ROBERT KENNEDY COLLEGE – UNIVERSITY OF CUMBRIA| ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIORS | MID-TERM ASSIGNMENT| 2/18/2013 | Question 1 Understanding Human Behavior is critical to organizations – discuss the benefits of self evaluation/self assessment as it related to leaders today. Self-evaluation or “self-leadership” (Runn, 2011) forms a critical part of a leaders repertoire and some key blocks of the foundation for this persons leadership. If someone can ultimately say that they fully understand themselves, they will find it much easier to understand others around them.
Self-evaluation is an ongoing activity that leaders must use to identify their strength and weakness to work towards of improvement. Kaplan (Kaplan, Robert S. ;, 2007) in his experience has learned that the key characteristic of highly successful leaders is not that they figure out how to always stay on course, but that they recognize a deteriorating situation and get back on track as quick as possible. Self-assessment and self-evaluation help managers and leader to get back on track working of the weak area and empowering their strength.
Leader often lack to receive feedback, therefore they must find way to evaluate themselves. Holmes (Holmes, 2012) identifies nine areas that a leader should focus and they are critical of a high performance work environment and enables people to perform at their best. The areas are: 1. Providing direction 2. Problem solving/Decision making 3. Support/Reliability 4. Team involvement and Communication 5. Recognition 6. Interpersonal skills 7. Culture building 8. Coach/influencer 9. Personal Power These areas are fundamental in achieving the good results, establish vision and communicate it to the subordinate.
In an organization vision and goal are sat and when they are not correctly communicated subordinate becomes demotivated and uncommitted. A leader should always communicate effectively his and organizational vision, give feedback and have continuous coaching. Kaplan (Kaplan, Robert S. ;, 2007) argues that leaders often fail to coach employees in a direct and timely fashion and, instead wait until the year-end review. Leader avoiding coaching and giving effective feedback can have unpleasant surprise and can undermine effective professional development.
Robbins & Judge (2010) argue asking whether it is actually possible for individuals to be their own leader. Coveys, in his book the 7 habits of highly effective people, describe the way people can improve their actions to be highly successful. Leaders needs to have a high emotional intelligence and Goleman (Goleman, 2000) defines the emotional intelligence has the ability to manage ourselves and our relationship effectively. In my experience, we often don’t lead but we manage and being driven focusing on the say-to-day jobs.
When I was assigned to a project my priority were to have the work done and pushing on subordinates to obtain the results without clearly envision and coaching them. Being involved in day to day activity, leaders are managed by these activities often becoming the subordinate of their subordinate as explain in monkey management instead of delegating responsibilities. In today organization, leaders are coping with fast changes and they need to adapt and apply them. Self-assessment will drive them to be open to change and also evaluate their weakness to be successful.
Most of the Fortune 500 has been implementing the self-assessment and evaluation. The question is the efficacy of the self-assessment and self-evaluation. It is a personal change and often leader are not open to it. Knowing the personal weakness helps in making a paradigm shift but these changes are hard to be applied because they require going out of the comfort zone. People resist changes and struggle with this idea, especially when they are having low esteem, un-secureness. They see these weakness has negative and instead of working out to improve and motivate themselves in improving.
In the history, these factors have been used in the wrong way and against the person. In today organization, these concepts have been changing and researchers have showed the importance of identify and work to improve them but if they resist this change process; they will continue having the same problem. The Leadership Steps Assessment (LSA) (Clawson & McNay, 2000)discusses the importance of identifying six leadership ability, as also discussed above. One of ability is to clarify their own center.
Clawson define that clarity of core values is a key leadership characteristic, because if one is not internally clear about priorities, what it is good to do, what it is ethically acceptable, the influence of others may sway one’s behavior away from achieving one’s goals or from ethical means of achieving them. Covey identifies these activities as Emotional Bank Account individual creates in others. If we are not able to recognize our values or we focus in other value like money, success that are Personality Characteristic instead of Character values we are easily influenced by them.
In conclusion, today leadership must focus on their strength and weakness evaluating themselves and training in improving the Emotional Intelligence. Self-assessment is an on-going process to achieve high successful result that will benefit companies but at the same time work environments. Researches have analyzed many data in different company size. These researchers have identified that leaders being self-aware, self-confident have reduced turn-over, created healthier environment and got from subordinate to work at their max performance.
Self-assessment has given to leaders’ better vision and focuses more on organizational goals. They have been improving empathy and coaching of the staffs being accepted as great leader. Whenever we understand ourselves, we are able to share idea and let others accept the changes without many resistance and we create followers. These are beneficial on personal and organizational level. By understanding themselves, they are creating a stable base to work from, and also helping others understand themselves. This is where the significant benefit will arise from.
