Category Archives: Communications

WRITING TO WIN: Coordination in Successful Teamwork

By Royce Murcherson

Royce top pictureIn the last blog, I talked about collaboration as part of an overall team structure that helps colleagues come together to craft solutions and improve processes. Communication is also a key component in collaboration, for without communication there can be no real collaboration. And without coordination, the fruits of communication and collaboration are lost.

The Three ‘C’ Model:  COMMUNICATION * COLLABORATION * COORDINATION

What is coordination? It is the glue that holds the model together. Coordination within teams is simply ensuring the job gets done.  If you find yourself in the role of ‘team leader’, you must ask yourself two questions. What is my role and what will it take to get the job done?

The Role of Team CoordinatorRoyce People holding MS logo puzzle

  • The team leader or team coordinator serves as a primary liaison between team members.
  • The team coordinator is responsible for making sure team members are keenly aware of their specific roles and function within the group.
  • Team coordinators are also tasked with the authority to make critical decisions when the team cannot arrive at a consensus.

Coaching ResponsibilitiesThe Responsibilities of the Team Coordinator

Think of a team coordinator as a coach in a team sport. The team is made up of individuals each with particular skills or talents. The team coordinator must channel all of these talents into an effective force that will bring a project to completion.

The Team Coordinator Must:

  • Have a long term vision of the work to be done
  • Know each team member
  • Define team roles
  • Ensure the team has a common goal
  • Make sure all team members know their assignments
  • Leverage resources and specific skills of the team
  • Create a workable plan
  • Have the correct tools available for the team to complete their tasks
  • Encourage effective communication among the team
  • Conduct periodic checkpoints to determine progress against deliverables.

 

Coordination AbsentWhat Happens when Coordination is Absent?

A lack of coordination within a project team can decrease productivity, complicate processes and delay the completion of projects. Below are some common signs:

  • Duplication of Work A usual sign of a lack of coordination within a project team is redundancy. Redundancy is caused by a lack of communication. With redundancy, an organization will spend double the efforts, materials and time to produce the same item twice. Redundancy typically results from the poor coordination of a project team.
  • Lost Information Teams must effectively share information to function at an optimal level. When this information is not readily available as needed within the team, the lack of information can create a cascading effect that will damage the team. Lost information can lead to delays.
  • Delays on Deliverables – Deliverables are the building blocks of an overall project. Deliverables can be reports, documents, and software upgrades, anything that contributes to the successful delivery of the project to the customer. One of the signs that team lacks coordination is called ‘delay’ and delays on deliverables can cause a project to miss a completion date.

Advantages of Team CoordinationThe Big Advantages of Team Coordination

The advantages of team coordination are realistic. Roles, responsibilities and deadlines are assigned. Informal coaching and mentoring takes place which benefits the group. It ensures a consolidation of work that can be measurable, attainable, and time constrained. It provides a single access point of communication between the team coordinator and business executives.

For an expanded discussions on effective business writing and workplace etiquette, see my book:

Royce Murcherson, Ph.D., The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that   Gets Results. Iowa: Kendall-Hall, 2013

Clip Art, provided by Microsoft Office Professional Academic, 2010

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Angela Nino, Lead Faculty, anino@dcccd.edu, 972-238-6382.

 


Writing to Win: COLLABORATION, the Second ‘C’ in Success

by Royce Murcherson

Writing to Win Book CoverIn the last blog post, I talked about teamwork in the workplace being more effective when communication, collaboration, and coordination are at the center. I began the discussion focusing on the importance of effective communication. It should be concise. It should present information in the form of a well thought out plan.  It should be clear and easy to understand. It should speed up the decision-making process.  And it should be inherently persuasive which speaks directly to the level of collaboration a strong team must have to be successful.

Without communication, there can be no real collaboration.

WHAT IS COLLABORATION?

Collaboration is a group process through which colleagues come together to craft solutions and improve processes not limited to one individual idea. 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO COLLABORATE?

