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The CRM Learning weblog will be regularly updated with helpful training tips, articles, and other news. We encourage you to comment and share ideas. Come IN!
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Taking a Stand – When you Can’t Stand Confrontation

November 20th, 2014

Some people find confrontation, disagreement, and opinionated discussion enjoyable. They thrive on the adrenaline rush and the opportunitySpeak for Ethics to prove themselves.

Other people, though, prefer to avoid conflict and confrontation, especially in the workplace.

If you’re in the latter group, when you’re faced with a situation involving your values and ethics, it can seem as if doing what’s right and good is scary and hard.

So how can you take a stand for what you believe in, without getting embroiled in confrontations?

It’s easier than you might think, because doing what’s right starts with little things: giving credit to those who deserve it; keeping commitments to yourself and others; and demonstrating what you stand for through your everyday actions. Those around you will notice. You’ll gain a reputation for integrity. People will respect your principles.

And, in the event that standing up for what you believe in does mean challenging something another person is doing or saying:

1)      Carefully prepare your thoughts.

2)      Give your feedback tactfully and respectfully.

3)      Link your feedback to outcomes the other person understands and is committed to.

4)      Focus on the most critical issues. Read the rest of this entry »

21st Century Leader

November 18th, 2014

Learning to be an Effective LeaderWhen it comes to leadership….how things have changed!  Gone are the days when work got done simply because someone in a position of power “said so”.

Leadership today is about influence, not control; relationships, not hierarchy; and collaboration, not dictatorial pronouncement.

Today we talk about “servant leadership,” with definitions that include words such as flexibility, alignment, empathy, listening, and relationship.

And we also have a greater appreciation for the ways in which everyone is a leader, regardless of their role within an organization (or within their life). Read the rest of this entry »

New Law – Preventing Workplace Bullying

November 13th, 2014

Preventing Bullying in the WorkplaceWith the governor’s signature on the bill in early September, California added a requirement for anti-bullying education to the state’s existing harassment-prevention legislation; the law goes into effect on January 1st. Chances are, other states will soon follow. And regardless of whether your state adopts such a law or not, ensuring that your corporate culture actively discourages and prevents bullying is a smart move.

Here’s a short list of key steps you can take right now – whether or not you’re legally mandated to take action.

1. One of the primary challenges in preventing bullying is identifying when it’s happening. People won’t necessarily speak up when they’re being bullied. They may fear retaliation if the bully is their supervisor (which is the case about three times out of four); they may think no one will believe them; or they may simply not be sure if they’re dealing with a bully, or just someone short-tempered and stressed out. Read the rest of this entry »

One of the Cool Kids: It’s not Just for High School

November 8th, 2014

Whether or not we were one of the “cool kids” in school, we all remember the teenage angst and pain that came when we felt excluded by our peers.

Turns out that this pain and frustration isn’t just for teens.

A recent study from the University of Georgia’s School of Business shows that adults respond with “some pretty unsavory behaviors” when faced with the prospect of exclusion from their workgroup.

Diversity Training VideosThese behaviors aren’t driven only by the obvious exclusionary acts such as not being invited to a meeting or to join the crowd going for coffee. Apparently even uncertainty about the potential of being excluded from the group can cause enough anxiety that individuals start lying about their performance, undermining people outside the group, and cheating or taking risky short-cuts in order to prove to their colleagues that they’re worthy of being included. Read the rest of this entry »

Using SMART Goals Every Day

November 4th, 2014

Goal Setting Training VideosAre there things you know are good for you, but that you don’t always actually do?
Be honest! You know… flossing… exercising… eating more veggies… and creating SMART goals.

Yes, SMART goals: goals that are:
Specific: you know exactly what you’re going to do and why it’s important.
Measurable: you know how to tell when you’ve met the goal.
Achievable: you have (or can get) the resources needed to accomplish the goal on time
Relevant: the goal is directly related to the objectives of your job.
Timed: you know when you need to be finished.

We often assume the SMART goal process is only for big projects or for setting objectives during our annual performance review. But why not use the process even for small tasks? Read the rest of this entry »

Teamwork Day-to-Day

October 29th, 2014

Team Effectiveness TrainingDisasters, accidents, and other emergencies pull teams together.

But what about the day-to-day realities of being on a team when there’s no adrenaline fueling a sense of urgency, and no life-impacting goal galvanizing team members into a cohesive whole?

There are five factors that impact team performance, whether in a crisis or simply in day-to-day operations.

  1. Luck

Don’t waste time and energy complaining about bad luck or what’s going wrong. Be aware of problems, but put your focus on what’s right; then you can take advantage of the factors working in your favor.

