Listening and Leadership

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This era is both characterized by continually evolving and changing market conditions and the relevance of knowledge to adapt to the new environment.In this chapter, the authors will focus on three ideas: the connection between the company results and the leader’s listening skills; people as the firm’s most valuable resource; and therefore, internal communication as the key for success and full potential of the company. However, the survey concludes that internal communication is scarce and not always effective since one way communication seems to be the most common form of interaction, even though leaders know the importance and value of their human resources.

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If homeworking becomes more common, there are dangers and benefits both for the organizations and the individuals involved.
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Based on the attributional reformulation of learned helplessness theory (Abramson, Seligman, & Teasdale, 1978) and Lazarus and Launier's (1978) primary-secondary appraisal theory of stress, the present study sought to examine teleworkers' reactions to their work-related problems. The role of attributions about the sources, and cognitions about the consesquences, of these problems in promoting positive adaptation was addressed. In particular, it was predicted that teleworkers who made optimistic attributions and cognitions would be more likely to employ problem-focused coping strategies and, as a result, report more positive psychological and job-related outcomes. Based on a survey sample of 192 teleworkers, the results indicated that a tendency to engage in self-blame was related to the use of emotion-focused coping strategies. In turn, there was evidence linking emotion-focused coping strategies to negative outcomes and problem-focused coping strategies to positive outcomes. The results are discussed in relation to attributional approaches to stress which highlight the importance of cognitions about the consequences of negative events. Finally, implications for the training of teleworkers are presented.
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Typescript. Thesis (Ph. D.)--George Washington University, 1997. Includes bibliographical references.
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The Internet could change the lives of average citizens as much as did the telephone in the early part of the 20th century and television in the 1950s and 1960s. Researchers and social critics are debating whether the Internet is improving or harming participation in community life and social relationships. This research examined the social and psychological impact of the Internet on 169 people in 73 households during their first 1 to 2 years on-line. We used longitudinal data to examine the effects of the Internet on social involvement and psychological well-being. In this sample, the Internet was used extensively for communication. Nonetheless, greater use of the Internet was associated with declines in participants' communication with family members in the household, declines in the size of their social circle, and increases in their depression and loneliness. These findings have implications for research, for public policy and for the design of technology.
Employee perceptions of the fairness and accuracy of a performance evaluation system were examined by means of a questionnaire administered to all exempt managerial and professional employees of a large manufacturing organization. Primary (N = 355) and hold-out (N = 356) samples were identified, and a forward stepwise multiple regression analysis was performed on the primary sample. Cross-validation indicated that a 5-variable linear composite accounted for 29% of the variance in the dependent variable. Frequency of evaluation, identification of goals to eliminate weaknesses, and supervisor knowledge of a subordinate's level of performance and job duties were significantly related to perceptions of fairness and accuracy of performance evaluation. (3 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
This study examined the relationship between listening effectiveness and leadership emergence in the task-oriented small group. Subjects were 51 undergraduate students in lO classroom groups assigned as zero-history, leaderless work groups. The groups met together for 12 weeks prior to participating in the study. Groups were videotaped conducting a decisionmaking discussion, and members later completed a recall instrument, a listeningperceptions instrument, and a leadership-perceptions instrument. Three sets of coders viewed the taped discussions and coded listening effectiveness, leadership behavior, and recall. Results show strong, positive relationships among all variables except recall, indicating that emergent leaders typically display more effective listening skills than the other members.
This paper examines an approach to the management of conversations in an organisational context. It explores a methodology used and refined in client organisations to create and coach high performance teams during a period of major transformation. It argues that mainstream approaches to management development do not address the core process which exists in organisations: speaking and listening between team members and colleagues. Moreover, it is the development of conversational disciplines, the management of listening and the use of distinctions about “past, present and future” which are at the heart of facilitation and coaching conversations designed to achieve breakthrough results. The paper draws a distinction between traditional management development, such as the use of competencies or outdoor team development, and the management of conversations, which in this methodology has its roots in a branch of philosophy called ontology. The aim of this methodology is to create learning and development that is part of the process of creating “breakthroughs” in team performance.
Discusses listening as a basic principle of leadership. Defines leadership and decision making as much the art of listening as they are the skill of doing. In a world where most knowledge is obtained visually the author identifies behaviors that will facilitate the listening process. Tells why active listening is a physically and psychologically fatiguing process. Provides simple rules to enhance listening skills and to overcome the “listening gap.” Listening to the customer and translating what is heard into an action plan is a mark of a successful organization. Provides a solid foundation and philosophy for practicing or emerging leaders. Includes quotes from contemporary and historical leaders.
The fast and efficient exchange of information is undeniably a competitive advantage in business. And in a fluctuating economic environment, it’s paramount. Unfortunately, in the rush to adapt to market needs, many organizations sacrifice effective communication. As priorities shift, executives may impart only the immediate goals and fail to share the rationale and strategies behind them. They may be so focused on results, they neglect to praise and reward their staff. Most of all, managers may forget that communication is a two-way exchange – one part dialogue, one part listening.
