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Power and Influence

Jaqueline Stewart HRD Press, Inc. PDF


Power and Influence

Description: This activity is designed to improve individual effectiveness within

the organization through an understanding of personal power and influence.

Objective: By the end of this activity, participants will be able to improve their working relationship.

Group Size: Any number.

Time: Approximately 1 hour.

Materials Required:


One copy of Handout 30.1 for each participant

One copy of Exercises 30.1 and 30.2 for each participant

Flipchart and markers

Many people feel powerless in their work because there always seems to be someone else above them in the organization who has overt power over their working lives. When this feeling is strong, it can lead to a decline in performance by the individual and eventually a decline throughout the organization.

This activity helps participants identify those areas where they do have power and ways to survive when they do not.



Introduce the topic and ask what the words power and influence mean to them. There will be many ways of expressing this, but be sure participants understand that power is the ability to influence people despite their wishes. This power derives from a number of sources, and has a different “weight” within each working relationship.

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Richard Bellingham HRD Press, Inc. PDF

Skill 6. Use Interpersonal Skills



• Definition: Developing and maintaining constructive relationships with other people

• Benefits:

— Builds a base of understanding

— Minimizes stresses

• Steps:

A. Listen

B. Question

C. Demonstrate understanding

D. Give your perspective/Disclose who you are

E. Manage conflict


Interpersonal communication is the ability to develop and maintain constructive relationships with other people. The way we deal with each other in relationships affects our health, our success, and many other dimensions of our lives. It certainly affects our relationships at work with associates, customers, and our ability to be a team player.

Skills in interpersonal communication can be used any time you are interacting with another person. Being able to communicate successfully requires knowing what both you and the other person are experiencing at any given moment and understanding how and when to provide a clear response or viewpoint.

Demonstrating understanding, also called empathy, is the single most important skill to use when you are trying to help another person, whether as a supervisor, co-worker, team member or friend.

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Medium 9781599962039

124—Reactions to Errors and Failures

TRC Interactive HRD Press, Inc. PDF


• Make copies of the Reactions to Errors and Failures handout for each participant.

• Provide pencils for participants.

• Have a whiteboard or flipchart and markers available to use during the discussion.

• The room should be flexible for small group discussions without disruptions.


• Divide participants into three groups that are roughly equal in size. Distribute

the Reactions to Errors and Failures handout to participants. Assign a different situation to each group. Have them read over the job situation, discuss what they think is the best response, and reach a consensus. Ask them to be ready to give their rationale for having chosen a particular response.

• You might want to explain to the groups that there are really no right or wrong

answers. Rather, participants will find that their choices will depend on their own judgment of the situation and, perhaps, their own experience.

• You might want to ask participants to look for subtle implications in each situa-

tion when analyzing the best alternative. For example, in Situation 1, the implication is that you, as supervisor, are going to be in big trouble if you do not get the order for 1,000 pieces out in a hurry. Nowhere does it say that if you go to the boss and explain the error, you won’t get an extension in delivery time. It is assumed that this alternative is not open to you and you would just better get those pieces out regardless. This option is not even offered as one of the alternative actions.

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Activity 34: The Roadblocks Questionnaire

Dave Francis HRD Press PDF

Activity 34 

The Roadblocks Questionnaire 


• To provide insight into the “people problems” that may be affecting organizational or team effectiveness

This activity helps to clarify personal goals and increase influence, managerial insight, and team-building skills.


This questionnaire is intended for senior executives, but it also can help senior teams to share insights and perceptions about the roadblocks to effectiveness that exist within an organization. It is based on a “blockage” approach to organization development. The questionnaire consists of 100 statements about the “people” aspects of the organization or team. Look at these statements and decide whether they are true or false for you. In many cases, it will be difficult to be absolutely accurate, but if you think that a statement is broadly true, that is sufficient.

When you have completed the questionnaire, follow the guide on how to interpret the results. By that time, you will have begun to identify the key people problems. The most important thing is to be honest with yourself when considering the statements. After you have completed the forms, you will find it valuable to discuss the results with your colleagues.

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Medium 9781576754221

4 Consider the Consequences

Tracy, Brian Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Every great man has become great, every successful man has succeeded, in proportion as he has confined his powers to one particular channel.

The mark of the superior thinker is his or her ability to accurately predict the consequences of doing or not doing something. The potential consequences of any task or activity are the key determinants of how important a task really is to you and to your company. This way of evaluating the significance of a task is how you determine what your next frog really is.

Dr. Edward Banfield of Harvard University, after more than fifty years of research, concluded that “long-time perspective” is the most accurate single predictor of upward social and economic mobility in America. Long-time perspective turns out to be more important than family background, education, race, intelligence, connections, or virtually any other single factor in determining your success in life and at work.

Your attitude toward time, your “time horizon,” has an enormous impact on your behavior and your choices. People who take a long view of their lives and careers always seem to make much better decisions about their time and activities than people who give very little thought to the future.

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