Nov 2, 2017 in Review

Principles of Communication

Explanation of three important principles of communication is given in the book How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. The first principle explains that there are some things that people refuse to hear. These are complains, criticism, and condemnation. The second principle implies that appreciation should be sincere and honest. People are always conscious about themselves and want to feel important. Therefore, giving a person a sincere heartfelt compliment is the best way to lift his/her mood. The last but not the least principle says that genuine interest in a person should be shown. Why would one want to discuss chick flicks with a person who likes action movies? People should always discuss things that are interesting for them and let others talk about what they like and prefer. If people want principles that will be discussed further to work, they should follow the above-mentioned ones.

People will always like those who follow these principles. It is important to show interest in others, always smile, know and remember names of persons one talks to, listen actively and attentively, talk about interests of other people, and make people feel important. A smile and good listening skills are the most important among these principles and should always be followed. A smile makes any day brighter. It is a way to show a friendly attitude to another person as it is body’s way to show that a person is happy and interested. The factor that makes a person a good conversationalist is the ability to listen ironically. The reason is that people usually simply need someone to listen to them talking about something they want. It is important to remember about the feeling of self-importance of the person one is talking to.

If people want others to agree with their point of view, even if they really do not agree, they can persuade them to agree in the following ways: arguments should be avoided at any cost, they should never tell people they are wrong and immediately admit their own wrongness if it is the case. They always should be friendly in their attitude to people, try to not let them say “no”, and let them talk, make them feel that the idea is theirs, respect their desires, wishes, and ideas, be noble in the motives.

Leadership

Leadership is an important quality of any individual who wants to be successful. Nevertheless, not every person can be called a leader for various reasons. Some people do not know how, others simply do not want to be leaders. Leadership is the driving force of any development and it cannot be bought. It is important in all aspects of life. Only leaders are able to take the responsibility to make crucial decisions, implement new ideas, and help humankind develop in all directions. What factors make the minority of people become leaders and the majority simply follow the first group? It is important to mention that most people are not born leaders. Individuals become leaders in the process of personal development, self-determination, and because of their great desire to be special. This desire plays a major role in the process of becoming a leader. There are traits that distinguish a leader from other people e.g. integrity. Integrity is important to make people believe that one's actions in pursuing a dream are motivated by proper motives and are not just ego driven. It is also important to have the ability to understand differences among people in order to use their uniqueness and individual skills to achieve goals. It is also important to have a positive mood in any situation, to encourage and reward people, and not just waste their time telling what was done wrong.

Along with the above-mentioned traits, a true leader should master a number of skills. These include effective communication beyond simple nice speaking and correct writing. This skill must make people clearly understand how and why they should follow the leader. The leader must also be motivating, which is a skill of persuading people to want to do their best to achieve goals set by the leader. Leaders must be able to plan, which implies strategic distribution of time and resources. It is important for any leader to be able to see the most efficient ways to achieve set goals. These skills are crucial for any leader because lack of communication skills, low ability to motivate or plan can make people doubt the person as a leader. A leader is an example to follow in most cases. He/she is a model of behavior and should be nearly perfect to be called a true leader.

Different philosophers have for a long time tried to understand what leadership is. Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and other great minds of the past believed that people were born different and that “from the moment of their birth, some are marked for subjugation and others for command” (Henman 2010; Stone & Patterson 2005). These beliefs defined a period in humankind history when the power was transferred from one to another by the right of birth, which gave rise to numerous royal dynasties and ruling aristocracy. History shows that this assumption was not entirely right. Not all people in aristocratic families were leaders, so we can say that leadership is not something that is in genes (Antonakis, Cianciolo, & Sternberg 2003; Northouse 2007).

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Traits studies cannot be perceived as objective because they mostly refer to a subjective perception of a leader and leadership based on perception of personal unique traits and skills. It was the background for a behavioral school to emerge. McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y managers and Blake and Mouton’s managerial grid are believed to be the most comprehensive theories of this school (Northouse 2007). The first theory refers to two contrasting sets of assumptions regarding people made by managers, which allow them to lead effectively. The second theory defines appropriate managerial styles according to the orientation of managers in terms of concern for people and production (Bolden et al. 2007; Henman 2010).

The Main Idea and Principles

The main idea, the core of all-possible solutions in this area is understanding of true leadership in any team. Without leadership traits, any executive is doomed to be ineffective and not at place. As Holmes states, there are four principles of managing expectations: define expectations internally; establish rules of engagement; deal with doubters; and not everything is negotiable. Deep understanding of these principles provides any leader with clear vision of what should be done in every particular case.

  • Thus, according to the first principle, everyone should clearly understand what is expected to be done. It concerns both executives and executors of each part of a project or process. Without it, people could fall into a trap of misunderstanding and would be misled by it. In the worst-case scenario, the project could go too far and fail completely.
  • The second principle states that expectations should be realistic and realizable. It is not possible to satisfy all possible needs and requirements of a project. Therefore, it is necessary to distill what exactly should be done to satisfy most of the requirements and do it (Holmes 2005).
  • Third principle is based on good negotiation skills. In other words, it is important to be able to find appropriate approach to every situation and person(s) involved in it. Good negotiation skills combined with pragmatism and goodwill should provide CIO with all necessary tools for solving different problems related to uncertainties in a project (Holmes 2005).
  • Finally, it is very important to understand that not every problem has an appropriate solution in every part of negotiations. In some cases, it is just not possible. Therefore, a good CIO must be ready for such situations (Holmes 2005).

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Goulston complements these principles with the idea that it is utterly important for CIO to learn to talk to superiors in order to not be “transfixed like a deer in headlights” when CEO needs something to be done. A CIO must know how to talk to CEO in order not to become a person that cannot say that the task is impossible to complete, then tear hair on his own head, and think how to complete the assignment. It is a very important part of the strategy for any CIO because only confident, strong, and realistic people become good CIOs.

The Theory of Paul Hershey and Kenneth Blanchard

The theory of Paul Hershey and Kenneth Blanchard provided leaders with understanding of leadership style application appropriateness and gave leaders clear vision of what and when exactly should be done. The theory identifies a three-dimensional approach in order to evaluate the effectiveness of a leader. The main principles are: leaders exhibit task behavior and relationship behavior; leader’s effectiveness directly depends on the choice of leadership style in each situation; and willingness and ability of an employee to perform particular duties substantially influence each situation. This theory emphasizes the idea of adaptability to each particular situation in order to achieve maximum results (Henman 2010; Northouse 2007).

Finally, transformation leadership theory extended and added by Bernard Brass states that the leader can transform or change followers’ behavior in three major ways in order to contribute to achievement of organizational goals and become motivated to work at the highest level. These ways are as follows: increase the awareness of subordinates that they perform important tasks and that they do it well; make subordinates aware of the need in personal development and growth; motivate subordinates to work for the good of the entire company instead of their own benefit only (Henman 2010; Northouse 2007; Bolden et al. 2007).

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