What Does It Mean to CollaborateCollaborating means:

  • Everyone has a voice at the table
  • Being perceived as a good partner
  • Valuing Different Viewpoints
  • Coming across as a common united front

THREE ESSENTIALS IN THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS

  • Three EssentialsEngage Your Partners – Team members should share knowledge. Knowledge sharing is a healthy and productive means by which the group can arrive at the best solution.
  • Capture Ideas and Action Items – Team members should keep an accurate record of meeting notes. Some alternative forms of note taking can include diagrams or flow charts that visually depict innovative proposals.
  • Recognize Ideas – Team members should give credit where credit is due. A pat on the back, a nod at the table, and a simple “I agree” can go a long way. There is no stronger motivation than positive feedback.

TWO MUST-HAVE’S TO MAKE IT WORK

  • Two Must-HaveBuild Relationships – It is absolutely essential to build relationships among your team members. Take time to build personal relationships by getting to know each other.  During this process, strengths and opportunities can be discovered and used to the best advantage of the team.
  • Foster Trust – Being able to depend on your colleagues to deliver tasks on time and in detail is also absolutely essential. Trust is the confidence. And confidence that each member will fully contribute to the group eliminates pressure and unnecessary stress.

THE BIG ADVANTAGES         

Since collaboration is now a hot item in the workplace, the advantages are not hard to spot. Collaborative teams bring together different viewpoints because teams are frequently pulled from different talent pools or departments to achieve one goal.  Because a variety of ideas will be put on the table, it’s much easier to develop ingenuity when there is more than one option. Good ideas give way to better ideas.  Groups who collaborate tend to be more inventive and resourceful.  Collaboration can also bring a certain unity to the decision-making process. Having more than one stakeholder ensures that team decisions will be reflective of all and not one, eliminating perceived bias. Lastly, a quick delivery of the product is likely to occur.  Having several hands on deck is an automatic advantage when considering a collection of talent, skills, and intellect.

For an expanded discussions on effective business writing and workplace etiquette, see my book:

            Royce Murcherson, Ph.D., The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that   Gets Results. Iowa: Kendall-Hall, 2013

Clip Art, provided by Microsoft Office Professional Academic, 2010

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Angela Nino, Lead Faculty, ANino@dcccd.edu, 972-238-6382.


Use the 7 Cs to Become a More Successful Communicator

Having a successful career depends on your ability to communicate effectively with others in the workplace. To become a good communicator, make sure you are aware of those important aspects oral communication—tone of voice, eye contact, and other body language signals.

Click the graphic below to review Evan Carmichael’s infographic on the 7 Cs of Communication, which illustrates 7 proven communication strategies that you should use as part of your oral communication toolkit.

02-08-2016 7 Cs Graphic

Source: Evan Carmichael, The Entrepreneur Blog, June 21, 2011
Link: http://www.evancarmichael.com/blog/2011/06/21/infographic-7cs-of-effective-communication/

If you want to improve your communication skills, consider taking the BOSS program’s POFT 2312 Business Correspondence and Communication at Richland College.

Richland College, which is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road, offers both online and on-campus courses. For more information, please call Angela Nino, Lead Faculty, aedwords@dcccd.edu 972-238-6382.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a free version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.


WRITING TO WIN: Teamwork and the Three ‘C’s’ of Success

by Royce Murcherson, Ph.D.Royce 1 Man

What are the real benefits of teamwork in business? Why is it increasingly important? Teamwork and team building are being used in business environments where the nature of the work is complex or multifaceted, not to mention fast-paced. Working in isolation as a single contributor may not be as productive as several colleagues with different skills working toward a single goal. Successful teams rely on three effective mechanisms: communication, collaboration, and coordination. I will discuss each of these mechanisms over the course of three posts, the first being this one which is dedicated to ‘communication’. 

WHAT IS EFFECTIVE BUSINESS COMMUNICATION?

It is a successful exchange of ideas between colleagues or team members that produce solutions to problems, improvements in process, setting expectations, knowledge sharing, and creating awareness. In short, effective communication assures quality in products and services. 

Royce 1THE RULES OF EFFECTIVE BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

  • It should be concise.
  • It should present information in the form of a well thought out plan.
  • It should be clear and easy to understand.
  • It should speed up the decision-making process.
  • It should be inherently persuasive. That is, the material or information being presented should be convincing and factual.

FORMS OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

  • Correspondence
  • Proposals
  • Reports
  • Meetings
  • Informal Discussions
  • Presentations

Royce 2VERBAL INTERACTION AND THE TEAM MEETING

Rules and forms of communication are obvious. What is not obvious is the manner in which team members or colleagues verbally interact with each other. Be aware that you are a member of a team which means each person has a voice in the process. When making comments or presenting information, be sure to invite your colleagues to respond with questions, improvements or enhancements, possible redundancies or even errors of which you may not be aware.

