Archive for the 'World of Work' Category
Tags: friend unemployed, intentional living, job loss, laid off, lay off, unemployed, unemployment stress, work
Job loss often wreaks havoc in people’s lives, threatening the person’s self-esteem and self-confidence and frequently resulting in marital discord. Divorce and forclosure are not uncommon. The person may suffer in ways that are invisible to the observer, and you may be uncertain of how to help.
It’s easy though to make it worse - by what we say!
What Not To Say To A Laid-Off Co-Worker (excerpts of article by Jenna Goudreau)
People who have lost their job can be devastated by thoughtless remarks such as, “You must be so scared because the job market is so terrible.” Humor and flippancy are also easy ways to offend or alienate the recently unemployed. Co-author of Authentic Conversations Maren Showkeir (www.henning-showkeir.com) has been surprised by the flippant tone of many remarks she’s heard directed toward laid-off friends, including, “Well, join the crowd,” and, “Think of all the free time you’ll have now!”
Showkeir suggests not minimizing the event. Someone who is already feeling tossed aside and unsure of the future is unlikely to appreciate caustic language that invalidates the gravity of the situation. Honesty and simplicity are much more helpful. Anyone can feel awkward when facing a friend or co-worker who has lost their job, and knowing what to say can be challenging.
The bottom line is to be intentional in your kindness. Listen more than you talk, and when you do talk, strive to be direct and realistically helpful.
Like Maren Showkeir, I have noticed that some people think very little of being dismissive or “flip” when someone else losses their job, but are outraged and expect support and sympathy when they themselves experience the same or a similar loss.
Live Intentionally; treat others as you would like to be treated.
Tags: conflict, conflict resolution, positive talking, preventing arguments, strategic talking
I first heard this technique proposed by Dr. Ken Hardy, Professor of Family Therapy at Syracuse University. I had arranged for him to do a presentation for a group of agency treatment staff. Then later as I walked with him along San Francisco’s Market Street, we talked about this simple yet effective method for working through a conflict. His idea was to use a specific yet flexible format to help frame conversations where there is a conflict that threatens to overwhelm the good intentions of either or both of the participants. The technique is effective in many interpersonal situations both at home and at work. V-C-R goes like this:
V – stands for VALIDATE This means that the first thing we will say is something to validate the other person’s feelings and experience. This does not mean that you agree with what he or she is saying, but only that you understand what they are saying and you can see that they feel very strongly about it.
C – stands for CLARIFY This means that you will clarify for the other person the differences between what they are thinking and/or feeling, and what you are thinking and feeling. You will not “put down” their perspective, but simply show how theirs and yours differ.
R – stands for REQUEST This is when you will offer a (hopefully) compromising resolution as a possible option to the polarized positions to which you each had been clinging. The door is then opened for the mutual reconsideration and moderation of each person’s expectations and demands.
V-C-R sounds like this:
“I can see that you are upset about how I’ve been spending money because you want to make sure that our finances are safe and secure for the things we really need. I’d like you to know that I’m also concerned about our finances being secure because I worry about the emotional stress on both of us when our bank account begins to get low. Why don’t we do something that will help both of us feel confident about what’s going on, like doing a budget to get a clearer picture of our expenses and then making a plan to divide the extra into savings and recreation?
“I do understand that you feel I spend too much time on the computer, and that it takes time away from us being together. I want you to know that I also think it’s important for us to spend enjoyable time together. I also hope you understand that I need to use the computer to promote my business and support my work. Why don’t we try this as a solution: I will keep a log of my computer time and whether the time is spent on work or personal interests. That way I can get a more realistic picture of how I’m using my time.”
Learning and practicing V-C-R can help you to avoid or resolve misunderstandings before they turn into full conflicts.
For an in-depth view of additional tips and techniques for effective communication, read Authentic Conversations by Jamie Showkeir and Maren Showkeir, and visit their website at www.henning-showkeir.com
Tags: authentic conversations, book review authentic conversations, excerpt from authentic conversations, jamie showkeir, maren showkeir
Maren and Jamie Showkeir’s seminal book on improving communication in the work place, Authentic Conversations: Moving from Manipulation to Truth and Commitment, recently received a glowing review in the online business zine bnet. The link to the review of the Showkeirs’ very informative and well-written book is below.
I recommend this book to anyone seeking to create a successful and inspirational work environment for themselves, their co-workers and their employees.
You can read an excerpt from their book by clicking on the link below:
You can learn more about the Showkeirs at www.henning-showkeir.com
I know that once you’ve read this serious yet accessible book you’ll feel both informed and inspired.