Choose a current or former supervisor or subordinate and think carefully about how the concepts from the Johari Window and Transactional Analysis applies to this current or previous supervisor/subordinate relationship. Think carefully about the flow of information and communication between the two of you, and also times when either of you behaved as “adults,” “parents,” or “children” in your dealings with each other. Don’t worry, this assignment will be purely between you and your instructor so feel free to be as honest and self-reflective as you can.
More specifically, write a 4- to 5-page paper answering the following questions below.
1. Using a Johari Window analysis, what do you think some of your supervisor’s or subordinate’s blind spots are? What do you think some of your potential blind spots might be?
2. Also using a Johari Window analysis, what kind of hidden spots did you keep between you and your supervisor or subordinate? Did you suspect your supervisor or subordinate of having hidden spots?
3. Based on your answers to Questions 1 and 2 above as well as the required readings, how might Johari Window analysis be used to improve this supervisor/subordinate relationship that you wrote about in the above two answers?
4. Using Transactional Analysis, give some specific examples of when you and your supervisor or subordinate acted like “parents,” “children,” or “adults.” And be honest—we all act like “children” sometimes in the workplace.
5. Based on your answer to Question 4 and the required readings, how do you think this supervisor/subordinate relationship might have been improved using Transactional Analysis?
The business importance of individuals is growing as work becomes increasingly knowledge based. Although organizations and markets still determine how work is organized, individuals are the key limiting or success factor more than ever before. This is equally true on the production side of the equation, where design, innovation, and service have become the provinces of critical differentiation, and the consumption side, where active buyers filter an ever-increasing amount of information to communicate preferences and make choices.
The widespread use of computers and communications tools is enhancing the effectiveness of individual workers as it blurs the distinction between roles. Productive work can be done anywhere at anytime, in a factory, an office, or, in many cases, one’s kitchen, driving new independence and personal flexibility. In some important ways, we have cycled back to a preindustrial state of affairs, as increasing numbers of us choose to work outside large, formal businesses, performing a variety of critical value-adding tasks along the way. The new information generalist has arrived, challenged to juggle, optimize, and find personal meaning in a world of limitless variety.
The central experience of individuals today is one of being inundated with options and information. The remarkable improvements brought about by information technology are accompanied by a need to shape and manage the information and opportunities in our lives.Figure 8.1depicts the archetypal dilemma of effectiveness (contributions made) versus attaining personal satisfaction (needs met). Human potential experts like Frederick Herzberg, Steven Covey, and Michael Macoby tell us that we perform best when work is meaningful and challenging. Throughout most of the history of human work, we have been driven by necessity and the need for physical well-being and survival. For some keen observers, the postindustrial era represents a marked shift away from the fight to survive to a crisis of making choices and finding meaning.
HISTORY OF INDIVIDUAL WORK: THE DANCE BETWEEN SPECIALIZATION AND GENERALIZATION
The history of work can be understood as the story of leverage and control. Sometimes these two forces are aligned. Through most of history, this has not been the case.
Leverage is the ratio of output to input. Knowledge, technology, and organization have contributed to ever-increasing degrees of human leverage. For a crude example, consider the productivity of someone digging with a shovel versus one operating a forklift. Even after the hourly cost of renting and operating the forklift has been calculated, productivity gain measures in the range of several orders of magnitude.
Control describes two things: the freedom to set work goals, methods, and standards, and the amount of value that returns to the worker. In the abstract, most of us would agree these are desirable, especially when applied to ourselves. Indeed, as Western society has flourished since the end of World War II, living standards (value returning to the worker) have risen due to improvements in the factors of production and the widespread adoption of a political system that values market economics and entrepreneurship (freedom to set goals and methods).
The hunter-gatherer era lasted until eight thousand years ago. Early humans were nomadic, following their food sources in a struggle to survive. We are left with the romanticized image of a primitive, tribal existence, where the basic requirements for life needed to be earned daily. The work was highly specialized, and although leverage was low, control was high. Hunter-gatherers could work when and where they chose.
The agrarian age lasted approximately ninety-seven hundred years, beginning roughly around 8000 B.C. (dates denoting the duration of eras overlap). The invention of plows and domestication of animals around 7000 B.C. signaled the beginning of work as we know it today. A farmer could extend her reach and yield beyond direct personal effort; stored knowledge grew and began to play a larger role. In comparison with the hunter-gatherers, greater leverage was achieved, and control became a reasonable expectation for many. Still, farming in the early years remained an arduous and risky undertaking, with many bad years to match the few easier, idyllic ones. As leverage grew in the later years with the introduction of better equipment, methods, and science, control dwindled. Farms grew larger, and operating costs and power issues led to concentration of ownership in fewer hands. We rate the agrarian work experience as medium in leverage, with varying degrees of control that diminished over the period.
The industrial age, lasting from the mid-1700s to the middle of the twentieth century, transformed the nature of work once again. Machine technology advanced in power and scale, creating previously unimaginable levels of work efficiency. Labor productivity in the British textile industry increased by 120 times between 1770 and 1812.According to business historian Alfred Chandler, by 1880, fully 80 percent of British workers involved in the production of goods worked in mechanized factories.With the assembly line as the model, the human worker became an extension of the machine and relegated to tasks that were subordinate, programmed, and highly repetitive. Work was once again specialized and low in control.
The information age began in the mid-1960s with the convergence of computing, telecommunications, and media, effecting the most recent great shift in human work. As the industrial period saw a dramatic redistribution of labor away from farming—from over 70 percent in the United States in 1800 to only 1.6 percent today—the information revolution has led people out of factories and traditional professions into a growing array of knowledge-based careers. In large corporations, jobs in innovation, process design, and customer service are replacing the more mechanical and maintenance-oriented jobs of the industrial model organization.
Life in the information era is more complex, but arguably a great improvement over earlier forms. Inexpensive and ubiquitous information systems level the competitive field in ways previously unimaginable. Hierarchy now competes with quality within firms, as best ideas can and often do come from anywhere. As a colleague, Betty Sproule of Hewlett Packard, observed, “Insight is not distributed hierarchically.” The brain has replaced the machine as the dominant organizational metaphor. Independent workers and small firms connect with others electronically and operate as well-integrated, intelligent nodes of business networks without needing to be owned by them. Knowledge is creating the possibility of aligning leverage and control for the common worker, who for the first time since the early agrarian period can afford the prime competitive resource: knowledge itself.
