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Transcript of Interpersonal Sensitivity
Keys to Interpersonal Sensitivity
Recognizes and respects different perspectives
Appreciates the benefits of being open to the ideas and views of others
To be sensitive to others and to help them through difficulties and to reach their goals is a valuable attribute for school principals
Three steps that principals can take to become more sensitive and to empower others in the school community:
To be sensitive to others, school principals need to be sensitive to themselves and love and respect themselves. If you can learn to be gentle with yourself you can be more sensitive to others.
Open up communications
- Spend time with people.
- Listen to them.
- Attend to their feelings, concerns and aspirations
Ask for feedback
Without feedback, leaders easily become blind to how they’re really seen. If the feedback is surprising or negative, listen, acknowledge its importance, and share your own feelings
- Increase participation
- Provide support
- Share information
- Move decision making as far down the organization as possible
Element 1: Perceive the needs and concerns of others
- Observation is getting information about objects, events, moves, attitudes and phenomena using one or more senses
Habit that can help you build your observation skills are:
Trying to look at everyday life in a clear manner
Trying to judge people and their perceptions
Always trying to ask questions to people or in your mind
Being open to new experiences
Being open to new ideas
Practicing good listening skills
Ten behaviors and Habits of Thought (Andrew Cox)
1. Sizing up people – people watching
e.g. Eye accessing cues. Watching eye movements allows you to discover how someone is processing information. If you know how someone is processing information means you can adjust your questions and what you are doing to suit their processing. This helps create greater rapport.
2. Clarity - seeing the world as it is
3. Curiosity - asking why
4. Listening skills
The 10 Principles of Listening
1. Stop Talking
2. Prepare Yourself to Listen
3. Put the Speaker at Ease
4. Remove Distractions
6. Be Patient
7. Avoid Personal Prejudice
8. Listen to the Tone
9. Listen for Ideas – Not Just
10. Wait and Watch for Non-
5. Willingness to set aside personal biases
6. Willingness to seek the inputs of others
7. Seeking out new experiences and possibilities
8. Being comfortable with ambiguity
9. Knowledge of the behaviors and attitudes of
10. Self-knowledge – accurately knowing your
own behaviors, attitudes and personal skills,
and how they impact others
Easy to complete,
Can be used in
create artificial situation
Potential for bias
Potential for misinterpretation
Difficult to analyze
A sensitive principal who perfects his/her observation skills can anticipate how people will react to certain situations. This sensitivity can help head off some ill feelings and misunderstandings among teachers, staff, parents, etc.
When a potential conflict situation arises, an aware, sensitive leader can predict the process that will occur between personalities
refers to other-oriented emotions elicited by and congruent with the perceived welfare of someone in need. These other-oriented emotions include feelings of tenderness, sympathy, compassion, soft-heartedness, and the like.
Element 2: Deal Tactfully with others
• Being tactful means carefully considering one's current situation and surroundings and acting accordingly.
• Genuine respect for others is perhaps the fundamental trait of an effective leader. If those around you perceive a lack of respect for them - they'll never respect you
• When one group lacks a genuine respect for others, when inequities are allowed, then resistance and conflict erupts.
Leadership behaviors which demonstrate genuine respect for others include:
A Leader speaks to all coworkers, regardless
of position/title in a professional manner.
A Leader takes time to listen objectively to
the ideas and opinions of coworkers. If situation does
not allow for full attention he/she offers an opportunity
for follow up.
A Leader thanks co-workers for their efforts
and hard work.
A Leader is not influenced by gender, race, religion,
age, or any other personal characteristics. He or She treats
all employees with equity.
A Leader is sensitive to co-workers' personal
life and commitments outside of work.
