Happy Memorial Day! As we honor our Veterans …

“Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It’s a day to be with the family and remember.” (Reagan,1968).

As we honor our veterans on this day, have a happy and safe Memorial Day from the Imperfect Org!

Learn interesting facts and ways we are honoring our veterans by visiting

http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/23/us/memorial-day-fast-facts/

http://www.allabouthistory.org/memorial-day-meaning.htm

There are also many places honoring our veterans by offering free meals. Learn more from http://time.com/money/4794401/free-food-memorial-day-2017/

 

 

“Is a lack of Emotional Intelligence hurting your brand?”

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Are you losing customers because your employees lack “emotional intelligence”? Are your employees too aggressive, hurting your brand, or driving down your customer volume?

According to Psychology today, Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your emotions and respond well to other’s emotions.

It is said to include three skills: emotional awareness; the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes regulating your emotions and cheering up or calming down others.

Emotional intelligence is said to begin in the spine.  From the spine, up to the limbic system (the emotional part of our brain) and then to the rational part of our brain.

The communication between your emotional and rational “brains” is the physical source of emotional intelligence. The pathway for emotional intelligence starts in the brain, at the spinal cord. Your primary senses enter here and must travel to the front of your brain before you can think rationally about your experience. However, first they travel through the limbic system, the place where emotions are generated. So, we have an emotional reaction to events before our rational mind is able to engage. Emotional intelligence requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centers of the brain.”

Learned Behavior

Emotional intelligence can be learned.  Once learned, over time the behavior will cause neuron connections that lend itself to habitual behavior.

No doubt employees may join an organization with plenty of emotional intelligence, but over the span of time, with failed policies and decreased morale, employees can completely abandon their emotional intelligence for the need to say or do whatever they please.  Rationalizing their behavior as deserved, by the organization. The limbic part of their brain appears to incite an emotion, and rational does not meet it with a positive response.

When employees reach this state of mind while working in an organization, more than likely, it won’t be long before the change takes place with that employee (for better or worst).

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Profit-loss--taishaaccountingservices.com.ng-preparation-profit-loss-account

The bottom-line

Either some change will take place and cause the employee to alter their behavior and learn socially appropriate behavior (this is not always the emotional response from the employee).  Or the rage from their emotions can override their rational and what the customer experiences are nothing close to pleasant.  Unfortunately, this can be at the expense of the customer. Many incidents like this have taken place with organizations and have been splattered all over the news.

So the question that now stands is how do companies identify these demoralized employees who are sowing these “death seeds” to the organization. Perhaps there’s a way of revitalizing them instead of throwing them back into the rat race, jaded (just to be recycled as another disgruntled ex-employee).

Bradberry, T. (2014). Emotional Intelligence – EQ. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2014/01/09/emotional-intelligence/#2527abe71ac0

Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/united-passenger-dragging-incident-more-horrifying-than-when-he-fled-vietnam/2017/04/13/7941ccdc-206f-11e7-be2a-3a1fb24d4671_story.html?utm_term=.beb52e785e8e

“Tips on encouraging complainers to become part of the solution”

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I wonder how many in leadership cringe on the inside, (during meetings) when employees complain of a breakdown in communication and systems, but fail to offer a solution?

I mention this with empathy for leadership who are “expected” to lead and provide a resolution to all systemic issues.

Having experienced my share of working with disgruntled employees (those who are quick to speak out on injustices), I see the need for ideas or resolutions after the feedback is provided.

I am sure a great deal of employees are waiting for their employer or upper management to offer resolution, after all they are the ones in a leadership position, right?, However a company culture that seeks resolution from the frontline employee is in my eyes, wisdom.

Frontline employees speak directly with customers, and since they are the ones that are more likely to discover a trend that is hurting the organization, they should also receive the opportunity to work on a resolution.

Therefore there should be an ongoing and spoken rule that states “if you speak up in meetings to state a problem, you must in the same breath offer a solution”.

In no way is this designed to punish those who present problems, but it sets the tone for problem solving or resolution without creating an atmosphere that lends itself to constant criticism.

Team Work in the making

irysec.vic.edu-- problem solving

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Management and frontline workers receive the opportunity to work together as a team to bring about resolution as opposed to waiting for leaders who are often stopping other organizational wide problems to provide all of the answers.

This also allows for upper management to remain in tune with the feelings and thoughts of its employees and customers (as they will hear firsthand from frontline workers what the organization is up against, while at the same time learning of frequent consumer complaints).

Application in the making

You may wonder, “What is the most efficient way to endorse this sort of change?”

  1. Speak with the employees in meetings and set the expectation – if a problem is mentioned, it must be closely followed by a solution (from that particular employee).
  2. After the problem at hand is mentioned (with a possible resolution), if indeed that resolution is manageable and cost effective, place the employee on a team that is designed to conquer that problem.
  3. The employee is now expected to collect data to confirm that indeed the problem is a new or reoccurring trend.
  4. Once the employee collects the data, that particular employee will now be expected to relay this information back to the team and management for further plans to rectify the issue.

