Tag Archives: workplace culture

Communication - Conflict Resolution - Employee Engagement - Performance Management

Professional Development Programs That You Can Offer Now

With online meetingsour work environment and how people work together is different. The following Concordia Consulting On Demand programs offer team building and skill building courses that can be tailored to your specific needs and provided virtually. 

With all the change, some employees are even busier than ever, but others have time to pursue professional development. These tailored programs can be offered to even one person at a time and they are ready right now!

Increasing Positivity and Decreasing Stress:

  • Module I: Misconceptions About Happiness and Stress Reduction 
  • Module II: Our Expectations and How They Create Joy or Stress 
  • Module III: Our Biases and Our Backgrounds  
  • Module IV: What It Takes to Really Reduce Stress  
  • Module V: Implementation  
  • Modules VI to X: Sticking With Your Own Commitments to Yourself

Increasing Engagement During Virtual Meetings: (45 minutes, longer with practice time)

  • Start With the Basics — Lighting, Volume, Background
  • Work With a Co-facilitator
  • Use Polling, Breakout Rooms, White Boards, and Screen Sharing to Increase Effectiveness
  • Practice With Messaging and Private Messaging
  • Practice Before You Are “on the Hill” and “in the States”

Hiring the Best Talent: (Three 1 hour sessions to include preparing the scenarios)

  • Interviewing Skills
  • Using Your Network
  • Keeping Your Pipeline Filled Even When There Are No Positions
  • Considering the Best Methods of Advertising
  • Creating Diversity in the Applicant Pool
  • Conducting the Screening Interview
  • Legalities to Remember
  • Preparing Scenarios
  • Staying in Communication Without Making Promises
  • Welcoming the New Hire

Email Taming and Best Practices: (30-45 minutes)

  • When to Use Email and When to Use the Phone or a Webinar
  • Email Etiquette Regarding Timing
  • Your Email Signature
  • Who to CC and BCC
  • Response Time and Your Industry
  • Out of Office Responders
  • Importance of Subject Lines
  • Email Lives Forever
  • Your Server and Your Email
  • Best Practices in Your Organization

Facilitation Skills: (Three, 60 minute sessions with individual review)

  • Including the Right People in Meetings and What to Do When the Wrong People Attend
  • Setting a Realistic Agenda
  • Finding Common Goals When There Are Competitors in the Room
  • Developing a Common Purpose
  • Increasing Engagement and Overcoming the Norm
  • Preparing Questions in Advance
  • Handling Disagreement
  • Working Through Passivity
  • Voting Techniques
  • Using Chat Rooms When Presenting Virtually
  • Overcoming Resistance

Leading High Performers: (One, 60 minute session, with discussion)

  • Allowing High Performers Autonomy
  • Creating Ways to Provide Positive Public Feedback
  • Creating Development Opportunities
  • Promoting the Positive Work of Employees

Giving Feedback to Anyone, Anywhere: (One, 60 minute session, with discussion

None of us work in isolation, and all of us have bosses, colleagues, vendors, and employees we need to effectively interact with. 

  • How do we share our observations? 
  • How do we tell them that we are upset? 
  • What happens if they yell at us, shut down, cry, or walk out of the room when we tell them?
  • What if you had a model that made it easier to give feedback and more importantly, made it more likely for the person to hear it?

In this workshop, you will learn and practice a model that will help you give feedback to the most easy and open people at work, as well as those who are not.

Delegation Effectiveness: (One, 60 minute session, with discussion)

  • How to Transition from Doer to Leader
  • Managing People Who Are Already Leaders
  • Delegating Is Also Managing Up

Managing Up: (One, 60 minute session, with discussion)

  • Your Role in Creating Culture
  • Being Candid Without Being Upset
  • Excellent Organizations Have Unified Teams
  • Sharing Your Perceptions Tactfully
  • Why We Don’t Manage Up
  • If Not Now, When?

Writing and Delivering Motivating Performance Appraisals for Managers:(Three, 60 minute sessions with individual review)

  • Setting Realistic Objectives
  • Keeping a Weekly/Monthly Journal
  • Communicating Expectations Throughout the Year
  • Building Trust and Dialog Throughout the Year
  • Developing Questions That Promote Dialog
  • Documenting Wins
  • Utilizing the Self Appraisal
  • Incorporating the Self Appraisal Into the Document
  • Brainstorming Areas for Growth
  • Conducting Performance Appraisal Discussions for Over Achievers
  • Conducting Challenging Performance Appraisals

Blame, Shame, and It’s Not My Fault!: (One, 60 minute session, with discussion)

  • Our Natural Inclination to Blame
  • Separating Blame and Accountability
  • Why Organizations Struggle With Accountability and How Accountability Helps Trust and Performance

Goal Setting: (One, 60 minute session, with discussion and email follow up)

  • Goal Setting and Priorities
  • “Chunking” and Making Intermediate Goals 
  • Defining Smart Goals
  • Writing Goals and Creating Ways to Measure and Revise

Managing Disagreement and Conflict: (Two 60 minute sessions, with a 5 minute fun homework exercise)

Using the Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Indicator, you will learn more about your conflict management style.

