Below is the list of all my test results for the Swot Analysis. It needs to be in a table labeled strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. All a 500-750 essay needs to be written to explain.
Your decision-making process is OK. You have a good understanding of the basics, but now you need to improve your process and be more proactive. Concentrate on finding lots of options and discovering as many risks and consequences as you can. The better your analysis, the better your decision will be in the long term. Focus specifically on the areas where you lost points, and develop a system that will work for you across a wide variety of situations. (Read below to start.)
(Questions 3, 7, 13, 16)
Your score is 12 out of 20
If you’ve ever been in a meeting where people seem to be discussing different issues, then you’ve seen what happens when the decision-making environment hasn’t been established. It’s so important for everyone to understand the issue before preparing to make a decision. This includes agreeing on an objective, making sure the right issue is being discussed, and agreeing on a process to move the decision forward.
You also must address key interpersonal considerations at the very beginning. Have you included all the stakeholders? And do the people involved in the decision agree to respect one another and engage in an open and honest discussion? After all, if only the strongest opinions are heard, you risk not considering some of the best solutions available. Click here to learn more about creating a constructive decision-making environment.
GENERATING POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS
(Questions 4, 8, 11)
Your score is 10 out of 15
Another important part of a good decision process is generating as many good alternatives as sensibly possible to consider. If you simply adopt the first solution you encounter, then you’re probably missing a great many even better alternatives. Click here to learn about some powerful tools for generating good alternatives, expanding the number of ideas, and considering different perspectives.
(Questions 1, 6, 15)
Your score is 12 out of 15
The stage of exploring alternatives is often the most time-consuming part of the decision-making process. This stage sometimes takes so long that a decision is never made! To make this step efficient, be clear about the factors you want to include in your analysis. There are three key factors to consider:
- Risk â€“ Most decisions involve some risk. However, you need to uncover and understand the risks to make the best choice possible.
- Consequences â€“ You can’t predict the implications of a decision with 100% accuracy. But you can be careful and systematic in the way that you identify and evaluate possible consequences.
- Feasibility â€“ Is the choice realistic and implementable? This factor is often ignored. You usually have to consider certain constraints when making a decision. As part of this evaluation stage, ensure that the alternative you’ve selected is significantly better than the status quo.
(Questions 5, 10, 17)
Your score is 13 out of 15
Making the decision itself can be exciting and stressful. To help you deal with these emotions as objectively as possible, use a structured approached to the decision. This means taking a look at what’s most important in a good decision.
Take the time to think ahead and determine exactly what will make the decision â€œright.â€ This will significantly improve your decision accuracy. Click here to learn about the different tools that you can use to make a good decision.
CHECKING THE DECISION
(Questions 2, 9)
Your score is 7 out of 10
Remember that some things about a decision are not objective. The decision has to make sense on an intuitive, instinctive level as well. The entire process we have discussed so far has been based on the perspectives and experiences of all the people involved. Now it’s time to check the alternative you’ve chosen for validity and “making sense.”
If the decision is a significant one, it’s also worth auditing it to make sure that your assumptions are correct, and that the logical structure you’ve used to make the decision is sound.
Click here to learn more about tools that you can use to do this.
COMMUNICATING AND IMPLEMENTING
(Questions 12, 14, 18)
Your score is 11 out of 15
The last stage in the decision-making process involves communicating your choice and preparing to implement it. You can try to force your decision on others by demanding their acceptance. Or you can gain their acceptance by explaining how and why you reached your decision. For most decisions â€“ particularly those that need participant buy-in before implementation â€“ it’s more effective to gather support by explaining your decision.
Have a plan for implementing your decision. People usually respond positively to a clear plan â€“ one that tells them what to expect and what they need to do. For more information on developing these types of plans, read our articles about project management and change management.
Decision making is a skill â€“ and skills can usually be improved. As you gain more experience making decisions, and as you become more familiar with the tools and structures needed for effective decision making, you’ll improve your confidence. Use this opportunity to think about how you can improve your decision making and take your skills to the next level. Ultimately, improving your decision-making skills will benefit you and your organization.