It may not be the answer to solve all organization wide problems but it’s a damn good way to get the conversation started.

The next step will be for management to trust the expertise of frontline employees to activate resolution.  This has the opportunity to provide more fulfillment for the front-line employee, while retaining satisfied customers.

What tips do you have to offer to bridge the gap between frontline employees and management?

Are your employees KILLING your business?!

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Have you started your business from a dream to see it loudly crushed by the reality of a nightmare?

Nightmares as we try to sleep appear to manifest out of nowhere but more often than not, they are not caused by that second scoop of ice cream. These night terrors come representing parts of your day, week, or even your deepest subconscious. But they hardly magically appear before our eyes. So is the notion with employees that can quickly cause your business to spoil.

You may think of it as one employee among a group of elite employees, but there is something to be said about one bad apple spoiling the bunch.

How often have you gone into a place of business, like a dentist office, or restaurant that you love to find an employee with an attitude problem? You know, the ones that refuse to honor your request or who prefers to do it “there way” instead of “your way”.

Such behavior from an employee causes me to never frequent that business again.  And I am not the only person who feels this way.

badapples2

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With that said I wonder on a monthly basis how often a company loses customers.  Or perhaps it is just me, maybe some people just sum it up as them having a bad day, and they frequent the business again. But there are far too many people who will never report what they dislike about an organization, they will just tell a family member or friend.  One minute that business is booming and just like that, dust is collecting on the surfaces of their organization as people have simply found another organization that will better meet their needs.

What do you think can be done to avoid such organizational destruction?

Can passive aggressive behavior in the workplace = Psychological Bullying”?

Image Source: Divorcedmoms.com

Can passive aggressive behavior in the workplace = Psychological Bullying”?

The Definition of Bully “to frighten, hurt, or threaten a small or weaker person clarifies how an individual can prey on the vulnerable or weak.

But what if an individual does not know he is being hurt or threatened?

Or, what if this scenario is happening in the workplace, to you, by a close coworker without your knowledge?  Yes, there is no recognizable threat now, but as the truth unfolds, there is a possibility that you’ll realize that the motives of some whom you have trusted are not pure.

Unfortunately, this form of workplace bullying has the potential to damage your emotional and psychological state (as you cannot face the fact that this deception has happened to you).

Bullying is not always physical or verbal abuse

Officespace

On more occasions than I care to admit, I have witnessed individuals manipulate others (sometimes unknowingly to the victim) to obtain information, to pile on excessive work (as in clever movies like “Office Space”), to rise above in the ranks, or to coast through without having to do much work. Just because bullying does not contain overt verbal or physical abuse does not mean that mental and emotional abuse is not happening as an effect of bullying.

Manifestation of the Passive aggressive mask

Passiveaggressive apple face

Passive aggressive behavior manifests as polite comments and gestures and inferior body language, although the individual can be thinking the direct opposite.  It’s all a part of a game of manipulation to allow a person to believe that they are maintaining one relationship with a co-worker or management when this fake relationship is being conquered up only for gain. Behavior’s that emulates passive aggressiveness are used to get closer, gain ground, with one’s motives going unnoticed.

Due to the non-threatening attributes of passive aggressive behavior, it can be used as a tool or weapon to deceive other co-workers.  Their demeanor and actions fail to impact with the same intensity as an aggressive physical bully, so it is often overlooked, or even questioned (with non-sustainable proof).  As a result, many do not see passive aggressive individuals as someone that can cause harm.  In fact, they never see them coming. “Passive aggressive” individual’s wear masks.

Merriam-Webster’s definition

Merriam-Webster states that passive aggressive behavior is “of or denoting a type of behavior or personality characterized by indirect resistance to the demands of others and an avoidance of direct confrontation, as in procrastinating, pouting, or misplacing important materials.”

It is in this nonaggressive behavior that individuals feel “safe” to state and do as they please.  In their eyes, it is not a terrible thing, because their behavior and actions are non-confrontational.

“Oh, I’m sorry, would you like to take the lead on this project Alice? (knowing that they are offering just so that Alice can offer it back to them, “thanks for offering Linda! If you will like to take the lead on this project, that is no problem, but if not, I can take it!” (Alice has hopes you will decline, she’s just too shy to admit it), “Thanks, Alice, I think I will take it!” (Just like that Alice lost out). Linda received the lead and did not have to display any aggressive behavior to get it.  Her deceptive behavior allowed Alice to offer it.

As Webster’s definitions denote, procrastination is another way a crafty individual can prey on the weak.  Management has been known to enlist the ideas of others as if they are going to use the feedback to make changes.

After receiving loads on top of loads of valuable feedback (generally from face to face feedback sessions) nothing comes of the situation.  Various employees ask about its progress just to realize that this particular manager either drags their feet or never does anything with the information at all.

Now employees are left with the sour taste that they have been lied to or used. Morale takes another hit.  Employees were transparent in hopes for the greater good, but they have gained nothing in return.  In fact, these individuals often use that information that they elicited to rise to another position.  The knowledge given to these particular managers by frontline workers allows them to sound “in touch” with the plight of the frontline employees and customers.

