Monday, April 17, 2017

Work-Life Balance: Part 3

About Negative Experiences:

Many people use an unhealthy/dysfunctional childhood as an excuse for acting in an inappropriate or acceptable way today.
  • Regardless of the past, however, each of us can choose the kind of life we want to build for ourselves now.  We can decide to reprogram ourselves with new, positive directions rather than allow past experiences, negative feelings, prejudices, putdowns, and myths to affect our present-day behavior.
  • Past negative experiences cannot and should not be used to excuse present negative behavior.  People are tired of dealing with other people who constantly act like victims.
  • The measure of our character is not how we handle ourselves when life is easy but how we rise above the unfairness of life and make healthy, ethical choices that benefit others and ourselves at any given moment.
  • We can choose to refuse to let an unhealthy past govern our present life.
  • One of the most effective ways to enhance the image we have of ourselves as well as how others view us is to increase our self-esteem.
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Work-Life Balance: Part 2

A Healthy Environment

Your coworkers may be working with you for a long time.  They do not need to know – nor do they want to know – everything about your personal life.  Everyone in your organization needs to see you as an emotionally stable, reliable, and strong person.  They want to know that they can trust you with their products, services, and customers and that they can count on you to do your job well.

Your personal life reflects your current and past experiences.  Many of your adult feelings and behavior stem from early childhood experiences.  There are generally two types of environments: healthy/functional and unhealthy/dysfunctional, although families and workplaces can sometimes be a little of both.

We all have the ability to choose the environment in which we place ourselves.  We can choose to stay, leave, change it, or accept it.  It is up to you to make your environment healthy and functional.  It is up to you to make a conscious decision and effort to be with people who enable you to create a healthy environment, challenge you to improve, and help you develop both personally and professionally.

People who seem to be the happiest and most satisfied in life have made a conscious effort to be in a healthy/functional environment in both their personal and professional lives. They assume responsibility for making good choices about the people with whom they spend their time.

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Work-Life Balance: Part 1

What is Balance?
Employers say, "We need people who come to work ready to get the job done – people whose personal lives are stable enough that they can direct their attention and energy to their work, their customers, and their teammates."

Many employees say, "My private life is nobody's business."  That's true – If you keep your personal life private.  However, many employees spend a great deal of paid work time discussing personal issues that have nothing to do with their jobs.  Most coworkers and managers resent this behavior because they don't have the time to get involved in solving other people's problems.  They also do not feel qualified to act as someone else's therapist, counselor, parent, or confessor.

Assessing the Situation:
  • How do you feel when someone begins discussing personal issues while you are trying to get your work done?.
  • What techniques have you used to get an employee refocused and back to work?
  • What could be the negative consequences of someone talking too openly about his/her personal life at work while at work?
  • A healthy functional environment is one that is safe, has rules and boundaries, and where you are valued. At this time, would you consider your environment outside of work to be healthy and functional? Why or why not?
  • What are some ways in which you can improve your home and personal life to enhance your work productivity?
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, March 27, 2017

Listening and Communication Skills -- Part 4

Five Keys to Becoming an Effective Communicator
  • Desire - If you have the desire to become an effective communicator, you'll be willing to do what it takes to make it happen.
  • Understanding the communication process - The real challenge in communicating is accurately sending images to others as well as accurately receiving images from them – to convey things exactly as you see them and to receive them exactly as others see them.
  • Mastering basic skills - These include connecting with an audience, conveying messages that the audience can understand, and checking their responses.
  • Practicing - Make effective communication a way of life. Mastering connecting, conveying, and checking responses comes only with practice.
  • Patience - Growth takes time. You need to be patient with yourself while you incorporate and develop your new skills.
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Listening and Communication Skills -- Part 3

Understanding Your Audience
Everyone is listening for the way that your message will  impact them.  It is important to consider the following factors when communicating with another person:
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Ethnic or cultural background.
  • Educational level and occupation.
  • Political and religious affiliations.
  • Prior knowledge of your topic
Considering these factors will help you tailor your message to your receiver and will increase the likelihood of effective communication.

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, March 20, 2017

Listening and Communication Skills -- Part 2

Barriers to Effective Communication:
  • Attitude of sender or receiver - How the sender feels about the subject matter, the receiver, or even about himself or herself affects the accuracy of the message.  If the sender has an "It can't be done" attitude or "know-it-all" approach, the message may have been sent just to go through the motions of communicating. Closed-minded attitudes cut off feedback and negatively influence the final result.
  • Emotional climate - Speaking in anger will distort the sending and receiving of a message.
  • Hidden agendas or preoccupations with other issues can foster negative feelings.
  • Body language may add strong signs of indifference, unimportance, or inattention to the message.
  • Semantics - Words mean different things to different people. When people attach different meanings to the same words, the message can become jumbled and misunderstood. Words with specialized meaning for certain occupations, professional, or social groups interfere with effective communication with people outside those groups.
  • Interruptions - anything that comes between the sender and the receiver of a message. Even if the interruption does not keep the message from getting through entirely, it can certainly distort the message. After an interruption, acknowledge the interruption and repeat what was last said, getting confirmation from the other party that he or she has the same understanding. 
  • "Hot buttons" - to control hot buttons, we must identify what triggers us, understand our responses, and develop behaviors that allow us to listen more carefully and objectively.  If you cannot eliminate hot buttons, the best alternative might be to develop acceptable responses.
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Listening and Communication Skills -- Part 1

Do you want to be a more effective communicator?  If so, let's begin by taking a quick communication skills assessment. This assessment should take only 2 to 3 minutes. 

For our Communication Skills Assessment, please click here.

Communication is the glue that holds organizations together. It affects the outcome of relationships, products, and systems. Simply stated, when you communicate, you share, or make common, your knowledge and ideas with someone else.  Effective communication is sending and receiving a message so that the receiver understands the sender's meaning.  There is often "hidden" meaning in a message which must be deciphered.

Communication gaps are caused by the failure to convey and or understand the information, intent, or meaning of another, especially between individuals with different perceptions.  Stay tuned for more on communication next week!

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP