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For the last several weeks, we have been studying the impact of professional presence. What are you learning about your own professional presence? What aspects of your own professional presence do you consider strengths? What aspects of your professional presence are developing through your course of study? What are your desired outcomes for further development of your professional presence?

Through what I have learned in the course, I am fairly convinced that professional presence is very important. The way a worker carries himself in the work environment can reflect on his utility, efficiency and professionalism. In my case, I would consider my dressing sense as one of the attributing factors to my professional presence. I would always wear formal clothes to work with sober yet pleasant color combinations. The reason I am motivated to dress professionally is to send across an implicit message to my colleagues and clients that I am serious and dedicated to my work. This has a reflective effect, in that their communication toward me also becomes more professional.

I have also attuned my workplace behavior to enhance my professional presence. Replying to emails and telephone calls at the earliest possible time is a habit I have tried hard to inculcate. I also pay a lot of attention to detail so that my competence is reflected in my work. By working to enhance my professional presence, I am set to achieve both personal and team goals. While the image I create of myself have ramifications for my career prospects and growth, they also help improve the image of the organization at large. Hence there is a symbiotic benefit to be exploited thus.

Albrecht discusses the importance of authenticity in Social Intelligence. Summarize the key points that he makes in our text concerning authenticity. In your opinion, why do you believe that authenticity is important to SI and in particular, with leadership.

Albrecht explains ‘authenticity’ as the opposite of being phony. The implication being that an employee will have to be honest to himself and his behavior should reflect the personal value system he has adopted. Authenticity is a particularly important quality for a business leader, for those working under him look up to him as a role model. A leader will also function as a wise counselor to those employees who are in need of guidance. In such scenarios, the role of a business leader turns into one of a mentor. It is imperative that in order for mentoring to be effective, the leader should display an aura of authenticity. The body language, dressing sense and the tone of communication should all speak about the honesty and integrity of the leader – both to himself and to others.

It is interesting to note that authenticity can only be achieved through the mastery of social intelligence. Since authenticity is manifest in the leader’s interactions with his staff and clients, without acquiring social intelligence, the authentic self of the leader will never come through. For example, a leader might have the right ideas and plans for developing the business and expanding the clientele. But if he lacks in the necessary social skills to communicate his vision for the company, his projections will never materialize. Hence, possessing social intelligence is vital for a leader to express his authenticity – in both personal and professional domains.

In Goleman & Boyatzis (2008) article on SI and Leadership, what were the defining elements of leadership that were discussed in the article? As leaders, how can we infuse concepts described in Goleman and Boyatzis article to create an environment that promotes growth and leadership? Give examples.

In the article in question, Goleman & Boyatziz take a multi-dimensional approach to defining Socially Intelligent Leadership. They take into account the biology, psychology and the sociological dimensions in identifying methods of promoting growth and leadership among employees and managers alike. They highlight how empathy is a key component to social intelligence. Empathy is the ability to be able to put oneself in another person’s situation and see the issue from their perspective. Biologically, women tend to be gifted in this trait, which makes them more socially intelligent by nature. But men can also nurture and develop this trait through proper conditioning of their emotional circuitry. As Goleman and Boyatziz suggest, there are proven practical methods through which this can be achieved.

The socially intelligent leader will be better at understanding employee motivation, be sensitive to cultural diversity, possess a positive emotional tone, have an open mind in accepting inputs from others and encourage all team members alike. But the key to achieve this sort of leadership excellence, one has to have the appropriate emotional circuitry. But unlike IQ, social intelligence can be enhanced through systematically working on changing one’s behavior. This in turn will change attitude and perception, which in turn will begin to change the personality. This way, promoting a workplace environment that promotes growth and leadership is feasible.

Please share a brief overview of your research project topic. In addition, tell me about where you are with your research. Have you located some foundational research studies linking your topic? What interesting information are you finding on your topic?

My research topic is titled Building High Performance Teams. In contemporary global markets, successful organizations embrace the concept of teamwork to achieve strategic goals amidst intense competition amplified by globalization. High performing teams are crucial for enhancing employee bottom-line performance level and adaptability. High performance teams consist of individuals with complementary skills who work interdependently. Team members are normally in opposition to interchange roles. Participatory leadership approach is crucial for building strong cohesive teams focused on achieving given organizational goals. Building high performance teams include establishing a diverse team, generating the team purpose, developing critical processes, sharing leadership and responsibility, fostering strong relationships, establishing effective communication, acknowledging main milestones and celebrating successes as well as reviewing and learn through experience.

Thus far, I’ve performed a literature review on the subject of High Performance Teams and was able to find sufficient material to synthesize for my research. The sources of information are varied and rich. For example, I found relevant information in books, academic management journals and popular management magazines. The authorship is quite varied – a substantial portion of them coming from Asian and European scholars – reflecting the globalized business environment of today.

How is your Group Share group working together? What is the natural group dynamic that is emerging? How are you contributing to the group?

The Group Share is coming along nicely. The group dynamics is very smooth and efficient. Each member contributes something important for the overall project. Each of us is also open to hearing suggestions and recommendations made by others. We also help each other in covering our weak areas. While each member will have strong and weak areas in his talents and skills, we make sure that any particular task is assigned to the member most capable of finishing it. Hence a strong bond and mutual trust has developed in our group. My core contributions lie in the area of co-coordinating and organizing our meetings and work activities.

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