THE INDIVIDUAL IN A 2 x 2 CONTEXT
Individual frameworks fall into three categories:
· Personal awareness and style. Some of the best developed and tested 2 x 2 frameworks have been created to enhance personal understanding about style, preferences and how others perceive us. Based on well- established research and modeling from the fields of personality and social psychology, there is a wealth of instrumentation and interpretative support available.
· Professional effectiveness. A significant number of performance and awareness models address work experience directly. Leadership, inter- personal and team orientation, career management, and social style fall into this category.
· Decision making. Personal effectiveness depends on clarity and the ability to act. Frameworks in this section structure decision making in intuitively straightforward and useful ways.
PERSONAL AWARENESS AND STYLE FRAMEWORKS
What are my unique strengths, interests, orientation, and values? How can I be more effective in my life?
Understanding and managing oneself is a core competency that touches every aspect of personal effectiveness. We are all somewhat different in style and preferences. As we learn more about our own makeup, we are able to make better sense of experiences and wiser personal decisions. Like petals of a flower, each framework reveals another aspect of our nature. An important part of the personal journey is deciding which of these aspects to explore.
This section contains many of the oldest and best-tested frameworks available. The Johari Window provides a powerful lens into how others perceive us, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is probably the most widely applied personality model, and the Learning Styles Inventory is the entry point for understanding how we prefer to learn.
Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham
Oh would some Power the giftie give us
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us, and foolish notion.
The The Johari Window (Figure 8.2) was developed by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham at the University of California and was first presented to a group at the Western Training Laboratory in 1955. Since then, it has been incorporated into hundreds of educational and awareness-training curricula and has been adapted to address unique industry, topic, and community interests. Based on principles of feedback and learning, individuals and groups use the framework to increase levels of openness and self-understanding. It assumes that more self-knowledge is preferable, as is more openness. The framework is used to sensitize one to both of these areas and to expand them.
Figure 8.2:Johari Window
The Two Dimensions and Their Extremes.The Johari Window is structured in the reflexive form, looking at the same subject matter, oneself, from two perspectives:
Others’ Knowledge: Known to Others versus Not Known to Others. As you participate in activities with others in the world, they learn about you and form impressions based on what you communicate and reveal, as well as from their observations of you.
Self-Knowledge: Known to Self versus Not Known to Self. There are things about ourselves that we know and understand fully and accurately. You may be funny or a good singer and know these to be true about you. Equally, for most of us, there are qualities about which we are not aware. You may have a good singing voice and truly not realize it. Thex-axis divides self-knowledge into these two categories.
The Four Quadrants.Through the exchange of feedback, we are capable of expanding our self-knowledge and modifying behaviors that may annoy others and undermine our success in the world. A 2001 study by Development Dimensions International of five thousand professionals found that an amazing 69 percent of leaders behave in ways that actively derail their careers.Interestingly, 16 percent of leaders were described as unknown to their colleagues. It’s hard to trust someone you don’t really know. Working to alter your Johari Window helps to change this.
Unlike most other 2 x 2 frameworks, the quadrants are not fixed and equal in size. Think of them as panes in a window, with some more transparent than others. The lines separating the boxes are like shades that can be pulled more or less open. When an aspect of oneself is revealed and shared through the feedback process, one has an opportunity to expand the window of self-understanding. By choosing to share more with others, we are better understood and seen as more authentic. The ideal Johari configuration is uneven, with the public, shared zone larger than the rest:
· Upper left: Open (the Public Arena). This is the self that is well known to both you and others. People tend to trust others who are open to sharing their thoughts candidly and receiving feedback. These people tend to learn more from their experiences and are more effective leaders and influencers. Self-disclosure, however, can feel risky and requires confidence and comfort with oneself. Feedback can also be a scary proposition and is most effective when one seeks it out and when the conditions are sufficiently psychologically safe.
· Lower left: Hidden (the Facade). This box includes things we know or believe but choose not to share with others. We may have a hidden agenda or feel embarrassed about an experience. Often the decision to hide is made automatically, without consciously thinking through the possible consequences. The trouble with hiding behind a facade is that it consumes a lot of energy to hide what is true. And others sense they are not seeing the whole picture when actions and motivations don’t line up, eroding trust. Things often turn worse when the reality is revealed. Remember that two recent U.S. presidents, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, tried to suppress facts, only to have them blow up in their faces.
· Lower right: Unknown. Within each of us reside talents, opinions, fears, and motivations that are unknown to our self and others. Some of this material lies in our subconscious, surfacing in reaction to triggering events. Blind spots can be dangerous, and it is preferable to be familiar with these parts of ourselves. There are various ways to accomplish this, all of which involve becoming more self-reflective. The Unknown category is problematic when it is permitted to grow and dominate.
· Upper right: Blind. There are aspects about us that others see more clearly than we do. Friends, bosses, and our kids all hold valuable knowledge that can help to complete our sense of who we are. This box represents a major learning opportunity waiting to be tapped. Openness and encouragement of others are needed. People are uncomfortable with giving feedback they worry may be hurtful or that is unwanted. By working with the Johari Window, we can slowly reverse the self-protective mechanisms that keep the light out.
Example: When Being Right Isn’t Enough.Geoffrey had worked hard to earn the job and reputation he now enjoyed. He had joined the company as a young engineering graduate twelve years ago. Progressing from analyst to designer and then shift team leader over a seven-year period had felt natural and easy. Somewhere around that time, his advancement stopped, and try as he did, nothing seemed to help his cause. He believed he was effective and respected, perhaps even a little feared, for his laser-like analytic prowess. His performance reviews were consistently positive, if a little vague. He had heard that company management liked it when staff signed up for effectiveness training provided by the in- house professional development group. Geoffrey registered, not expecting much but hopeful this might at least send a message he was serious about his career. If things didn’t improve soon, he would start to consider outside opportunities.
Prior to arriving at the session, all attendees were asked to complete a two- page Johari Window questionnaire (Figure 8.3). The session began with reviewing the results. Then the group of twenty participants engaged in a simulation exercise involving building some equipment together using plastic blocks. Geoffrey did this, feeling pretty good about how it went until the group ignored one of his suggestions about halfway through the game. He had been right, and if only they had followed his suggestion, the team would have performed more successfully.
