Communication and Self-Discovery

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Transcript Communication and Self-Discovery

Communication and SelfDiscovery
New Directors Workshop
Seminars on Academic Computing
August 6, 2006
Bruce M. Taggart
with thanks to: Jenny Cobb (AxysPointe)
Jeannie Zappe, Carrie Regenstein, Barry Walsh
(EDUCAUSE Institute)
How we’ll use our time today
• Effective communication
• Group Exercise: Your Communication
Behavioral Style
• Behavioral styles defined
• “Style flex”
• Group Exercise: Communicating with other
• Active listening
So, communication is…
Understanding between and among people;
An interdependent process;
Not necessarily agreement;
Constant. You cannot NOT communicate.
We constantly communicate, and we
constantly receive communication from
Communication in all its
Basic principles of
• A basic principle of communication in
People are not mind readers
• People judge you by your behavior, not
your intent
• A Russian proverb says, “Once a word
goes out of your mouth, you can never
swallow it again.”
How we communicate
• What people can see
• What people hear
• What we actually say
Communication is in the mind of the
recipient: You’re just making noise if the
other person doesn’t hear you.
To be an effective
• Understand how communication occurs
• Understand your own communication
behavior style
• Learn to diagnose the communication
needs of others
• Develop listening skills
• Communicate with others in a way that is
sensitive to and aware of their needs
Wouldn’t it be great if you
• Understand how your preferred style of working
comes across to other people
• “Read” other people’s behavior so you’ll know the
best way to work with them
• Find common ground with people while maintaining
your individuality and integrity
• Adjust your behavior in small ways that dramatically
improve results among different styles
• Relate effectively—no matter how others react to you
Source: People Styles at Work: Making Bad
Relationships Good and Good Relationships Better
Robert Bolton and Dorothy Grover Bolton
What communication style are
Communication Behavioral Styles Inventory
Communications Styles Grid
Less Emotional
More Emotional
Tendency towards perfectionism
Deal with facts, data, logic, details
Sometimes slow to make decisions
May appear overly cautious and not
good risk-takers
• Decisions and information provided are
usually accurate and thoughtful
• Feelings and emotions kept inside
“Warm and fuzzies”
People and friendship are very important
Like to get others involved in activities
Good at juggling multiple tasks
Concerned about feelings of others
Less inclined to speak their mind openly
Can get hurt feelings or be offended
Strong, decisive, and results-oriented
Provide strong guidance for others
May appear pushy at times
Demanding of themselves and others
Highly self-critical
Resent those who “waste” time with idle
• Party people
• Love to have a good time
• Highly creative and enthusiastic
• Operate primarily by intuition
• Little tolerance for those who are not
• Easily bored
• Difficult to keep on task
• Easily distracted
Toxic relationships
• Natural tensions occur between
individuals whose orientations are
dramatically different from one another
“The difference between the right word and
the almost right word is the difference
between lighting and the lightning bug.”
~ Mark Twain
“Style flex”
• Versatility is the ability to communicate with
someone else based upon the other person’s
comfort zone, the way in which the other
person wants to communicate.
• Style flex involves tailoring your behavior so
the way you work fits better with the other
person’s style—like a baseball player swinging
at different pitches…
• Style flex is a temporary adjustment of a few
behaviors at key times.
