ABC’s Of Leadership – W Is For Win

There are some leaders who always want to win no matter what the consequences are to others. They are very competitive and do not take into consideration how their decisions may affect others. Then there are other leaders who only focus on the needs of others and may ignore their own goals completely. Ideally, a truly effective leader has a mindset in between these two extremes.

If you have ever read Stephen Covey’s book, he details the five elements of the win-win agreement. This can be a very effective way for leaders to approach getting the desired results they want. With this approach, a leader moves from a competitive viewpoint, to more of a cooperative and collaborative solution where the final goal is to seek mutual benefit.

To start off, Covey believes that the leader who has a win-win mindset possesses three very important character traits:

  1. Integrity – Always being your true to your feelings, values, and principles.
  2. Maturity – Expressing your ideas and feelings with a balance of courage and consideration for the feelings and ideas of others.
  3. Abundance Mentality – Believing there is enough to go around for everyone.

When a leader possesses these character traits, he or she can start by looking at the bigger picture, and focusing on shared goals and mutual interests. This may be more time-consuming in the long-run, but the benefits are good will, trust, and strong relationships.Covey goes on to describe the five elements necessary to get to an agreement where both parties win:

  1. Desired Results – Discuss the results you expect. This is an area where all parties involved would discuss expectations and mutually commit themselves to getting the desired results.
  2. Guidelines – These are the principles, policies, and procedures that need to be followed in order to achieve the desired results.
  3. Resources – These are the various people, technical, financial, and organizational resources available to assist the parties involved.
  4. Accountability – This is where the standards of performance and timeframe are set. When all parties involved help to set the standards of performance, they tend to feel more responsible to get the desired results.
  5. Consequences – Reach an understanding of what will happen if the desired results are reached or not reached. Discuss what the final evaluation will be.

As a leader, do you tend to give in to the agendas of others to avoid conflict? Or are you always out to win no matter what? Have you ever thought about the benefits of the win-win agreement?Other “W” words to ponder – wonder, wit and wisdom.

Overcoming Physical Distractions

What is the meaning of physical distractions? Physical distractions are the bodily things that get in the way of communication Distractions such as background noise, poor lighting, uncomfortable sitting, unhygienic room, or an environment that is too hot or cold can affect people’s morale and concentration, which in turn interfere with effective communication.


There can be physical distractions in every sphere of life. Distractions can be observed and seen through the following:

1. IN THE CAR: While distracted driving can be attributed to anything that diverts attention away from the road, it is often the cell phone that receives the blame for distracted driving incidents. Studies have shown that cell phone usage while driving has striking similarities to the effects of drinking while driving; Cell phones tend to take the driver’s attention away from the road and onto itself. With drunk driving, drivers often experience the “looking but not seeing” phenomena. While their eyes do indeed view objects on the road, their brains do not comprehend the meaning behind the image. All levels of distraction while driving are dangerous, and potential drivers are cautioned to keep awareness of their surroundings.

2. IN THE CLASSROOM BY THE STUDENTS: School-aged students, with developing brains, are more apt to conflicting stimuli while trying to focus. Large classroom sizes, technology use in and outside the classroom, and less natural stimuli have been seen as contributing factors to deflating test scores and classroom participation.

3. IN THE WORK PLACE: could also be considered as distraction in situations requiring full attention on a single object (e.g., sports, academic tests, performance). The issue of distraction in the workplace is studied in interruption.

4. IN FRICTION: distraction is often used as a source of comedy, whether the amusement comes from the gullibility of those distracted or the strangeness of whatever is utilized to create the distraction. Examples of comedic distraction, also called comic relief.

5. IN MEDICINE: Distraction is useful in the management of pain and anxiety. Dentists, for example may intentionally hum an annoying tune or engage in small talk just to create a diversion from the dental surgery process. Topical ointments containing capsaicin provide a superficial burning sensation that can momentarily distract a patient’s attention away from the more serious pain of arthritis or muscle strain. A similar effect is made by oil which produces a burning sensation on the gums, and distracts from toothache.

6. IN CRIME: Armed robbers may create a distraction after their robbery, such as pulling a fire alarm, to create confusion and aid in their getaway. In a more serious case of crime, the victims might be hurt or even killed in this horror scenario.

Overcoming Unethical Communication in Organizations

WHAT IS UNETHICAL COMMUNICATION? Unethical communication enhances human worth and dignity by not fostering truthfulness, fairness, responsibility, personal integrity, and respect for self and others.


One of the things that run through every class of communication study is how to communicate effectively, but also through ethical manner of communicating. Whether we are writing a press release or disclosing a help piece of personal history or reporting a research results in a newspaper, the goal is to craft a message that will be understood as intended and to be able to deliver the message in an ethical manner.