THE SOURCE â€“ PLANNING YOUR MESSAGE
(Questions 2, 11)
Your score is 7 out of 10
Before you start communicating, take a moment to figure out what you want to say, and why. Don’t waste time conveying information that isn’t necessary â€“ and don’t waste the listener or reader’s time either. Too often, people just keep talking or writing because they think that by saying more they’ll surely cover all the points. Often, however, all they do is confuse the people that they’re talking to.
- Understand your objective. Why are you communicating?
- Understand your audience. With whom are you communicating? What do they need to know?
- Plan what you want to say, and how you’ll send the message.
- Seek feedback on how well your message was received.
When you do this, you’ll be able to craft a message that will be received positively by your audience.
Good communicators use the KISS (“Keep It Simple and Straightforward”) principle. They know that less is often more, and that good communication should be efficient as well as effective.
ENCODING â€“ CREATING A CLEAR, WELL-CRAFTED MESSAGE
(Questions 1, 5, 8, 10, 15)
Your score is 19 out of 25
When you know what you want to say, decide exactly how you’ll say it. You’re responsible for sending a message that’s clear and concise. To achieve this, you need to consider not only what you’ll say, but also how you think the recipient will perceive it.
We often focus on the message that we want to send, and the way in which we’ll send it. But if our message is delivered without considering the recipient’s perspective, it’s likely that part of that message will be lost. To communicate more effectively:
- Understand what you truly need and want to say.
- Anticipate the other person’s reaction to your message.
- Choose words and body language that allow the other person to really hear what you’re saying.
With written communication, make sure that what you write will be perceived the way you intend. Words on a page generally have no emotion â€“ they don’t “smile” or “frown” at you while you’re reading them (unless you’re a very talented writer, of course!)
When writing, take time to do the following:
- Review your style.
- Avoid jargon or slang.
- Check your grammar and punctuation.
- Check also for tone, attitude, nuance, and other subtleties. If you think the message may be misunderstood, it probably will. Take the time to clarify it!
- Familiarize yourself with your company’s writing policies or style guides.
Another important consideration is to use pictures, charts, and diagrams wherever possible. As the saying goes, “a picture speaks a thousand words.” Our article on charts and graphs has some great tips that help you to use these to communicate clearly.
Also, whether you speak or write your message, consider the cultural context. If there’s potential for miscommunication or misunderstanding due to cultural or language barriers, address these issues in advance. Consult with people who are familiar with these types of barriers and do your research, so that you’re aware of problems you may face. See our article on Effective Cross-Culture Communication for more help.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT CHANNEL
(Questions 7, 11, 13)
Your score is 12 out of 15
Along with encoding your message, you need to choose the best communication channel to use to send it. You want to be efficient, while also making the most of your communication opportunity.
Using email to send simple directions is practical. However, if you want to delegate a complex task, an email will probably just lead to more questions, so it may be best to arrange a time to speak in person. And if your communication has any negative emotional content, stay well away from email! Make sure that you communicate face to face or by phone, so that you can judge the impact of your words and adjust your message appropriately.
When choosing the right channel for your message, consider the following:
- The sensitivity and emotional content of the subject.
- How easy it is to communicate detail.
- The receiver’s preferences.
- Time constraints.
- The need to ask and answer questions.
DECODING â€“ RECEIVING AND INTERPRETING A MESSAGE
(Questions 3, 6, 12, 14)
Your score is 15 out of 20
It can be easy to focus on speaking: we want to get our points out there, because we usually have lots to say. However, to be a great communicator, you also need to step back, let the other person talk, and listen.
This doesn’t mean that you should be passive. Listening is hard work, which is why effective listening is called active listening. To listen actively, give your undivided attention to the speaker:
- Look at the person.
- Pay attention to his or her body language.
- Avoid distractions.
- Nod and smile to acknowledge points.
- Occasionally think back about what the person has said.