Source: People Styles at Work: Making Bad
Relationships Good and Good Relationships Better
Robert Bolton and Dorothy Grover Bolton
“Style flex”
• Style flex is not about: conforming to the other
person’s point of view; giving up your goals or
withholding your opinions; changing the other
person; it’s about changing yourself
• The primary leverage you have for improving a
relationship is your own behavior
Source: People Styles at Work: Making Bad
Relationships Good and Good Relationships Better
Robert Bolton and Dorothy Grover Bolton
Communications Style Grid
Less Emotional
More Emotional
To communicate with
Prepare in advance
Be accurate
Be direct
List pros and cons
Present specifics
Be persistent
Use timetables for actions
Provide tangible, practical
Be disorganized or messy
Be casual, informal, or loud
Rush decision-making
Fail to follow through
Waste time
Leave things to chance
Threaten or cajole
Use opinions as evidence
Be manipulative
To communicate with
Start with a personal
Show sincere interest in
them as people
Listen and be responsive
Be casual and nonthreatening
Ask “how” questions
Provide assurances
Rush into business
Decide for them
Stick to business constantly
Force them to respond
Be demanding
Debate facts and figures
Be abrupt
Be patronizing
To communicate with
Be specific and brief
Stick to business
Be prepared
Present facts clearly
Ask “what” questions
Provide alternative
Take issue with facts
Ramble or waste time
Be disorganized or messy
Leave loopholes or be
As rhetorical questions
Make decisions for them
Be directive
To communicate with Expressives…
Be fast-moving,
Leave time for socializing
Talk about their goals
Deal with the “big” picture
Ask for their opinions &
Provide examples from
people they believe are
Offer incentives or rewards
Be cold, aloof, or tightlipped
Press for solutions
Deal with details
Be dogmatic
Talk down to them
Communicating with the Registrar
Source: Personal Styles & Effective Performance,
Make your Style Work For You.
David W. Merrill and Roger H. Reid.
Effective communication
• Use feedback
• Use multiple (appropriate) channels
Email, phone, one-on-one?
Amount of information and timing?
Be sensitive to the receiver
Be aware of symbolic meanings
Use simple language
Use repetition
Source: How To Speak and Listen Effectively
Harvey A. Robbins
Three levels of listening
• Listening in spurts
• Hearing words, but not really listening
• Empathetic listening
“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do
anything else at the same time.”
~ M. Scott Peck
Active listening
Reduce physical barriers
Minimize distractions; avoid or limit interruptions
Control your emotions
Evaluate the message; allow silence
Detect the central idea
Be aware of your posture and nonverbal behavior
Ask probing and occasional questions
Acknowledge and respond using paraphrasing,
perception, checking and summarizing
Philosophy of a good communicator
• Assume 100% of the responsibility for
understanding what the other person means.
• Assume 100% of the responsibility for making
sure that the person you are communicating
with understands you.
Organizational Change
Marilu Goodyear
EDUCAUSE and University of
Facilitative Change
Discussing small and large scale
changes; not short-term crisis
Goals of Change
• Two Ways to Meet the Challenge of Change
• Analysis that shifts thinking
– Essential for higher level support and resources
• Demonstrating a truth that influences feelings
– Seeing  Feeling Changing
– Essential for those supporting change and
implementing change
Achieving Change in
• See Feel  Change
• Analysis  Think 
• Help People See
• Seeing Something New
Hits the Emotions
• Emotionally Charged
Ideas Change Behavior
or Reinforce Changed
• Give People Analysis
• Data and Analysis
Influence How We think
• New Thoughts Change
Behavior or reinforce
Changed Behavior
Do you feel your way into acting?
or Do you act your way into
Increase Urgency
• DO: Show others the need for change
with a compelling object that they can
see, touch, and feel.
• DO: Validate change with dramatic
evidence from outside the organization
• DON’T: Depend only on the rational
Building a Guiding Team
Relevant knowledge about what is happening outside the
enterprise or group
– Essential for creating vision
Credibility, connections, and stature within the organization
– Essential in communicating the vision
Valid information about the internal workings of the enterprise
– Essential for removing the barriers that disempower people from
acting on the vision
Formal authority and the managerial skills associated with
planning, organizing, and control
– Needed to create a short-term wins
The leadership skills associated with vision, communication, and
– Required for ensuring change sticks.
Get the Vision Right
• Vision is an end state where all the plans and strategies
will eventually take you.
• Vision must speak to all stakeholders
• Vision should be short: told in one minute or on one page
• A good story is always helpful
• “Sell” vision to the top management and clients
– Same See  Feel  Change applies
Communicate for Buy-In
• Announcing changes:
Strategy: how to achieve vision
Plan: step by step how to implement vision
Most Important: Speak to anxieties; Prepare
answers to anticipated questions
• Communicate, communicate, communicate
– Everyway and Everyday
Empower Action
• Removing barriers
– People
• Ignore them
• Change them (new experiences and perspectives)
• Remove or transfer
– Systems
• Align as many as possible
• Pay versus Attention and Recognition
• Information feedback
– Change burnout
• Focus on 2-3 things at once
• Maintaining the current system is one
Characteristics of Good ShortTerm Wins
• Visible
• Unambiguous (so fewer people argue
about whether it REALLY is a success)
• Meaningful
• Speaks to employee issues, concerns,
and values
• Focus on powerful person or group
whose help you need.
