Articulate contemporary understandings of power and privilege differentials in organizations and society.

Dialogue Week 3 Artifact

This is a hard one for me, I’ve never looked at myself as a person of power or privilege. To me privilege “is something given, without work”, and power is generally something taken.

How can you leverage these attributes in collaboration, communication and/or conflict resolution? To leverage what I learned through this course I known try look at each of my interaction through a lenses that require that I deal with others in love. To come to this understanding I had to determine what my end goal was when it came to interactions with others and how I wanted others to view and feel about.

I noticed that since my work requires that I get things done through other I primarily used  what Tom Atlee calls “Power Over” Altee suggestion that Power Over is about the power to control, determine or influence what will happen; to get people or things to do what you want.” Altee (2011)

  1. Force, coercion, intimidation, domination – total control, or control by threat of force
  2. Authority, command, management, supervision – using an established system for following orders
  3. Exploitation/(Abuse) – using someone or something for one’s own ends (often without regard to its/their welfare)
  4. Manipulation – using deception to influence others in ways they aren’t aware of and so can’t combat
  5. Influence, pressure, sway – any effort to affect another’s behavior, thought, feelings, etc. (the mildest or more generic forms of power-over)

In our nation today we are witnessing a historic shift in power and privilege as it relates to gender, race, sexual orientation, and global relations.

With Hilary Clinton as the nominee for one of the major party’s issues relating to women have had the opportunity to be a major part of the national discourse. Race relation in the USA between Black America and the rest of America are for many as bad as things were in the 1950s to 60s. The LGBTQ community have taken and active roles in the most recent national debate. Everyone from politician candidates, news pundits and the like have use all sorts of tactics to get their message and point across of who would be best to run the USA.

Marvin Gayes “Make Me Wanna to Holler” describes what I think people are feeling. Many of the groups mentioned in the question still face major issues; for instance, women are still facing equality issues with regards to equal pay. Marvin Gaye’s Make Me Wanna to Holler

This has been a contributing factor in my desire to change my approach of working through others. In the book Crucial Conversations, I learned about the concept of coaching other through “introspection” This method is designed to provide the other party to use critical thinking skills to define and solve a problem. The best part of this method is that the other person is provided with the opportunity to feel empowered because they can leave the conversation feeling as if they have solved their own problem without being told what or how to do something.

On a larger scale now more than ever we can see shifts in the collective voices of the people of the world; because of advance technologies physical boundaries are no longer major barriers to getting a message across or getting work done across get distances.

Regarding historic shifts to me voices are just getting louder; this is the first time a woman has made it this far in the Presidential election which provides opportunity to women’s issues to not only be part of the national debate; something could actually be done about this this time around. More and more special interest groups are speaking out trying to be heard.  In his TED Talk Joseph Nye says “computing and communications cost have falling a thousand fold between the 1970 and the beginning of this century” Nye (2010). Technology has virtually made geographic boundaries disappeared in context of disseminating information.  Groups are now able to get their message out to the mass at almost no cost. Just take a look at all of the special interest group websites, social media pages and don’t forget about the millions of emails that are sent by these groups trying to get the attention of anyone who will listen.

Identify and engage stakeholders to achieve definable goals.

Week 7 Dialogue Artifact 

Effective face-to-face oral communication is crucial for organizational performance. Managers must communicate effectively with their subordinates, their peers and superiors to link organizational direction to those at all levels of the organization. (Manning, Waldman, Lindsey, Newberg, Cotter-Lockard 2012)

As a leader in a social impact organization I have to constantly show that I have empathy, compassion and understanding for those that work through. Since most of my organizations goals are accomplished through the efforts of others I have become very strong as motivating others, helping other plan, coaching them through the execution of their daily activities.

During my tenure of the executive leader in my organization I’ve worked hard to adopt the 5 traits from the Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner

  • Modeling the way for others
  • Inspiring the hearts of others
  • Enabling others to act
  • Inspire a shared vision
  • Challenge the process

The last trait “Challenge the process” has help in situations the are leading down the path of “groupthink” when most feel pressured by the peers to go along with the status que or “its how we always do it” I have the ability to Assess the immediate risks of any decision, and the consequences for the group and its customers. If risks are high (for example risk of personal safety), make sure you take steps to fully validate any decision before it is ratified.

What areas of communication (such as nonverbal cues or cultural knowledge) and collaboration in a F2F context do you need to work on to be a leader?

My weakness and area of communication that I need to work on is; “saying no”.

I find that my desire to serve and help other is so great that I sometime allow this to take higher priority over my own personal needs.  I have use the “silence the inner voice” component of effective compassionate communication to reduce the need and desire to be needed and helpful to others. Now I’m not saying to be completely selfish and no longer be helpful, but to stay present and focused on what I have to do for myself and make sure I make specific time for myself to do things like “relax”.