A Leader follows all guidelines for avoidance
of discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
A Leader does not tolerate inequity – such as
preferential treatment by managers, unfair interviewing,
selection or evaluation practices, etc
Tips to remember when dealing with difficult people:
To handle these people tactfully you should remember:
Get ready to handle them
Recognize these people
- know the type of difficult people
> know-it-alls, which indicate arrogance
> dictators, people who always try to
> people who will always be negative
to a point, advice or an idea
- learn and understand their behavior
1. Do not take things too personally
2. Understand the underlying message
3. Do not take criticisms as honest feedbacks
4. Ignore criticisms when required
5. Treat people with kindness
6. Avoid people, who can't be dealt with. Don’t argue with overly aggressive or excessively difficult people. These individuals often have a desire for dissension and thrive on chaos. By arguing and wanting to "win" it only adds fuel
to the fire. Don’t take their behavior personally. Often,
they are impossible to be around because of something
going on with them.
Don't become a target of difficult people
- blamers, excuse-makers,
Handle yourself well
-understand the solution to a
problem lies just within you
Element 3: Work with others
in emotionally stressful situations
• Stress and conflict can only be managed – they will never be stopped –
by recognizing them, clarifying them and bringing the people together to
talk through their differences.
• A proper balance of stress, conflict and progress go together in productive learning organizations.
• Recognize emotional stress and conflict for the natural
behaviors they are and take steps to clarify them, reduce them, and keep spirited people working together for the welfare of the students.
• Emotional stress and related conflict can literally cripple the morale
of everyone in a school setting.
• Find people who are very different from yourself. Seek out people
with different backgrounds, different disciplines, and different ways
of thinking and different experience and find ways to engage
with them. This requires a lot of patience and a lot of energy.
It also means that we have to be prepared to change
Section 5. Principles of Shared Governance.
• (a) Shared governance is a principle which recognizes that every unit in the education bureaucracy has a particular role, task and responsibility inherent in the office and for which it is principally accountable for outcomes;
• (b) The process of democratic consultation shall be observed in the decision-making process at appropriate levels. Feedback mechanisms shall be established to ensure
coordination and open communication of the central office with the regional, division and school levels;
• (c) The principles of accountability and transparency shall be operationalized in the performance of functions and responsibilities at all levels; and
• (d) The communication channels of field offices shall be strengthened to facilitate flow of information and
expand linkages with other government agencies,
local government units and nongovernmental
organizations for effective governance.
GOVERNANCE OF BASIC EDUCATION
is a theory focusing on the leader-follower dyad. Kezar (2001) developed five assumptions that are present in participatory leadership
1. Leadership involves a team, group or community
rather than an individual
2. Interdependence and connectedness with the organization/people as part of a larger system
3. Empowerment rather than power and control
4. Non-positional leadership
5. Learning is centermost within these more collaborative, team-oriented approaches
(Kezar, 2001, p. 88)
• “Leadership is a reciprocal process between
those who aspire to lead and those who
choose to follow”
Leadership should be distributed throughout the
school rather than vested in one position.
• Distributed Leadership is characterized as a form of
• Leadership resides not solely in the individual at the top,
but in every person at entry level who in one way or
another, acts as a leader.
• It is the “glue” of a common task or goal improvement of instruction – and a common frame of values for how to approach that task.
• It is reshuffling assignments and calling for a fundamental shift in organizational thinking that redefines leadership as
the responsibility of everyone in the school. In this view, the term simply means giving other school staff members
some of the principal’s current responsibilities
• The principal retains a key role, not as the “chief
doer”, but as the architect of organizational
Displayed by a person’s position in a group or
Identified by the quality of
people’s interactions rather
than their position
Leadership is evaluated by whether the leader solves problems or leaders provide solutions and answers
Leadership is evaluated by how
people are working together.
Everyone works to enhance the
process and to make it more
Distinct differences between
leaders and followers;
character, skill, etc.