  • Consider Your Audience Your audience is your team, colleagues, or stakeholders. Written and verbal communication must not be overly informal. Think of the tone in which you are communicating. When writing, do not fall into ‘text talk’ or ‘sofa chat’. At the same time, do not be overly formal. Remember, you are not at a back yard barbecue, nor are you addressing Congress. This advice also applies to verbal communication. The most important skill is being able to identify your audience and adapt your tone and style of communication to the situation.

 

  • Question, Listen, and Encourage When working within your team, think of yourself as a teacher or facilitator. Yes, you should invite questions and comments, but you should also take it one step further. The roles of teacher and facilitator focus on developing a healthy exchange between students and attendees. What is the best way to accomplish this? Question, listen, and encourage. Question your team members on their points of view. Make a concerted effort to listen and show sincere interest in their ideas. When comments or feedback display creativity or ingenuity, encourage more dialogue. Invite your colleagues to explore their ideas and report back to the group.

 

  • Stay on Point Whether facilitating or communicating within a team meeting, stay on point. Follow the agenda. Be aware of time constraints even as you question, listen, and encourage. This burden does not always fall to the person who called the meeting. Each member has a responsibility to make valuable contributions.

Next time, look forward to my discussion of the second ‘C’, the benefits of collaboration in the team environment.

For an expanded discussions on effective business writing and workplace etiquette, see my book:

Royce Murcherson, Ph.D., The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that   Gets Results. Iowa: Kendall-Hall, 2013

Clip Art, provided by Microsoft Office Professional Academic, 2010

 ______________________________________________________________________________
For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Angela Nino, Lead Faculty, aedwords@dcccd.edu, 972-238-6382.

 


2016 List of “Banished” Words and Phrases

01-19-2016 Word Cloud ImageCareful writers and speakers use good judgement and variety when choosing their words and phrases. However, it seems as though each year generates a new list of words and phrases that have garnered particular misuse and abuse over the year by far too many communicators, who should know better but who seem to be caught in the trap of misuse and abuse of the English language.

A list of the previous year’s most abused and misused words/phrases first appeared on January 1, 1976, compliments of the late W. T. Rabe, who was the public relations director at Lake Superior State University (LSSU) in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Sadly, a new list of words and phrases has been generated on an annual basis ever since, and there doesn’t appear a shortage of content for future lists being added.

Below are the biggest offenders for 2015, along with explanations as to why they made the made the list. This newest list, which was published on January 1, 2016, by LSSU, represents the 40th annual list developed by LSSU—is there no shame?

So That’s right folks, you should never respond to a question by opening with the word “so.” Example: “What is your favorite pastime?” Answer: “So, my favorite pastime is hiking along nature trails.”
Conversation Media types from all areas seem particularly prone to misuse this word and substitute it for every type of verbal/written word that describes an exchange. “Conversation” seems to have pushed other words such as “discussion, chat, dialog, etc.” out of the way.
Problematic This word appears to have made its evolution and burst on to the scene thanks to the corporate world. If you want to indicate that something appears to be a problem, why not just say it that way?
Stakeholder First used to describe someone who has a stake in a matter or decision, now everyone, e.g., customers, clients, etc., are lumped into this category.
Price Point The comment left on the ISSU web site by one person declared, “It has no ‘point.’  It is just a ‘price.’” Makes sense!
Secret Sauce This phrase, which is meant to refer to some “secret” in “way too much information” detail have left some wondering if it was developed by someone in the fast food industry but somehow found its way into general business discussions.
Break the Internet Refers to a posted comment, photo, or video that may be controversial, that has gone viral, and that will overload the Internet servers and “break them.” What would all of us do if the Internet did break?
Walk it back Meant to show the retreat on or retraction of a statement or policy. We’ve seen politicians do this all the time. I wonder how exhausted they must be after so much “walking back”?
Presser Can you believe this “nonword” made it in to the vocabulary of some as a substitute for press release or press conference? We can do better!
Manspreading Sounds a little vulgar, but it is meant to describe someone taking up too much space on a bus or a subway transit system. This term (it, too, is a “nonword”) has then been used to describe other situations where someone takes more than his or her fair share. Didn’t we used to say “hogging” something?
Vape Used to describe the smoking of e-cigarettes, which actually emit vapor and not smoke. It would be wonderful if the person who left the comment at ISSU’s site, “I hope this one goes up in smoke,” gets his or her wish!
Giving me life This phrase refers to anything that may excite a person or something that may cause the person to laugh. Not good!
Physicality Yep, this noun has become popular in the sports world within the past couple of years, but really folks, what does it mean? It is being used to refer to an athlete or contest, but according to Merriman-Webster, the word physicality refers to, “the predominance of the physical usually at the expense of the mental, spiritual, or social.” Does this mean the body is supreme over the mind? You be the judge!

