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Strengthening Relationships by
Removing Blame:
Constructive Relationships with Difficult Stakeholders
This Morning’s Facilitators

Dallase Scott
Sustainability Program Manager
GreenerU

Mieko A. Ozeki
Sustainability Projects...
Workshop Outcomes

● Practice developing strategic mind maps with a 30,000 foot perspective
on issues you are working on a...
Your participation in this workshop will help you walk out with new
tools for your sustainability tool box. It also requir...
Strategic Mapping of Issues
and Relationships
•

The intent is to look at issues,
problems, campaigns,
relationships, etc....
Example: Food Systems @UVM
Example: Bottled Water Ban @UVM
Example: Hydration Hydra Map
Translated into a To-Do List
Mind Map Activity
① Spend 2-minutes each identifying a
pressing issue, problem, etc. you are
about to or currently engaged...
= Node, a concept

associated with central
issue.

= Branch, connects

one node related to
another node.
Record your maps
•

Take a picture or draw out
the map you developed.

•

You can take your map and
draft it on a program ...
Constructive Conversations
Being an effective communicator is essential in
our roles as change agents.
Difficult conversat...
Difficult Conversations
Check List

Preparation:
What happened?
Take a learning stance
Check Your Purpose
Action:
Start fr...
Process

• Example situation
• Reflect on a personal experience
• With a partner, "coach” each other through a
difficult c...
Preparation: Describe What Happened

What happened? Recognizing it is your
description of the event not others.
Sam the Student
My Story:

• Hired Sam a passionate, very likeable student
• We had a few great weeks of work
Then…
Sam mi...
Preparation: Take a learning stance.
What impact has this situation had on
me?
What does this situation say about
who I am...
Preparation: Check Your Purpose.
What do you hope to accomplish?
Is this the best way to address the
issues?
If you don’t ...
Action: Start from the Third Story
Share your purpose and your goals.
Describe the problem as the
difference between both ...
Action: Explore Both Stories
Reframe from:

•
•

Truth to Perspective
Blame to Contribution
Accusations to Feelings

Liste...
Action: Problem Solving
Invent options that meet each sides
important concerns and interests.
Look to standards for what s...
Difficult Conversation Activity

• Reflect on a conversation you have been
avoiding because you know it will be a
difficul...
Closing:
Reflections on workshop and moving
forward, utilizing these tools.
Reference and Tools
•

Stone, Patton, & Heen (2000) Difficult
Conversations.

•

Buzan, T. (1996) The Mind Map Book:
How t...
Strengthening Relationships by Removing Blame: Constructive Relationships with Difficult Stakeholders
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Strengthening Relationships by Removing Blame: Constructive Relationships with Difficult Stakeholders

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Workshop presented at New England Campus Sustainability Forum in Boston, MA on September 20, 2013. This workshop focused on constructive conversations and applying systems thinking through mind-mapping.

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Strengthening Relationships by Removing Blame: Constructive Relationships with Difficult Stakeholders