- Allow the person to speak, without thinking about what you’ll say next.
- Don’t interrupt.
Empathic listening also helps you decode messages accurately. To understand a message fully, you have to understand the emotions and underlying feelings that the speaker is expressing. This is where an understanding of body language can be useful.
(Questions 4, 9)
Your score is 8 out of 10
You need feedback, because without it, you can’t be sure that people have understood your message. Sometimes feedback is verbal, and sometimes it’s not. We’ve looked at the importance of asking questions and listening carefully. However, feedback through body language can also help you to assess the impact of your message. By watching the facial expressions, gestures, and posture of the person you’re communicating with, you can spot:
- Confidence levels.
- Comprehension (or lack of understanding).
- Level of interest.
- Level of engagement with the message.
- Truthfulness (or lying/dishonesty).
As a speaker, understanding your listener’s body language can give you an opportunity to adjust your message and make it more understandable, appealing, or interesting. As a listener, body language can show you more about what the other person is saying. You can then ask questions to ensure that you have, indeed, understood each other. In both situations, you can better avoid miscommunication if it happens.
Feedback can also be formal. If you’re communicating something really important, it can often be worth asking questions of the person you’re talking to make sure that they’ve understood fully. And if you’re receiving this sort of communication, repeat it in your own words to check your understanding.
It can take a lot of effort to communicate effectively. However, you need to be able to communicate well if you’re going to make the most of the opportunities that life has to offer.
By learning the skills you need to communicate effectively, you can learn how to get your ideas across clearly and effectively, and understand much more of the information that’s conveyed to you.
Whether you’re a speaker, a listener, a writer, or a reader, you are responsible for making sure that messages are communicated accurately. Pay attention to words and actions, ask questions, and watch body language. These will all help to ensure that you say what you mean, and hear what is intended.
Successful leaders tend to have certain traits. Two keys areas of personal growth and development are fundamental to leadership success: self-confidence and a positive attitude.
Self-confident people are usually inspiring, and people like to be around individuals who believe in themselves and in what they’re doing. Likewise, if you’re a positive and optimistic person who tries to make the best of any situation, you’ll find it much easier to motivate people to do their best.
(Questions 2, 8)
Self-confidence is built by mastering significant skills and situations, and by knowing that you can add real value by the work you do. One of the best ways to improve your confidence is to become aware of all of the things you’ve already achieved.
Our article on Building Self-Confidence explains what you can do to understand yourself better and build your self-confidence. From there, you’ll begin to make the most of your strengths and improve your weaknesses. Explore this further with our Bite-Sized Training session on Personal SWOT Analysis.
Positive Attitude and Outlook
(Questions 10, 17)
Your score is 8 out of 10
A positive mindset is also associated with strong leadership. However, being positive is much more than presenting a happy face to the world: you need to develop a strong sense of balance, and recognize that setbacks and problems happen – it’s how you deal with those problems that makes the difference.
Positive people approach situations realistically, prepared to make the changes necessary to overcome a problem. Negative people, on the other hand, often give in to the stress and pressure of the situation. This can lead to fear, worry, distress, anger and failure.
Stress management techniques, including getting enough Rest, Relaxation and Sleep as well as physical exercise, are great ways of getting rid of negative thoughts and feelings. Understanding your thinking patterns, and learning to identify and eliminate negative thinking, are key. You can learn how to do this in our article on Thought Awareness, Rational Thinking and Positive Thinking, and you can find out how to become more optimistic in our Book Insight on Learned Optimism.
(Questions 5, 15)
Your score is 9 out of 10
The concept of emotional intelligence used to be referred to as “soft skills,” “character,” or even “communication skills.” The more recent idea of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) offers a more precise understanding of a specific kind of human talent. EQ is the ability to recognize feelings – your own and those of others – and manage those emotions to create strong relationships.
Learning to develop Empathy is essential for emotional intelligence, as is communicating effectively, and practicing Empathic Listening. These all help you really understand the other person’s perspective.
Our Leadership area has a section on emotional intelligence in leadership.