Mindfulness practices have proven to be the most effective tools in collaboration for me. Being aware of the/my moment in time and listening deeply, paying close attention […] (Manning, Waldman, Lindsey, Newberg, Cotter-Lockard 2012) are the two tools I will add to my toolkit.

Here’s one you all might like.

2-1-30 = 2 New Skills and 1 New Habit 30 Days

If you commit you can develop 24 new skills and 12 new habits over the course of 12 months. How would this impact you?

Week 7 Collaboration Artifact

Earlier this year my organization increased our team by adding ten new members to the administrative office. Our administrative space is small causing us to utilize creative scheduling schemes to accommodate the increase in Human Capital. There are times when the office is at maximum capacity and because there so much office chatter it becomes hard to determine if people are being productive. My dilemma: I am not willing to favor the teams desire for building and bonding over our organizations need for productivity.

Since my time is mostly spent out of the office handling various responsibilities I try to spend at least two full days in the office with the whole team.

This assignment reminded me of a particular work day; my office door was open and I happened to overheard several team members talking about how credit scores worked; one of the members unconcerned with the others handled a personal phone call and others seemed to be engaged in random activities unrelated to work.

Observing all of this I started to experience internal frustration when the conversations went on for at least thirty minutes.

The other thing that frustrated me was the fact that we had not to long ago concluded two weeks of on-boarding, where we reviewed organizational values, goals, and expectations. I wanted to yell out the door “all of you are crazy wrong, credit scores don’t work like that and we don’t provide credit counseling so get back to work!” I didn’t say anything because managing the office team isn’t my primary task, I did however shoot a instant message to the program supervisor stating that the team needed help getting back on task.

Effective face-to-face oral communication is crucial for organizational performance. Managers must communicate effectively with their subordinates, their peers and superiors to link organizational direction to those at all levels of the organization. (Manning, Waldman, Lindsey, Newberg, Cotter-Lockard 2012)


I started thinking and asking myself “why did I have to cause the redirection, how come the team wasn’t able to refocus on their own?” Why does the group think its ok to come to work and not focus on the respective task?

80% of my team members has less than three years’ experience working in an professional office environment. What I recognized about the up-front training is that it included the whole organization and primarily focused on task associated with team members that work outside of the office; and the office team didn’t gain information relevant to them.

When it comes to getting work complete the groupthink was “we can complete our task in our time.”

My goal is to ensure alignment around the follow 10 area from the Rockerfeller Habits.

  1. The executive team is healthy and aligned.
  2. Everyone is aligned with the #1 thing that needs to be accomplished this quarter to move the company forward.
  3. Communication rhythm is established and information moves through organization accurately and quickly.
  4. Every facet of the organization has a person assigned with accountability for ensuring goals are met.
  5. Ongoing employee input is collected to identify obstacles and opportunities.
  6. Reporting and analysis of customer feedback data is as frequent and accurate as financial data.
  7. Core values and purpose are “alive” in the organization.
  8. Employees can articulate the following key components of the company’s strategy accurately.
  9. All employees can answer quantitatively whether they had a good day or week.
  10. The company’s plans and performance are visible to everyone.

My plan:

First, always find time to breath deep, I started developing an on-boarding process that specifically focuses on the office team and will consist of the following incorporating principles outlined by Carolyn O’Hara in her article “What New Team Leaders Should Do First.”

  • Find ways to get to know one another O’Hara (2014)
  • Share what the company stands for O’Hara (2014)
  • Help each member outline and focus on organizational and individual set and clarify Wildly Important Goals.
  • Show the team how to Act on the Lead Measures help and them understand the controllable and predictable task and activities associated with their work.
  • So that we are able to “Score an “early win” O’Hara (2014) we willKeep a Compelling Scorecard, inspect what we expect and have a visual way to track progress.
  • Create a Cadence of Accountability, team members are expected to report on commitments and review the scoreboard.

This plan will be successful because we will work to help everyone have a clear vision and a idea of what’s expected in the workplace.

The aim of my plan is to create mass awareness so that all team members will have an understanding of what’s to happen in the workplace. The goal is to get the team to not focus on “self” but to see the team as an interconnected organism with the understanding that the parts effect the whole.

Create conditions for stakeholders to synthesize diverse perspectives in group settings.


Week 4 Dialogue Artifact

Wow this is a deep question for me, I grow up in a single parent household 10 minutes outside of Philadelphia in Camden, NJ. I attended a Seventh-Day Adventist private school and grew up in a Baptist Church.

As a youth my mom taught me that my ancestors were the inventors of concepts like Math and time; my mom was big on self-determination and it was required that I understood that in spite what I see or experience “out in the world” my destiny was up to me to define. For me “other” is everyone who isn’t “me”; a greater portion of the kids growing up near me either wanted to play ball in the NBA or NFL; sell drugs or ended up in jail or shoot dead in the streets.