Figure 8.3:Geoffrey’s Self-Assessment
The next thing they did was to fill in the same Johari Window rating form for each other (Figure 8.4) that they had completed prior to the course for themselves. The feedback to Geoffrey was clear and devastating. It didn’t matter that Geoffrey had been right about the solution. The group saw him as closed and manipulative. Not only did his team members not appreciate his suggestions, they actively resented him.
Figure 8.4:Geoffrey’s Team’s Feedback
Disappointed with the feedback, Geoffrey was asked if the views of the other participants surprised him. He thought about that for a moment. Then the facilitator asked him what had motivated his behavior. Finally, she asked what insights he had about the other members of his team. What could he share with them that would help them to be more effective team members in future? He realized that aside from their rejection of his idea, he had not really observed anything of note. This was stunning to him. He prized himself on his ability to observe and analyze, and here he had noticed nothing worth telling.
He shared all these thoughts, feeling at first anger, then embarrassment, and finally relief. By the end of the day, he knew he was beginning to understand why he was not being considered for promotion in the company. More important, he was beginning to see how guarded and blind his ambition had made him over the years, and he questioned whether he wanted to continue to live in this way. On days 2 and 3, Geoffrey started a journey of self-discovery that had been long overdue.
Context.The Johari Window is used by training groups, teams, and individuals to sensitize themselves to issues of self-knowledge, impact on others, and personal and group effectiveness. This is a highly adaptive tool and can be applied lightly as a context for other processes, or as a framework around which to structure activities.
Method.The Johari Window provides a framework for looking at interactions and ourselves differently. Typically, the process begins with learning about the model itself. This is followed with generating data about ourselves and others. Finally, perceptions are exchanged as individuals give and receive feedback. Use of the window can quickly take you into sensitive areas of personal feelings, fears, and perceptions, so it is important that application is led by experienced practitioners in human development. The Johari Window has been applied in countless team-building sessions around the world and is frequently used in educational and therapeutic contexts:
· Step 1: Educate. To benefit from the Johari Window framework requires a basic understanding of the core ideas, the dimensions, and the quadrants. This education is usually accomplished through lecture and reading. There are many sources to choose from, and some of the best are available for free on the Web. Depending on the depth of understanding needed and the purpose, you can select a short overview piece from Augsburg College (http://www.augsburg.edu/education/edc210/JoHari.html) or a more in-depth treatment by David M. Boje (http://cbae.nmsu.edu/~dboje/503/JoHari_window.htm).
· Step 2: Self-assess. As a prelude to receiving feedback from others, it is often helpful to conduct some reflective self-assessment. What would others say about me? How open am I? Would it be better if I were more open? The two approaches to achieving this are to complete a brief self-scoring survey, or to draw the window, adjusting the size of the four quadrants to reflect how you see yourself.
· Step 3: Give and receive feedback. The transformative impact of the Johari Window is the result of the exchange of meaningful feedback. Feedback is a surprisingly powerful force and needs to be treated with care and respect. Safe conditions for all are necessary. Even then, the process will contain risk for participants. At times, it is helpful to stop and discuss the feedback process itself as people grow more comfortable in the roles of both giver and receiver. Beware of a tendency to become defensive in receiving or protective in giving feedback. Both are natural responses, but neither is particularly helpful. Feedback received should be about areas the receiver is willing to pursue. It is often best for the recipient not to speak at all while receiving feedback, so he or she neither deflects nor misses important information. Feedback given should be honest, descriptive, and nonjudgmental. Sharing the feeling level impact of others’ actions is particularly powerful and helpful.
Step 4: Plan and experiment. It is possible to improve one’s window configuration through active exploration in a discussion or group experience. To lock in gains, however, it is important to change some of our behaviors in the world. The goal is to be both more open and to learn from others on an ongoing basis. This step consists of making some specific commitments to being different that will maintain and increase progress.
Boje, D. M. “Johari Window and the Psychodynamics of Leadership and Influence in Intergroup Life.” Sept. 2003. [http://cbae.nmsu.edu/~dboje/503/johari_window.htm].
Johari Window. [http://www.chimaeraconsulting.com/johari.htm].
Luft, J.Of Human Interaction. Palo Alto, Calif.: National Press, 1969.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Isabel Briggs Myers and Katherine Briggs
The MBTI [Myers-Briggs Type Indicator] is primarily concerned with the valuable differences in people that result from where they like to focus their attention, the way they like to take in information, the way they like to decide, and the kind of lifestyle they adopt.
—Isabel Briggs Myers
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the most widely used personality test in the world, completed by approximately 2 million people each year. Developed by the mother-daughter team of Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers, the work is based on Carl Jung’s personality theory described in his 1921 book,Psychological Types.Two basic cognitive functions define differences between humans: how we take in information and how we make decisions. Jung also looked at differences in how we get and expend energy. The survey produces sixteen individual profiles based on four sets of preferences (Table 8.2).
The four sets of preferences used by the MBTI are:
· Introversion-Extraversion (I, E): A focus on the inner world of ideas and reflection versus the outer, external world
Sensing-Intuiting (N, S): Perceiving and acquiring new information through intuition versus the five senses
· Thinking-Feeling (T, F): Making decisions based on reason versus values
· Judgment-Perception (J, P): A basic orientation toward either judging (thinking/feeling) or perceiving (sensing/intuiting)
The Myers-Briggs team developed their survey and related methods and materials over a twenty-year period, producing a rich and comparatively stable instrument. It is a model in which there are no good or bad personality types. There is a need and a place for all of us. Your psychological type indicates what you are naturally drawn to, but you still can choose to pursue other kinds of endeavors and succeed at them. The MBTI does not measure functional strengths and weaknesses or intelligence. Understanding type preferences gives us a language to appreciate the interests and benefits of unique individual orientations. Combining education with personal feedback, the framework helps both individuals and groups to make crucial decisions, improve effectiveness, and resolve conflicts.
The two inner scores—how we take in information and how we make decisions—provide a useful introduction to MBTI assessment (seeFigure 8.5). We focus on these as a way to become more familiar with one of the most important diagnostic tools available for understanding ourselves and others.This is not intended as a working tool.The MBTI should be administered by a qualified and trained professional in the psychology or social work fields. For those interested in delving further into the MBTI, a good next step is to take the quick self-scoring survey created by Personality Pathways, available on-line athttp://www.personalitypathways.com/.
