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Chapter7.commwithcoworkers&supervisors

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Chapter7.commwithcoworkers&supervisors

  1. 1. PSYC 126 PERSONALITY ENHANCEMENT Chapter 7 COMMUNICATING WITH COWORKERS AND SUPERVISORS Fitting In and Getting Along  Good human relations skills improve communication, increase productivity, and make the work environment more pleasant.  You will not be successful if you cannot fit in and get along with others.  When workplace relationships are positive, even heavy workloads or tight schedules can seem less burdensome. Positive Traits to Acquire  Cheerfulness is a state of mind, or an “inner attitude.” A cheerful person communicates a good spirit and dispels gloom.  Sense of Humor can help you cope better with pain, enhance your immune system, reduce stress, and even help you live longer.  Tact is the ability to say or do the right thing without hurting another person’s feelings. Tact is sensitivity to what is appropriate in dealing with others, including the ability to speak or act without offending others.  Empathy is the ability to look at situations through the eyes of others—“to walk in another’s shoes.” It has two components—recognizing another’s feelings (a perception skill) and responding to those feelings (a communication skill).  Dependability, by being as good as your word, meeting deadlines, and being at work every day and on time.  Resourcefulness, to use creativity and ingenuity to resolve the problem or deal with the situation.  Team Spirit, when you commit to company and department goals and cultivate positive relationships with others. RELATIONSHIP BUILDERS To form positive relationships with your coworkers:  Focus on your work, not on what others are doing.  If you have a problem with someone, talk with that person—not everyone else in the workplace.  Don’t use your coworkers as therapists.  Treat others as you would like to be treated.  Don’t brag about your salary, promotion, children, or possessions.  Avoid monopolizing shared equipment.  Look for favorable qualities in others.  Return items that you borrow.  Don’t manage your personal life at work. Pay bills, place online orders, and talk to your friends on your own time.  Be as good as your word. If you say you will do something, do it.  Understand the limits of your authority and stay within your boundaries. Negative Traits to Avoid  Resentment is a feeling of displeasure, ill will, and deep anger over something you believe (correctly or incorrectly) to be a wrong or an insult to you. o Action + Enjoyment – Resentment = Proper Perspective  Irritating habits are “little things,” but in a busy work environment where many people are stressed, an irritating habit may put someone “over the edge.”  Envy and Jealousy: Resentfully desiring something that someone else has is called envy. Jealousy is a feeling of rivalry toward one who you believe has an advantage over you.  Self-pity is feeling sorry for yourself without looking at the good things in life. Workplace Grapevine  Gossip distracts workers, wastes valuable work time, causes anxiety and can result in hurtful rumors. Gossip tends to surface when people are curious about a situation and the facts are not available. When this happens, speculation begins and the informal communication network known as the “grapevine” goes into action. Becoming a Team Player  Team is an identifiable group of people who are committed to a common purpose for which they hold themselves accountable.  Teamwork refers to people working together cooperatively to accomplish established team goals and objectives. What Makes a Team Effective?  Group Ownership  Open Communication  Clear Leadership TEAMS IN THE WORKPLACE ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES Provides for a larger pool of ideas. Some individuals are not compatible with teamwork. Results in more work being accomplished in less time and in better quality products. Team commitments may overshadow personal desires. Interaction among team members enhances the knowledge of the whole team. Management may recognize group achievement rather than individual achievement. The potential exists for greater acceptance and understanding of team-made decisions. Workers must be selected to fit the team as well as have the job skills required. Less experienced workers have the opportunity to learn from more experienced workers. Needless meetings may result in wasted time. Helps all workers grow by exposing them to more viewpoints. “free-riding” on teams may occur. Team commitment may stimulate performance, motivation, and attendance. One person’s negativity can demoralize an entire team.