It is not from one leader, but from the vision and leadership they share, and openly distribute among their peers and subordinates. By allowing individuals all around them to gain the same understanding we are forming a cluster of stability, strength, drive, passion and most importantly a culture which feeds on the outcomes. Question 2 Prejudice can be hurtful and destructive – discuss how you can personally reduce prejudice in your workplace – please provide an example. Allport (Allport, 1991) define prejudice as an antipathy based on faulty and inflexible generalization.
It may be felt or expressed. It may be directed toward a group or an individual of that group. Clawson (Clawson & Bryan, 1990) affirm Prejudice revolve around strong feelings; prejudices thrive in the context of the past and begin to wilt in the light of new and broader experience. Avoiding address prejudice it’s to ignore a significant factor in the organization’s chance for success. Banaji (Banaji, et al. , 2003) argue that prejudice arises from the ordinary and unconscious tendency to make associations; it is distinct from conscious forms of prejudice, such as overt racism or sexism.
Banaji (Banaji, et al. , 2003) identify the prejudice in: * Implicit Prejudice: bias that emerges from unconscious beliefs * In-group favoritism: bias that favor your group * Over-claiming credit: bias that favors you Human are not free from prejudice and they are built during the life. The prejudice is created by the environment, media, parents therefore everybody is biased against a group, developed some stereotyping and difficulties in judging other and make decision that are driven by unconscious biases.
These flawed judgments are ethically problematic and undermine managers’ fundamental work to recruit and retain superior talent, boost the performance of individuals and teams, and collaborate effectively with partners (Banaji, et al. , 2003). To reduce biases and prejudice organization must develop strategic learning program that partially helps but especially they must work in favor of prejudice elimination. Prejudice against a group can be removed coaching and mentoring people to work together to better know each other and removing the biases.
About prejudice I can give some example from my experience in organization where I worked. When I joined an Italian retail company I was not well accepted by the supervisor and my colleagues. Surely because of my nationality. As Benaji identify, I was victim of an in-group and unconscious bias. There were commenting and talking at my back of what I can contribute with the company, some were curious if I have knowledge appropriate to work in the company so they were keep on asking all about me.
Being categorized as part of a group that in majority was making low qualification works, the first year I really had hard time and I had to work more than others to demonstrate my knowledge, skills and remove the prejudice. Besides, I developed a strategy to share more work and project with the colleagues showing them other way to achieve the result and improve the outcome and allow the organization to increase them revenue. In one of the project, I lead and liaised with a Chinese company to get a partnership contract.
In that situation, I started highlighting the cultural difference and gathering facts of biases that my colleague were having. Showing them that their beliefs were not true and they were having unconscious biases brought them to see the difference and deal with the biases. In that case making them aware of unconscious biases and beliefs brought them to act in different way and also let them understand the reason of past failure on dealing with Chinese company. In conclusion people are born without biases and prejudice but during the life we develop them based on the environment we are exposed.
Prejudices are not easy to be eradicated but an organization must will to change and integrate diversity and remove the prejudice. Bibliography Allport, G. , 1991. The nature of prejudice. Political Psycology, Volume 12, pp. 125-157. Banaji, M. R. , Bazerman, M. H. & Chugh, D. , 2003. How (Un)Ethical Are You?. Harvard Business Review, Issue R0312D, pp. 97-106. Clawson, J. G. & Bryan, S. , 1990. Prejudice in Organizations. university of Virginia Dareen Business Publication, Issue UVA-OB-0381. Clawson, J. & McNay, E. , 2000. Leadership Steps Assessment (LSA). Darden, Issue Rev. 11/01. Goleman, D. , 2000.
Leadership That Gets Results. Harvard Business Review, Volume R0024, pp. 78-90. Holmes, S. , 2012. Leadership and Motivation Training. [Online] Available at: http://www. leadership-and-motivation-training. com/leadership-self-assessment. html [Accessed 12 February 2013]. Kaplan, Robert S. ;, 2007. What to ask the person in the mirror. Harvard Business Review. Oncken, W. & Wass, D. , 1999. Management Time – Who’s Got the Monkey. Harvard Business Review, Volume 11. Runn, G. , 2011. Self Evaluation in Leadership. [Online] Available at: http://garyrunn. com/2011/08/17/self-evaluation-inleadership/ [Accessed 15 2 2013].