Communication Culture: Resolving Conflict and Leveraging Feedback


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Barrie Byron & Ann Grove

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  • 05/20/13 A Virtual Success: Best Practices for Working Remotely by Barrie Byron and Ann Grove Barrie Home office in NJ Barrie Byron is a technical writer with more than 25 years of professional experience, and a long history of STC membership. She is an STC Associate Fellow, a frequent presenter at STC meetings including the Summit, and an experienced public speaker. Barrie is currently the Philadelphia Metro Chapter competition manager, is Past President of the Palm Beaches chapter, and is Past President of Princeton Toastmasters. Barrie is passionate about learning and sharing knowledge. With more than four years as a remote worker, Barrie has a track record of developing technically information that is accurate and on time. She has earned the privilege of remotely working in home offices in New Jersey and south Florida.
  • 05/20/13 A Virtual Success: Best Practices for Working Remotely by Barrie Byron and Ann Grove Ann Ann is a 12-year work-at-home professional, and the president of and lead consultant for a technical communications company, Logical Writing Solutions, Inc. She is a senior member of STC who is currently serving on the Globalization Audit Committee, having filled various leadership positions at the chapter level for the last 10 years. Her favorite presentation topics are successful consulting and the strategic use of social media.
  • There are more than 1800 books about negotiating at Amazon. Self-education can take the fear out of negotiating
  • If you come to a negotiation table saying you have the final truth, that you know nothing but the truth and that is final, you will get nothing. Harri Holkeri
  • For virtual work, people who come across well in writing have an advantage. It is easy to become invisible.
  • Sent Don Moyer a note asking permission to use this cool image that he posted to Flickr
  • Give a method some time before trying another
  • The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle. Motto of U.S. Navy Seals
  • Flattery is the infantry of negotiation. Lord Chandos
  • This response may come to mind, but it needn ’t come out of your mouth. You have a pause button. When you push it, you realize that if you utter your first response you swon’t get the job done, and you may alientate the coworker. Remember, friends come and go, but enemies accumulate. So instead you say, I understand. And you do. The person feels overworked and underpaid – don’t we all? then you may say, ‘I know that you’re swamped, but this thing has to get done. Can you give me any time at all?’ and the negotiation begins. Now you have a chance of getting what you want.
  • “ Mirroring builds agreement and establishing your equal power. Don’t be obvious like Dwayne from the Office.
  • Attribute to Chellie Campbell
  • 05/20/13 A Virtual Success: Best Practices for Working Remotely by Barrie Byron and Ann Grove Barrie See you at the 2011 Summit!
  • Communication Culture: Resolving Conflict and Leveraging Feedback

    1. 1. Communication Culture:Resolving Conflict andLeveraging FeedbackAnn Grove and Barrie ByronVeteran presenters who are passionateabout lifelong learning andexperienced in embracing change2012 STC Mid-Atlantic Regional ConferenceProfessional Development Track1
    2. 2. 2Barrie Byron20+ years– Technical writer,happy team member16 years– Active STCmember and leader11 years– Active Toastmastermember and leaderLifelong learner– Minimal conflict
    3. 3. 3Ann Grove11 years– Business owner, technical communicationconsultant11 years– Active STC memberand leaderLifelong learner– Embracing change
    4. 4. Negotiation is an ongoing,evolving social experiment“The gem cannot bepolished withoutfriction, nor manperfected withouttrial.”~Confucius4
    5. 5. Get started• Passion is good; obsession is bad• Put assumptions aside and listen to allparties• Develop strategies to remain focused,respectful, empathetic, caring• Avoid blame, accusations• Avoid “right” and “wrong”5
    6. 6. Communication Culture• Learn to adapt your communication stylefor your current team culture– High tech versus low tech– Direct conversation versus advance agendas– Phone versus email, or even instant messagechats“Of all things, communicationis the most wonderful.”~John Dewey, 19396
    7. 7. 4 root causes for conflict1. Personalities2. Misunderstandings3. Issues4. Leadership styles“There are two ways of meeting difficulties. Youalter the difficulties or your alter yourself tomeet them.”~Phyllis Bottome 7
    8. 8. The cause behind the causeSometimes theobvious cause isactually a symptomExamples of hiddencauses: powerstruggles,need to take credit
    9. 9. Cause 1Contentious personalities• Dispositions and personalities arecomplex and complicated:• Parenting• Culture• Community• Experiences• Outside influences• Professional history (success, failures, habits)9
    10. 10. 5 personality types1. Know-it-all2. Argumentative3. People pleaser4. Narcissistego-maniac5. Self-loather10
    11. 11. Cause 2Misunderstanding• Miscommunication is primary cause ofconflict• Perceptions vary• Facts, relevantinformation notclearlycommunicated11
    12. 12. Cause 3Issues• Social atmospheres change when teammembers have different:– Opinions– Objectives– Preferences• Virtual work– New challenges12
    13. 13. Cause 4Leadership stylesPreferential responses to the four primaryleadership styles:1. Authoritarian2. Democratic3. Charismatic4. Passive13
    14. 14. • Listen objectively• Understand• Act“Seek first to understandand then to be understood.”~Steven Covey, in 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleLeverage feedback14Graphic shared bypermission fromDon Moyer
    15. 15. 6 methods for resolving conflict1. Ignore it2. Smooth it over3. Force4. Compromise5. Collaborate6. Involve a third party15
    16. 16. Prepare to negotiate•Identify and assess your options•Rough out a game plan“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, Id spendsix sharpening my axe.”~ Abraham Lincoln
    17. 17. Above all, stay positive“Enthusiasts arefighters. They havefortitude. They havestaying qualities.Enthusiasm is at thebottom of all progress!With it, there isaccomplishment.Without it, there are onlyalibis.”~ Henry Ford
    18. 18. Are you ready?Investigated the issueUnderstand team culture & personalitiesIdentified root causes, visible & hiddenIdentified and assessed optionsHave a game planStay positiveReady to negotiate!
    19. 19. Be ready to use your pausebutton“You ask a coworker to do something,and she responds, ‘That’s not my job.’Feeling your blood pressure rise, youmay be tempted to blurt out, ‘well, it’snot my job either, blockhead!’”~Negotiating for DummiesExamples:Sleep on it, go to the restroom, consult with a peer
    20. 20. Body Language• Voice control• Eye contact: 30 to 60 percent of the time• Facial expressions: Smile!• Arms and hands open• Body tilted toward the speaker• Subtly mirror your adversary.• Google: “Forbes How to Win an Argument Without Words”
    21. 21. Know when to move on• Swim with dolphins• Be wary of tunas and sharks Chellie Campbell, inThe Wealth Spirit: DailyAffirmations forFinancial StressReduction
    22. 22. Scenario 1: Face to FaceWriter is asking developer to providefeedback on deadline22
    23. 23. Scenario 2: On the PhoneWriter is asking boss for helpsetting priorities
    24. 24. Practice negotiating• Negotiate in a volunteer position• Negotiate with your kids or a spouse• Shop for a car• Shop for expensive jewelry• Negotiate at an antique store
    25. 25. 25Keep in touch!• Barrie Byron–––– twitter @barriebyron• Ann Grove–––– twitter @AnnGrove