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

April 2008

Creative Teambuilding

Stay Positive

A recent study demonstrated the power of negative interactions between people, especially compared with the strength of positive interactions. When it comes to mood, negative interactions have five times the “kick power” over positive interactions. In other words, if you have five positive interactions with someone, a single negative interaction will cancel these out when it comes to affecting that person’s mood for the day.

Talk with your team about ways the team members can effectively make amends with one another after a disagreement occurs at work to start weighing in against the negative interactions.

Recommended Book

Whale Done! The Power of Positive Relationships
by Ken Blanchard

This book compares the way whales are trained at SeaWorld (see the Communication Tip of the Month) with developing positive working relationships. In addition to being an entertaining quick read, it contains a key idea called “redirection”. This concept suggests that instead of using consequences - an ineffective technique for disciplining massive, intelligent animals – we should rely on redirecting them towards what it is that you are encouraging them to do.

Communication Tip of the Month

Patti LindShowing Appreciation for Others

One of my clients is encouraging their managers and supervisors to show recognition and appreciation to their employees everyday. Showing appreciation is always a terrific idea and a solid practice for everyday life. People want to know that they are seen and appreciated by others.

Sometimes it’s challenging to pay someone a compliment or show appreciation for their work. While it is relatively easy to pay a compliment to someone who you genuinely appreciate, what about those people who you don’t get along with as well – the ones who make work feel like an uphill battle for you every day?

It may sound like a strange analogy, but I sometimes consider how whales at SeaWorld are trained. Long before the whales are jumping high out of the water for a treat, the trainers reward them for simply swimming over a rope below the water’s surface. There are times when I am working with an especially challenging individual or work team and I tell myself, I just need to get them to start “swimming over the rope”.

For example, let's say you are working with someone who has a long way to go before they successfully handle difficult moments with maturity and ease. Even though it is clear that there is room for improvement, you can at least recognize them when they are actively moving in that direction. “I know today was demanding, but I noticed that you were intentionally trying to keep your frustration level in check. It made a difference and I appreciate it.”

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Contact Patti Lind: | | 503.775.1662