Toni Boyles Bananza

Toni’s Handout on Pathways to Positive Relationships

We stared off the session by watching “Shift Happens” and discussing what it made us think about, how it affects libraries and what other issues may impact employee issues in the near future.  The first thing I thought was, we need to send this to our Legislators and say, “THIS is why we need Kan-Ed support!”  Other impressions: it’s shocking how behind we are in education compared with the developing world, the world is flatter than ever  and change is nothing new!  Cost, teaching technology and the need for rural broadband access were library impacts and the issue of “social competency” and the death of face to face communication were cited as ‘future impacts’.

__________ is the major factor in relationship issues (if you guessed ‘communication’ you are correct)
The number one fear of humans is ___________ (if you guessed ‘rejection’ you are correct – and public speaking falls under that category).  No one likes to feel devalued or rejected, therefore everyone likes to feel valued and accepted.

Toni asked, “do you think you are good at motivating people?” – she argues that while we can create a motivating environment, motivation is intrinsic – you can coach people to have self-responsible behavior, you can teach people how to treat you (for good and ill) and that we choose our own behavior.  motivation is an individual choice.  The old, military, top-down view of management has been flipped on its head and now the manager is expected to teach, motivate, and hold up the staff.  The manager is now in the business of Empowerment: Helping people find their own power.

Instead of staring with the problems, start with what is going well with a relationship – (this is my fave part) – you attract what you focus on – you will see what you look for.  If you look for good, you find good, but if you look for the bad and negative, that’s what you will find (and what you will attract).

B.E.T. – this exercise was great. 
B – Behavior (describe what it is they did good)
E – Effect – why does it matter – why are you telling them and be specific
T – Thanks – appreciate it

“Who got too much praise last week?”

Toni also recommends learning the personalities in your office, as that will impact what works and what doesn’t – “do unto others as they would have done unto them.”  I’m a green, I’m not a touchy-feely person, so hugs and touching aren’t how I want to be praised.  Other people are, and if you don’t touch them when you’re talking to them, they may take it personally – it’s different for each person.

Have you had to tell a staffer that 1) you have bad breath or 2) you have body odor?  Well, we had to pair up and practice both!  My partner, Susee from Johnson County rocked at this and I didn’t start crying when she told me I had bad breath.  Keys: be calm, private, matter of fact, get to the point, make sure your non-verbal matches your verbal, show concern and use words like “I know that you’d want to know.”  We believe the non-verbal over the verbal every time.  Separate the work from the issue, use humor if appropriate, suggest that the observation originated with you “I noticed”, keep it confidential, be honest and admit “this is a little uncomfortable for me, but it is important…”

Start a difficult discussion with a plan, some talking points, and tackle it when the issue is still small!
Don’t make assumptions, look in the mirror and see what part you play in the problem, watch your timing and location, maintain adult to adult conversation, watch non-verbal messages, always have an opening line ready, outline key points and Follow up.  Use “I” language, be non-judgmental and non-blaming by focusing on describing the facts and behaviors.

Book suggestions: Whale Done, anything Stephen Covey and I will post her Supervisory Resource List as soon as she sends it.

Toni Boyles: toni (at) tonisplace.com

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