People are interdependent. All
are active participants in the
process of leadership
Communication is often
Communication is crucial with
a stress on conversation
Element 4: Manage Conflict
Conflict and Conflict Management
Definition of Conflict
Conflict comes from the latin root words – “com” – together and “fligere” – to strike. Conflict is a state of real differences between two or more persons where overt behavior is characterized by differing perceptions toward goals that in turn create tensions, disagreement and emotionality that tends to polarize those involved
Conflict is inevitable, and although hazardous to a relationship especially to management is not the end of the world. It has its advantages and liabilities:
- Clarifies issues and
- Increases motivation
- Builds internal
- Leads to innovation
- Increases involvement
- Improves problem-
- Can increase
- Can prevent stagnation
- Can distract from goal
- Causes defensiveness and
- Polarize the group
- Distorts reality
- Decreases productivity
- Can be debilitating
- Destroys morale
- Creates suspicion and
Causes of Conflict
Principal causes of conflict within an organization based on a survey of managerial interest:
• Personality clashes
• Value and goal differences
• Substandard performance
• Differences over method
• Responsibility issues
• Lack of cooperation
• Authority issues
• Frustration and irritability
• Competition for limited resources
• Non-compliance with rules and policies
Parties to conflict, for most part, find themselves in one (or more) of four areas of disagreement
• Facts (present situation or problem)
• Methods (best way to achieve the goals)
• Goals (how we would like things be)
• Values ( long term goals and qualities we support
Levels of Conflict
1. Intrapersonal Level (within the individual) - Contradictory, Incompatible emotion and impulses within the person
2. Interpersonal Level (within the group) - Differences in the group members’ goals and values, motivation and interests
3. Intergroup Level (among groups) - Divergence between the values and norms of the group and those of certain segments of the community of
which the group is a part
Condition Fostering Conflict
A leader can maintain a low-conflict setting within the organization by being aware of the elements of conflict and the condition fostering it.
Factors that predispose individuals to engage in unnecessary conflict:
Poorly defined jobs, tasks responsibilities and range of authorities
Prior history of conflict between two or more people or groups
Interdepartmental relationship that frequently place members at cross purposes, traditional adversary relationships
Unreasonable levels of pressure and pace in the organization
Severe economic downturn that jeopardizes the job security of organization members
Overly competitive climate fostered by top management and managers at various levels
Favoritism shown by managers
Primitive, accusative, of threatening style of treatment by a unit manager leading to escapist behavior such as blaming, shifting responsibilities
Unclear or arbitrary standards for advancement and promotion in a organization inconsistent patterns of rewarding accomplishments, overly secretive and competitive organizational climate
Great confusion or uncertainty about forthcoming
major changes or upheaval in the organization
Stages to lessen the chance of open conflicts:
1. Anticipation – A change is to be made and problems are forecasts
2. Conscious but unexpected differences – Information is presented. Questions are asked. Sides of the question become open.
3. Open Dispute. The principals in the situation confront the sides of the argument. Differing opinions become clear
4. Open conflict – the conflict sharpens up, with forces mobilizing behind each side of the argument
The STAGES of Conflict
Stage 1: Beginning of the Conflict
Stage 2: Cognition and Personalization StageStage 3: Behavioral Change
Stage 4: Consequence
Styles/ Strategies for Conflict
1. Human Accommodation Style
This conflict style is characteristic of a person who wishes
to appease others. Conflicts should be avoided in order to
maintain harmony. People with this style value relationships
and feel that conflict will only harm relationships. Personal
goals are of little importance if it means the relationship will be preserved.
2. Avoidance or Impersonal-Tolerance Style
The avoidance strategy seeks to put off conflict indefinitely. By delaying or ignoring the conflict, the avoider hopes the problem resolves itself without a confrontation. Those who actively
avoid conflict frequently have low esteem or hold a position
of low power. In some circumstances, avoiding can serve as
a profitable conflict management strategy, such as after
the dismissal of a popular but unproductive employee.
The hiring of a more productive replacement for
the position soothes much of the conflict.
3. Aggressive, Argumentation, Confrontation Style
Also known as the win/lose style during which a person must win at all costs. He/She totally disregard the needs of the other person
4. Collaborative Problem Solving
Conflicts are viewed as problems that need a solution. Personal goals and relationships are both valued. Solutions will be explored that will satisfy the needs of all parties involved.