Transformational leadership is a leadership style where leaders create an inspiring vision of the future, motivate their followers to achieve it, manage implementation successfully, and develop the members of their teams to be even more effective in the future. We explore these dimensions below.
Providing a Compelling Vision of the Future
(Questions 6, 14)
Your score is 9 out of 10
This is your ability to create a robust and compelling vision of the future, and to present this vision in a way that inspires the people you lead.
The first part of being able to do this is to have a thorough knowledge of the area you’re operating in. See our Bite-Sized Training session on Building Expert Power to find out how to develop this.
From there, good use of strategic analysis techniques can help you gain the key insights you need into the environment you’re operating in, and into the needs of your clients. See our Strategy section for more than 50 powerful techniques that give you these insights.
With these tools, you can explore the challenges you face and identify the options available to you. You can identify the best of these with good use of prioritization skills and appropriate decision-making techniques.
Finally, to sell your vision, you need to be able to craft a compelling and interesting story. Our article, Powers of Persuasion, can help you open closed minds, so that people consider your ideas fairly. Another great way of inspiring people is to use vivid stories to explain your vision: find out more about this in our Expert Interview with Annette Simmons, titled Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins.
Motivating People to Deliver the Vision
(Questions 9, 12)
Your score is 9 out of 10
This is closely related to creating and selling a vision. You must be able to convince others to accept the objectives you’ve set. Emphasize teamwork, and recognize that when people work together, they can achieve great things. To provide effective leadership by linking performance and team goals, use Management by Objectives (MBO) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Ultimately, you need to motivate people to deliver your vision. To better understand your ability to motivate, complete our quiz How Good Are Your Motivation Skills?, and explore our articles on Herzberg’s Motivators and Hygiene Factors and Sirota’s Three Factor Theory.
Being a Good Role Model
(Questions 4, 11)
Your score is 9 out of 10
Good leaders lead by example. They do what they say, and say what they do. These types of leaders are trustworthy, and show integrity. They get involved in daily work where needed, and they stay in touch with what’s happening throughout the organization. Great leaders don’t just sit in their offices and give orders – they demonstrate the actions and values that they expect from the team.
As with building vision, above, a key part of being a good role model is leading from the front by developing expert power. A leader can’t rely on position alone: by keeping current, and staying relevant within the organization, you’ll inspire people because you’re worthy of your power and authority, not just because you’re the boss.
Managing Performance Effectively
(Questions 3, 13)
Your score is 7 out of 10
Effective leaders manage performance by setting their expectations clearly and concisely. When everyone knows what’s expected, it’s much easier to get high performance. There’s little uncertainty, therefore you can deal with performance issues quickly. And if things have already started to slide, our article on Re-Engaging Team Members offers some excellent tips for turning a negative situation back to a positive one.
As you create rules, help your team members to understand why the rules are there. Involve them in the rule-making process, and make sure that your expectations align with the resources and support available. Apply rules fairly and consistently.
Providing Support and Stimulation
(Questions 1, 7, 16, 18)
Your score is 12 out of 20
To be highly motivated at work, people need more than a list of tasks to be completed each day. They need challenges and interesting work. They need to develop their skills, and to feel supported in their efforts to do a good job.
Think about your approach to Task Allocation, and look for opportunities to match people with jobs and responsibilities that will help them to grow and develop. Use Heron’s Six Categories of Intervention to decide when and how to help them to shine. Regularly perform Training Needs Assessments to determine what your team needs to be successful.
Remember that emotional support is also important. The Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid is a great tool for thinking about the right balance between concern for people and productivity.
To be successful in your career, regardless of your title or position, focus on developing your leadership skills.
Effective leaders can add value simply by being present on teams. They are inspirational and motivating. They know the right things to say to people to help them understand what’s needed, and they can convince people to support a cause.
When you have talented and effective leaders in your organization, you’re well on your way to success. Develop these leadership skills in yourself and in your team members â€“ and you’ll see the performance and productivity of your entire team to improve.