Does any of this sound familiar?  Have you encountered this in the workplace? If you are not sure, begin to watch those with their pleasantries after more times than not, an offense has taken place.

How can you protect yourself from such behavior?

Begin to watch the consistency of another’s actions.  Do not rely on what’s verbal cues; it is that easy. Watch their behavior.  Over and over again, it is their behavior that will tell the tale. Watching carefully for such behavior can help you avoid much corporate heartbreak that can ultimately be damaging to your psychological state or career.

Fandango MovieClips (1999). Office Space.  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsLUidiYm0w

Office Space (1999). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjJCdCXFslY

Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2017). Retrieved from https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=webster+definition+of+bullying&*&spf=1

“E-learning tools for effective communication and grammar”

Hello, I am a contributor to the ImperfectOrg, from the blog “Organizational Clarity” where we share tips, opinions, and where to find free tools to make the practitioner or student of organizational development lives easier.

One place we like to go for free tools is from the CommLab India community which is dedicated to increasing a professional’s knowledge of E-Learning, giving out free tips and free resources on how to implement E-Learning in the workplace or how to easily find cheap solutions to organizational needs.

I usually receive a link to various articles and tools (free downloads) that help make my life easier and can elevate any presentation or assignment. This week I saw an article called: “Grammar Check for Effective E-Learning” by Sushmitha Kolagani.

This is article is a great point by point checklist about grammar checking your E learning presentation to ensure the credibility of the program. This article is free to the public and is great for the Instructional design specialist.

Some of the points this article briefly discusses are:

  • Overlooking Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Excessive Use of Passive Voice
  • Verbosity
  • Unnecessary Usage of Articles
  • Usage of Complex Words and Lengthy Sentences

These are some great tips if you are using Microsoft grammar check, but you cannot spend the money on a program like Grammarly. If you can afford the program and are having the issues with Grammar that is discussed in this article I would recommend going ahead and spending the money on Grammarly.

Just click on the link here to learn more: http://blog.commlabindia.com/elearning-design/grammar-check-for-elearning

‘Unfreeze, Move, Freeze ‘ – Using Kurt Lewin’s model to identify the need for change in your organization

Unfreeze, Move, Freeze

How many times have you or other disgruntled employees complained that your place of employment just did not get it? Complaints have surely reached upper management but you have yet to see the sort of change necessary to produce sustainable change.

Many have fought this organizational “beast” and continue to suffer or leave for the next “imperfect” organization.

What needs to change and how deep does this change effort need to swim to clean up all the griminess left at the bottom of the ocean?

Well there are many answers to those questions but, the simplest way to start this change effort is by first identifying, organizational wide the need for change.

Change Models

One way that I have mentioned in a previous blog can include the benefits of using the OCAI assessment tool.  Results taken from assessments from employees identify the current state of their organization and what all employees desire it to.

No doubt, this tool has the ability to open Pandora box. However if your organization is not currently in the position to present and deliver the time necessary to work through these assessments, why not try Kurt Lewins, three phase for organizational change “Unfreeze, Move, Freeze”?

Introduced in the early 1900’s this tool is considered by some to be “too simplistic”, yet sometimes it is my belief that some things do not require in depth analysis to determine the need for change.

Once it is unfrozen, any unacceptable policies and procedures can be altered or “moved”, and then taken back to its original frozen state. Business professionals lament that this theory fails to identify the various elements and variables that need change, however it is great to get the conversation going.

Lewins’ theory (that helped cement others more in depth theory) illustrates that organizations move from being stagnate or in their current state, to new changes (implemented), and back to its original state.

This theory identifies those who are for change and those who want to maintain the “status quo”.  But it also has the opposite effect.  Employees against change, push back.  A force field, where you have employees for organizational change, and those who are against change are easily reflected. Change is not foreseeable when those for it and against are opposing one another. Therefore you have what Lewin calls a Force Field AnalysisKurtLewinForceField

Opinion’s to refrain from new trainings (lack of resources, time, or implementation for training) represents arguments for status quo (Anderson, 2015). Request such as new customer demands, market demands, organizational growth can represent the need for change.  The force for change and the argument to sustain creates the force field effect. Although there are different interest represented in force field analysis, it is an eye opener for organizations no matter what side of the fence you stand.

Representation of the battle that lies ahead allows for employees and stockholders to understand why change takes time and effort to embrace.

The conversation is ignited, presenting the steps for organization development. Yes, practitioners agree that it is not the most complex models, but at least it has the ability to get the conversation moving in the right direction.

Although change may be a feat, at least your organization will have a brilliant painting of those for change and those who oppose it.

When management ponders why change is not sustainable, this illustrations will help paint the picture why.

Reference

Anderson, D.L. (2015). Organization Development: The Process of Leading Organizational Change. (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Connelly, M. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.change-management-coach.com/force-field-analysis.html