Tag Archives: #ChangeAgent

MAKING IT WORK with GENY

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Making Work Meaningful

Millennials want to know that what they do matters. They want to understand the context and contribution of their work, particularly if they feel the work is menial and entry level. Management can help keep these workers interested by involving them immediately in an onboarding process. From the start, a new-hire Millennial should be enlightened about the organization’s mission and how his or her job, however mundane, fits into those goals.

Older workers often complain that they never had to be told how their job fit into the big picture. They were willing to start at the bottom and work their way up, regardless. However, those in Generation Y need to feel that they belong and make a difference. A company that welcomes Millennials into the workplace will freely share and reinforce its vision with workers. It will delineate how the work of an individual and team affect the company’s mission. Finally, it will acknowledge a larger purpose by being actively engaged in the community. This can be achieved by:

  1. Offering employee match donations.
  2. Focusing on one to three nonprofits that are aligned with the company’s mission.
  3. Replacing client gifts with donations to charities.
  4. Assisting employees in their volunteer efforts.
  5. Sponsoring volunteer team days, where employees spend a workday helping in the community.A Good Fit on a Good Team

    Chemistry in the workplace is an important aspect of company culture. Many Millennials have seen their working parents deal with people they do not respect or do not want to associate with, and prefer not to do the same in their own careers. A Millennial wants his or her job to be a good “fit” from the start. Management can help make that fit work for everyone involved by clarifying the team’s and the company’s values. Fit can be determined even before the application process. For example, the company’s values, and a description of the company’s culture, should be stated on the posted job description.

    Employees’ personalities also play a part in whether they are a good fit for their teams. Personalities can be assessed using a variety of tools, such as a personality indicator (e.g., the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or Strength Finders assessment). Once the personality of each team member is better understood, it will be easier to make adjustments to ensure that everyone’s contribution is maximized.

    It is a good idea for managers to review the team dynamics on a regular basis. They should check in after 30, 60, and 90 days to determine how new team members are fitting in.

    Meaningful Acknowledgement and Appreciation

    Parents, coaches, teachers, and camp counselors of Millennials gave them trophies, ribbons, and medals to reward them for just participating. Many Millennials have been conditioned to expect that same level of acknowledgment and appreciation in the workplace. Because of this expectation, they now have a reputation for being needy.

    Showing appreciation in the workplace is beneficial for employees of all ages; however, it must be authentic to be effective. Managers need to establish a culture of true appreciation that reinforces real contribution. Once such a culture has been established throughout the organization, it can significantly improve morale and performance for the entire team.

    The words “thank you” go a long way in reinforcing true appreciation in the workplace. Expressions of such appreciation can take many forms, such as an email, text message, or handwritten note; a group thank-you at a team meeting or a planned team celebration; company appreciation days for support staff or those in particular roles; and recognition of a birthday, anniversary, or other personal milestone. Regardless of the method used, the acknowledgment must be sincere to be effective.

    Give Clear Direction

    Just as Millennials need to know why their work is meaningful, they also need clear direction about how to accomplish that work. While conveying those directions, managers can use the opportunity to solicit Millennials’ input and ideas.

    Ambiguity can be avoided by providing clear and specific directions to all employees. When deadlines are given, there should be enough specific details that they cannot be misinterpreted. For example, instead of saying that a task needs to be completed by the end of the day, a manager should give a specific time. Terms like “shortly,” “end of day,” “end of the month,” or even “tomorrow” are ambiguous and can be interpreted differently by team members.

    Generation Y in particular has a different sense of time than older generations. For example, a Millennial may not anticipate that a particular task will require as much time as a manager expects. He or she may have a different view of what defines high-quality work. Both Millennials and their managers should never make assumptions; rather, managers should describe the quality of work required and the specific time involved, while Millennials should ask for further clarification when needed and communicate any delays or unexpected results.

    Feedback Is a Gift

    Millennials want and need feedback. Managers are constantly asked for check-ins so their Millennial employees can make sure they are “on the right track.” On the other hand, these same managers cannot understand why their Millennial employees appear to be so clueless. This, of course, has been a common theme among managers and young employees for many generations, including with Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.