Figure 8.5:Perception and Judgment Matrix
The Two Dimensions and Their Extremes.It is reasonable to think of Perception and Judgment as cognitive functions and the remaining two (introversion-extraversion and judgment-perception) as orientations. It was Isabel Briggs Myers’s insight that combinations of all four preferences painted a full picture of individual personality. We encourage interested readers to learn more by checking out some of the authoritative sources listed at the end of this section. However, let’s examine what we learn by creating a basic 2 x 2 matrix with the two core functions.
Perception: Sensing versus Intuition. How do you acquire information? Sensing types experience the world through their five senses. They tend to be practical and able to quickly accept and work with constraints in a given situation. They are realistic and tend to be good at remembering lots of facts. Intuiting types go beyond the five senses to identify meaning and patterns. They look at the big picture and see new possibilities. They value imagination and inspiration.
Decision Making: Thinking versus Feeling. How do you make decisions? Thinking types make decisions based on analysis and logic. They explore logical consequences and try to be objective even if some of the facts are unpleasant. Feeling types make decisions based on what is important to themselves and others. They are interested in others and tend to be sympathetic and ready to get involved if they can help out.
The Four Quadrants.InIntroduction to Type,Isabel Briggs Myers examines the combinations of cognitive types for direction in selecting a suitable career:
· Upper left: SF. People with an SF orientation are caring and practical, often making them ideally suited to service-oriented careers. They are efficient and drawn to applying their efforts to work that makes a difference to others. Typical careers for SF types are in health care and teaching.
· Lower left: NT. NTs are the theoretical modelers and problem solvers. They are interested in exploring possibilities by applying methods and logic. NTs are drawn to careers in computers, engineering, management, and law.
· Lower right: NF. NFs are passionate, caring dreamers. They are drawn to inventing rather than implementing and are particularly adept at seeing the possibilities in any situation. They thrive in careers like research, art and music, and teaching.
Upper right: ST. ST types care about facts and tangible evidence and draw their conclusions from logical analysis. They can be counted on to investigate matters in a very reasoned and empirical fashion. With their real-world, practical orientation, they excel at careers like law enforcement, applied science, and banking.
Example: A Work Team Composition Case.The MBTI is often used extensively in team situations for diagnosing problems, resolving conflicts, and increasing understanding among members. Once people understand type differences, it becomes easier to accept a range of behaviors and work out accommodations. Teams need to address different issues as they progress through stages of maturation and project completion. The MBTI helps to tackle interpersonal issues in a dispassionate and constructive way. The example here looks at how conflicts are reframed and energy is rechanneled using MBTI modeling. We have constructed the analysis around the two dimensions of perception and decision making (Figure 8.6).
Figure 8.6:Harnessing Type Power Matrix
Conflicts in teams often arise around role definitions and decision making. Differences that appear to be about direction and content may well have more to do with style.
As conflicts intensify, people sometimes stop listening to each other or trying to understand what is motivating their behavior. Small misunderstandings grow into major problems as people increase their efforts to influence others and protect their own interests. This creates a downward spiral, leading to more conflict and dysfunction.
By understanding the type profiles of team members, motivations and actions come into better focus. What at first may appear as irreconcilable differences can be viewed as uniquely different styles. As indicated inFigure 8.6, each type has strengths that can be accessed for the benefit of the group. The NF member challenges norms and initiates new direction, the NT member qualifies and validates the proposed path, the SF member engages others on the team and rallies participation, and the ST member makes sure work proceeds in a professional and economical way.
Context.The MBTI is well suited to a range of individual and group situations, extending from career counseling and personal awareness to conflict resolution and staff planning. In all situations, a qualified, trained professional should be engaged to administer and help interpret and process test results.
Method.Methods may vary depending on the purpose and context. The following steps are offered as a general map relevant to most situations:
· Step 1: Establish purpose and context. The MBTI produces a set of results that can be applied in general or to assist with a specific need. It is advisable to establish the context in which results will be reviewed. Respondents should feel at ease completing the survey honestly and trust the method and administrator of the overall process.
· Step 2: Complete the survey. The survey is processed after completion.
· Step 3: Orient to the MBTI. Respondents must understand key MBTI concepts to derive the benefits of the survey process. Readings and presentations help to accomplish this.
· Step 4: Report and interpret results. Survey scores are delivered, interpreted, and applied to the specific goals of the intervention.
Jung, C.Psychological Types.Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1976.
Myers, I. B.
Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
. Palo Alto, Calif.: Davies-Black Publishers, 1995.
Myers, I. B.Introduction to Type: A Guide to Understanding Your Results on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.Gainesville, Fla.: Center for Applications of Psychological Type, 1998.
Learning Styles Inventory
Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.
Adults learn differently from children. They are not empty vessels seeking to be filled or clay in need of shaping. Adults have knowledge, values, relationships, and intentions that influence how they behave and learn new things. Often unlearning is half the battle.
David Kolb has recognized these factors in his development of the Experiential Learning Cycle. Most learning for adults occurs in natural settings as opposed to formal situations and institutions. Learning and problem solving are closely related. Typically, learning involves four phases: concrete experience (feeling), reflective observation (reflection), abstract conceptualization (thinking), and active experimentation (doing). The Learning Styles Inventory (LSI) identifies four different orientations to learning, depending on the parts of the Experiential Learning Cycle one prefers (Figure 8.7). The LSI has been completed by millions of people and is used frequently in group, educational, and career counseling situations.
Figure 8.7:Learning Styles Inventory
The Two Dimensions and Their Extremes.The Learning Styles Inventory explores two key dimensions: Perceiving and Processing:
Perceiving. This describes our preferred means of acquiring new information, ranging from Concrete Experience to Abstract Conceptualization.
Processing. This refers to how we make sense of things, ranging from Active Experimentation to Reflective Observation.
The Four Quadrants.The four learning styles represent preferences, as opposed to strengths and weaknesses. Each of the styles is legitimate and well represented in the general population. It is common for people to draw on more than one style, indicating a degree of flexibility. Understanding one’s learning style can be helpful in improving learning speed, depth, retention, and enjoyment:
· Upper left: Accommodators. Accommodators are activists who learn best when they become fully involved. They enjoy simulations and case studies and are adventurous types who will try anything. They are intuitive problem solvers who will often rely on others for information and analysis.