In most circumstances, we communicate in an unethical manner with little or no conscious thought, however there are times when life gets complicated with too much work and too little time, it is family or relationship pressures that makes it difficult or illness to make just a few examples these are circumstances which we think more conscious than our relationship behavior.


Unethical communications in this category are broken into 3 main categories:
1. Plagiarism
2. Cheating
3. Lying.


The main meaning of plagiarism is taking someone else work and presenting it as your own without consulting or taking permission from the original creator. In other words, plagiarism goes beyond taking or using another word from word.


Copying another person’s word verbatim and presenting it as your own: while conducting research on the way we use social powers upon ourselves, we noticed many peoples work are being copied and written back word for word.
Changing the wording in another person work and presenting it as your own:


1. MISUSING COMPANY TIME: Whether it is covering for someone who shows up late or altering a time sheet, misusing company time tops the list. This category includes knowing that one of your co-workers is conducting personal business on company time. By “personal business” the survey recognizes the difference between making cold calls to advance your freelance business and calling your spouse to find out how your sick child is doing.

2. ABUSIVE BEHAVIOUR: Too many workplaces are filled with managers and supervisors who use their position and power to mistreat or disrespect others. Unfortunately, unless the situation you’re in involves race, gender or ethnic origin, there is often no legal protection against abusive behavior in the workplace.

3. EMPLOYEE THEFT: This are the things caused by the employee in the company through theft, whether in the area of note recording the necessary documentation or check tampering or not recording sales in order to skim.

Overcoming Incorrect Choice of Medium in Organizations

A wrong medium or an inappropriate medium chosen for communicating a message will act as a barrier to communication. On a shop floor, you cannot use a long written memo of instructions whereas your information on a new product in the market could be only through an effective and attractive advertisement.

Complementing one medium of communication with another appropriately can help overcome communication barrier caused by the medium chosen. An oral reminder in person or over the telephone followed up with a written letter can easily produce the desired response or expected reaction.

Furthermore, through the wrong choice of communication media, For example, two people are interacting, and suddenly one starts to use jargons, this will create a barrier to the receiver of the message because he/she might not know the meaning of those words. The same goes with texting on the phone or sending an email, people always use abbreviations, and this always lead to miscommunication.

Most of us desire to communicate effectively, but do not have a keen appreciation of the communication barriers to be faced. Because of these barriers, there is ample opportunity for something to go wrong in any communication. Competent managers develop an awareness of the barriers and learn to cope with them.

How effectively does it happen as a manager, communicate with your superiors, subordinates, and peers? Do you recognize the barriers to effective communication? Have you learned to cope with them? In the discussion that follows, the principal barriers to communicating effectively in today’s working environment are identified, and proven techniques for coping with them are considered,

The principal barriers to effective communication are: noise, poor feedback, selection of inappropriate media, a wrong mental attitude, insufficient or lack of attention to work selection, delay in message transmittal, physical separation of the sender and receiver, and lack of empathy or a good relationship between the sender and receiver.


1. AGE: Many companies decide channel split by looking at customer demographics, particularly age. Lots of research in terms of using social media and real-time messaging such as web chat and text. And there’s a belief in many circles that the older Baby Boomer generation has a stereotyped preference for talking on the phone compared to newer digital channels. While those in the middle – Generation X – are happy using the phone and email but perhaps still not totally comfortable with real-time messaging. This is a definite factor in choice, but not the only one.

2. CONTEXT: In an emergency where we need a fast answer, we pick up the phone, irrespective of our demographic group. However, if you are then told you’ll be on hold for 15 minutes and chat is available, you may hang up and switch to this channel. In contrast, for less time-critical interactions sending an email provides the security, therefore companies need to look at why consumers are contacting them, particularly how urgent their query is, when balancing resources between channels.

3. PERSONALITY: Another perspective is to examine how the personality types of customers might drive their preferences for customer service channels. Extroverts, with confident and outgoing personalities, will be happier getting on the phone and might even enjoy some chitchat and putting their point across to a contact center agent. In contrast those with a reserved and introverted personality might prefer non-verbal/real-time channels such as email contact for customer service. This means they don’t need to talk to someone and they can avoid the need to think on their feet when communicating with an agent on the phone. Email gives them plenty of time to consider and get across what they want to say. And they can avoid being put on the spot with difficult questions while on the phone or in a real-time dialogue on text or web chat.

4. TYPE OF BUSINESS: Obviously it can be difficult to analyze your customer base by personality without asking intrusive questions. However if you look at the type of business you are, it is possible to build a picture of the sort of customers you’ll attract. A youth fashion retailer is obviously going to attract a different demographic than a provider of holidays to the over 50s. Understand your customers and use this information to assist in planning your multi-channel strategy. Run focus groups and research to help form this picture.