  2. 2. What is a Team Player? Team player is someone who emphasizes group accomplishments and cooperation rather than individual achievement.  Committed to a Common Goal  Shares Information, Ideas, and Praise  Cooperates and Supports  Embraces Change What is a Virtual Team? A virtual team is a group of people physically separated by time and/or space and whose members primarily interact electronically in cyberspace. Working with Your Supervisor A supervisor is an employee whose key responsibility is to ensure that the employees being supervised—sometimes called the supervisor’s direct reports or subordinates—produce the assigned amount of work on time and within acceptable levels of quality. How Do You View Your Supervisor? Leadership Styles is the method a supervisor uses to manage and communicate with people who directly report to him or her.  The Laissez-Faire Leader gives responsibility to employees to carry out their duties without a great deal of direction or close supervision.  The Democratic Leader encourages employees to participate in the management process.  The Autocratic Leader is an “in charge” person who exercises unlimited power or authority. What Your Supervisor Expects of You?  Accountability  Dependability  Loyalty  Enthusiasm  Adaptability RELATIONSHIP BUILDERS To form a positive relationship with your supervisor:  Keep your supervisor informed of the progress of your work.  Be aware of your supervisor’s expectations, strengths, weaknesses, and leadership styles.  Do not try to change your supervisor. Try to adapt to his or her leadership style.  Know your supervisor’s goals and understand how your job contributes to meeting those goals.  Be sure that your priorities are in agreement with those of your supervisor.  Ask for feedback on your job performance.  Be honest about problems and admit your mistakes.  Avoid wasting your supervisor’s time with things you can handle yourself.  Be flexible and open to new technologies and changing priorities. Special Situations  Sharing Your Ideas  Calling Attention to Problems—and Alternative Solutions What to Expect of Your Supervisor?  Clear Performance Expectations o Job description  Proper Materials and Equipment  Performance Evaluations  Recognition Communicating Electronically  E-MAIL o Proper Use of E-Mails  Organize your thoughts  Use the subject line effectively  Keep the message brief and to the point  Be conscious of the tone  Be informal, not sloppy  Use short paragraphs and blank lines between each paragraph  Proofread the message before hitting “Send”  Make sure attachments are attached  Include a signature block  Do not send inappropriate messages  Do not include usernames, passwords, credit card information, or social security numbers. o E-Mail Etiquette  Respond quickly  Be considerate  Consider file size  Be sparing with group e-mail  Do not send chain letters, virus warnings, or junk mail  Avoid using the “high priority,” “urgent,” and “important” flags  Avoid using abbreviations and emoticons  Text Messaging and Voicemail o Text Messaging (or texting) is a term for sending short messages (160 characters or fewer, including spaces) from a mobile device to a cwll phone, PDA, or pager.  Keep your messages brief  Be patient  Remember that text messages are not private  Text at appropriate times o Voicemail is a centralized electronic system of managing telephone messages for a large group of people. Used broadly, the term voicemail
  3. 3. refers to any system of sending, receiving, and storing voice messages, including answering machines.  Record a clear, concise, and professional message.  Leave clear, succinct, and professional messages for others.  Repeat your contact information.  Re-record your message if you don’t feel you have communicated clearly.  After an absence (momentary or longer), check your messages POINTS TO REMEMBER:  The following traits are essential to fit in and get along in the workplace: cheerfulness, a sense of humor, tact, empathy, dependability, resourcefulness, and team spirit. Negative traits to avoid include resentment, irritating habits, envy, jealousy, and self-pity.  Gossip is a form of workplace communication. Verify the accuracy of the information and do not pass along information that may be hurtful to another.  Characteristics of an effective team are group understanding, open, communication, and clear leadership.  Team players know their role and embrace team goals. They share information, support each other, and are flexible.  Members of a virtual team interact electronically for the most part.  Know your supervisor’s leadership style (laissez-faire, democratic, or autocratic) and the characteristics of that style.  Supervisors expect employees to be accountable, dependable, loyal, enthusiastic, and adaptable.  Employees expect supervisors to provide clear expectations for the work, appropriate equipment and materials, fair performance evaluations, and recognition when deserved.  E-mail, text messaging, and voicemail are essential communication tools. Use appropriate etiquette when using these tools to ensure their effective and proper use. Reference: Masters, L.A., et al. (2011). Personal Development for Work and Life. Cengage Learning Asia Pte. Ltd. Prepared by: Mrs. Maria Angela L. Diopol Instructor

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