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Our Voice

I realize that our voice only comprises about 15% of any communique. That may not seem like a significant portion, but it really is. When we yell, use sarcasm, criticize any aspect of a person or push them around verbally we can be considered bullies. The question to ask ourselves when we bully others is, “What am I afraid of at this moment?”

That answer will help. There are many ways to use our voices to convey our messages. Bullying is not one of them.

Here are three ways to answer the same question. Read the example in the box below and determine which response you would prefer if you were the receiver.
John asked his boss why he couldn’t have flexible working hours. Here are potential answers:

 

  • Our working hours are from 9 to 5. Just show up and do your job.
  • You know better than to ask me that question. That topic is not up for discussion.
  • Your constant questions are so annoying.
  • John, you want flexible hours. We are not able to offer flexible hours. Are there other solutions to ensure your needs are met?

Learning to be supportive and truthful simultaneously is a skill required by all leaders. Negativity is best dealt with privately.

Change Your Mind, Change Your Life:

A Conflict Resolution Series

Conflict is normal, believe it or not. In order to resolve conflict, we need the skills required to engage in conflict resolution. Fill the form below to access the free video series.

How do you really benefit from embarrassing another in front of their colleagues? You have much more to lose. If you chance creating this situation, you may also have to deal with the fallout which could include:

  • A respectful workplace complaint
  • Grievance
  • Mediation
  • Facilitated discussion

Is it worth it? Your reputation can also be damaged in the process. Protect yourself by protecting others.

Inability to Listen

They say that we can only listen between 8 and 14 seconds before our minds wonder or we begin to formulate our questions or response.

How often do I hear people say, “As soon as my mouth opens, my boss tells me all their problems” or, “The boss listens for a couple of minutes then changes the topic; I never feel heard.”

You are busy. There is too much to do. Being unable to listen without interrupting or changing the topic isn’t acceptable to most people. It hinders relationships and causes the gossip stream to start, or small groups to form allegiances.

Listen and acknowledge what was said before responding. Then express your truth. Stay in problem solving mode at all time.

I, I, I

A big complaint revolves around bosses who steal ideas, never share credit for good work, and refuse to let their staff accept credit for their work.

Would sharing credit really diminish your worth? I don’t think so. Everyone needs to feel valued, supported and part of something bigger than themselves.

As the old saying goes, “There is no I in team.” I am not suggesting that all work must be teamwork. What I am saying is that most of us need to feel included, trusted and valued. We want to know that our expertise is honored and that we are safe with others.

The first element to establish in any work environment is trust. Without it, the foundation for a harmonious work environment is missing.

 

Final Note

You may have old habits or be modeling behaviours others used in places you worked in the past. This does not mean you have to keep those behaviours. You can choose your own. There are solid examples of skills that work every time. If you cannot learn new skills independently, it is important to access the services of a leadership coach. You can do it. That I know for sure.

Change Your Mind, Change Your Life:

A Conflict Resolution Series

Conflict is normal, believe it or not. In order to resolve conflict, we need the skills required to engage in conflict resolution. Fill the form below to access the free video series.

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