Administrative Professionals Conference – Enhancing Work Relationships

**** Just to be clear – I am typing LIVE in the conference??? so there may be typos, etc. and any opinions are my own!

Presenter: Lynn Berger, MSW – director of work place services in Baltimore – asset to BHS

  • Objectives
  • examine communication approaches and effective application methods in the workplace
  • review skills for open and effective communication
  • Acquire an understanding the DESC Model
  • Explore strategies related to setting clear expectations
  • develop an awareness of Civility and its impact in the workplace
  • identify the role of technology
  • ascertain individual responsibility in facilitating positive change
  • BUG Exercise: draw the bug she is describing – Does your Bug look Like This?  
    • perception – we all have all different perceptions – does not make one of us wrong or one of us right
  • Effective Communication: We only hear half of what is said to us, understand only half of that, believe only half of that, and remember only half of that. – Mignon McLaughlin
    • Tips for Effective Communication
    • Actively Listen: paraphrase / seek feedback
    • ask open-ended questions: those questions that cannot give a yes/no answer – describe something – ask for a lot more information
    • Use “I” statements – “I see it differently than you do” v. “You don’t see it right” / “You really irritate me” v. “I feel really irritated right now” / “Your not listening to me” v. “I don’t feel heard” – communicate how it is affecting YOU
    • Avoid jargon
    • pay attention to your body language
    • be aware of blind spots 
  • Other factors in communication
    • Perception: “Perception is Reality” – Unmanaged perceptions can lead to a reality that was not intended 
    • it is everything – someone’s perception is their Reality for them
  • Self Fulfilling Prophecy: “You expect what you get”
    • “I’m not going to them because it Never works out”??? are setting themselves up for it NOT to work
    • If we think it??? it will work out
    • We have come into a mentality of the “victim role” which lines up to self-fulfilling prophecy 
  • Personality types and pay offs
    • Aggressive: They get what they want – they will continue the behavior because they got what they wanted – how to Enhance them: 
    • Non-Direct: Avoid responsibility – they just hang out and don’t take responsibility??? they don’t pull their end of the weight – if no one assigns them tasks then they get what they want – How to Enhance Them:
    • Assertive: Develop usable solutions – offer solutions & ideas – always taking an action item or two – doesn’t have to be Their idea but offer their ideas 
  • Conflict Management / Feedback Model (when dealing with Aggressive & Non-Direct types): DESC – constructive confrontation
    • D: Describe the Behavior
    • E: Explain the effect of the behavior – talking to yourself
    • S: State the desired outcome
    • C: Consequence: what will happen if the behavior continues – Situation will only get worse / will continue
    • Something has to change – if you don’t DO something about it then you can’t “whine” about it – how can you change yourself? 
  • Setting Expectations: Getting the End Result you Want  (Forbes.com)
    • Communicate clearly: Start with your end goal and work to get there / No Ambiguity 
    • Make sure your expectations fit:  Know your audience / Know the capabilities – some things probably won’t change: What are You going to do about it?? – How do we communicate and come up with some other remedy and we both have to agree
    • Re-confirm your expectations: Ensure check ins: Do not get discouraged it most likely won’t immediately meet expectations / Follow up regularly – Have to check in: are we on the same page
  • Civility in the Workplace: It’s often small incidents – like complaining about someone to everyone else without telling the person directly, or being short in conversation or rude in an email – that can do the most damage and quickly spread throughout a business like a virus” – Business Daily News 
    • How can you be proactive to communicate with those people who aren’t communicating – utilize the “I” statements
    • when people are sitting in a meeting and annoyed that people are doing other things in a meeting
    • multi-tasking is diminishing productivity 
    • In University: we are dealing with different generations who are utilizing: Just texting / emails only 
  • Civility Defined:  Civility is behavior that: shows respect toward another, Causes another to feel valued, Contributes to mutual respect, effective communication and team collaboration
    • “If each employee developed an awareness of respectful behavior and necessary skills, it is anticipated that employees will serve as role models and that these behaviors will spread in the workplace and beyond.” – Lorman Education Services
    • if the perception that texting, etc. is NOT going to happen in a meeting then it will stop happening – 
  • Remember??? Small things Add Up! (Forbes article) – from www.selu.com
    • Model Manners:
    • Remember to say “Good Morning,” and “Goodbye” – people feel like you are open and they can talk to you