  1. Communication

Clear language, concise, specific requests, and double-checking for understanding aren’t just “nice to have.” Whether you’re in crisis or in your standard day-to-day process, focusing on clear communication should always be a priority for your team.

  1. Preparation

Read the rest of this entry »

Hostile Emails at Work

October 28th, 2014

Emailing in Business CommunicationIt’s a common, maddening occurrence: You innocently open an email from a colleague, customer or boss only to suddenly feel ambushed by its contents. The sender blames you for a problem you didn’t create, unfairly accuses you of sabotaging a project, or negatively interprets something you said. Even worse, he or she cc’s the email to your superiors.

As you stare at the offensive message, your vision blurs. You feel blood rushing to your face. Your heart beats faster. Your stomach drops. Your strongest impulse is to render justice by striking back.

Though it’s hard to remember, you do have a choice in that moment. You can either react out of anger, and fire back a harsh retort, or you can close the infuriating email, and calm down.

Which do you do? Our survey reveals that the usual response is to get ticked off, and retaliate. You then get into a battle with that person that can last for weeks at a time.

Opportunities to take offense in the world of email are high. Email is a form of communication without buffers, interpreters or pauses. The cc mechanism lends itself to either “tattling” on your co-workers or being told on to your supervisors.

But if your goal is to resolve workplace conflicts without hurting your reputation, reacting in anger doesn’t work. Why? Because you’re likely to send your first (and worst) thoughts to the recipient. Angry email responses injure the relationship, and damage your credibility.

The first thing to do when an email makes your blood boil is to calm yourself down. Draft files were created to hold (and filter) our angry e-bursts. Why is it that so few people are able to answer hostile emails in a cool and professional way? Because the temptation to immediately “fire back” an email when you think you’ve been attacked is very strong.

The next time someone sends an e-missle your way, take whatever steps you can to cool down before responding. We recommend: closing the email, getting up from your desk, stretching, taking a few deep breaths, splashing water on your face, or walking around your office floor to collect your thoughts. If you can cool off, you’ll have a much better chance of responding in a calmer, more professional, more effective way.

By Kathi Elster and Katherine Crowley. Used with permission. Visit their website: http://www.ksquaredenterprises.com/

Need help in this area? Working With You is Killing Me, hosted by Kathi Elster and Katherine Crowley, provides the antidote to becoming “hooked” by a toxic co-worker, showing exactly how to take responsibility for addressing the problem and put a stop to it all.

Training Success Story: CRM’s “Ethics 4 Everyone’’

October 25th, 2014

Ethics Training CoursesThe ROE Report Results: A recent “Return on Expectation” (ROE) study has shown that CRM Learning’s “Ethics for Everyone” video training program exceeds customer expectations nearly 100 percent of the time. Both individuals and organizations have rated their experience as “highly satisfactory” in an independently-conducted study.

About the Video: “Ethics 4 Everyone” combines real-world situations and practical advice for anyone confronted with ethical issues at work. The training program teaches participants to apply a quick “Ethical Action Test” to various situations – and the entire video runs only 15 minutes. A bonus segment for organizational leaders is also included. Read the rest of this entry »

A “Learning/Discovery” Approach to Change

October 21st, 2014

Today’s organizations face change in a variety of areas…at an unprecedented rate. And though we’ve been told that constant change is the “new normal”,  we usually look upon it with fear and negativity.

Susan Campbell, author of From Chaos to Confidence, has an interesting take on the topic.  Campbell views navigating change as being a lot like surfing:  “Successful surfers stay just ahead of the wave that could wipe them out at any moment.  They use the power of this very same wave, participating with the wave, not fighting it or trying to control it.”

In the same way, to survive in a constantly changing workplace, Campbell says we must learn to relate to our environment rather than trying to control it.

One way to do this is to shift our mindset from “Security/Control” to “Learning/ Discovery”.

If we maintain a Security/Control mindset we focus on stability ( i.e. knowing the rules, being around people like us and having things turn out predictably).  We don’t like uncertainty, change, lack of structure or people who don’t share our point of view.  We view change as a loss of control.

Alternatively, when we develop a Learning/Discovery mindset, we become open to experimenting in unfamiliar situations.  Because we relate to our environment rather that trying to control it, we focus on creatively developing ourselves to succeed in our changing environment.Instead of worrying about what we’ve lost, we ask, “What does this moment require of me?” This attitude shift is very empowering, making change an opportunity for growth.

According to Campbell, when we get trapped in a world of wishes and fears, we lose the power to deal effectively with reality and the options it holds.   The key to getting “unstuck” lies in letting go of attitudes and reactions that don’t work and focusing on ones that do, like those listed below: Read the rest of this entry »


 

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