  1. 1. Strengthening Relationships by Removing Blame: Constructive Relationships with Difficult Stakeholders
  2. 2. This Morning’s Facilitators Dallase Scott Sustainability Program Manager GreenerU Mieko A. Ozeki Sustainability Projects Coordinator University of Vermont The sustainability officers challenge...strategically addressing the chaos of implementing initiatives on our campuses and strengthening relationships with constituents without spiraling into negativity.
  3. 3. Workshop Outcomes ● Practice developing strategic mind maps with a 30,000 foot perspective on issues you are working on at your campus. ● Walk out with a starter “playbook” for addressing specific issues, campaigns, etc. and stakeholder relationships. ● Practice having a constructive conversation and strategizing how to develop a constructive relationship for future collaborations.
  4. 4. Your participation in this workshop will help you walk out with new tools for your sustainability tool box. It also requires….
  5. 5. Strategic Mapping of Issues and Relationships • The intent is to look at issues, problems, campaigns, relationships, etc. from 30,000 foot view by identifying opportunities, barriers, key stakeholders, etc. through the process of mindmapping. Also called network mapping. • Mindmapping is the process of visually presenting information via a diagram. • Mindmapping is a tool that conceptually associated with the process of systems thinking.
  6. 6. Example: Food Systems @UVM
  7. 7. Example: Bottled Water Ban @UVM
  8. 8. Example: Hydration Hydra Map Translated into a To-Do List
  9. 9. Mind Map Activity ① Spend 2-minutes each identifying a pressing issue, problem, etc. you are about to or currently engaged in. With partners (groups of 2): ② ③ o Summarize the issue into a single word or succinct term. With Post-it notes, put your single word in the center of your map work space. (Note: Your workspace can be at a table or wall) Discuss with your partner the issue for 8-minutes: identifying key concepts, people, logistics, barriers, opportunities, etc. o Your partner will listen and write on Post-it notes a phrase, idea, opportunity, relationship they hear as you work through the problem. One term per Post-it note. ④ For the next 5-minutes, start to put together a rough draft of a map with your post-it notes. Total time for activity: 20 minutes ⑤ Switch roles and repeat Steps 14 with other partner.
  10. 10. = Node, a concept associated with central issue. = Branch, connects one node related to another node.
  11. 11. Record your maps • Take a picture or draw out the map you developed. • You can take your map and draft it on a program such as Mindjet Mind Manager, Mindnode, or other online software. • Create to-do lists or action plans based on your map.
  12. 12. Constructive Conversations Being an effective communicator is essential in our roles as change agents. Difficult conversations that challenge our identity can feel like a direct hit.
  13. 13. Difficult Conversations Check List Preparation: What happened? Take a learning stance Check Your Purpose Action: Start from the Third Story Explore Their Story and Yours Problem Solving • • • • • •
  14. 14. Process • Example situation • Reflect on a personal experience • With a partner, "coach” each other through a difficult conversation Reminder o This is not easy o Important to be supportive coaches o Important to be honest and vulnerable
  15. 15. Preparation: Describe What Happened What happened? Recognizing it is your description of the event not others.
  16. 16. Sam the Student My Story: • Hired Sam a passionate, very likeable student • We had a few great weeks of work Then… Sam missed a few deadlines Delayed response to no response to my emails Stopped dropping by the office to check-in • • • “What Gives?!”
  17. 17. Preparation: Take a learning stance. What impact has this situation had on me? What does this situation say about who I am? My identity? What might their intentions have been? What did we each contribute to this situation?
  18. 18. Preparation: Check Your Purpose. What do you hope to accomplish? Is this the best way to address the issues? If you don’t raise it, what could you do to let it go?
  19. 19. Action: Start from the Third Story Share your purpose and your goals. Describe the problem as the difference between both stories. Ask to sort out the situation together.
  20. 20. Action: Explore Both Stories Reframe from: • • Truth to Perspective Blame to Contribution Accusations to Feelings Listen to understand their perspective. Ask questions. Acknowledge their feelings and yours.
  21. 21. Action: Problem Solving Invent options that meet each sides important concerns and interests. Look to standards for what should happen. Ask how you can both keep communication open going forward.
  22. 22. Difficult Conversation Activity • Reflect on a conversation you have been avoiding because you know it will be a difficult one. o 2 min • With a partner use the “Coaching Key” worksheet to share each others experience. o 8 min each • Reminder! o Be honest. There is great value in understanding your contributions.
  23. 23. Closing: Reflections on workshop and moving forward, utilizing these tools.
  24. 24. Reference and Tools • Stone, Patton, & Heen (2000) Difficult Conversations. • Buzan, T. (1996) The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain's Untapped Potential. • Tools: Mindjet Mindmanager: www.mindjet.com/mindmanager/ Mindnode: www.mindnode.com • •

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