· Lower left: Convergers. Convergers are pragmatists interested in finding the practical application of ideas. They enjoy solving problems, and tend to prefer technical tasks over social and interpersonal issues. They learn well in laboratories and through fieldwork.
· Lower right: Assimilators. Assimilators are theorists who enjoy working with ideas and constructing models. They tend to be concise and logical and are more concerned with abstract concepts than their practical or human implications. They learn well with lectures and papers.
· Upper right: Divergers. Divergers are reflective learners who prefer to learn by observing and making sense of experiences. They enjoy lectures and benefit from recording their thoughts in a learning log. Divergers are imaginative and tend to be interested in people and their emotions.
Method.The Learning Styles Inventory can be employed with individuals or groups. Sample surveys can be found on the Web athttp://www.ncsu.edu/felder-public/ILSpage.html.Presurvey orientation and postsurvey completion debriefing may need to be adjusted:
· Step 1: Complete the survey. This takes less than thirty minutes and should be done within a psychologically safe context to ensure candor.
· Step 2: Score the LSI. Results to the LSI are easy to calculate and can be done electronically or by respondents themselves.
Step 3: Education: Prior to discussion of the results, it is helpful to teach the core set of ideas pertaining to the Experiential Learning Cycle and the LSI.
· Step 4: Interpret and apply. Scores are reviewed and implications examined. The approach taken for this will vary depending on the purpose and context.
Kolb, D.Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development.Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1984.
Smith, N. J., Kolb, D. M., and David, A.The Users’ Guide for the Learning-Style Inventory: A Manual for Teachers and Trainers.Boston: McBer & Company, 1986.
I’m OK, You’re OK: The Four Life Positions Thomas Harris
We do not drift into a new [life] position. It is a decision we make. In this respect it is like a conversion experience.
Thomas Harris’s best-selling book,I’m OK, You’re OK,helped jump-start the modern self-help phenomenon when it was released in 1967. It was based on the principles of Transactional Psychotherapy, first formulated by Eric Berne in an article, “Transactional Analysis: A New and Effective Method of Group Therapy.” TA (as it came to be known) sought to shorten the time required for traditional therapy by dealing directly with the problems of adult behavior here and now. TA defined three dimensions of a person’s ego: Adult, Child, and Parent. The Parent represented discipline and rules; the Child, spontaneous emotions; and the Adult, the rational perspective that made decisions based on data and experience.
The basic unit of analysis in TA is a transaction, an interaction between two people. Our propensity to transact in the Parent, Child, or Adult mode is set in early childhood by our nurturing, or lack of it. Berne’s belief was that people play parent-child “games” throughout life, adopting roles that help us get the positive responses we need to survive. How successfully we learn to give and get positive responses—strokesin TA parlance—determines our ability to inter- act successfully with others. The goal of Transactional Analysis is to liberate the Adult from painful and often unconscious behavior patterns imposed on it by the Parent and the Child, enabling freedom of choice and rational decision making.
The Two Dimensions and Their Extremes.The I’m OK, You’re OK matrix explores two key dimensions: You and Me:
You. The You axis measures the extent to which one values and respects others.
Me. The Me axis describes how one values and feels about oneself.
The Four Quadrants.Healthy relationships between adults are based on respect that begins with acceptance of self and the other. The I’m OK, You’re OK matrix (Figure 8.8) presents this relationship in the upper right quadrant, along with the three remaining suboptimal options. These are known as the Four Life Positions:
· Upper left: I’m Not OK, You’re OK. The newborn begins life in a state of dependency with a sense of Not-OK-ness based on helplessness. Normally, the child cycles out of this quadrant as she matures. People who maintain this role live in anxious dependency, often feeling at the mercy of others. Two life roles or “scripts” often present themselves. One is the person who continuously seeks the approval and strokes of Parents—people who enjoy the power to give or withhold approval. The other is a perennial bad boy or girl who is always proving to him- or herself that “I’m Not OK.”
· Lower left: I’m Not OK, You’re Not OK. As a child matures, he needs positive stimulus or strokes. If those are not forthcoming as the infant becomes a young child, the person may get stuck in this quadrant. Unable to get strokes, the person eventually gives up on life. The I’m Not OK, You’re Not OK person rejects positive reinforcement later in life and resists interacting with others as an Adult.
Figure 8.8:I’m OK, You’re OK Matrix
Lower right: I’m OK, You’re Not OK. The child whose psychological needs are ignored turns inward, in effect, nurturing herself. Career criminals often characterize this life script—the fault in any situation lies with others. A more successful depiction of this quadrant is the powerful man who surrounds himself only with “yes” men. Since there are no OK others, they remind him that only he can provide authentic approval to himself.
· Upper right: I’m OK, You’re OK. The goal in TA is for a person to make a conscious and concerted decision to assume the Adult role. Rather than operating on feelings programmed into us in childhood, one learns the skills of inter- acting as a responsible Adult.
Method.To benefit from TA, people need to become more competent and astute transactional analysts. By understanding interactions more accurately, we are able to step out of an unhealthy interaction or role and consciously assume the Adult perspective. TA is practiced in individual and group sessions:
· Step 1: Diagnose. Identify your role (Child or Parent) in unsatisfactory transactions and why you are in it.
· Step 2: Envision. Analyze how life interactions could be improved by adopting a more rational adult position in your interactions with others.
· Step 3: Commit. Make a decision to transact as an Adult. Experiment with approaching interactions from this perspective. Expect some challenges, and proceed with patience and an openness to feedback.
Berne, E. “Transactional Analysis: A New and Effective Method of Group Therapy,”American Journal of Psychotherapy,1958,12,293–309.
Harris, T.I’m OK, You’re OK.New York: HarperCollins, 1967.
Conflict Mode Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann
The conflict behaviors which individuals use are therefore the result of both their personal predispositions and the requirements of the situations in which they find themselves.
—Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann
Conflicts arise when people hold different views on a subject. Although conflict is a natural part of human experience, it can be problematic if it becomes entrenched or destructive. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (Figure 8.9) is widely used to sensitize individuals to conflict styles and options for resolution. Response to conflict situations is a combination of one’s dominant style and the attendant circumstances. No one is limited to one conflict style; however, our natural inclination and prior experiences cause us to favor one response style over the others. By understanding ourselves better and learning about a range of conflict approaches, we can consciously choose to respond in the most helpful and effective way.