 

To see a complete list of words and phrases that have made their way to the “banished” list over this 40-year time period, please visit Lake Superior State University’s web site at

http://www.lssu.edu/banished/
If you want to improve your communication skills, consider taking the BOSS program’s POFT 2312 Business Correspondence and Communication at Richland College.

Richland College, which is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road, offers both online and on-campus courses. For more information, call 972-238-6215.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a free version of Microsoft Office Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.


7 Brilliant Ways to Start a Presentation

We’ve all been there: sitting at your computer viewing a blank PowerPoint slide with no idea  04-07-2014 Business Writing Skills 78771905how to open or start your presentation. Let’s be honest; we’ve all struggled with the best ways to begin especially when getting your audience to listen is important to the success of your presentation.

Want to catch the attention of your audience in the first minute of your presentation? Click the link below to read an article by Darlene Price, president of Well Said, Inc., and author of “Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results.” The article is posted on the Business Insider Web site and has seven suggestions for ways in which to start a presentation and captivate your audience at the same time.

7 Brilliant Ways to Start a Presentation

So, what are you waiting for? Experiment. Try something new. Step outside your comfort zone. More than likely, you will experience some amazing results by trying any one of these techniques.

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


WRITING TO WIN: THE INTERNAL PROPOSAL

by Royce Murcherson


Royce top pictureWHAT TYPE OF PROPOSAL SHOULD YOU EXPECT TO WRITE?
Generally, large companies or corporations have entire departments staffed with professional proposal writers to write formal proposals. You should expect to write an informal internal proposal.

WHAT IS IT EXACTLY? What’s a proposal? They come in various shapes and sizes. They can be either solicited or unsolicited. They can be as short as an email and as long as a ten page document. They are always persuasive in nature. In short, proposals are arguments.

Internal Proposal – The purpose of an internal proposal will be to persuade your boss or supervisor to:

  • Change a process
  • Solve a problem
  • Purchase products, services or pursue activities
  • Conduct research or make changes in policies

The message will always be persuasive, fact based, and verifiable.  The benefit can come in the form of improvements in productivity and profitability and will likely contribute to another accomplishment line on your resume.

  • The Unsolicited Internal Proposal – These are proposals that have not been requested by a manager. These types of proposals are opportunities to cast you as a proactive, forward thinking employee. This is your time to boost your image. For example, suppose you realize that the office network’s current operations system slows down the production of sales orders. Changing operating systems would increase productivity. You write a memo describing what is going on, what you want to do, why you want to do it, what it will cost and what will be the overall benefit. This is an unsolicited internal proposal is a means to sell your creative ideas.
  • A Solicited Internal Proposal – These are proposals are requested by a manager or supervisor. There may not be a need for you come up with ‘the answer’ or solve the problem. Your boss may have already provided the solution and simply requests you measure its viability. This is still an opportunity for you to gain some good exposure because you will have to use your critical thinking skills and make a recommendation.

WRITING A PROPOSAL FOR WORK

 X marksWHAT NOT TO EXPECT

First, do not expect to write formal proposals unless you have been hired specifically to serve on a proposal team. These proposals are comprehensive, well researched documents that can be ten or more pages.  Corporations have entire departments staffed with professional proposal writers to create these.

check markWHAT TO EXPECT

The type of proposal you more than likely find yourself writing will be an internal unsolicited proposal discussed earlier. It will be in the form of a medium length email or a memo. Remember, this informal proposal does not have to be written on the level of a formal proposal written by professional proposal writer. It should not exceed more than two pages if presented as a memo, and no more than a six paragraph email.

