Patti Lind - facilitation - resolution - change Communication at Work - A Monthly eNewsletter

November 2007

Creative Teambuilding

Pass the Compliments!

Barb Dradi recently offered me a great teambuilding tip. 

Barb is a union steward in a medical clinic. She sometimes starts the day by going up to someone and paying them a compliment. Then she asks them to pass a compliment onto someone else in the clinic. The idea is to keep passing along positive compliments all day long.

If you like this idea, you might consider buying a small object to pass along as you give the compliment.  The object will sit in each person’s pocket reminding them to pass it along to someone else on the team.  

Recommended Book

Growing Up Again
by Jean Illsley Clarke and Connie Dawson

This is one of my favorite communication books. I use it as the textbook for a college class I teach on how we affirm others through our communication.

Although written primarily from the parenting perspective, this book does an excellent job communicating the difference between negotiating and non-negotiating.

Communication Tip of the Month

Patti LindEffectively Handing Non-Negotiable Conflicts

Sometimes people find themselves frustrated and stuck in an unresolved conflict because they failed to appreciate the difference between negotiable and non-negotiable conflicts.

The vast majority of conflicts in our lives are negotiable in nature. This means that we need to rely on our ability to influence because we can’t force others to behave as we want.

Non-negotiable conflicts are those that we are not willing to compromise on. These conflicts could ultimately result in someone’s termination. Or they might result in someone needing to make amends to their coworkers for acting inappropriately. In non-negotiable conflicts we need to do more than influence; we need to prevail.

If we negotiate the non-negotiable than we are automatically communicating that we are open to compromise. It is imperative in non-negotiable situations that you stop negotiating and start clearly communicating what the future is going to look like if their behavior persists. 

Here are the key steps to resolving a non-negotiable conflict.

  1. Clearly communicate your expectations.

  2. Identify the “follow through” or consequences that will occur if the problem is not corrected.

  3. If the problem persists, follow through with the consequences in a consistent manner.  If you follow through sometimes, then not at other times, you are essentially negotiating (and many individuals will take full advantage of this)

  4. Be prepared to escalate the level of seriousness of the consequences. Some individuals only take issues seriously when you demonstrate your own level of resolve

  5. If the behavior improves for a certain period of time but then returns, be prepared to administer consequences again.  Don’t start back at the beginning of the process.

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Contact Patti Lind: | | 503.775.1662