Posts Tagged ‘negotiation’

When Judgment Closes the Door to Productive Communication

July 23, 2009

What is your MBTI score? Are you and a “P” or a “J”? P-types are people who are good at observing, researching, analyzing, etc. J-types are people who are decisive, finishers, doers, etc. Actually, people are generally a mix of “P” and “J”. A person’s type can be measured along a P-J scale, where his mix is leaning either towards “P” or towards “J”.

An “extreme P” or an “extreme J” is both a curse and a blessing. An “extreme J” person is a very quick decision maker, but he tends to jump to conclusions/decisions based on bias, impressions or insufficient information. An “extreme P” is excellent in making studies, but his weakness is indecision and “analysis paralysis”. The balanced person is one who can be a “P” or a “J” depending on what is appropriate for a specific situation. He can suspend judgment in order to better sense what is going on, but he can also make a quick decision when a situation calls for it.

Ability to suspend judgment is an ingredient in organizational learning; it is a necessary ingredient in generative dialogue.

You wish to now your MBTI score? You can take a free online test (press “Ctrl” while clicking HERE). The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is based on Carl Jung’s observation about personality types. The fourth or last letter in your MBTI type is either P or J. Your score there will tell you how far you are from the midpoint or balance.

In problematic relationships or in situations of hostility between groups, productive communication can be killed by inability to suspend judgement on the part of both parties, which in turn can be the consequence of an inability to be aware of one’s judgments. If both parties entertain opposing or incompatible judgments, and both hold judgments based on what to each of them are fundamental values, absolute truth or even God’s will, then the door to productive communication or negotiation between them closes.

This can happen in international relations, between religious fundamentalists, between political parties holding extreme views, in marriages, in civil disputes, etc.

Take these two incompatible judgments:

Hamas suicide bomber: “I should give my life for my people and our just cause; if I die, God will reward me with paradise.”

Israeli soldier: “I should fight for Israel and for my people; God gave this land to us.”

The result is violence, a sign of failure of communication:

Fedayeen_1956

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Emerging Indigo Practices

May 28, 2009

From previous blogs, I tried to show that major world problems stem from our lack of knowledge in the indigo quadrant (lower left quadrant in the diagram below):

groupings-with-label1

When two long-term societal megatrends are combined, we discover (see “Q27- Combining Megatrends #1 and #2: the next societal innovations”) that the next significant societal innovations are expected in the indigo quadrant. In my contribution to the book “The Future of Innovation” (to be published by Gower in the autumn of 2009), entitled “The Future of Innovation Must Be Sought in Non-Technological Spheres” I wrote, in part:

    “Mankind has demonstrated that its ability to technologically innovate is far greater than its ability to anticipate, learn and solve the negative social consequences of those innovations…

    Innovation in the future will be driven by common threats confronting mankind. Ironically, most of those threats are man-made. Innovation will proceed in the general direction of preventing and resolving conflicts, governance at all levels, advancing human rights and human security, cross-border agreements in preventing and fighting crime and terrorism, eliminating social exclusions and other social ills that lead to poverty, generating consensus on environmental problems and solutions, and value creation.”

In the specific area of KM, this means that tools, technologies and practices for effectively managing relationship capital would be important. Below is a list of such KM tools (reproduced from a previous blog post: “Practical Hint #17: Tools for Managing Relationship Capital”):

  • Social Network Analysis (SNA), sociogram or stakeholder analysis: Maps and analyzes frequencies of communication, teammate preferences, perceived closeness of interpersonal relationships, degree of agreement/disagreement, etc. between people in a group, organization or network
  • Team building and team learning exercises
  • Setting up a cross-functional KM Team
  • Customer relations management, business development, account management, or business partnership management: Management of relationships with customers, suppliers, partners, etc.
  • Customer clubs and e-communities: strengthens a company’s communication and relationship with customers, allows customers to participate in product improvement or R&D, makes some customers feel special by receiving advanced news or product prototypes, etc.
  • “Customer ba”: Part of the task of some Japanese customer relations managers is to create an affirmative, trusting and creative “relationship space” between himself and the customer.
  • MBTI, Belvin types and other psychological profiling tests: Assessing potential for complementarity and good mix of thinking and working styles among prospective team members
  • Various tools in brand management and marketing which enhance reputation and credibility of the company
  • Various HR/OD tools to enhance employee loyalty and morale: recognitions, honors and awards; policies that allow appropriate decision-making to employees; CEOs that listen e.g. allow direct emails from employees; facilities that show the company cares e.g. day-care facilities within company premises for young children of mother-employees, etc.
  • Group exercise in mind mapping: Allows members to see and better understand the assumptions of other fellow members
  • Professional and personal profiles of staff, Expertise Directory, company White Pages: Facilitates staff in getting to know each other and each other’s skills, expertise and talents
  • Face-to-face meetings and SN functionalities among e-community or e-CoP members: Mutual trust in a virtual CoP or e-community is best nurtured through face-to-face meetings, and through appropriate social network functionalities in the website of the CoP
  • Visioning exercise: Co-creating and contributing to an organization’s vision tend to enhance buy-in and engagement of members in programs, projects and activities aimed at the vision of the organization.
  • Negotiation: collaborative/integrative negotiation training, skills development (thanks to Peter Spence), and related tools in conflict management
  • Leadership (thanks to Peter Spence): one that knows and appreciates many of the above.

Accordingly, I have decided that the next blog series will be on “Indigo Learning Practices.” We will call it the L Series.

Cheers!

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