    Feedback can be a gift, given to employees and coworkers, to help them capitalize on what they are doing well and improve other skills. Feedback does not cost anything, but it can prove invaluable in reducing time and frustration for all involved.

    Timing is extremely important when providing feedback. Corrective feedback should be given as soon as possible to action that required it. This makes the feedback more meaningful to the employee and allows for immediate revision; also, it prevents a manager’s frustration from growing and influencing the conversation.

    Managers and coworkers can use effective language to provide feedback in a constructive manner. The communication circle, developed by two executive coaches, separates facts, feelings, reasons, and blame. People offering feedback should be careful to avoid accusatory questions, such as “why” questions, and instead use questions that get to the matter at hand, such as “how” and “what” questions.

CREATE YOUR OWN UNIVERSE

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In the business world, individuals must attempt to understand their unique gifts and contributions and use that understanding to effect change in their organizations. This process requires self-reflection and having the determination to follow one’s “passion, imagination, and vision.”

Study–Finish What You Start

For many, the path to success begins with formal education. Lessons learned in that process can be applied to the business environment as well. Succeeding in college requires:

*Doing due diligence and carefully selecting the right school and program.

*Properly finishing what is started. Even if a class or program is dropped, it should be dropped in accordance with established procedures.

*Trusting one’s instincts about continued education (i.e., graduate school versus joining the workforce).

*Learning to love the concept of studying (education does not stop at the school doors).

The following practices will help make the most of the formal education experience as preparation for a successful career:

*Tailor curriculum to the business sector one seeks to join.

*Create a written plan for managing both school and non-school commitments.

*Develop and maintain a good study environment.

*Know and use one’s best learning style (i.e., auditory, visual, kinesthetic).

*Ask questions and build relationships.

*Gain experience and volunteer.

*Celebrate successes.

Networking for Novices

Networking is a business fundamental, and it is all about showing an interest in others. Networking can occur both in-person and online. The college campus offers abundant opportunities for networking. It is as easy as striking up a conversation with the person in the next seat in a lecture hall. Lastly, networking is mutual; it is not about getting something but about helping one another.

Students can build their networking skills by:

*Leveraging friends and family as resources for new contacts.

*Tapping online resources like LinkedIn to identify potential new connections.

*Spending time meeting people at face-to-face events like conferences, workshops, and social activities.

*Not being deterred by nerves; feeling nervous about meeting new people is natural.

*Creating personal business cards.

*Being real; authenticity should be at the core of everyone’s behavior.

*Remembering that networking is not an opportunity to brag; it is an opportunity to listen and share.

Get LinkedIn

A great networking first step is to create a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn has become a highly regarded professional networking platform that regularly adds value for professionals, not only in terms of making connections that can further their career goals, but also in terms of idea and opinion sharing.

Some ways to make the most of the LinkedIn experience include:

*Posting a professional-looking photo.

*Creating a strong headline and summary statement (look at other profiles for examples).

*Maximizing experience, including volunteer and extra-curricular activities.

*Including education and related activities.

*Asking for endorsements from others (and endorsing them in return).

*Highlighting achievements, honors, and awards, but only if they apply to career goals.

*Getting recommendations from teachers, employers, and fellow students.

*Joining LinkedIn groups, companies, and influencers.

Creating a Résumé That Gets Read

A résumé is much more than a list of skills and achievements; it is a view into an individual’s personality. Revealing personality in a simple, meaningful, and engaging way is what will make an individual’s résumé stand out from the crowd. Some tips for creating a standout résumé include:

*Avoiding clichés.

*Proofreading carefully.

*Including a well-crafted cover letter that is job-specific, showcases personal achievements, matches key job requirements to personal qualities, and illustrates potential contributions.

*Listing all contact information.

*Syncing online profiles with the résumé; and keeping them professional.

