We distribute four newsletters
a year. In this second issue of 2005, we are looking at how e-mail is
most useful and when it should be put aside in favor of face-to-face
communication. Two more articles present solutions for too little respect
in the workplace and warning signs of conflict in its early stages. We
are also asking you for a little time and information. Please participate
in the "Conflict in the Workplace" Poll.
Also, take a moment to check out "Quick Links" (lower right of
this newsletter) for new programs and dates.
Please don't hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues
if you'd like. In fact, it would be helpful in increasing the number of
those who take the Conflict Poll. To forward (and retain formatting), use
the link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!
Susan Gunn, Working Dynamics
P.S. Don't forget that we never sell, rent, or give email addresses to
In this issue...
- Working Dynamics Poll: Conflict in the Workplace
- Managing E-Mail
- I Didn't See THAT Coming
Is your mailbox exploding with e-mail? If so, you are
not alone. Many of us rely heavily on this time-efficient and convenient
method of communicating. However, we can be a big fan of electronic mail
and still realize that it often disrupts our workflow and costs us money
in wasted time. On NPR's Morning Edition, Renee Montagne recently reported
on how we can rein in e-mail and make it a tool instead of a burden. Her
segment "Overcoming E-Mail Overload at Work" offers practical
tips to help use e-mail more effectively.
Remember that e-mail is not
the method of communication to choose when you are emotional or
angry. If not used appropriately, e-mail
can complicate rather than simplify our communication. As invaluable
as e-mail is as a business tool, meeting face to face is the best
method if you need to pass along sensitive information or resolve
a misunderstanding. Read more on NPR's website.
Employees (and managers) cry out for the basic need to
be respected. Rodney
Dangerfield, the comedian who built his career on the lament "I get
no respect," and Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul" who
even spelled it out for us in a song that is forever burned in many of our
brains, aren't the only ones to think respect is important. Recently, Naomi
Earp, vice chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
spoke out on the critical need for supervisors to respect workers and workers
to respect supervisors. She said, "If we could just learn how to do
that, workplaces — and society in general — would be a whole lot better off."
Everyone is different. How
can you show respect in a genuine way that is appreciated? Primarily, if you can make the time and give
the effort to 1) look at the situation from where the other person
stands, 2) ask questions to understand, and 3) listen better, you'll
not act on auto-pilot and avoid hurts that are interpreted as disrespect.
Seeing things from where the other person stands helps us be as respectful
as we always intended.
Working Dynamics would like
to hear from you. Click the link below to give us your comments
(no need to give your name unless you want). We are interested in hearing specifically what others do when they
are showing that they respect you. What do you do to show respect
to others? How do you react when you think that you are not being
I Didn't See THAT
Even very successful people can miss the early
stages of costly human resource issues, but they don't have to. Often the busy manager
or business owner says that a team blow up, a resignation from
a valuable employee, or a legal employment charge seemed to "come
out of the blue." They say "things seemed fine, there
weren't any warning signs" or "I certainly didn't see
Odds are there were cues or signals
that someone had a problem, but they weren't picked up. Being task-oriented and focused on projects, deadlines,
budgets, etc. can serve you well in many respects. Don't let that laser-beam
focus let you miss important early indicators that conflict is brewing.
Research supports that conflict handled in its earliest stages is most
effective. Getting consumed with a project or a deadline can result in
missing important shifts in team dynamics and result in a misstep you can't
Okay, you know you shouldn't avoid conflict in your team. What should
you look for?
Working Dynamics Poll: Conflict in
What about conflict in the
workplace? Working Dynamics
asks you to take a quick poll (six multiple-choice questions; two
minutes). This survey replicates the January 2003 Center for Creative
Leadership (CCL) survey of its newsletter readers. To take the survey,
you'll click the link below to get started.
How long will the survey take? With only six questions to answer,
we really do think it should take you one or two minutes!
Who will see your responses? Working Dynamics will receive all survey
responses in totals. We are using a survey program that will not
ask your name or any other identifying information. We will not be
able to see the email address of those who respond. We will receive
responses in percentages to each question.
How will the survey results
be used? Working Dynamics may use the
results in presentations and in future newsletters. We will give
you the results of this survey along with those of the 2003 CCL Poll
in a future newsletter. Again, your responses are anonymous and are
reported to us in totals.
How do you take the survey? Click the link below and follow the
instructions you are given.
Thank you! If you have any questions, call Susan Gunn at (804) 353-9527
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Take the Conflict Poll)