Figure 8.9:Conflict Mode Matrix
The Two Dimensions and Their Extremes.The Conflict Mode matrix explores two key dimensions: Assertiveness and Cooperativeness:
Assertiveness. Assertiveness is the extent to which an individual acts to satisfy his or her own needs and interests.
Cooperativeness. Cooperativeness describes the extent to which one acts to satisfy the needs and concerns of the other party.
The Four Quadrants.Each conflict style has strengths and weaknesses and is more appropriate for some circumstances than for others:
· Upper left: Competing. Might makes right. Assertive and uncooperative, this is a power-oriented approach. Competing is appropriate when quick, decisive action is needed or when an unpopular but necessary course must be followed.
· Lower left: Avoiding. Leave well enough alone. Unassertive and uncooperative, this is a delay-action approach characteristic of the ostrich with its head in the sand. Avoiding is useful when the issue is superficial, when more time would be helpful, or when others are better suited to resolving the matter.
Lower right: Accommodating. Kill your enemy with kindness. Unassertive and cooperative, proponents of this style will sacrifice their own needs in the interest of satisfying the other party. Accommodating is beneficial when it is crucial to preserve harmony and when an issue is much more important to the other party.
· Upper right: Collaborating. Two heads are better than one. Assertive and cooperative, this involves working with the other party to find a mutually agreeable solution. Collaborating is ideal when seeking to integrate diverse approaches or to maintain commitment and goodwill.
· Center: Compromising. Split the difference. Intermediate in both assertiveness and cooperativeness, this approach leads to expedient and acceptable outcomes that fall short of ideal but which both parties are willing to accept. Compromise is suitable when goals are only moderately important, time is short, and equally powerful parties remain strongly committed to their points of view.
Method.The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument is at the heart of this method. Follow these steps to conduct a high-level intervention to increase awareness and help resolve conflict:
· Step 1: Set the context. Establish a meaningful context. Is this to resolve a conflict or to promote personal insight?
· Step 2: Test. Complete the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument.
· Step 3: Score. Calculate scores and examine for insights. What can we learn, and what changes in approach should be considered?
PROFESSIONAL EFFECTIVENESS FRAMEWORKS
What are my unique professional strengths, interests, orientation, and values? How can I be more effective at work?
Each year, industry spends billions of dollars on professional development in the hope that employees will update their skills, knowledge, and outlook. Businesses don’t tend to fail all at once. Deterioration is gradual, and the way to fight it is through ongoing investment, focus, and reinforcement.
2 x 2 frameworks are at the core of many of the most important professional development systems. Three key areas are addressed: career planning, leader- ship, and interpersonal effectiveness.
David Merrill and Roger Reid
We should point out again here that we are talking mostly about the tensions created between people because they act differently. Behavioral differences are causing the problem, not differences in belief or values.
—David Merrill and Roger Reid
As unique as we each are, our social style, that is, the way we behave with others, is likely to fit one of four patterns. We may be a decisive Driver seeking action and results, a warm Amiable interested in relationships and others’ welfare, a systematic Analyst concerned with order and facts, or an energetic Expressive looking for enthusiastic buy-in (Figure 8.10). These Social Styles are behavioral tendencies that form naturally in the give-and-take of life experiences. While we are capable of assuming alternate approaches, our style is the stance in the world that feels most comfortable and that others are likely to expect from us. There are no “bad” styles, although different styles have been found to predispose people to one or another kind of career.
Social Style is a function of two sets of behavioral preferences: Assertiveness, ranging from active, forceful initiating to quiet inquiring and waiting, and Responsiveness, ranging from openly displaying feelings to hiding our feelings from others. The four styles represent combinations of the polar extremes of these dimensions. Developing the model in the 1960s, Merrill and Reid found significant numbers of each of the types in the general population. Subsequent studies have confirmed the validity of the model and four styles in different countries and cultures around the world.
Interpersonal effectiveness is improved when we become aware of the inter- play between different Social Styles and adjust our responses and behaviors accordingly. For example, you would present carefully chosen facts when trying to influence an Analyst, whereas to convince a Driver, you would be wise to point out urgency and describe concrete actions they should take. By under- standing behavior as a function of Social Style, we are able to separate out issues of form from those of substance. This makes it easier to defuse unhelpful and unnecessary conflicts arising from misunderstanding rather than genuine disagreements.
Merrill and Reid describe a basic four-phase approach, beginning with knowing yourself (awareness), controlling yourself (self-utilizatization), knowing others (observing), and doing something for others (communicating with sensitivity).
Figure 8.10:Social Styles Matrix
The Two Dimensions and Their Extremes.The Social Styles matrix explores two key dimensions: Responsiveness and Assertiveness:
Responsiveness. This dimension of behavior describes how much feeling a person tends to display, whether one tends to openly Emote or to Control feelings in social situations.
Assertiveness. This aspect of behavior describes whether a person tends to Tell versus Ask, and the extent to which others see one as trying to influence their decisions. People viewed as assertive are described as likely to take a stand and to make their position clear on matters.
The Four Quadrants.Each of us has a dominant Social Style. By understanding the behavioral preferences of ourselves and others, we can tailor communications in ways that increase comfort levels and improve interpersonal effectiveness. According to Robert and Dorothy Bolton, “Any style can conflict with another style, but our point is that if you can recognize and accept style differences, you can do much to minimize tensions which are unnecessary and clearly unproductive.”Understanding is the first step. Although our Social Styles are relatively set, we can improve our Versatility by being thoughtful and sensitive in communicating with others. Merrill and Reid found that although Social Styles do not in themselves diffferentiate those who are more or less successful in their undertakings, Versatility is consistently an ingredient of success, and it can be learned:
· Upper left: Analytical. Analyticals are organized, cautious individuals, interested in facts and reason. They tend to be thorough in whatever they do, gathering information and processing it thoughtfully and objectively. They are sometimes seen as overly structured, stubborn, or indecisive.
When communicating with an Analytical, be specific and concrete, following up with action, not promises. It matters to Analyticals that you agree with their carefully derived ideas and principles. Let them know your opinion. Although they cannot be hurried, it helps to be persistent and clear with this kind of person.
· Lower left: Amiable. Amiables place high value on personal relationships, cooperation, and affiliation with others. They are often warm individuals who bring positive energy and freshness to social situations. They prefer to achieve objectives with others, acting with respect and understanding rather than power or coercion. They can also be seen as emotional, sentimental, or easily influenced by others.
