Leadership Summit Developing Strategic Leaders Effective Relationships: Increase Value Through Collaboration Francine Edwards, PhD Session Overview: • How to build work relationships • Behaviors that support or undermine trust-based relationships • The five axioms of conscious communication • Relational communication and listening • The process for addressing relational change and conflict MODULE 1: Effective Work Relationships What does it mean to have an effective work relationship? Developing positive relationships with the individuals you interact with at work is important to the work you do as a part of the Society. An effective working relationship is grounded in: • Trust • Teamwork • Communication • Respect How do you build work relationships? Steps to building effective work relationships: • Consider each volunteer’s ideas as valuable • Be aware of unspoken feelings • Act as a harmonizing influence • Be clear when communicating • Encourage trust and cooperation among all members • Encourage the sharing of information • Empower team members to problem-solve • Establish group values and goals • Use consensus • Encourage listening Behaviors that undermine effective work relationships Behaviors that Undermine Trust • Hype and overpromise • Lies, half-truths, and spin • Botched delivery of a difficult message • Not extending trust • Combative conflict-management style Assessing your relationships We can understand how the contrast between positive and negative emotion plays out in the workplace if we consider how ongoing organizational changes are dealt with in differing ways. Assessing relationships can help individuals get to know one another and meet organizational needs more creatively. • Consider: – workplace attitudes as they relate to business outcomes – how you respond to each unique individual – whether basic needs of volunteers are being met MODULE 2: Communication and Perception How a person perceives themselves, as well as how the same person perceives others, substantially influences the communication between the individual and other persons in every aspect of communications. Communication is essentially a two-way process. Perception is important in this process because it defines how one addresses communication. Perception checking Clarifying your perception, aligning these with others, and noting perceptual differences are important in effective communication. Benefits of perception checking: • Allows us to describe what we perceive • We offer opportunities for validation • We reduce defensiveness and the potential for conflict Perception checking has three parts: • Description • Interpretation • Clarification EXERCISE: Perception Checking A Society volunteer has not joined you for your regular lunchtime walks during the past three days even though you’ve left messages to let the person know that you miss their company on your lunchtime walks and would like for them to join you for a stroll. He/she usually responds to your messages or walks with you. Recently, he/she hasn’t responded. On your work sheet, answer the following perception checking questions. 1. Describe the behavior you have observed 2. Provide at least two possible interpretations of the behavior 3. Ask for clarification (what would you say) Trust busters and how to fix them Trust BUSTERS • Lack of communication • Dishonesty • Breaking confidentiality • Taking credit for others’ work Trust BUILDERS • Give credit • Listen • Set clear goals • Be honest • Follow through SOURCE: The Ken Blanchard Companies. Kenblanchard.com The Five Axioms of conscious communication Much of our communication is carried on below the level of consciousness. You don't have to think about this sort of communication, it just happens automatically. This certainly saves some effort, but it does not always have the effect you might have chosen. The Five Axioms of conscious communication : • Axiom 1 cannot not communicate • Axiom 2 content and relationship • Axiom 3 punctuation • Axiom 4 analogic • Axiom 5 symmetric or complementary Mirroring and rapport • Mirroring is extremely useful in building trust, communication and rapport. Thus by matching and mirroring the physiology and tonality of the person we are communicating with we can make ourselves most like them, and thus generate rapport, without their becoming consciously aware of the process. Remember that subtlety is the key. • Five Simple Techniques to Building Rapport – Know your people – Give feedback – Be accessible – Say hello and good bye – Remind them of their value MODULE 3: Relationship Building Three essential components of consciously building trust at work: • Demonstrate competence on the job • Be a person of integrity • Demonstrate genuine benevolence Consciously building trust at work Three essential components of consciously building trust at work: • Demonstrate competence on the job • Be a person of integrity • Demonstrate genuine benevolence Consciously building trust at work (continued) Distrust and defensiveness are most likely to occur when: Four crucial areas that directly impact levels of trust: • Top management is feared • Excessive pressure is placed on people • Emergencies arise • Labor pressures exist • The vision of the company is unclear • • • • The organization’s vision The organization’s values The work environment Personnel decisions Expressing needs within work relationships The key principle of expressing needs at work is making it as easy as possible for the other person to meet your need by asking for the specific behavior that will fulfill that need. • Whenever there is frustration in the workplace, realize that it is because you have an unmet need. • Identify what happened that was different from what you expected. • Identify what you need that you did not get. • Ask for the behavior, being as specific as possible Expressing needs within work relationships (continued) Additional techniques for expressing needs: • Express the need in a productive manner • Respectfully discuss issues that may be bothering you • Express difficult feelings without attacking the self worth of the other person • Clarify what you feel • Communicate difficult needs in a manner that minimizes the other person’s need to be defensive Influencing others One of the best ways to improve your ability to influence other people is to better understand your talents -- and how you can positively apply those talents to the act of influencing. Leading by influence is more profound than leading by your positional power alone. • • • • Do the work that you expect others to do Be positive Allow others to approach you at any time Remain consistent at all times MODULE 4: Relational Communication Relational communication encompasses communication processes in personal relationships We assess the role of communication in developing, maintaining, and dissolving relationships, and how to improve relational quality or individual well-being through communication. Identifying your communication style The pattern of behavior that others can observe is called communication style. Each person has a unique communication style. By getting to know your style, you can achieve greater self-awareness and learn how to develop more effective interpersonal relations with others. Fundamental concepts supporting communication style: • Individual differences exist and are important • Individual style differences tend to be stable • There is a