BEST COMMUNICATOR : IN NEW JOB

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T’S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE

The best communicators are first and foremost keen listeners and keen observers. Speakers engage their audiences by listening to and observing audience members, then tailoring their communications to appeal and engage those members. These principles apply to the work environment as well. New employees’ first order of business will be to observe, learn, and test their communication skills, all while paying attention to the responses they receive. This is how individuals build rapport and respect.

A common mistake new graduates entering the business world make is to “over share” their knowledge. This can be off-putting to colleagues. Ultimately, the workplace is more about people than it is about information. Success comes from improving relationship-building and people skills.

The First Day of a New Job

The first day on a new job can be nerve-wracking. Common expectations are that the initial weeks and months will be a learning experience. Much like in the interview process, new employees should seek to make good impressions, listen more than they talk, be respectful, and focus on learning.

Tips for making good first impressions include:

*Dressing in alignment with others in the office.

*Being punctual, always.

*Being observant, polite, and helpful.

*Showing confidence.

*Being friendly while respecting boundaries.

*Thinking things over before asking questions, then asking good questions.

*Absorbing as much learning as possible.

*Syncing online profiles (like LinkedIn) to reflect the new position.

Establishing a Rapport with Your Colleagues

Though individuals can choose their friends, they cannot choose their colleagues. Successful people find ways to develop rapport with everyone in the office, whether they like them or not. Good communication is critical. A respectful, open-minded, and nonjudgmental approach helps ensure good relationships.

Ways to develop good rapport with colleagues include:

*Initiating get-together events like lunches and celebrations.

*Showing respect for others by being punctual, honoring deadlines, offering help, and embracing diversity.

*Keeping a light attitude.

*Seeking out commonalities with others.

*Being conscious of body language.

*Focusing on others, not on oneself.

*Recognizing others’ achievements.

*Building honest relationships.

*Staying out of office politics.

Remembering and Using People’s Names

Remembering someone’s name makes a great impression, but many people have a hard time doing so. This is a weakness that must be corrected, and it can be overcome with practice. Individuals can try these methods to improve their ability to remember names when introduced:

*Listen very carefully with a focused effort to remember.

*Ask again immediately.

*Probe for more information about the name to facilitate memory.

*Create a mental picture to go with the name.

*Get the person’s business card.

Teamwork and Poor Performance

Teamwork can be difficult when personalities clash or someone is not carrying his or her weight. However, the sign of a good leader is to be able get along with everyone, set aside differences, and help the team meet objectives.

When a team is dysfunctional, a leader can get it back on track by:

*Having an open dialog to probe for the underlying reasons for the dysfunction.

*Being a positive influence.

*Making sure to listen to others respectfully, and then acting from knowledge gained.

*Being inclusive of team members who are being left out.

*Seeking out more information if there are knowledge gaps.

*Creating socializing opportunities for the team to avoid “all work and no play.”

Getting People to Say “Yes”

The ability to influence others is an ongoing leadership challenge. Some people are naturally better at it than others. However, like other leadership skills, it can be developed. The more an individual’s opinions, predictions, and actions garner positive results, the more trusted he or she becomes as an influencer. Timing, positioning, confidence, and authenticity all play a part.

Successfully influencing others requires:

*Being respectful, particularly to authority.

*Knowing one’s audience.

*Demonstrating confidence.

*Tuning in to others and then addressing their concerns.

*Communicating well.

*Doing the research.

*Providing reinforcing examples.

*Patience.

HOW CAN YOU DETECT LIES

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Body language is very helpful when it comes to detecting lies, but it is not the only method people can use. There are 30 non-visual cues that can be used to aid in the detection of lies:

  1. Unusual eye contact
  2. Pupil dilation
  3. Change in blink rate
  4. Eye blocks (touching around the eyes)
  5. Blushing or blanching
  6. Fake smile
  7. Retracted lips
  8. Duper’s Delight (a fleeting smile after an untruthful statement)
  9. Under- or overproduction of saliva
  10. Nose touching
  11. Mouth touching
  12. Vocal cues
  13. Clammy palms
  14. Foot movements
  15. Unusual stillness
  16. Pacifying gestures
  17. Decreased illustrators (using fewer hand gestures)
  18. Hidden hands
  19. Nervous laughter
  20. Cathartic exhale
  21. Fidgeting
  22. Gestures after words
  23. Partial shrug
  24. Torso shield
  25. Distancing behaviors
  26. Forward lean
  27. Foot locks
  28. Longer or shorter response times
  29. Frequent and shallow breathing
  30. Throat clearing

