MOOC Applications of Everyday Leadership – Leading Organizational Change

Leading Organizational Change

Third and last post about the MOOCApplications of Everyday Leadership‘ delivered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, topic here is: ‘Leading Organizational Change’.

You can also find my notes about the two previous topics: Negotiation and Conflict Management.

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MOOC Applications of Everyday Leadership – Conflict Management

Conflict management

This is the second blog post about the MOOCApplications of Everyday Leadership‘ delivered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Topic is ‘Conflict Management’.

You can also read my notes about the first part of this MOOC: ‘Negotiation‘.

Concepts of Conflict Management

I) Intervening in a Conflict

A) Conflict management

Negotiation provides an obvious set of skills, strategies, and tactics for dealing with conflicts we are involved in.

Negotiation also provides a framework for understanding how to intervene in conflicts around us we are not involved in (third party) -But which we need to have resolved in order to do our job effectively!

Some additional skills, strategies, tactics required!

B) What is a third party?

Someone who is not a principal to the dispute (neutral/objective)

Third-parties enhance process:

  • Control emotions
  • Facilitate information sharing
  • Provide objectivity (detached) perspective
  • Facilitate creativity (another perspective)
  • In some cases can force a decision

Used to enhance outcomes

C) Goals of intervening in a conflict

-How well does the outcome address the disputants’ underlying interests?
-Solving the problem

Disputant commitment
– Can the outcome be successfully implemented?
-“The quality of a decision is always limited by your ability to implement it” (agency)

– How quickly is the dispute settled?

II) Types of Third Parties

A) Types of Third Parties

-controls outcome (decider)

-controls process (facilitator)
-but disputants make decision!

Can a manager have the best of both?

B) Arbitration

The authority to make a decision
-At the cost of effectiveness, commitment?

Real benefit comes from the threat of taking away control of the decision from the disputants
-Gives the disputants a superordinate goal of retaining control of the decision
rather than leaving it in the hands of the arbitrator

The art of “polite threats”
– “Just how bad is your BATNA?” (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement)

III) Perceived Justice

A) What matters is perceived justice (fairness)

Distributive justice (something like a win for both?)
-Relating to the outcome (balance?)

Procedural justice (even-handedness, equal opportunity?)
-Relating to the decision rule, or more generally the process of deciding
-“Voice” (day-in-court) is big here
Consistency (in applying rules) also key

Interactive justice
-Personal treatment (e.g., respect)

B) What makes disputes difficult?

Stakes (how important is this issue?)
-Larger = more competitive/defensive

Principles (positions vs. interests!)
-No room to negotiate!

-Not just now but forever!

-Not just what it is – also what it means

C) Enacting symbolism

Suppose a student would like to appeal a recent grade: the Professor’s willingness to change grades is symbolic (to this student) of fair treatment.

The Professor does not want to change the grade, but what will symbolize fairness to this student?

  • Provide the class with examples of past, best answers
  • Work with this students during office hours on writing skills
  • Offer for a different Professor to re-grade the exam
    • Any option which is more symbolic of fairness to the student will suffice

D) Summary points

As a manager, intervening in a conflict is about the choice between arbitrating and mediating

You should always rather mediate -Disputants know their interests best & ownership of the solution = commitment at implementation

But you need to insure closure! (efficiency) -Mediation does not…

Having a process strategy is key to mediating successfully:

  • Identify a superordinate goal to manage the tone of the conflict
  • Project fairness to be taken seriously as a neutral third party
  • The polite threat of arbitration can motivate mediation effectiveness
  • Keep the positions/interests distinction in mind

IV) Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence accounted for almost 90% of the difference between the best and the rest.

Emotional Intelligence consists of four clusters:
1. Self-Awareness
2. Self-Management
=> they compose the Personal Competencies

3. Social Awareness
4. Relationship Management
=> they compose the Social Competencies

Self-awareness: the foundation of Emotional Intelligence

  1. Understanding one’s own emotions and others
  2. Realistically assess strengths and weaknesses
  3. Humble

Self-regulation: thinking before acting

  • Manage impulses
  • Able to suspend judgement
  • Flexible and adapt to change
  • Positive outlook – see opportunities rather than problems

Social awareness: empathy

  • Understand the needs of others
  • Read non-verbal cues
  • Take another person’s perspective

Relationship management: attuning to others

  • Connect with other people
  • Balance task focus with relationship management
  • Collaborative and cooperative

Emotional Intelligence means having this mindset:

What is Emotional Intelligence

What you can do to improve your Emotional Intelligence:

  • Assess your EI competence
  • Leadership coaching
  • Mindfulness-based emotional intelligence training

The essence of Emotional Intelligence:

  • Understanding Yourself
  • Managing Yourself
  • Understanding Others
  • Managing Relationships

Technical Knowledge and functional competence are vitally important. But … Emotional Intelligence, the capacity to fully engage oneself and others to move the business forward, is the differentiating factor between great and average executives.

MOOC Applications of Everyday Leadership – Negotiation

Via the Coursera platform, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has recently delivered the MOOCApplications of Everyday Leadership‘. Through 4 blog posts, you will find notes I took when attending to this 4 weeks online course.

Here is a summary for week 1: ‘Negotiation‘.

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Collaborative solutions: How to perform major changes and provide efficient communication to users

Collaborative solutions

More and more professionals use collaborative digital solutions to perform their daily work: intranet, wikis, blogs, shared documents, internal social media.

A high number of ‘active’ users (readers and contributors) combined with an important volume of data require reliable, maintainable and scalable system. When it comes to upgrade it with major changes, how to keep providing a satisfying User Experience to all end-users?

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Use various channels to provide efficient and personalized support to customers

Providing support to customers

As I am responsible for providing support about web applications, WordPress blogs and Confluence wikis, I used to deal with several channels to interact with end users.

Here is a presentation of these channels, with their benefits and their drawbacks.

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How to write documentation that matters for your audience

man stay focused

Image source:

1) Write short, very short content

Even the shortest as possible, provided that it still delivers exact information. Indeed, users browse documentation when they look for solution or help. So, they are in a hurry to find it, and conversely they do not have time for reading, especially not for fun.

2) Provide screenshots, infographics, diagrams

or even mockups. There are plenty of studies showing that images retain attention and are far better memorized than plain text.

3) Make all its content searchable and provide a searchbar

Users barely read chapters or sections titles, but they first want to search for specific terms. So, make their search more convenient with a search function flexible and powerful enough to work with a large kind of queries.

4) Get some statistics

about which are the most read topics (of your documentation). Then, highlight them with a direct link on the homepage or other means of featuring. Users will thank you to make them earning time.

5) Invite users to send you feedback, question or comment

This is the most important, and you can do it by this simple way: on all pages, display a one-click button (or image, or link) that opens a form, where users enter address email and feedback. Only these two fields, this is quick and easy.

Weekly digital resources #14: Javascript, ebooks and online surveys

This week: front-end programming, online courses and reading, everything I enjoy! I hope you too, and you can send me your request for any help or question about digital stuff.

ECMAScript 6 – 10 Awesome New Features – Have a look in particular to the very useful for … of statement!

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Support to users for digital tools: how to bring satisfying guidance?

When it comes to bring successful help to users about any issue on a software or website, listening attentively, trying to be in her/his shoes and providing clear and simple feedback are the basics.

How to do this in a concrete way? Here are some tips:

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