  • How Others in Your Work and Personal Life Perceive You
  • How to Find Common Ground
  • How to Influence Others
  • How to Impact the Outcome of Decisions and Behavior

Presentation Skills: (Three, 60 minute sessions with individual review)

  • Defining Your Purpose
  • Creating Clarity Around Your Audience
  • Establishing Rapport in the First Minute
  • Creating Appropriate Visuals and Supporting Materials
  • Recognizing the Difference Between Presenting, Lobbying, and Testifying
  • Preparing Questions in Advance
  • Preparing for Difficult Questions
  • Preparing for Difficult Audience Members
  • Role Playing and Practicing
  • Reviewing Your Work and Getting 1% Better Each Time

The Art of the Anecdote
This session will be devoted to helping you craft and deliver your own story.

  • Effective presenters draw us in by involving our emotions.
  • While data is critical to their message, what’s often lost is the emotional message. What is the human plight? 
  • How are you integrating stories into your briefings, testimony, and meetings?
  • What stories make you relatable and influential?
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Leadership - Mindset - Performance Management

My Zumba Teacher Is Better Than Your Fitness Instructor

Last summer I started taking my friend Carol’s Zumba class. I got hooked and became a regular. I’m very awkward at it but I love the cardio, fun music, routine, and camaraderie that the class provides — or now, I should say, provided. I haven’t been able to attend the class for several weeks in order to do my part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. I have missed it!

I was thrilled this week when Carol sent out emails with videos of her routines that I could follow from home. They aren’t done in a professional video studio with perfect sound and lighting, and the participants aren’t in matching outfits with lovely smiles. Instead they are my friends, in their workout clothes, doing the routines that are familiar to me and that make me smile.  

Carol and me, before the need for social distancing

As humans, we seek the familiar and the routine. Habitual behaviors in both humans and animals can induce relaxation to help us manage stress during these uncertain times. These patterns heighten our belief that we are in control of our situation even when we aren’t. At this time of constant change, help provide both structure and routine to your employees and colleagues by encouraging these behaviors:

  • If you typically had an in-person staff meeting on Mondays at 9am, continue with that day and time. Keep the agenda as similar as possible.
  • If you had lunch with Alex most Tuesdays, continue this plan. Just do it virtually.
  • If you previously listened to background music in the office, use the same soundtrack at home. You may never have liked it, but now is not the time to switch it up.
  • Create as many routines as possible. Work the same hours, stop for lunch at the same time, and end your work day as you always have.

Please let me know what routines you have established. What’s working?

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Leadership - Performance Management

The Coronavirus And We Are All Leaders

It was just a few weeks ago that I was sitting at lunch with a future client, Salim. Salim shared with me that he was recently hired by an organization in a new HR director role. He was excited about the position since he was an experienced professional of 25 years and felt confident that he could lead the HR department in a positive direction. Unfortunately, he came to realize that there is no HR budget, no infrastructure, and no systems in place.

The CEO whom Salim reports to is a brilliant engineer, very accomplished in his field, but he is not respected in his company for anything other than his engineering background. Read between the lines…The CEO is not an effective leader. 

At our lunch, we also talked about our personal lives. Salim had just bought a new condo and was setting up a workshop in his garage. He was very excited about it.

I shared this perspective with Salim: Both the HR function of Salim’s company and his condo are blank slates, waiting for him to make them effective. Salim knew that the HR function needed an automated payroll system, an applicant tracking system, an employee development plan, and a performance management system (just to get started!). His workshop also needed enhancements, such as a workbench, table saw, and drill press.

We agreed that Salim would start building a robust HR department and that he would stop waiting for direction or asking for permission. He would spend money on well-researched and necessary services, processes, and systems.

When I checked in with Salim last week, he was not yet building any of the systems we had discussed. Instead, he had formed an ad hoc committee with the CFO, the CIO, and two members of the board to make recommendations to the CEO regarding the Coronavirus. In an absence of leadership, Salim had become a leader.

Even if you are new in a role, you are a leader.

Even if you don’t have a budget, you are a leader.

Even if you haven’t been given direction, you must be a leader.

When you are in an organization where leadership is lacking, step up and fill the void.

If you coach a youth sports team, send encouragement and stay connected to the kids. If you sing in a choir, set up a virtual practice. If you are an employee and you can see a way to help, step up!

If your organization is giving direction, follow it. In the absence of leadership, collaborate with colleagues and stakeholders and move forward. Everyone is a leader!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing new information every day in order to help you make the best possible decisions for your organization. If you want to be followed as a leader, lead.

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