TRUST AND CREDIBILITY

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When communicating with people who are angry or worried, four factors govern the perception of trust and credibility:

  1. Caring and empathy
  2. Openness and honesty
  3. Dedication and commitment
  4. Expertise and competence

Under normal circumstances, people assume anyone they meet has these qualities, or they are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. When they are angry or worried, however, they examine everything the speaker does and assign a negative meaning to it. For example, if the speaker is sweating, under ordinary circumstances the audience would assume he is nervous. If the speaker is addressing a worried audience, they are likely to assume he is sweating because he is lying or does not want to be there.

Greenberger gives each of the four trust factors a numerical value, and together the four add up to a “CODE” score that adds up to 100. When dealing with someone who is angry or suspicious, speakers want to come as close to that perfect score as possible. Anything lower can mean an audience will not trust them and, therefore, will not accept their messages. Speakers can work toward maximizing their CODE scores in a variety of ways.

Caring and empathy is by far the biggest factor in the CODE score, worth up to 50 points. The audience decides within 30 seconds if the speaker is caring, and the best way to prove understanding and empathy is for the speaker to relate a personal story. When firing a worker, for example, bosses might show empathy by relating the story of being let go early in their careers and how they bounced back and found a job that suited them better. Not everyone has such a personal story to tell, so it helps to be prepared by gleaning pertinent anecdotes from friends and relatives.

To show openness and honesty — 15 to 20 points on the CODE score — speakers should tell the truth, admitting what happened and why. If the company is still trying to figure out why something such as a leak occurred, the speaker needs to admit that and promise to let the community know the details as soon as possible. The speaker should outline what steps the company will take to prevent future mishaps as well.

Speakers can prove their dedication and commitment to helping the audience — worth 15 to 20 points — by showing that they want to be at the meeting and are willing to answer questions. Instead of setting a time limit on questions, the speaker should let the audience decide how long questions will go on and stay after the meeting to talk to anyone who wants to ask a question in private.

Expertise and competence — also worth 15 to 20 points — is the easiest area to gain points in. The audience is likely to accept that a company executive knows the subject. However, the executive can quickly lose points by using a lot of jargon or saying “I don’t know” too often.

A FORMULA FOR RESPONDING

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When dealing with a hostile audience, business people are likely to face questions that challenge their credibility as well as those that question facts. The underlying message of a credibility question asks “Why should we trust you?” or otherwise indicates that the speaker’s CODE score is wavering. Greenberger’s formula for answering such questions is the “CAN Response.” The speaker must be caring, answer the question, and discuss the next steps, in that order:

*Caring. The speaker must establish empathy to be seen as trustworthy. A personal story is the best way to break through to people.

*Answer. This is where the speaker gets the message across. The message should be short, simple, and positive. In the case of a factory leak, for example, the message might be as simple as, “Everything is safe.” After giving that message, the speaker should provide two supporting facts. It is best if one of the facts is from an independent, third party. After the facts, the speaker should repeat the message.

*Next steps. The speaker should explain what is going to be done to rectify the situation. It helps to provide the audience with a source for more information, such as by handing out business cards or offering to answer questions to establish that the executive is dedicated to fixing the situation.

An executive can acquire and improve all the skills needed to communicate in tough situations through preparation and practice. In today’s environment, with the 24-hour news cycle and Internet access allowing any story to go global in an instant, executives must always be prepared.

