February 15, 2011

The Responsiveness Paradigm

Why are some people respected in the workplace, and others not? Is there something that distinguishes people who are thought of highly from those that are not? What about managers and leaders; are successful respected leaders different from those that are less successful?

The answers to these questions are not so simple. But perhaps they aren't so complex either. And the answers may also extend to regular employees, who gets promoted, and who is seen as an effective employee.

Our work in interpersonal communication has brought us to pay attention to these questions. And we have a tentative hypothesis; something that people can build on to become better leaders, managers and employees. We call this approach The Responsiveness Paradigm.

The Responsiveness Paradigm is a way of looking at how people influence and get along with each other. Based on our work in defusing hostility, it suggests that a primary characteristic of successful and respected people, be they leaders, managers or line employees, is that they have an ability to respond to others in a way that takes into account the needs of both people.

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