Developing interaction, team-work, and leadership

WHY DO WE NEED TO DEVELOP INTERACTION, TEAM-WORK, AND LEADERSHIP

Today’s jobs s both in manufacturing and various knowledge works are professions demanding many skills. The nature of work has dramatically changed emphasizing professionalism, innovation, and learning. Most organizations are preparing personnel accounts and capability assessments. High quality, organizational learning and leadership for learning are emphasized.

In addition to a wide rage of specific professional skills, interpersonal skills are extremely important. The work is no longer something we do alone just focusing to our own affairs. In manufacturing new process-based organizations call for genuine cooperation both within and cross departments and functions. We need these people skills both in the individual work place and in the growing need of team-work and inter-department cooperation. In the fields of knowledge work, like education, high-tech organizations, health care, the military, the changes in workplace call for new competencies in team-work and interpersonal relations. In our work among organizational learning we have found that the place where organizational learning happens is interaction.

TO UNDERSTAND DIVERSITY

To fully understand individual behaviour and the way to process information is a prerequisite of efficient communication. Behaviour and communication should be suited to the other individual’s needs – not to our own needs. Because different people have different ways concerning information processing, thinking, perceiving, and making decisions, they have different ways to behave, to learn and to communicate. In the modern workplace we need to master also this kind of diversity.

All starts by knowing yourself

Unfortunately, so often, we make a scapegoat out of the other person. Nevertheless, all begins with understanding our own actions and behavior. Before we can fully acknowledge what different thinking and behaving really means, it is quite impossible to develop interpersonal communication and interaction. It is self evident that two people – the other very analytical and the other social – have difficulties understanding each other.

Research says that there is a clear and direct connection between out thinking and decision making style and our behavior. Learning & Innovation profile and the eLearning program are efficient tools first to understand our own behavior and then to develop it. After having learned different styles and different behaviors in ourselves, can we utilize this knowledge in team settings with other people.

How to identify different styles

The importance of different ways of thinking and behaving is emphasized in interaction and communication. In order to develop relationships and communication, we need first to identify our own style and then the style of the other person. Only after that can we modify our behavior to best suit the other person’s needs and way to process information.

We, then, need to be able to ”read” the reflections of the other person’s thinking styles from his/her behavior. This might at first seem rather difficult but the four different styles – or dominances – described in the program are very distinct and recognizable. If we have strong dominances, they are usually very clear and be easily detected – if know what to look and listen for.

Below is an artist’s perspective of two people representing rather different thinking (and behaving ) styles. They are, of course, caricatures, but most certainly you can locate persons representing those styles.

You can easily define that the styles in the pictures represent analytical social styles. The other two styles are organizing and intuitiveness. We also know that these people operate at work and in meeting in a very different way, and there is great risk that their messages are not understood by each other. The goal of the training is to define the four different thinking and behaving styles, to increase our understanding about them and to develop our communication skills.

FROM INNOVATION INTO CONCRETE ACTION

THE DEMAND OF HOLISTIC THINKING I

All organizations – business and the public sector alike – stress development and renewal. In tomorrow's world organizations and individuals will encounter ever-faster changes. To confront the future, we must find new solutions; we must be creative. We need new skills, broad-minded solutions, and courage to be visionary. Innovation is a must.

In practice and in work, however, innovation is not enough. We also need the talent to analyze new
information and the ability to organize all into action, for without concrete action renewal stays in the planning phase. In addition, we must base our renewal on values and feelings. Only after we master those elements can true and lasting renewal happen. Creativity should thus be seen as a holistic chain that moves from new ideas to concrete action.

The call for teams

Because no one of us possess all the four dominances, the importance of team work is eminent. If the team as a group has all the four strong dominances, it has better possibilities to cope in change situations.

It is actually just the teams that are of great importance in conducting change in organizations. Therefore, it is essential to know the teams work, learn and make decisions. This helps the teams work more effectively and it also gives guidelines to better share different tasks among tem members.

One key element in the eLearning program is then a live meeting with team members after everyone has familiarized with the learning material his/her own individual profile. To ensure learning and development, the team needs this discussion in order to transform the learned frameworks, theories and guidelines into action and team dynamics..

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