5. Viable Solution Style
Also known as compromise, when a person is both assertive and cooperative. In the process, the person gives up something in order to gain something and will only be partially
Element 5: Obtain Feedback
Feedback has been defined as:
• Information about performance of behavior that leads to an action to affirm or develop that performance or behavior
• Letting trainees know what they have done that has reached the standard, so that they can reproduce that behavior, and what they have done that has not reached the standard, so that plans can be agreed with them on how to prevent a recurrence of that behavior and how to progress to the required standard.
The difference between
and (Destructive) Criticism
Feedback can either be positive – reinforcing good
performance and behaviors – or negative –
correcting and improving “poor” performance and
behaviors. Both types of feedback can, and must,
be constructive. The two major problems are:
• a lack of positive feedback – there is no
recognition or affirmation of good performance
• negative feedback provided in such a way
that it becomes destructive criticism
Destructive criticism tends to occur when
feedback is given only when things go
wrong and when there are no agreed
standards against which to measure
behavior or performance, or any plan for development.
Criticism can be very destructive to
personal relationships and to any
prospective development strategy.
Giving and Receiving Feedback
1. The other person must understand what
you are saying
2. He must be willing and able to accept it
3. He must be able to do something about
it if he chooses
What does recipient do?
a. He should make a sincere effort not to be defensive
b. He should seek some examples if he has difficulty understanding what the people are trying to say
and these people are unable to come up with
c. To be sure he understands, he should try to
summarize briefly for the group what he
understands them to be saying. This is to
allow them to check
The Purpose of Feedback
o Provides information about behavior and performance against objective standards in such a way that recipients maintain a positive attitude towards themselves and their work
o Encourages recipients to commit themselves to a personal plan to move towards agreed standards of behavior and performance
Feedback is intrinsically linked to the learning process. Essentially, when you give feedback you are helping someone to learn – learn, that is, new knowledge and skills or improved behaviors and performance.
So far as the timing of feedback is concerned, the
golden rules are to:
o Give feedback close to the event(s)
to which it refers; the event(s) will be fresher
in the minds of both the recipient and the giver,
and therefore the feedback is likely to be more
specific, better understood, and easier to incorporate
into future work
o Take into account your ability to deliver
constructive feedback at the time, i.e. do you
have the time, do you feel relaxed and confident?
o Take into account the recipients ability
to handle the feedback: is he or she full up
with feedback, under too much pressure?
The ‘where’ of giving feedback is perhaps
obvious. In the workplace, it is generally
best to seek a quiet room where you will
not be overheard or interrupted.
Of course, there is no harm in giving
general praise in front of others.
However, the greatest benefits are
gained when the praise is linked to
specific performance and it is clear
why the praise has been given, i.e.
what specifically wag good about
the performance or behavior.
Barriers to giving and receiving feedback
o Feedback can come as a surprise or shock when
there are no clear objectives for the job, or when
the employee and supervisor do not share the
same perception of what the job entails
o There may be barriers to communication, e.g.
poor personal relationship between the employee
and the supervisor
o The feedback may be delivered in a way that
the recipient sees as criticism, i.e. as concentrating
on critical or unsubstantiated judgements which
offend against the recipient’s sense of fairness
o There may be a problem of credibility; it is
important that the recipient believes that
feedback–giver is competent to comment on those points.
o Previous history of receiving negative feedback
may make the recipient feel obliged
to ‘defend his or her corner’
o It is often more comfortable to hide behind excuses to avoid giving feedback, such as:
• People know whether they are doing a good job or not, and do not need to be told
• They will get upset if they are told they are not doing a good job, and do it even worse; better to let sleeping dogs lie
• If you tell people they are doing well they will become complacent
• It creates more hassle and extra work than it is worth, and you are too busy already
o People are ‘afraid’ to give feedback because they are not confident about handling the response.
o People are concerned that feedback will damage relationships.
Giving and receiving feedback is a skill which, like any other, can be developed.
Models of Feedbacking
1. Turtle – is one who does not give feedback to others nor receive/accept feedback from others
2. Interviewer – asks/receives feedback from others but does not give feedback to others
3. Bulls – does not receive/accept feedback but gives feedback to others
4. Open Book – gives feedback to others and receive/accepts feedback from others