College Connection Winter 2016 - Page 3

college connection PROFESSIONALISM continued from previous page Learning how to roll with resistance is vital: a bloody-minded response to a bloody-minded stance calcifies obstinacy. An effective motivational approach supports the other’s self-efficacy in finding ways to make change. Here are some tips that can provide structure to difficult conversations: • Plan and rehearse your conversation. • Choose a private place. • Engage using empathy (e.g., “I imagine you found yourself in a difficult position…”). • Seek to understand and support the other person’s goals. • Use open-ended questions (e.g., “Tell me more about that”) • Focus on accepted facts and behavioural observations (e.g., “I’d like to discuss an incident that arose in the OR last week” rather than, “How can you have been so thoughtless?”). • Monitor your emotional reactions, biases. • Clarify expectations and preferred outcomes objectively. • Clarify relevant consequences. • Support positive behavioural choices and outcomes. • And watch out for conversation stoppers: • “You always…” (exaggerated over- statement) • “You never…” (exaggerated under- statement) • “Don’t take this personally, but…” (it is personal) • “With all due respect…” (it is not respectful) • “I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but...” (inappropriate assumptions) Receiving Feedback Just as giving feedback requires skill, so does receiving it. If the feedback rings true, acceptance is appropriate. If you’re not sure, then offer a thoughtful response, perhaps “You’ve given me something to consider. Thank you for that.” And if you just can’t accept the feedback as valid, then a civil response might be, “I appreciate that’s how you see things, but that just doesn’t make sense to me.” Counterattack will quash any hope of useful dialogue, blocking positive outcomes and the promotion of respectful workplace relationships. Body Language In any civilized culture there are rules that guide comportment in the company of others. By age 16, George Washington, the first American president, had collected 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation. Rule number 12 states: “Shake not the head, feet, or legs; roll not the eyes; lift not one eyebrow higher than the other; wry not the mouth; and bedew no mans face with your spittle by approaching too near him when you speak.” Clearly, the important messages of nonverbal communication have long been known. Eye contact, facial expression and body positioning all require conscious attention to facilitate effective communication. Smile a little when appropriate; adjust your expression and posture to demonstrate concern about what is being said; unfold your arms into a more relaxed posture; and George Washington reminds us to sit back and give our colleague enough physical space to feel comfortable. When The Situation Is Urgent The pressure of an emergency is not a rudeness rationale. The ABCs of communication in urgent situations (Awareness, Breathe, Communicate Civilly) were described in the last “Fundamentals” article (Be Aware). Here are some suggestions to enhance effective communication in the heat of the moment: • Speak in a firm, but unhurried manner. • Be clear and concise in your directions and words. • Use sufficient volume to be heard. • Repeat yourself, if necessary. • Choose a tone that conveys a sense of support. • Explain emotions rationally and sedately. • Avoid using profanity. • Never embarrass, humiliate or belittle anyone — ever — regardless of their role and status. • Be sure team members have received your directions. • Be open to expressions of concern from any co-worker. • Debrief kindly with others after the event. Communication In The Digital Age Electronic communication and social media have changed professional communication. They offer many &VVfG2'WB6Ff0FBVFRF"6fƗGW"F涖pB6V6F&7F6W2VVBFWffPrvFFRFvF&WfWFF&W6W'fPW'6B&fW76FVw&GBvVƗG&VF62FRv&6RआW&R&R6RFVvG2&WBFp6fƗGVV7G&2BƖR6V6F㠮( 6W&FR&fW76BW'66V6F2( W6Rf6RFf6R6V6FF&W6fP6fƖ7B( 6VG27FVBƖR&RV&Ɩ2( &R&W7V7FgVb66VFƖ7( FvF6V6FWfW"vW2v( B2W"WF6&ƖvFBFVvFP&WWFFb6VwVW2W"&fW76v2FVvVWfW 76&RBF6f'Bv2vR&PW&VBFv&B6V7B66VǒvFFW'2F2WGV֗766fƗG2FPfV6RvRVVBFFVƗfW"W"6vVFvPB676FFW'2VffV7FfR6V6F2BFRV'Bb6&rB6fƗVB&fW7666R6fƗGG"֖6VVf2VF6F&V7F bFR66VF&w&@66v&6R7W'B&w&@&V6VB6V6VWFrG"VfFVƗfW&VB&W6VFF6fƗG@WVBFRffRgVFVF2b6fƗGf fWFW&&2fWrFR&W6VFFBwwr7f&rfFVvF66VvR6V7Ff FR6WFR6W&W2b'F6W26fƗGࠥvFW"#`0