:

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Does this activity add value, improve quality, enhance customer service, improve communication, increase employee motivation and morale, encourage innovation or speed decision making? Note: Any activity that doesn't rate a 4 or 5 on a scale of 10 is a definite "no"-to 5- a definite "yes"--probably wastes time and resources.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Would it matter if we halted the activity? What would the con- sequences be? Are the consequences worth the cost of continuing the activity? Are we duplicating activities-- either intentionally or without realizing it? Who started this activity and how and when did it start? Does the reason for starting the activity still make sense? Can another person, business unit or company perform the activity better, faster or cheaper? Are we doing jobs, making parts or offering services that we could outsource?End of article.

Cited in "Communications Briefings," 1101 King Street, Suite 110, Alexandria, VA 22314. (800) 888-2084.

With a basic understanding of the different ways people approach being a subordinate and some idea of your own style, you can learn to become more flexible in your approach. Let Markar take you to the next level.

The Positive Side of Complaints

It costs less to keep the customers you have than to find new ones. And one of the best ways to keep them is to treat their complaints as gifts. Here's how:

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Thank customers and explain why you're pleased that they complained. Example: "Thank you. I'm glad that you told me so I can fix this for you and prevent it from happening again."

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Apologize for the problem. Note: This should not be the first step. Your apology will pack more punch if it comes after you've thanked them and explained why you're glad they complained.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Promise to deal with the problem right away. Hearing you say this relaxes the customers because they know you're going to act.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Collect all the information you need. Ask: "So I can act quickly on this, could you please give me some information?"

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Correct the mistake--and do it as quickly as possible.

Markar - Professional, discrete placement agency Follow up to make sure customers are satisfied with what you've done.End of article.

Cited in "Communications Briefings", 1101 King Street, Suite 110, Alexandria, VA 22314. (800) 888-2084.

Tips of the Month

Depend on Markar for all your HR needs Give your name and phone number first when you leave a message an an answering machine. Reason: Listeners who need to hear your phone number again won't replay the entire message to get it.

Depend on Markar for all your HR needs Keep this in mind: 'You're never not communicating." Reason: What you don't say may say as much as what you do say. And where you spend your time can send as clear a message as what you do while you're there.End of article.

Cited in "Communications Briefings," 1101 King Street, Suite 110, Alexandria, VA 22314, (800) 888-2084.

"Do it now" is more than a motto; it is a way of life. Character grows when "do it now" becomes a habit.

William Arthur Ward


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