The ability to perform actions and make statements that reflect an opinion or view of one’s own; not to fawn.

is not influenced directly by other people`s opinions
has convictions of his/her own
is able to resist social pressure
pursues his/her own, independent course

makes decisions and forms opinions based on his/her own analyses and views
does not always follow others; dares to disagree
deviates from rules and procedures when this seems necessary
does not always look for support when making decisions
dares to disagree
does not always follow others

goes against the routine to show things can be done differently
presents plans and proposals that deviate from standard procedures
can't be forced to provide services that go against his convictions under pressure
follows his/her own quality standards in providing services even if other people do not value them
does not fear resistance against his/her views and plans

holds on to professional quality standards even if they go against the organization's policy
keeps appropriate professional distance from his/her stakeholders in order to form an objective judgement
forms independent judgements even when put under severe pressure
takes a deviant position based on his/her convictions even if it creates commotion withing the organization
is not influenced by rumors or sentiments within the organization when judging people

Independence can be easily developed if the candidate has a more than average score (7,8,9) on the drives Independent thinking & acting and a less than average score (1,2,3) on the drive Need for support.

Describe a difference of opinion with someone you know. To what kind of arguments are you susceptible? To what kind are you less susceptible?
Have you ever deliberately breeched a rule or procedure in order to attain your goal? When was that and what did you do exactly?
Could you give an example of a situation in which you pursued your plans while the people around you were against it? What happened eventually?
Did you ever hold on to an idea or a project despite other people’s resistance? When was that and what did you do exactly?

Collect sufficient information and knowledge in order to form a sound opinion.
Think outside the box.
Take more risks but remain aware of their consequences.
Develop your own opinion: read editorials but stay open to other people’s opinions.

Encourage your candidate to ask others for 360º feedback regarding his independence. What goes well and what could be improved? Discuss the results with the candidate.
Investigate with your candidate what is keeping him from being independent in certain situations. Ask him in what situations and who he has been independent from. What is the reason the candidate achieves independence in some situations but not in other ones?
Discuss why it is important for you to be an independent person and how you found your own direction.
Reward your candidate in every situation when he displays independence by giving him compliments.
Show that you respect the candidate’s opinion even if it is different from your own. Provide a safe and open environment. Discuss how important it is that employees can speak their mind within the organization.
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