Purposes of Short-Term
• Wins provide feedback to change
leaders about the validity of their visions
and strategies.
• Wins give those working hard to achieve
a vision a pat on the back, an emotional
• Wins build faith in the effort, attracting
those who are not yet actively helping.
• Wins take power away from cynics.
Provide Resources
• Failure to provide adequate resources leads to
– Feeble efforts to implement change
– Higher levels of stress
– Neglect of core organizational activities and
• Need to allocate three types of resources:
– Diagnostic
– Implementation
– Institutionalization
Overcoming Resistance to
• If urgency is high; resistance is less
• Participation in change process, including employee
feedback on process (most frequently cited approach)
• Create as much psychological ownership as possible
• Allowing employees to openly voice their ambivalence.
• Offer employees instrumental and emotional support
– “Every change needs a funeral”
– Create pride in the organization’s history
Two Important Roles for
Overcoming Resistance to Change
• Toxic Handler
– Shoulders the sadness, frustrations, bitterness
and anger
– Listens to employees while they are in “the pit”
• Sages
– Focus on reducing uncertainty
– Enhance and transmit knowledge, especially
meaning behind actions
– Speaks up and asks the questions that others
fear to ask
Making It Stick
• Recognize that “day to day” takes energy and
• Aggressively rid the organization of work that is
no longer relevant
– Does this add value?
– Our biggest mistake: we add on but we don’t
• Look for ways to keep urgency up
• Alignment is important:
– Does this fit with our vision?
– Does it pull in the right direction?
Ethical Issues During
• Three types of justice:
– Distributive justice (fair allocation of resources)
– Procedural justice (a voice in the matter)
– Interactional justice (process and communication)
• Important values:
– Integrity: The manager remains dedicated to their
responsibilities (whom and why)
– Honesty: To employees and stakeholders
– Commitment: To what’s important, what needs to be
accomplished, values
– Stewardship: Maintaining, promoting and improving the
vital interests of the organization and the larger society.
Eight Step Process
• Increase urgency
• Build a guiding team
• Get the vision right
• Communicate for buy-in
• People start telling each
other “Let’s Go”
• A group is formed and
works together well
• The guiding team
develops the right vision
and strategy
• People begin to buy into
the change; their
behavior begins to
Eight Step Process
• Empower action
• Create short-term wins
• Don’t let up
• Make change stick
• People feel able to act,
and do act on the vision
• Momentum builds as
people try to fulfill the
vision, fewer resist
• People make wave after
wave of changes until
vision is fulfilled
• New behavior changes
continue despite pulls
The IT Silo and Change
• Alignment between IT and the institution
requires individual and organizational
boundary spanning
• Achievement of cross-functional
integration between the IT organization
and the institution is a key factor in IT
• Integration can also improve the speed
of response to change
Integration Maturity Model
Effective Partnerships
– Seamless interaction
– Sophisticated systems
– Transparent communication
Data and Needs Resolutions
– Proactive collaboration
– Shared understanding
Basic Understanding
Priority discussions
Medium and frequency of communication important
– Open hostility
– Lack of understanding
– No interaction
• The Heart of Change: Real-life Stories of How People
Change Their Organizations. John P. Kotter and Dan S.
Cohen (Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press,
• Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change.
William Bridges. 2nd edition. (Cambridge, Mass: Da Capo
Press, 2003)
• Breaking Out of the IT Silo: The Integration Maturity
Model. Mark R. Nelson. (Boulder, Colorado: EDUCAUSE
Center for Applied Research, March 15, 2005).
• Cultivating Careers: Professional Development for
Campus IT. Cynthia Golden. (Boulder, Colorado:
EDUCAUSE, 2006).