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Office of the Director: MLI Glossary


General Concepts from Equity Toolkit

  • Emotional intelligence -- "the ability to recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions and to recognize, understand, and influence the emotions of others." (IMCT)
  • High/low context continuum:  "High contexts’ communication focuses more on the underlying context, meaning, and tone in the message, and not just the words themselves. In many high-context exchanges, very few words are necessary. ... On the other end of the continuum, low-context cultures expect communication to be more explicitly stated. In many low-context environments, communication that is direct, linear, and concise is rewarded." (IMCT)
  • Positivity: "Human energy is infectious. The same way a negative person can drain the energy from a room, an open, generous and kind person can breath new life into a meeting or group. As a manager, your opportunity is to nurture behaviors in yourself and others that encourage positive emotions. When positive emotions are experienced, they create upward spiral trends. Upward spiral trends allow people to be open to explore new ideas, listen to alternative points of view, take risks and build commitment over time." (IMCT)
  • Privilege is unearned access to resources (social power) that are only readily available to some people because of their social group membership; an advantage, or immunity granted to or enjoyed by one societal group above and beyond the common advantage of all other groups. Privilege is often invisible to those who have it. (ECC Glossary)


Equity Toolkit Course 4

  • Mission: Simply, mission is why your organization exists, the purpose it serves. 

  • Values: Values express your organization’s enduring beliefs; guide decision-making throughout the organization. What we say we care about is called espoused values. How we actually behave, in ways that (hopefully) reflect our espoused values are values-in-action. Espousing values alone is not enough. The most important work to be done with values is ensuring alignment between who we say we are (espoused values) and how we behave (values-in-action).

  • Vision: Your organization’s aspirational future destination or achievement. There are two types of vision. External vision is related to products or services offered, or position and impact on marketplaces. Internal vision is about how people within the organization, its employees, behave and treat each other. The hallmark of a truly compelling vision is that it creates shared directional force. That is, people across your workforce can see themselves and their role in the vision, and feel a sense of commitment to pursuing it and supporting others within the organization holding it as well. 

  • Objectives: This is where your organization’s change agenda is defined: the four to six things that will command your organization’s prioritized attention over the next 3–5 years. 

  • Goals: Goals must be time-bound and quantitatively measurable. They must advance your objectives. 

  • Strategies: Strategies are significant efforts that require choicefulness and clearly advance goals. There can be more than one strategy to advance a particular goal, and as many action items as needed. 


LMSI 1 & 2 Concepts

  • Appreciative Inquiry is a technique of asking questions that open possibilities. Rather than asking "what's the problem," the focus is on what is going well. What works? What makes it work well, and how can we use that to improve? (LMSI, p. 8)
  • Creative Tension Model describes the creative energy between current reality and a shared vision, and uses that tension as a positive force to move toward the vision. (LMSI 2, p. 7, p. 29)
  • Gradient of Agreement is a tool to help the decision maker(s) understand what level of discomfort or dissent the group can tolerate while still implementing the decision under consideration. (LMSI 1, PDF p. 86)
  • Iceberg Analogy of Culture illustrates how an organizational culture is made up of artifacts (observable aspects of culture), espoused values (what your culture says it believes), and values-in-action (the values that are evidenced through behaviors). (LMSI 2, p. 27)
  • Influence Strategies. These nine influence strategies come from a personal assessment tool developed by HayMcBer. Their research was conducted in a corporate/business setting, but so far we have found that the strategies translate to a library environment. All of these strategies can be effective in the appropriate context; they can also become ineffective when used inappropriately. (LMSI 1, PDF p. 53)
    • Empowerment: making others feel valued by giving them praise, credit, and recognition; and by involving them in decision making and in the planning and implementation of one's ideas.
    • Interpersonal Awareness: identifying other people's concerns and positioning one's ideas to address these concerns.
    • Bargaining: gaining support by offering to exchange favors or resources, by making concessions, or by negotiating to a mutually satisfactory outcome.
    • Relationship Building: taking the time to get to know others personally and to maintain friendly communication with them so that they will be inclined to support one's ideas in the future.
    • Organizational Awareness: building support for one's ideas by identifying and getting the support of the key people who can influence others within the organization.
    • Common Vision: showing how one's ideas support the organization's broader goals or values, or appealing to higher principles such as fairness.
    • Impact Management: thinking carefully about the most interesting, memorable, or dramatic ways to present ideas in order to gain people's support.
    • Logical Persuasion: using logical reasons, facts, and data to convince others; or using knowledge or expertise to persuade.
    • Coercion: using threats, punishment, or pressure to get others to do what you want.
  • Johari Window is a tool to help build understanding and enhance communication between individuals in a group. (LMSI 1, PDF p. 32)
  • Ladder of Inference -- yet another reminder of this important tool -- is a tool for better understanding how people's beliefs are formed and reinforced. It's used to reflect on one's beliefs, and to share beliefs and assumptions with others to increase transparency and understanding. (LMSI 2, p. 11)
  • Learning Organization, an idea advanced by Peter Senge, is an organization that has the capacity to create its own future. (LMSI 2, p.1)
  • Mental models are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action. (LMSI 2, p. 11)
  • Power and Influence. Power is the ability to influence the behavior of others or overcome resistance to achieve a desired objective. Influence strategies allow us to leverage our bases of power in the service of the work we are trying to do and the relationships we are trying to build. (LMSI 1, PDF p. 53)
  • Shared Vision is created by first engaging individuals in reflecting on their own vision for the organization, aligning that personal vision with personal values, identifying shared values, and finally describing the aspects of shared vision that can be understood and remain compelling at the individual level. (LSMI 2, p. 25)
  • Skillful Discussion is a structured process for communicating in groups that elicits meaningful engagement from all members. (LMSI 2, p. 20)
  • Systems Thinking has people reflect at different levels (events, patterns and structures) in order to identify new potential solutions to recurring or knotty problems. (LSMI 2, p. 15)