This study examined the perceptions of members of 23 task-oriented classroom small groups regarding the variables of leadership and listening. Following the completion of a long-term class assignment, groups were divided in half Half of each group completed a leadership assessment instrument while the other half completed a listening assessment instrument. Spearman correlations were computed on the data gathered. Results indicate a significant positive correlation between member rankings of leadership behavior and member rankings of listening effectiveness.
This study examines the challenges related to telecommuting, focusing on how managerial monitoring strategies (behavior, output, clan) link to telecommuters' professional isolation concerns. The study relies on interviews with supervisors, telecommuters, and nontelecommuters. Findings suggest that the primary challenges facing supervisors who manage in telecommuting environments involve clan strategies: fostering synergy, replicating informal learning, creating opportunities for interpersonal networking, and professionally developing out-of-sight employees. These challenges affect telecommuters' professional development opportunities, which in turn heighten their perceived professional isolation.
Leadership is the heart and soul of an organization. What is really managed in an organization is peoplel Leadership is the ability to inspire people to work together as a team to achieve common objectives. Explores several approaches to leadership, including the trait approach, the style approach, the effectiveness versus efficiency approach, the contingency approach, the power approach, the function approach, the competence approach, and the TQM approach. In addition, looks at the role of leadership in behaviour and attitude modification and the different leadership tasks of upper-level, middle-level, and lower-level leaders.
Purpose This article is designed to help senior managers be better leaders by being better communicators. The article explains my original concept of “leadership communication” and provides an original framework to help map out the levels of communication ability business leaders need, including developing a positive ethos and emotional intelligence. Design/methodology/approach The objectives are achieved by providing specific and practical definitions and illustrations. The article is based on research on leadership, communication, and emotional intelligence and on extensive experience coaching and working with executives. Findings I found that the best business leaders share similar, specific characteristics of good communication that fall into three major groups: core (strategy, writing, speaking), managerial (emotional intelligence, listening, coaching, teams, meetings), and corporate (communicating with all internal and external stakeholders). Research limitations/implications Future research could include further developing the leadership communication concept by adding to the framework as I discover other major capabilities needed by business leaders. Practical implications All managers can apply my definition of leadership communication and my framework. I have witnessed the improvement managers can make in their leadership ability by focusing on the communication capabilities discussed in my article. Originality/value My concept, definition, and framework are all new. The value is in helping managers improve their communication abilities and recognize the importance of emotional intelligence in effective business communication. It is important for all managers and for teachers/coaches who work with them as well.
Examines the complex relationship between listening and training practices and service performance by deconstructing an earlier model of service management developed by the London Business School and Warwick Business School in the UK. This research hypothesizes that the nature of the practice-performance relationship is far too complex to be represented by a total aggregated index of practice. Hence the composite practice index is decomposed into a listening and a training index. The concept of the “listening” organisation is employed as one facet, and training climate measured by employee training activities is a second facet. These two facets are related to service performance. Reports on empirical research, which investigated the link between listening, and training practices and service performance. The data obtained from a survey of 143 service organisations in the Republic of Ireland show a clear pattern. By taking listening practices, including information technology, as a holistic view of a constellation of information-related practice type factors, demonstrates that there is a close relationship with service performance. Extensive training activities enhance this relationship.
As information technology becomes more pervasive, the structure of the traditional work environment is changing. A number of alternatives are emerging where work is performed at remote locations. Existing work practices and managerial strategies are often not appropriate in this environment. In particular, traditional office communication with coworkers and management, which is often dependent on physical proximity, is disrupted. In this study, individual satisfaction with office communication in the telecommuting and conventional work environments is compared through a study of telecommuters and a comparison group of non-telecommuters in nine firms. We investigate the influence of certain organizational factors, such as job characteristics, IT support, and coordination methods, on satisfaction with office communication in the two work environments. We find telecommuters report higher satisfaction with office communication. Our findings indicate that task predictability, IT support, and electronic coordination have similar influences for both groups. We discuss implications of these findings for research and practice.
The research reported here compared actual communication of managers and subordinates in two plants, one organized by an organic, self-managing team philosophy and one by mechanistic, authority-based philosophy. Using a relational control coding scheme to analyze and compare interactions, we found that the use of a variety of question and answer combinations and conversational elaboration, and a lack of managerial orders and commands characterized communication at the self-managed plant. In contrast, competitive interchanges, interruptions, and statements of nonsupport typified interaction at the authority-based plant. These findings provide empirical support for hypotheses suggesting that communicative forms are consultative in organic systems and command-like in mechanistic systems.
Social resources like trust and shared identity make it easier for people to work and play together. Such social resources are sometimes referred to as social capital. Thirty years ago, Americans built social capital as a side effect of participation in civic organizations and social activities, including bowling leagues. Today, they do so far less frequently (Putnam 2000). HCI researchers and practitioners need to find new ways for people to interact that will generate even more social capital than bowling together does. A new theoretical construct, SocioTechnical Capital, provides a framework for generating and evaluating technology-mediated social relations.
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