This reminds me of a Jay-Z verse

“I had to lace up my boots even harder

Father is too far away to father

Further-more all the kids either smoke reefer

Or either move white, there’s few writers in my cypher

So they made light of, my type of

Dreams seem dumb, they said wise up

How many guys-a, you see makin it from here

The world don’t like us, is that not clear? Alright but

I’m different, I can’t base what I’m gon’ be

Offa what everybody isn’t, they don’t listen

Just whisperin behind my back

No vision, lack of ambition, so whack!” So Ambitious Jay Z (2009)

Since I had family in California I had the opportunity to travel back and forth fairly often providing me with an opportunity to see another way of life. This also posed challenging for me because I was usually away during the summers which took away my opportunity to bond with my neighborhood friends. This cause me to look at my friends in a certain way and they look at me different as well. McLeod would all this Social Categorization “which is one of the reasons for prejudice attitudes (i.e. “them” and “us” mentality) which leads to in-groups and out-groups.” McLeod (2015)

I guess my “other” view of things comes from my mom being such an advocate for being self-determined and keeping me so activity is what kept me from failing into some of the negative activities many of my friend fell victim to growing up in Camden with nothing to do.

While I grew up with religion around me a few of my uncles were pastors of the local churches but for some reason my mom and I weren’t religious but somehow the traditions, “saying’s” and “ways” of our family stuck with me.


Effectively manage interpersonal, organizational, and technology-mediated conflicts.

Dialogue Week 8 Artifact

I’ve used “open space technology” on several occasion. I learned about open space conferences when I attending one sponsored by the White House Office of Engagement. The concept is that the best part of a conference is the coffee break.  Consider that during the coffee break is when network and the exchange of ideas and resource most occurs. The application of the knowledge shared during structure time in a conference occurs when people have the time to walk around and reflect on what was said by conference presenters.

Open Space Technology “is a self-organizing practice that invites people to take responsibility for what they care about. In Open Space, a marketplace of inquiry is created where people offer topics they are passionate about and reflect and learn from one another. It is an innovative approach to creating whole systems change and inspiring creativity and leadership among participants.” Open Space Technology

open space meeting

The picture above was capture at a youth-led unconference that was designed to identify health access barriers among youth and young adult.


  • College students average ages 23
  • High School student average 16


  • Experience designer (event planner
  • Finder (Researchers)
  • Meeting leader
  • Get the word Outter (Marketing)



Primary Purpose Name of Engagement Stream Key Features Important When…
Identity health access barriers among youth and young adults. Exploration o   Youth-LED

o   Event agenda creating by attendees

o   Open dialogue

Youth understand how to create thoughtful solutions to perceived or actual barriers.
To create opportunities to lift youth voices around a targeted issue Conflict Transformation o   Creating a safe space

o   Sharing personal stories and view points

o   Building mutual respect and trust

Youth are able to work through differences of opinion in a productive and healthy manner.
To influence local educational institution policy around youth and health access. Decision Making o   Narrowing issues

o   Exploring solution

o   Agenda setting

o   Building power

Youth understand power levers and how to move them.
Provide opportunities for youth and young adults to development new skills and habits Collaborative Action o   Decide action

o   Develop action and engagement plan

Youth understand how to take an idea from concept to actual implementation.

The model and format provide youth with the venue to explore complex social issues, have extensive and thoughtful dialogue about them. Their end result was the creation of two list; one containing perceived health access barriers and a list of options and solutions to the barriers. The youth engage in a second; each session with 60 youth participates with the second focused on engaging two school board members who agreed to carry a policy forward to the full school board to allocate resources to increase mental health services in high schools.


Manning, C., Waldman, M., Lindsey, W., Newburg, A. & Cotter-Lockhard, D (2012). Personal inner values: A key to effective face-to-face business communication. Journal of Executive Education, 11(1) pp. 37–65  Retrieved from (got to website and then in upper right download the artcile) (Links to an external site.)

Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (n.d.). The Authors of The Leadership Challenge | Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner. Retrieved May 19, 2016, from (Links to an external site.)

Mindtools. Avoiding groupthink: Avoiding fatal flaws in group decision making. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

Manning, C., Waldman, M., Lindsey, W., Newburg, A. & Cotter-Lockhard, D (2012). Personal inner values: A key to effective face-to-face business communication. Journal of Executive Education, 11(1) pp. 37–65  Retrieved on August 8/28/2016 from (Links to an external site.)

O’Hara, C. (2014). What New Team Leaders Should Do First. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

Allison, Scott (August 31, 2012). “Mastering The Rockefeller Habits – How To Scale a Hyper-Growth Business” (Links to an external site.)Forbes. Retrieved August 26, 2016

McLeod, S. A. (2008). Stereotypes. SimplyPsychology. Retrieved from: 

Jay Z. (2009). So Ambitious [CD]. South Beach Studios/Midnight Blue Studios.

National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation. Engagement streams framework. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

Atlee, T. (2011). Four types of power. Retrieved from:  (Links to an external site.)

Nye, J. (2010). Global power shifts. Ted Talks. @TED: TED.


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