COMMUNICATION AND EMPATHY TOOLS AND STRATEGIES

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Communication and empathy are the basis of all social and relationship skills, and a core competency of emotional intelligence. Nadler states that the communication competency includes listening with an open mind, sending convincing and clear messages, and cultivating an empathetic give-and-take. The empathy competency includes understanding other people and being actively interested in other people’s concerns, thoughts, and feelings.

prism-philosophy-1John Davies 11 Secrets & Current Practices are shared:

1. Touch The Heart. Davies believes the key to effective communication is to arouse emotions in people. Emotions are more important than logic.

2. Understand What People Want. He places client’s needs and their vision of success above his own capabilities and asks pertinent questions to be sure there is a good fit and his services can add bone fide value for a client.

3. Find Your Passion. A person who is passionate communicates in a convincing, persuasive, and genuine manner. Davies defines passion as “being your best without any compromise or change.”

4. Find Your Uniqueness. Giving voice to people’s strengths and unique abilities increases self- expression and enhances communication.

5. Read People. Engaging an audience involves being able to read non-verbal communication and discern what listeners are feeling and thinking. The ability to read people and their cues allows leaders to connect with their employees.

6. Acknowledge/Do Not Offend. Davies is cognizant that people need to know that they are being heard and their ideas are being taken into account. When conducting meetings, he never offends or threatens people and creates a safe environment to discuss ideas. Communication cannot be fostered in a divergent environment.

7. Summarize And Integrate. An effective communication strategy to is summarize what someone is saying and feed it back to him or her. After that is accomplished, it is possible to integrate new strategies and information to move forward.

8. Be Prepared. A “Star Communicator” in Davies’ opinion is always prepared. This includes reviewing client goals, researching pertinent information, prepping staff for what they need to know, and preparing for rebuttals.

9. Training And Personal Growth. Offsite retreats with staff several times a year allows staff “practice time” without the stresses of the work environment. Leadership, teamwork, communication, and project management are some of the skills that are fostered.

10. Quality In All. Davies mentors his staff to ensure that all products are of the highest quality. His expectation for his people is that they are accountable, proactive, and responsible for delivering superb work to clients.

11. Finding The “Needle In The Haystack.” The “Needle In the Haystack” is a means to be successful by uncovering what is often overlooked. Davies uses such practices as change strategies, psychology, crisis communication, and influence and persuasion theories.

Leaders need the ability to be highly effective communicators to get their point across and drive team behavior. Coupled with that, leaders need to know how to be empathetic.

SOURCE OF CONFLICT

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WHAT WE ARE ARGUING ABOUT MATTERS: SOURCES OF CONFLICT

It is important to think about the source when thinking about the solution. The main sources of conflict include the following:

IMG_6954* Information conflicts. These involve facts or numbers–the easiest conflicts to address. Managers can start by agreeing on the source of data and how to get it.

* Conflicts of interest and expectations. These involve underlying needs, concerns, and desires. It is important to identify the interests of each party first in a conflict. When the discussion is about interests, rather than positions, solutions will emerge more easily.

* Structural conflicts. These involve limited resources, or structures beyond the control of those involved in the conflict. For instance, if five people are vying for a promotion, and there is only one open position, this can cause a structural conflict. When faced with structural conflicts, it is important to bring the issue to the appropriate decision-maker, make sure decision processes are transparent, and look for ways to turn the decision-making over to those who will be affected by the decision.

* Conflicts in values. These involve people’s principles. It is better to work around these differences than to try to establish who is right and who is wrong. Focusing on goals that supersede the value differences (goal of the company, department, etc.) can lead to solutions.

* Relationship conflicts. These conflicts can affect all the other conflicts. These are about two people’s history, and frequently involve communication, stereotypes, and trust. Trust is extremely important to avoid and fix these conflicts. With it, employees can get through anything. Without it, employees cannot do anything. Trust is built up slowly, and needs to be worked on to be maintained. Managers need to feel like they can count on their employees, and employees need to feel like they can count on their managers.

RESOLVING CONFLICT

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KEYS TO RESOLVING CONFLICT

Once managers understand conflict, and how it arises, they can start to build an environment that encourages conflict resolution. Shearouse suggests managers start by focusing on the following:IMG_6946

* Trust

* Apologies and Forgiveness

* Anger

* Humor

* Time

Building Trust 

If trust is so critical, how do managers establish it, and then how do they keep it? Shearouse suggests they start by understanding three categories of trust: reliability, competence, and caring.