EXPECT IT TO BE PERSUASIVE It will need to convince your manager or supervisor that your ideas will work. In a nutshell, the benefits produced will far outweigh the costs of implementation. Your manager will need to believe that:

  • You fully understand the organization’s mission: productive, profitable, and innovative
  • You fully understand the organization’s operations
  • You fully understand the necessity of the proposal
  • You know the solution
  • You know how to implement the solution

For a more expanded discussion on writing and formatting internal proposals using the Toulmin Model of Argumentation in business writing, see my book:

Royce Murcherson, Ph.D., The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that Gets Results. Iowa: Kendall-Hall, 2013

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


WRITING TO WIN: PICK UP THE TELEPHONE!

WRITING TO WIN: PICK UP THE TELEPHONE!
by Royce Murcherson

Royce 1 ManEffective written communication is absolutely essential in the workplace. I emphasize its importance in my book. I absolutely stress we must be strategic and persuasive when it comes to implementing beneficial change.   As much as I believe in the concept of creating a smart, intelligent image of yourself through your writing, it’s not the only means.  Pick up the telephone.

Yes, we live in a data age of electronic words which has pretty much replaced the traditional, “Hi, how are you…and… I have a quick question that will take care of the entire issue”.  The obvious concern with the present state of things is the lack of human-to-human ‘real voice’ communication. The exchange of ideas in our current environment rests on three main platforms: instant messaging, email, and texting.   We’ve grown used to it. We love it. Somehow we have lulled ourselves into the complacency of avoiding a real conversation because we think it takes more time.  But perhaps, it’s time to re think this digital substitution and think ‘old school’ instead. There are many advantages to picking up the telephone.

  • Royce PhoneNO MISTAKES IN TONE – The first is safeguarding your tone and avoiding mistakes of intention. Quite simply, you avoid SENDING THE WRONG MESSAGE. In section two of my book, I stress the importance of tone. It’s easy to inadvertently deposit your emotional state in an email, text, or instant message which in turn can cause unintended consequences. By picking up the telephone, you eliminate the guess-work. The tone and inflection of your voice, the conversational back and forth, the impromptu humor and discussion leaves no room for error.
  • RELATIONSHIP BUILDING – Building strong working relationships with your colleagues is very important and can likely contribute to your ultimate success. You may have heard the quote by John Donne, “No man is an island entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…”. This is exactly right in the business world . Teamwork is everything. And you can’t foster teamwork without building relationships. You can’t build ‘real’ relationships with only email and instant messaging. There must be some human contact to give those digital words life.
  • CUTTING DOWN THE EMAIL CHAIN – Texting is great for brief questions and confirmations, but not for conversations. When the text messages get too long and begin to go on for what seems like forever, you know when it’s time to stop and dial the number. The same is true with email. These types of messages should be brief, and should not go on forever. To avoid these never-ending chains, pick up the phone. One five-minute conversation could be equal to fourteen emails.
  • IMMEDIATE RESPONSE – Writing takes time. Time is precious during the workday. Why wait for a reply to an email, when you can get your answer much faster. Remember, everyone’s inbox is full. When you send an email, you get prioritized. Don’t get prioritized. Get your answer quickly.

For an expanded discussions on business writing and workplace etiquette, see my book:

Royce Murcherson, Ph.D., The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that Gets Results. Iowa: Kendall-Hall, 2013

Clip Art, provided by Microsoft Office Professional Academic, 2010

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.

 

 


Millennials: Make Sure Your Soft Skills Are Up To Par!

10-19-2015 Millennials Need to Work on Soft Skills 528314961It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for a job, currently employed, or thinking about a promotion; if you were born sometime between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, please, please pay attention to your soft skills and make sure you are on par to make the most of your career success.

Take the time to do an in-depth self‑assessment your skills and then answer the following questions honestly:

 

 

  • Do you take your writing skills seriously—is your writing clear, coherent, and free of misspelled words and incorrect word usage—example: their versus there?
  • Do you check, double check and, yes, even triple check your facts and accuracy of numbers?
    How well do you really know Excel and Word (make sure it’s more than just “getting by”)?
  • Do you really know how to use Word and Excel to increase your work productivity and come up with better workplace solutions? You may know how to text, IM, post to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but that may not be enough!
  • Do you really understand the background and goals of your current company?
  • Have you done your homework thoroughly and researched companies where you’d like to work?
  • Can you ask intelligent questions about these companies, their products and services, and their societal impact?
  • Do you look for logical, but innovative ways, to solve work problems?
  • Finally, as simple as it may sound, do you know how to follow directions?