When communicating with an Amiable, it is important to recognize the human aspects of the issue. Who is involved, how do they feel about it, and how will this affect them? They care about relationship and trust. Remember to establish rapport and to work at defining mutually agreeable goals and methods.
Lower right: Expressive. Expressives are assertive; however, they share their inner feelings and are experienced by others as enthusiastic and friendly. They tend to be influential people, engaging others with their energy and optimism. Expressives can overwhelm and be perceived as too talkative or domineering. They tend to be weak on details.
When communicating with an Expressive, it is important to recognize their dreams and intuitions. Remember that they are interested in the new and innovative aspects of the message and are less concerned with details. When reaching agreements, make sure to be specific about terms and next steps.
· Upper right: Driver. Drivers tend to be serious, assertive people, interested in action and results. Often viewed as decisive and pragmatic, they live in the here-and-now. They go to great lengths to tell others what they think and require, while revealing little about their feelings. They can appear severe, tend to be task focused, and are most comfortable when they are in charge. They can appear pushy or impulsive, ready to act without enough preparation.
When communicating with a Driver, focus on the what and how, not the why or who questions. Drivers don’t necessarily require a personal relationship or deep philosophical alignment. Pay more attention to desired outcomes and the actions needed to realize them.
Example: Company Acquisition: The Negotiation.Social Styles training and skills have been used in thousands of corporate settings over the years. Application of the framework raises interpersonal awareness and provides a common language participants can draw on to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts. The hypothetical situation described here illustrates the impact of communication effectiveness on feelings and outcomes.
BigCo is interested in acquiring SmallCo. The fit appears ideal for both sides of the transaction, and four players, two from each firm, have gathered to iron out final issues and conclude the deal. The participants are the BigCo vice president of acquisitions (a Driver), the BigCo human resources director (an Amiable), the SmallCo founder (an Expressive), and the SmallCo chief scientist (an Analytical).
Each participant in the meeting has good intentions and will need to play a critical role in arriving at a successful outcome (Figure 8.11). The different Social Styles can become a barrier, however, if people feel pressured or wary. In intense negotiations, this happens too easily and often.
Figure 8.11:Improving Negotiations Matrix
For example, the BigCo vice president might lead off by selling the financial virtues of the deal, looking for a speedy conclusion, while the Expressive and Analyst SmallCo representatives are looking for enthusiastic engagement and reliable facts. The BigCo vice president needs to begin by addressing the felt needs of the SmallCo representatives before forcefully pursuing her own agenda to close the deal. She might consider allowing her human resource director to engage the founder and provide concrete benefits information to the Analytical scientist. In her offer, it will be important to recognize the pride and sense of accomplishment of the SmallCo reps. She needs to listen to the founder and demonstrate excitement.
The SmallCo founder might naturally be inclined to share his business vision in an animated manner, only to feel deflated at the lack of uptake by the BigCo representatives. The founder needs to consider the vice president’s needs and offer her reassurances about his shared desire for speedy progress and a concrete outcome. In communicating with the human resources director, it would be useful to describe his company’s staffing philosophy and commitment to full and fair consultation with employees.
By attending to each others’ style needs, all parties feel more at ease and respected, and are less likely to be negatively distracted from the primary purpose of the transaction.
Context.The Social Styles approach is deployed to improve performance across a wide range of individual and team situations, and has been used by over 10 million people in more than twenty countries since it was introduced in the 1960s. The framework is particularly well suited to improving skills in leader- ship and sales.
Method.Follow the steps here to benefit from Social Styles insights:
· Step 1: Determine the context: individual, team, organizational, educational?
· Step 2: Complete the Social Styles Diagnostic Survey, available from the Tracom Group.
Step 3: Score and debrief results in the context set for the process.
· Step 4: Improve communication with others based on personal insights and understanding of the model.
Bolton, R., and Bolton, D. P.Social Style/Management Style.New York: Amacom, 1984.
Merrill, D., and Reid, R.Personal Styles and Effective Performance. Philadelphia: Chilton, 1981.
TRACOM Group. [http://www.tracom.com].
Getting It Right
There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency that which should not be done at all.
This commonsense framework comes out of the study of highly effective lead- ers and their organizations. One view is that managers do the job right, while leaders ensure that the right job is being done (Figure 8.12). This leadership responsibility is especially pertinent in bureaucratic settings where work is too easily abstracted from its larger purpose and context and the assigned task becomes an end in itself. The framework raises useful questions about the relevance and importance of the work being done by an individual, a team, or a larger unit within an organization. As organizations distribute more authority to knowledgeable workers, it becomes everyone’s job to ensure the validity and design of their own work.
Figure 8.12:Doing Things Right Matrix
The Two Dimensions and Their Extremes.The Doing Things Right matrix explores two key dimensions: Right Job and Job Done Right:
Right Job. This dimension describes the content of work activity. Not all task definitions are equally useful or aligned on purpose. Success begins with getting the Right Job defined.
Job Done Right. This dimension describes the process of work activity. Work can be completed well or poorly.
The Four Quadrants.Of the four possible scenarios, only one, Yes-Yes, has any real chance of success. Improvement begins with diagnosis. Knowing the need helps you decide where to place your efforts:
· Upper left: Could Succeed. In this case, there is a chance of success because the work is properly defined, but there are problems getting in the way and undermining efforts. Diagnosis of the situation and course correction are required.
· Lower right: No Chance. Both the job definition and the methods being applied are wrong. Although this situation appears almost comically obvious, groups often find themselves here. This is because the two problems attract each other. In such an unhealthy atmosphere, it can become very difficult to challenge the status quo and launch corrective steps.
· Lower right: Waste of Time. This is perhaps the most tragic of the four states. Good work is being accomplished, but to no particularly useful end. Things could be turned around, but leadership is required.
· Upper right: Excellent Chance of Success. High performance requires both of the qualities measured by this framework. Great leaders provide focus to their teams and help members to work at their best.
Method.Follow these steps to improve organizational priority setting and to diagnose possible causes of performance ineffectiveness:
· Step 1: Focus. Pick an individual or business unit engaged in a defined work activity.
· Step 2: Assess. Assess current effectiveness by using the matrix and responding to the questions, “Are they doing the Right Job [validity]?” and “Are they doing the Job Right [quality]?”
Step 3: Correct. Depending on the assessment, take appropriate action. For example, if the job is poorly defined, get clear about what is really needed. If the work is being done poorly, launch an effort to find out why, and then tackle the problem. If neither job nor work effectiveness is acceptable, rethink the legitimacy of the function or unit, and consider fundamental redesign or elimination.
Drucker, P. F. “Managing for Business Effectiveness.”Harvard Business Review,May 1963, p. 56.
Bryan Smith and Rick Ross
Nobody is more powerful than a passionate leader; particularly in terms of his or her impact on others. That is why the coaching that leaders receive is arguably one of the highest-impact leverage points available to a team.
—Bryan Smith and Rick Ross
People in leadership positions face unique learning challenges when they want to improve their leadership effectiveness. Formal courses are often irrelevant and artificial, free time is scarce, and subordinates are often fearful of delivering honest feedback that may be received negatively. Bryan Smith and Rick Ross suggest coaching as a more practical and useful option.
Leadership Coaching opens the door to learning directly from what is or is not working well in the daily execution of leadership responsibilities (Figure 8.13). Acting as part mentor, part mirror, the coach encourages and supports honest reflection and improvement efforts.
The Two Dimensions and Their Extremes.The Leadership Coaching matrix explores two key dimensions: Message Content and Evaluation:
Message Content. The content of the coach’s message ranges from Ambiguous to Specific. Specific performance feedback is most helpful.
Evaluation. Feedback ranges from Judgmental to Descriptive. Judgmental feedback risks provoking defensive, emotional responses, and damaging the connection between coach and leader. Descriptive feedback makes valuable information available to the leader.
Figure 8.13:Leadership Coaching Matrix
The Four Quadrants.Effective feedback is Descriptive rather than Judgmental and Specific versus Ambiguous:
· Upper left: Judgmental and Specific. This is a dangerous and conterproductive approach. Even when the feedback is accurate, the leader is likely to feel judged and try to rationalize her behavior.
· Lower left: Judgmental and Ambiguous. It is difficult for the recipient to respond to nonspecific criticism or feel good when judgments are emotionally loaded. The goal is to move toward the Descriptive and Specific.
· Lower right: Descriptive and Ambiguous. Descriptive feedback is empty if it is not accompanied by relevant observations and examples. The leader needs this information to understand what exactly has occurred and what is worth changing.
· Upper right: Descriptive and Specific. As we move from the Judgmental to Descriptive, and Ambiguous to Specific, areas of improvement can be identified in a constructive and open manner.
Method.Coaching is a continuous process, as leadership skills are constantly tested and refined.
· Step 1: Set the scene. Coaches begin with establishing rapport and trust with the leader, and they take responsibility for successful coaching outcomes.
· Step 2: Observe behavior. It is ideal for the coach to attend meetings and other events to collect firsthand information. When this is not feasible, the coach is restricted to working with the leader’s own account of events, helping the leader make sense of experiences.
Step 3: Recreate the scene. It is helpful to review difficult and challenging situations, asking questions like, “How did you do in that encounter?”
· Step 4: Share observations. Using descriptive, specific language, provide feedback and help the leader to expand self-understanding and set meaningful leadership improvement objectives.
Senge, P., and others.The Dance of Change: The Challenges of Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations.New York: Doubleday/Currency, 1999.
Based on the work of Richard Nelson Bolles
There is a vast world of work out there in this country, where at least 111 million people are employed in this country alone—many of whom are bored out of their minds. All day long.
—Richard Nelson Bolles
With over seven million copies sold in the past two decades, few books have been as influential as Richard Nelson Bolles’sWhat Color Is Your Parachute?The book’s premise is that most people choose a career path without properly evaluating their own skills, interests, and aspirations. As a result, millions of people are in jobs that are a poor fit for them. They miss their true calling and waste their working lives.
Bolles boils the issues involved in determining a career down to two main questions: What do you want to do? and Where do you want to do it? The book arms those who are seeking new careers with simple tools for finding out all of the information they need in order to make a meaningful career decision.
The Career Transitioning matrix (Figure 8.14) looks at two key variables involved in considering a new career.Taken together, these determine the degree to which changing jobs will be simple or complex.
The Two Dimensions and Their Extremes.The Career Transitioning matrix explores two key dimensions: Job Title and Field:
Job Title. Job title refers to the nature of the work itself. One can remain in the same profession or switch.
Field. Field refers to industry context. One can stay in the same industry or move to a new one.
Figure 8.14:Career Transitioning Matrix
The Four Quadrants.The complexity and challenge of a career change increase with the addition of new elements. The Career Transitioning matrix illustrates how the two variables of Job Title and Field define a meaningful range of options with varying levels of difficulty:
· Upper left: Moderately Difficult. Changing Job Titles while remaining in a familiar industry context, as when an accountant moves into sales or a copyeditor moves into reporting, is moderately difficult. The challenge for the job seeker is to demonstrate aptitudes and abilities for the new position, which is often a move up.
· Lower left: Least Difficult. Staying in the current job and changing employers (while remaining in the same industry) is a common transition when one is happy in one’s career but seeking a better opportunity or new geography.
· Lower right: Less Difficult. In professions such as sales, accounting, human resources, and graphic design, skills are standardized across industries. Moving from one industry to another constitutes a relatively easy transition.
· Upper right: Complex Transition. Finding lifelong fulfillment—the color of one’s parachute—often means changing Job and Field. This is the toughest transition of the four. Many employers seek specific experience or technical skills. In addition, there is the risk that the job seeker will choose a career for which she is not prepared or temperamentally suited. The key to this transition is being realistic about what is possible and the amount of effort it will take to become fully competent.
Method.Follow these steps to create a high-level plan to effect the transition from one career to another:
Step 1: Select a career direction. Identify the career or job you would like to attain, and locate it on the matrix. Consider the difficulty of attaining the desired job.
· Step 2: Interview. Prepare a list of informational interview questions for workers in that job. Include questions about skills, the daily nature of the work, education, coworkers, salary, lifestyle, personal fulfillment, success factors, work, and personal challenges. Conduct informational interviews with up to five people working in that field.
· Step 3: Acquire skills. Identify the skills that you will need in order to be happy and successful in the new career or position. Put a plan together to fill those skills gaps.
· Step 4: Switch jobs. Create the plan that will take you from your current position to the one you have identified.
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