Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 29th 2013 Contents Become a change agent
The difference between a leader who can
successfully manage change and one who
can t is often the effectiveness of their net-
works. To find out if you re connected in
the right way, ask yourself :
Do people come to me for work-related
advice? When colleagues rely on you, it sig-
nals that they trust you and respect your
competence, wisdom and influence. The
more they turn to you, the more central you
are to the company network.
Are my network contacts connected to
one another? This leads to a cohesive net-
work with high levels of trust and support.
Information and ideas are corroborated
through multiple channels, so it s easier to
coordinate the group.
Who in my network is ambivalent or
strongly opposed to a proposed change? If
it s not obvious where your contacts stand,
pay attention to how people behave; ask
questions, both direct and indirect, to gauge
their sentiments; and keep a mental record
of your observations.
(Adapted from "The Network Secrets of
Great Change Agents" by Julie Battilana and
Explain why you're
making a career move
Your decision to shift careers is often hard
to translate to others. People may question
whether it s too risky to leave your current
company or if you re really qualified to enter
a new field. But you can address the skep-
ticism of potential employers, colleagues
and others by doing these three things:
Connect the dots. Make it clear you re
not starting from scratch. Link the skills
you used in your previous roles to what
you ll be doing in the future.
Tell a story. Create a coherent narrative
of your career trajectory. People will under-
stand more easily if they see the move as
a logical extension of the past, rather than
Focus on the value you bring to others.
People sometimes view career transitions
as a sign of narcissism or a midlife crisis.
Don t reinforce that by making it all about
you. Instead, focus on the value you bring
to the new position.
(Adapted from "How to Explain Your
Career Transition" by Dorie Clark.)
Keep people from
feeling left out
Social rejection is hard in any setting,
including at the office. When people feel
excluded, they can t be productive, inno-
vative or collaborative. As a manager you
need to create a work environment that dis-
courages rejection. Here s how:
Prime the room for trust. To downplay
hierarchies, start meetings by stating that
all viewpoints are welcomed and valued.
This will ease fear of rejection and put people
into a more collaborative state of mind.
Start with a shared reality. Send agenda
items out before a meeting or give team
members an article to read - and ask them
for input. This signals that you care about
what they think.
Encourage candor and caring. Use open,
non-judgmental language and listen with
respect in all conversations. Thank people
for sharing, and make sure that there are
no negative repercussions for doing so.
(Adapted from "Preventing Rejection at
Work" by Judith E Glaser.)
Don't let your boss's
favouritism get you down
Many managers have a pet employee who
appears to get special treatment - interesting
assignments, invitations to social events, or
even perks. As the nonpet, you may want
to scream in frustration. Instead:
Stop obsessing. There s little point to
moaning that your boss has a favourite and
it s not fair. That s not going to change the
Get to know your boss better. It s not
apple-polishing to ask your manager how
her weekend went or to compare notes on
restaurants you d like to try. Invite her to
coffee or lunch, without an agenda.
Shine your own light. Many people are
reluctant to draw attention to their successes,
but you need to get over your modesty; or
else the pet will continue to consume your
boss s attention.
(Adapted from the "HBR Guide to Office
Politics" by Karen Dillon.
Encourage gratitude on
When employees feel valued, they are
more satisfied, willing to work longer, and
motivated to do their best. As a manager,
it s your job to make them feel appreciated.
In addition to saying "thank you," foster
Developing them. People want to grow.
If promotion opportunities are limited you
can invest in professional development
through training, assigning team members
to new and interesting projects, and exposing
them to different parts of the company.
Involving them. Give employees the
opportunity to play key roles in decision-
making and problem-solving so they know
their skills benefit the organization.
Supporting collegiality. Encourage cama-
raderie, help to eliminate dysfunctional team
behaviors, and create opportunities for team
members to interact with each other outside
work. (Adapted from "Foster a Culture of
Gratitude" by Christine M Riordan.)
BG16 | COMMENTARY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt AUGUST 2013 • WEEK FIVE
TIPS & TALKING POINTS
Car density on China's roads
200: Every kilometre of road in
China has an average of
about 200 cars, as many as
in Los Angeles, one of America's most con-
gested cities, according to a Wall Street Journal
report quoting UBS Securities. The average
speed of car traffic in 14 Chinese cities is less
than 20 kilometres per hour, and in Beijing it is
significantly lower. Chinese cities are taking
steps to restrict the number of cars on the road.
Shanghai, for example, issues 9,000 to 10,000
license plates per month, auctioning each at an
average price of 82,000 yuan ($13,400).
(Source: The Wall Street Journal.)
Why you need to see two products
before you'll buy one
32%: When people in an experi-
ment were shown two DVD
players, 32 per cent indicated
they would buy one of the brands and 34 per
cent chose the other. But when the participants
were shown a single DVD player, only 9 per cent
or 10 per cent (depending on which brand they
saw) said they would purchase the product,
says Daniel Mochon of Tulane University. Retail-
ers should bear in mind that consumers have an
aversion to being offered just a single option, he
says. Even if they can find an option they like,
they may be unwilling to purchase it without
considering similar options first. (Source: Jour-
nal of Consumer Research.)
In recessions, women seek to become
6.19/7: Women who had read a
vivid article describing grow-
ing unemployment and in-
creasing scarcity showed a stronger desire (6.19
on a 7-point scale) to purchase lipstick, form-fit-
ting jeans and form-fitting black dresses, in
comparison with women who had read a neutral
article (4.97 on the same scale), says a team led
by Sarah E. Hill of Texas Christian University. In
tough economic times, women appear to in-
crease their attractiveness as a way of finding
mates with financial resources. Recession fears
prompted no such desire among men to en-
hance their attractiveness, the researchers say.
(Source: APA Psycnet.)
@2013 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp.
(Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.
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