One of the things that research has shown is that employers place high value on whether employees can communicate effectively in person as well as online, and that means you have to have a well-rounded, competent soft skills set.

As, you, the Millennials come of age, it is important to keep in keep in mind that you will be in the workforce for many more years to come, so it is important that your generation strive to be competitive on a global as well as national level.
Sources: http://blog.aarp.org/2015/04/27/millennials-need-to-work-on-bridging-skills-gap/
http://www.ets.org/s/research/29836/

If you need to improve your job skills, consider enrolling in the Business Office Systems & Support program at Richland College. There are a wide variety of courses (offered online and face-to-face) from which to choose.

These courses range from basic keyboarding, computer literacy, business communications, business English, office procedures, records management, Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Access (in preparation for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam**). These courses can all lead you towards a college-credit certificate or a 2-year associate’s degree.

Richland College is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu at 972-238-6215.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a FREE version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.


WRITING TO WIN: The Importance of Trust in the Workplace

by Royce Murcherson

Remember when you were a kid? When it came to what was good and what was bad, it was pretty clear. When you were good, there was ice cream in your future. When you were bad, it was off to the time out corner. It was never a case of either/or. Nowadays you’re all grown up. You’ve figured out that the rules can be bent at times for one reason or the other. And sometimes you’ve probably indulged because it was pretty harmless. Afterward, you may have felt a little uneasy about it, but ‘hey’ you tell yourself, no laws were broken, no harm no foul, right? These are the questions that create a feeling of uneasiness when you’re not sure you’ve made the right decision. It’s important to know because it’s a matter of ‘trust’. Losing ‘trust’ in the workplace is a ‘losing proposition’. Don’t go there.

Being trustworthy is the rock solid foundation of who you are in the present and how you will be perceived in the future.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE TRUSTWORTHY?

There are certain things that shouldn’t be done in the workplace. Things like plagiarizing, hiding information, exaggerating claims, copyright infringement, crossing cultural boundaries, and conflicts of interest. Avoiding this type of behavior is part of what it means to be an honest, upright employee.

Being trustworthy means you live by a set of principles that govern ethical human behavior. These principles can come down to beliefs such as treating others as you would want to be treated. These principles can also come down to intuition, some inner feeling or moral compass that helps you decide what is right and what is wrong. This is what it comes down too…this question…Am I trustworthy? Or simply, what is the right thing to do?

A sense of justice, individual rights, and understanding the consequences of your actions has much to do with your sense of right and wrong. And your sense of right and wrong will guide your choices in the workplace and will project the degree of your trustworthiness among your colleagues.

Royce WeaselDON’T BE A WEASEL

Weasels are by definition cunning and devious. You may find yourself in a location where situation and circumstance may affect how you understand the difference between right behavior and wrong behavior. This is the ‘grey zone, a place in which a person has the opportunity to circumvent definitions of right and wrong behavior. In other words, the meanings could change due to extenuating circumstances. You may find yourself thinking of ways to ‘go around’ or to ‘avoid’. Try not to find yourself in this position. It may feel like artful maneuvering when in fact you may be bending the rules to suit your own needs rather than those of your coworkers.

HERE ARE SOME GUIDELINES to Avoid ‘Weaseling-Out’ 

  • Don’t evade responsibility. Do not back out of commitments. Cultivate cooperative behavior that benefits the group.
  • Don’t be sneaky in your dealings, achieving success by underhanded methods.
  • Don’t be cunning in order to advance selfish interests or hurt others.
  • Don’t be evasive in your communication with others. Be straightforward.
  • Don’t be intentionally vague or ambiguous in your conduct.
  • Don’t be deceptive in your actions, misleading deliberately.
  • Don’t be cowardly. Display confidence. Try to set a good example when dealing with tough issues.

For an expanded discussions on business writing and workplace etiquette, see my book:

Royce Murcherson, Ph.D., The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that Gets Results. Iowa: Kendall-Hall, 2013 

Clip Art, provided by Microsoft Office Professional Academic, 2010

______________________________________________________________________

For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.