    • Follow through on promises – if you say it is going to happen then it is going to happen – make sure to follow up and follow through and don’t wait until the last minute to warn that something might not happen (because you need something from someone else)
    • Respect others’ time – people watch – acknowledge where people are (are they rushing??? should we start later??? we are afraid to have those conversations) – 
    • take personality type into account 
    • offer to assist
    • compliment others: give credit when due
  • Be cognizant of the “where”
    • caution on conversations (elevators, hallways, restaurants, etc.)
  • Explore your position and the other’s personality
  • be aware of technology etiquette
  • Technology and the Workplace: More than 87% of those polled in a recent VitalSmarts Survey admit that using hi-tech means to resolve a workplace confrontation has not been effective in their experience. Moreover, 89% say e-mail, text messaging and VM can get int he way of good workplace relationships.”  -CareerBuilder.com
  • Tech Etiquette: Email (Grossman Group)
    • Email may be the best mode of communication when:
    • providing directional and timely info
    • sharing detailed info and data
    • ensuring there is a record of your communication 
    • providing status updates
  • email may not be the best mode of communication when:
    • giving delicate feedback
    • working through a long standing issue: email “war” (when you have 3 emails back and forth) 
    • confronting someone who has not delivered on a promise – we hide behind technology (skip those face-to-face)??? instead of avoiding them.. go out of the way to see them – make sure that they Know that you are There!
    • delivering bad or controversial news
  • Tech Etiquette: Cell Phone & Texting
    • When use MAY be appropriate
    • responding to urgent or critical questions
    • connecting with remote employees
    • addressing a personal matter if used at the proper time
  • When use MAY NOT be appropriate
    • during meetings
    • conveying detailed or important messages
  • Reminders:
    • understand the expectations of your employer – is it part of their job?  Do they have to reply within 30-mins
    • just because you can, does it mean you should?
    • Talk in private settings
    • Be mindful of rings / vibrate settings – set the mood and say “Please turn off”.. etc.
  • Tech Etiquette: Social Media – Forrester’s Research indicates that 51% of online Americans have joined a social network
    • Business accounts v. personal accounts – keep them separate – make it clear how you feel about it – it is like standing on a building and shouting it OUT to everyone – m
    • Know your company’s social media guidelines: different jobs and different organizations have different expectations
    • be mindful of what you post both on business and personal accounts – it is there forever.
  • Be The Change You Want To See
    • Lead by example: Saying HI / setting up those conversations that need to happen 
    • Communicate and follow through – we are mis-communicating – what can you do?
    • maintain a confident persona – when that aggressive person pushes you down.. don’t let them
    • form relationships – be respectful of other people 
    • promote civility with constructive feed back
  • Accountability Exercise 
    • stand up – how do  you have a conversation?   Realize how hard it is to change / switch – changes can make us very uncomfortable – throw something off
    • notice how you look and think about how others react
    • for someone who is really aggressive??? try to meet them somewhere else.. make them change their perceptions – take them out of their comfort zone 
    • if a group always meets in the same place.. switch it up??? it makes them uncomfortable but makes them think in a different way and be more engaged
    • Your personality and style is so important – when you ask someone else to change??? it is really tough – how would you feel?  How can we make a change?  
  • What would you do?
    • what if you receive an email that could be interpreted as offensive?   would you say something to them?  would you want them to say that to you?  
    • what if you notice a particular employee that walks in every morning and says “Hi” to everyone but you and a few others?  you might not do anything – if you don’t do anything then it can create negativity – rumor mill could explode 
    • what if you see employees snickering and laughing at an employee speaking up in a meeting, although no one else notices
    • what would you do if you hear employees constantly complaining about how unfair the leave policy is?  they are probably complaining about other things too – we don’t want to intervene – there needs to be balance 
  • Accountability: Call to Action
    • What can I do?
    • How can I remove obstacles?  
    • What can I do to achieve success? 
  • Create Work Relationships
    • Engage in open communication
    • elevate personal awareness
    • facilitate positive change
    • collaborate to develop solutions
    • assertive & respectful communication – use “I” statements 
    • be observant of communication cues- know how your body language communicates 
  • Questions
  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *