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19 Increasing Self-Esteem

Laurel, Alexander HRD Press, Inc. PDF





Self-esteem is the value you place on yourself. Healthy self-esteem gives you energy to cope with the many challenges you face day-to-day. Sometimes, identity and sense of worth are totally dependent on having a job or being in a relationship. If these end, self-esteem might take a nose dive. When we experience low self-esteem, it doesn’t mean we are failures—many successful people experience self-doubt from time to time. Whatever the reasons for self-esteem being low, people tell us that when they learn to give themselves approval from within, and develop new coping skills, their stress levels go down and their energy goes up—leading to greater self-esteem.

Self-esteem is about understanding yourself, believing in yourself, becoming your own power source, and taking responsibility—making your own choices. The following guidelines are keys to improving self-esteem:

◆ Accept yourself. Accepting yourself as you are now makes it possible for you to grow and develop. When you feel OK about yourself now, you are able to risk change.

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45 Team Building

Laurel, Alexander HRD Press, Inc. PDF





The purpose of a team is the creation of synergy. This is where the sum of the whole is larger than the sum of each part (individual). Teams are needed when:

◆ There is a need for people to work together

◆ You are experiencing rapid changes

◆ There is uncertainty about a project and you need to share the problems and solutions

◆ You are dealing with a problem where nobody knows the answer

What motivates each of your team members? A team is motivated by:





The concept of team roles was “invented” by Meredith Belbin, one of the foremost experts on team dynamics and the visiting Professor at the

Centre for Leadership Studies at Exeter University. Team roles fall into two categories: their specialist role or responsibility and their team role.

Team Roles

◆ Supporter: team player, concerned with team unit, helpful and supportive to others, mild, diplomatic, dislikes confrontation, adapter rather than changer

◆ Thinker: creative, critical, needs acknowledgment

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23 Making Decisions

Laurel, Alexander HRD Press, Inc. PDF





Most people’s fear of decision making is based on the possibility of one of three outcomes:

1. They make a decision and then are forced to stick to it despite the fact that it is seen to be not working.

2. They make no decision at all and leave things up in the air.

3. They make a group decision that has involved so many compromises that the final results fall well short of the original aim.

There is no such thing as a perfect decision. Any decision is based on the information and resources we have at the time. With the benefit of hindsight, some decisions are seen to be disasters, others prove to be good starting points for improvement, and yet others might exceed our expectations.

There are two key ways of making decisions:

1. The intuitive hunch, taking spontaneous action and then responding to the result (suitable for situations in which little or no information is available)

2. The rational process whereby you specify alternatives, criteria, and outcomes until the right solution presents itself (suitable for wellstructured situations)

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13 Developing Emotional Intelligence

Laurel, Alexander HRD Press, Inc. PDF






Emotional intelligence—a concept originally coined by Daniel Soleman, author of Emotional Intelligence (1996) and Working with Emotional

Intelligence (2000)—involves balancing our thoughts and feelings. Sometimes in order to avoid feeling, we rationalize or intellectualize our feelings.

Equally, we can sometimes immerse ourselves to an unhealthy extent in our feelings, without any logical thought processes.

Imagine that someone you know says to you, “Can’t you do anything right—you fool!” What would you think? How would you feel? What would you do?

Now, imagine that the voice talking is your own and that you are thinking such thoughts about yourself. You might recognize a similar kind of negative self-talk dominating your own thoughts. This self-critical voice works by:

Emphasizing past failures

Ignoring anything good that happens

Setting impossible standards of perfection

Assuming others’ thoughts about you are negative

Calling you names

There is a relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Our thoughts give rise to our feelings. This combination gives rise to behavior and action. If we think, “Yes, I can get through this exam,” we feel positive, upbeat, and confident, and we have more chance of sailing through the exam successfully. If we think, “I’ll never do it,” we feel insecure, powerless, and anxious, and have more chance of failing the exam.

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8 Conducting Interviews

Laurel, Alexander HRD Press, Inc. PDF





Interviews are particularly useful for discovering the story behind a respondent’s experiences and to pursue in-depth information around a topic.

Before you start to design your interview questions and process, clearly identify the purpose of each interview. This helps you keep a clear focus on the intent of each question.

Types of Interviews

◆ Informal, conversational, general interview. Here, predetermined questions are asked. This approach is intended to ensure that the same general areas of information are collected from each interviewee.

◆ Standardized, open-ended interview. Here, the same open-ended questions are put to all interviewees. This approach facilitates faster interviews that can be more easily analyzed and compared.

◆ Closed, fixed-response interview. Here, all interviewees are asked the same questions and are asked to choose answers from the same set of alternatives.

Preparing the Sequence of Questions

◆ Get the respondents involved in the interview as soon as possible.

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