limited number of styles • A communication style is a way of thinking and behaving • To create the most productive working relationships, it is necessary to get in sync with the behavior patterns (communication style) of the people you work with • . EXERCISE: Identifying your communication style This 12-item instrument will help you to find your dominant communication style. After you take the quiz, read the different styles and reflect on how you can work with others who have a communication style different from yours. What is your communication style? • Demonstrator • Assertor • Contemplator • Narrator Sharpening nonverbal behaviors and skills Good communication is the foundation of any successful relationship. The way you listen, look, move, and react tells the other person whether or not you care, if you’re being truthful, and how well you’re listening. Unfortunately, many people send confusing or negative nonverbal signals without even knowing it. When this happens, both connection and trust are damaged. Nonverbal communication is a rapidly flowing back-and-forth process requiring your full concentration and attention. You need to stay focused on the moment-to-moment experience in order to fully understand what’s going on. Sharpening nonverbal behaviors and skills (continued) You need to be aware of your emotions and how they influence you. Emotional awareness enables you to: • Accurately read other people • Create trust in relationships by sending nonverbal signals that match up with your words • Respond in ways that show others that you understand, notice, and care • Know if the relationship is meeting your emotional needs Using questioning skills and feedback to better understand others Utilizing questions allows us to gain the information, responses or outcomes that we need more effectively. Questions are a powerful way of: • Learning • Relationship building • Managing and coaching • Avoiding misunderstandings • Defusing a heated situation • Persuading people Using questioning skills and feedback to better understand others (continued) As a manager or leader, part of your role is to give feedback. Feedback is incredibly important to individuals and teams. Tips for providing feedback: • Look for the signals that the employee wants feedback • Relationship building • Avoid feedback that cannot be acted upon • Check that the feedback is understood • Give the opportunity to the other party to discuss how the feedback might be improved • Be a role model • Set up a date for follow-up MODULE 5: Relational Listening Attempt to present empathy as a vital ingredient of effective interpersonal listening. There is no doubt that applying relational listening skills to the people around you will mark you as a leader, but relational listening goes beyond ‘listening’. In a greater sense, it is having an awareness of your surroundings and developing a sensitivity to the environment around you. Listening barriers and the impact on effective work relationships Here are a list of barriers and how to overcome them: BARRIER Prejudice Distractions Attachment to personal beliefs and values Misunderstanding Faking attention Bringing in emotions HOW TO OVERCOME IT • Respect the other person for his or her knowledge and skills • Make conscious efforts to take charge of your thoughts • Face the person who is speaking • Maintain eye contact while the other person is speaking • Ensure that you are comfortable • Learn to appreciate the fact that each and every person has his or her own set of beliefs and values • Clarify with the speaker to ensure that you have understood correctly • Make it a habit to listen attentively • Avoid thinking about how to reply when the other person is speaking • It is better to delay conversations when you are driven by excessive emotions A listening improvement map Listen for ideas not words Limit your own talking Think like the other person Turn off your worries YOU Clarify Don’t interrupt EXERCISE: Active listening Listen to the following story: “The Bus Driver” Applying active and reflective listening skills Active listening • Preparing yourself to listen • Waiting and watching for nonverbal communication • Being patient • Removing distractions • Put the speaker at ease MODULE 6: Addressing Relational Change and Conflict There are several unique aspects to conflict: • Conflict is a struggle • There needs to be an element of interdependence for conflict to take place • Conflict contains an affective element Addressing conflict Leadership and conflict go hand in hand. It can and should be managed in a healthy, productive fashion. Effectively address conflict by doing the following: • • • • • Define and accept behavior Hit conflict head-on Understand the WIIFM (What’s in it for me) factor Acknowledge the importance factor View conflict as opportunity Selecting your conflict style or strategy Research on conflict management styles has found that each of us tends to use one or two of the following strategies more than the others. Forcing using formal authority or other power that you possess to satisfy your concerns without regard to the concerns of the party that you are in conflict with. Accommodating allowing the other party to satisfy their concerns while neglecting your own. Avoiding not paying attention to the conflict and not taking any action to resolve it. Compromising attempting to resolve a conflict by identifying a solution that is partially satisfactory to both parties, but completely satisfactory to neither. Collaborating cooperating with the other party to understand their concerns and expressing your own concerns in an effort to find a mutually and completely satisfactory solution (win-win) Selecting your conflict style or strategy (continued) It is important to match the strategy to the situation • Issue importance - the extent to which important priorities, principles or values are involved in the conflict • Relationship importance - how important it is that you maintain a close, mutually supportive relationship with the other party • Relative power - how much power you have compared to how much power other party has Resolving conflicts with work relationships in mind Take steps to unite team members in the conflict-resolution process by staying off the defensive track. • • • • • Stay in control Be direct, factual and sincere Get into a problem-solving mode Actively listen Assume that the other person means well Developing and practicing a conflict resolution plan Formulating a strategy and deploying it when necessary is a key tool for effectively managing conflict. • • • • Allow for flexibility in the conflict resolution plan Create a culture that values open communication Allow everyone to be a part of the design process Emphasize issues rather than positions To sum it all up… Human beings are naturally social creatures – we crave friendship and positive interactions. Good working relationships give us several benefits: our work is more enjoyable when we have good relationships with those around us. Investing in relational communication skills, understanding communication and perception and being able to manage conflict become an important part of cultivating an environment in which stakeholders can thrive. Building and maintain good work relationships will not only make you more engaged and committed to your organization; it can also open doors to key projects, career advancement, and raises. QUESTIONS?