Definition – Vision

1 Vision – One or more objectives whch the Holder of the objectives believes in strongly and rates them as (a) not achievable in the short term and (b) not easily achievable  .


General Approach

2 This definition puts forward some ways of classifying some objec­tives as a vision and excluding others.

3 The following notes explain and discuss the factors used to decide the boundary line between these two classes of objectives. They rate as one person’s opinion. However they should help others to decide the meaning they want to give to – vision.


4 A Vision rates as an objective (a result in the future which someone believes someone should try to achieve). But not all objectives rate as visions. The points below (in the section on “The Holder”) explain this idea.

“The Holder”

5 A number of people can have the same or a similar vision.

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Distinction between Ability and Aptitude

1 Ability describes something that a person can do now. Aptitude refers to latent ability. Thus aptitude describes the ability which will result from adding training and/or experience to aptitude.

2 Examples. Person A might have twice as high a current ability to manage as Person B. But B may have much more managerial aptitude than A – which training would bring out.

3 Typist A can type 40 words per minute at the moment but has the aptitude to type at 80 wpm. Typist B has the ability to type at 50 wpm but has an aptitude of 55 wpm. Thus B has nearly reached the level of B’s capacity whereas, with training, A will type much faster than B.

Practical Application

4 In the process of selecting people, Selectors should distinguish between ability and aptitude. Some Applicants will have high aptitudes but relatively low current ability. Many people may have little apparent ability but have a great deal of aptitude.    Identifying such a
situation will help the Selector to obtain a greater number of potential Candidates.

5 Selectors will have to decide in selection whether they will restrict themselves to people with sufficient present ability or seek someone with less present ability but with sufficient aptitude to achieve the required ability after experience/training.

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Distinction between Content Contribution and Procedure Contribution


1 People who want to improve their ability to participate in and/or lead conferences/meetings should understand a useful distinction between the two types of possible contributions – procedure and content.

2 Procedure contributions refer to how to “run” the conference. Content contributions refer to the ideas which may, or may not, help to achieve the discussion/conference objective.

Specific Definitions

3 The following provides definitions of spoken contribution, content contribution, and procedure contribution.

4 Spoken Contribution – An oral communication signal, from when one Person starts to speak until he/she finishes speaking. 1

5 Procedure Contribution – Any spoken contribution which relates to how the conference Members should discuss a particular topic.

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Distinction between Effectiveness and Efficiency

1 Both these words often refer to a particular objective and/or activity.

2 Effectiveness refers to whether any actions taken achieve an objective or not.    Thus we have effective behaviour – one which achieves the end objective and ineffective behaviour – which does not achieve the objective.

3 Efficiency refers to the amount of resources used in relation to the objective achieved.

4 Example. If Tom used $1,000 and one hour of time to achieve a particular objective but Pam used $800 and 45 minutes to achieve exactly the same objective, Pam’s activity would rate as more efficient.

5 The resources may include time, money, materials, machines anything required to achieve an end objective.

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Distinction between Empathy and Sympathy

1 Empathy refers to the recognition/understanding of the state of mind of another Person – without feeling (as in sympathy) what the other Person feels

2 The attitude in empathy involves people in acceptance and understanding. It implies that people say to themselves: I see/recognise/understand how you (the other person) feel.

3 Sympathy describes the Process of feeling with anther person  The person says -  in effect: – I feel what you (the other person) feels.   I feel joy with your joy. I feel sorrow with your sorrow.

4 The word understanding in the definition of empathy refers to recognising something and appreciating it.


5 . Some Employers and/or Selectors favour the idea that to become an effective Sales Representative, the person must have empathy.

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Distinction between Line and Staff


1 Over many years different people and text books have used the terms “Line” and “Staff”.

2 These terms can refer to both (a) Positions and (b) Sections/Departments of an Organisation.

3 Different people give different meanings to the words: however the following approach should provide one useful and clear distinction.

A Meaning for “Line”

4 The word “line” refers to a Position or Department whose objectives directly assist the major Objective of the Organisation

A Meaning for “Staff”

5 “Staff” positions or Departments have as their major objective one which will only indirectly assist the achievement of the Organisation’s major objective.

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Distinction between Line Authority and Staff Authority

Definitions of Authority – General,  Positional, and Personal

1 The following paragraphs define three different types of authority:

2 Authority – A Relationship between two people where one Person gets another Person to do (or try to do) something

3 Positional Authorirty  – A relationship which an Organisation tries to arrange between two people where One Person (a Subordinate) will do (or try to do) something that relates to the Organisation’s Objectives which another Person (A Manager) has   .

4 Personal Authority – A Relationship between two People where one Person will do (or try to do) what another wants them to do – for reasons other than that the Organisation wants them to have such a relationship   .

Definitions of LIne Authority and Staff Authority

5 The following paragraphs define line authority and staff authority. Readers should note that both these terms refer to position authority. Thus organisations try to create both line authority and staff author­ity.

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Distinction between Managing and Operating

1 These notes define Managing as – A Continuous Process of determining Objectives and trying to achieve them through the Efforts of other People   .

2 They define Operating as – A Continuous Process of determining Objectives and trying to achieve them  .

3 Thus the distinction between Managing and Operating lies in the phrase “through the effort of other people”.

4 If someone tries to do something and tries to do it by him­self/herself than he/she has carried out the activity of operating (as defined above). People who decide to do something and then get another person to do it carry out the activity of managing.

5 The distinction between managing and operating will prove difficult to make unless the person making the distinction relates the activities to one particular objective. An activity will rate as operating from the viewpoint of one objective, but managing from the viewpoint of a different objective.

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Distinction between Neutral and Unsure

1 In many situations people give their views on something by either agreeing or disagreeing (or accepting or rejecting it).

2 However sometimes they feel unsure or neutral. But do unsure and neutral mean the same thing?

3 Many people will not distinguish between them.Some who do will make different distinctions.

4 These notes offer one useful distinction between neutral and unsure.

5 They suggest defining both neutral and unsure as not stating acceptance or rejection.   However neutral also means that the person believes that additional evidence will not alter his/her position. However people feeling unsure believe that additional evidence might alter
their position – either towards acceptance (agreement) or rejection (disagreement).

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Distinction between Normal and Average

1 Perhaps the simplest way to distinguish between normal and average involves thinking of an average as a point on a scale and normal as a band (the distance between two points).

2 Example. Male Adults with normal height would fall be­tween (say) five feet (152 cms) and six feet three inches (182 cms). The average adult male height might equal five feet seven inches (170 cms). Thus we may have many people who rate as either above average or below average but still within a normal band.

3 Unfortunately it proves difficult to set specific points for the edges of the band of normality.

4 Example. Does a person who has a height of 6’6″ (190.4cms) rate as abnormal? Presumably people would indi­cate seven feet (213.3cms) as abnormal but just when does a height start to rate as abnormal?

Applicastion of Distinction

5 People should realise that they can describe somebody as normal but still rate them as not average i.e. they rate as below average or above average.

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