1. Reliability. Reliable managers are clear about what they are committed to, and what they expect of others. These managers keep their commitments. Reliable managers are also stable managers. Employees respond to consistency in the boss’s behavior and mood. If the boss is unpredictable, distrust mounts.

2. Competence. Those new to managing people need to acknowledge that a new skill set is needed, and find a way to hone those new skills. Employees need to trust that the manager has the skills to lead the team.

3. Caring. Employees need to know that their managers care about them as people–about their career development, and even their personal lives–not just the role they play. Managers need to respect people for who they are. Listen closely to staff, and keep them well informed.

Apologies and Forgiveness 

Apologizing and forgiving are critical to working through workplace conflicts. They can be the difference between moving forward, or not. Shearouse believes that an apology that is heartfelt and convincing can begin to rebuild relationships.

Managers should set the tone with apologies and forgiveness. When employees see the manager apologizing for mistakes, and forgiving others, they will do the same. And with apologies and forgiveness, strong bonds between staff will begin to emerge.

Rethinking Anger 

Anger can wreak havoc in conflict resolution. Therefore, understanding anger and how to work around it is an important conflict-resolution skill. Emotions are inescapable, and they will play a role in everyday interactions, so managing their energy becomes crucial. Their energy is not always negative, as emotions provide the jumpstart needed to take action and make decisions. But emotions can also lead to “emotional highjacking”–when the emotions take over the thinking, reasoning part of the brains. To properly resolve conflicts, managers must understand emotional highjacking and know how to get past its effects.

Shearouse points out that it is important to note that anger is not automatic. Rather, it is a secondary response to other emotions. Consequently, understanding the emotions that cause anger will help manage conflict more effectively.

A Sense of Humor 

A sense of humor can go a long way in dealing with difficult workplace issues. First, it keeps things in perspective. Sometimes, everyone just needs to take a step back and laugh to ease the tension and move forward. Second, managers who laugh at their own mistakes will create an environment where everyone feels like they can admit to being human, making mistakes, and moving on. Third, laughter can actually improve the thought process. Shearouse suggests that laughter brings oxygen to the brain and helps clear up clouded thinking. Finally, humor can help deliver tough messages more easily.

Time 

Patience is truly a virtue when dealing with conflict. Conflicts are much less likely to escalate if both parties step back and slow down their reaction times. People need time to absorb information and see things from another perspective.

Managers should let time heal hurt and wounded egos, and avoid trying to solve conflict when the hurt is fresh. This is especially true when criticism and complaints are involved. People should not respond right away to negative feedback, but rather take the time to process and absorb the information without emotions getting in the way. The same goes for bad news–loss of a promotion, a reorganization, etc. When faced with bad news, people need time and space to grieve.

TYPES OF TRAINING

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PRISM SESSIONFour types of training are most often used in formal settings:

1. Receptive training is a variety of “telling” learners the information. It assumes, perhaps dubiously, that students will have the ability to digest the coursework into useable knowledge and workplace skills. While receptive training has limitations, it does make learners aware of the material to be learned. It is most effective when used spariTypes of training session by ANUBHAngly for short instructional blocks.

2. Directive training depends on a leader/follower dynamic. The leader issues directions for the purpose of leading learners to new knowledge, but the students have little control. This method is most successful with a group composed of people with limited prior knowledge of the course materials.

3. Guided discovery training depends on a more equitable partnership between trainer and trainee. Learners plunge into hands-on or problem-solving activities right away. The teacher provides direction, but the learners are responsible for discovering what to do and how to do it.

4. Exploratory learning in this advanced-level training method, the trainer creates the learning environment and the learners take control of the experience, setting their own goals and strategies.

These four types of learning mirror a natural progression of learner sophistication. For best results, the creative trainer will mix and match the methods, remembering to use receptive training sparingly, if at all.