Quality Progress - March 2017 - 25


skill set, it seems logical that moderate
communication skills (at a minimum) in
each of the previously mentioned situations are necessary to achieve successful
project outcomes.
Traitlike CA (similar to a personality-type factor) and Context CA can be
placed on a separate continuum-those
with high and low apprehension levels.17
In addition, the anxiety levels do not need
to be the same when considering high or
low apprehension levels.
"It is also possible for someone to be
extremely uncomfortable communicating in one context (for example, public
speaking), but feel completely at ease
in another (for example, interpersonal
conversations)."18
It is therefore possible for individuals to
have high or low levels of apprehension
in each of the four environments in which
lean Six-Sigma project leaders may often
find themselves-presentations, formal
meetings, interpersonal conversations
and group discussions.
In the new study, each of the future
lean Six Sigma project leaders was
asked to self-assess his or her CA during
training.
Figures 1-5 show the results for total
CA and for subcomponent communication arenas such as public speaking,
meetings, group discussions and interpersonal communication.
Figure 1 shows that 32% of the sample
size have CA with public speaking. While
few lean Six Sigma project leaders are
faced with the opportunity to speak in
public, an occasion may arise that requires
them to present to senior management
or a board of directors. This prospect for
those with apprehension in this domain
may cause undue stress and anxiety.
More troubling, Figures 2-3 show
that 43% and 20% of the sample size
have difficulty with group meeting
communication and group discussions.
Considering that much of the project
work conducted by lean Six Sigma
leaders occurs within those scenarios,
those suffering from this form of CA will

experience discomfort as they engage in
group facilitation in hopes of successfully
completing a project.
Figure 4 is much less troubling-7% of
the sample experience CA when participating in interpersonal conversation. This
small subgroup could experience stress
when working one-on-one with a subject
matter expert or when engaged in stakeholder management.
Figure 5 offers an overall view of the
sample's level of CA. With nearly 16% of
the selected possible future project leaders suffering from CA (almost one in five),
this discomfort resulting from lean Six
Sigma project leaders operating beyond
their personal communication comfort
zone could potentially lessen employee
engagement and therefore lead to suboptimal-or failed-project outcomes.

Innovativeness

Improved service or product development can be an outcome when team
members collaborate on projects and
don't experience ambiguity or a lack of
structure. Additionally, a project team's
propensity for innovativeness can lead to
improvement or modernization of products or services.19
Hurt, Joseph and Cook argued innovativeness also can be a personality
trait they described as a "willingness to
change."20
Therefore, innovativeness can exist
in a project leader, which can lead to
product or service novelty or invention.
Defined further, "innovation orientation
(or innovativeness) of leadership refers
to the degree to which leaders promote
subordinates' innovation orientation."21
Ruth Stock and Nicolas Zacharias
reported leaders with strong innovativeness personality traits exhibited behaviors
that emboldened team members to adopt
attitudes receptive to change, modification and improvement.22
When addressing leadership and its
effect on a team's climate, Ali Akgun,
Halit Keskin and John Byrne reported
that the value of innovativeness among

FIGURE 4

Interpersonal
conversation
7%

93%

Apprehensive

Not apprehensive

FIGURE 5

Total score-
communication
apprehension
16%

84%

Apprehensive

Not apprehensive

project teams referred to the "degree to
which team members viewed the project
team as being open to change and
supportive of new ideas to adapt to the
changing environments."23
Furthermore, innovativeness among
teams is viewed as "a capacity that
incorporates receptivity to new ideas,
products, or processes, as well as an

qualityprogress.com ❘ March 2017

QP 25


http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - March 2017

Seen and Heard
Expert Answers
Progress Report
Mr. Pareto Head
Field Notes
Innovation Imperative
Hard Wired
Propel Forward
Life After Disruption
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Statistics Spotlight
Standard Issues
Marketplace
Footnotes
Back to Basics
Quality Progress - March 2017 - cover1
Quality Progress - March 2017 - cover2
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 1
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 2
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 3
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 4
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 5
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Seen and Heard
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 7
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Expert Answers
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 9
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Progress Report
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 11
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 12
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Mr. Pareto Head
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Field Notes
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 15
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 16
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 17
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Innovation Imperative
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 19
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 20
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 21
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Hard Wired
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 23
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 24
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 25
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 26
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 27
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Propel Forward
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 29
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 30
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 31
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 32
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 33
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Life After Disruption
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 35
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 36
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 37
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 38
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 39
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Work Smarter, Not Harder
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 41
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 42
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 43
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Statistics Spotlight
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 45
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 46
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 47
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Standard Issues
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 49
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Marketplace
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 51
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Footnotes
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 53
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 54
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 55
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Back to Basics
Quality Progress - March 2017 - cover3
Quality Progress - March 2017 - cover4
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