Overcoming Inefficient Communication in Organizations

What is an inefficient / ineffective communication? Ineffective communication can create short- and long-term hostilities as well as decreased work productivity. We often don’t think about the process of communicating while we are doing it, but paying closer attention to how you both send and receive information can eliminate problems and improve relationships.

Any disruption or failure in the process can create ineffective communication. Language is an obvious example; if you as a sender speak in a language the receiver doesn’t understand, the communication fails. Writing a message to a person who has difficulties reading is also ineffective communication. These are called barriers, and they are not all so obvious. For example, if you have an idea but lack confidence to speak up, that is a barrier. Body language, such as slouching in a chair so that it looks like you are bored, is also a barrier.


Removing barriers will increase your odds of communicating effectively. Both senders and receivers should pay attention to others in the process, making eye contact, listening intently and avoiding distractions. By being empathetic, you are imagining what it is like to be in the other person’s situation, which helps the communication process. Stereotypes, generalizations and inaccurate perceptions are also barriers, and are harder to remove since you must be aware of them. Watching and listening to others can help you gauge your stereotypes and perceptions in relation to others and help you improve your communication.


Communication is a fact of life, especially in the workplace, where teamwork, technology and remote work are increasingly common. For a business to thrive meet deadlines and exceed goals, solid communication systems and relationships must be in place. When communication breaks down, so does the business. When stress, unmet expectations, relational breakdown, low morale, dissatisfied clients, family problems, health concerns and a smaller bottom line become chronic workplace issues, poor communication could at the root of the problem. The effects of ineffective communications in the work place are as follows:

1. STRESS IN THE WORKPLACE: high-stress levels in the workplace are a huge sign that there are communication problems. Poor communication can create a feeling that everything on your to-do list is urgent, causing you and others to hurry, feel tense, overworked and have little-to-no sense of humor. Good communication causes a sense of stability and predictability, but lack of communication or unhealthy communication introduces a sense of fear that causes tension, which is counterproductive to efficiency.

2. UNMET EXPECTATIONS: lack of communication causes unmet expectations. Teams miss deadlines, clients miss appointments, and people on a project do not seem to know what their roles are. When employees have trouble figuring out what their priorities should be, they often choose the wrong thing and end up disappointing their superiors. Without clearly communicated expectations and priorities, it is impossible to know where to start and how to complete a project efficiently.

3. RELATIONSHIP BREAKDOWN: your previously positive relationship might feel strained, so when you pass your co-worker’s or boss’s cubicle, you are likely to want to hide, rather than sit down and have a friendly solution-finding conversation. You may even feel a sense of uncertainty about seeking conflict resolution for fear of how it might affect your job security. It is also common to feel a sense of insecurity or lack of fulfillment in completing your daily tasks, and all of these emotions slow down productivity in the workplace.

4. LOW MORALE: when people are dealing with intense emotions, they spend more time than normal on emotional management. Productivity goes down, and morale is replaced by a sense of relief of making it through the day. Workplace survival mode can be a real problem. When business relationships are wounded and there is no repair, trust goes out the window, making it difficult to work together to meet deadlines. When people miss deadlines, they tend to feel poorly about performance. This vicious cycle prevents teams and businesses from reaching their true potential.

5. DISSATISFIED CLIENTS: dissatisfied clients can be a sign of poor communication. When teams miss deadlines or appointments, superiors tend to be frustrated and stressed, but so do clients. If your client was counting on phone service to begin before its grand opening and your installation team missed the deadline, your client could be out of money. If your legal team is not fully prepared to present a case in court and is winging it at the last minute, the ruling might not be in your client’s favor. When nursing staff misses a deadline, it could mean that a patient does not receive medication or a bath on time.

6. FAMILY STRESS: employees who are stressed all day go home stressed and worn out, which impacts their families. Instead of having a spouse or parent who is energetic and thankful to be home, the family is stuck with someone who has so many emotions to unload from the workday that an evening is barely enough time to get it all out. Employees may begin to feel guilty or even to experience conflict at home because of their tension and stress level. This stress stays with them as they start the next workday and it can be hard, if not impossible, to get ahead.

7. HEALTH: Employees who are stressed all day go home stressed and worn out, which impacts their families. Instead of having a spouse or parent who is energetic and thankful to be home, the family is stuck with someone who has so many emotions to unload from the workday that an evening is barely enough time to get it all out. Employees may begin to feel guilty or even to experience conflict at home because of their tension and stress level. This stress stays with them as they start the next workday and it can be hard, if not impossible, to get along.