Is your Brand Nice?

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

For National Bullying Prevention Month- Is Your Brand NICE? By: Leah Hollis, Ed.D.   Yes, I realize I am tweaking a title from a recent Sandra Bullock movie… yet the phrase rings loud in my ears.  Is your brand nice? We all go through this world… a world full of political leaders who spend more time sniping than talking to the true issues.  We have service providers who cut corners, and people who do the bare minimum just to get by.  We live in a country where shootings are commonplace.  Scams and phishing schemes flood the Internet.  Nonetheless, we can still be NICE and sway the balance back to civility. A few weeks back I had to get some service done in my home.  When I called in a panic, the lady answering the phone was NICE.  She understood my panic and continued to gather information, with please and thank you strung along in the conversion. She assured me she understood my concerns and that the company would come out around my hectic schedule. When the service man arrived, he offered a comprehensive explanation of the malfunction.  He told us about upcoming regulations that will affect future service.  He took the time to nicely explain how to prevent the problem again.  Once the service visit was complete, we received a survey on how the service was conducted. While no one wants to face breaking appliances, all I could think when the experience was over… their brand is nice.  The appliance was fixed; we knew what to anticipate in the future and knew how to follow up if there were future problems. Please note I am not saying nice means vacating our responsibility for self- advocacy.   I am not saying we should let people walk over us and be so nice that we are taken advantage of.  I will say, especially in National Bullying Prevention Month, we should be nice to each other.  We should strive to continuously educate each other how to interact with civility. Collectively, our brand should be...

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Olympic State of mind

Posted by on Aug 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

Olympic State of Mind This week the world descends on Rio De Janeiro for the Summer Olympic Games.  The pageantry and excitement hold the attention of the world for the two weeks that world class athletes compete for some of the loftiest accolades in amateur sports.  While the Olympic games bring national pride to any country with participating Olympic athletes, it also is a world-class symbol of diversity. The  Olympic flag with a white background and rings blue, yellow, black, green and red represents the flags of the countries when the modern Olympic games started in 1912.   The Olympics is not only built on diversity, but requires diversity. Athletes from across the globe, regardless of race, gender, or national origin come together to create some of the best athletic competitions in the world, and typically in a sportsman like manner.  This Olympic state of mind that reflects diversity is something we all can continue to embrace in our schools and workplaces. A diverse state of mind from all those who come to the boardroom or homeroom can help us perform at our personal best. Just like the Olympics require a diversity of talents, our workplaces require such as well.  In a historical moment with a particularly contentious political process, with violence and aggression costing lives for citizens and law enforcement alike, we all can strive for an Olympic state of mind. I recognize that the troubles facing our society are not simply solved in reflecting on athletic competition; nonetheless, just as a cross section of global athletes and a fair playing field is needed for a successful Olympics, a cross section of diverse citizens and a fair playing field is also needed for us in our day to day walk of life.  Good luck to the United States Olympic...

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I’m not here to make friends- maybe you should be

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in bullying

I’m not here to make friends- maybe you should be I’m not here to make friends- maybe you should be   Steve was hired as the new associate vice president of the mid west region. The last four quarters, his division faced declining production and slipping revenue. Investors were concerned; the board was ready to take prisoners. Steve was the solution. He inherited a beleaguered staff. The morale was low, and turnover increasing. Several reports had errors and projections were not accurate. The remaining staff operated in fear. Steve figured he had to “lower the boom” to straighten out the division. He held early meetings, insisted on weekly accounts of departmental time, and shaved 15 minutes off the lunch period. The staff responded. Some quit while others spiraled further into a mild depression. After his first month he abruptly leaves a staff meeting barking, “nothing had changed!” There were still errors, still problems, and still low productivity. His assistant was on his heels as he marched into the office. He slammed the door as the assistant entered. Steve punctuated his small tantrum with the comment “I’m not here to make friends!” The assistant quietly looked up from her note pad and simply stated, “Maybe you should be…” Often new executives take on a job that requires restructuring, reorganization or some other tough decisions. A common mantra is “I’m not here to make friends.” However, while staff may not be invited for Thanksgiving dinner or birthday parties, they are people who consume most of our waking time. We should strive to be friendly. Whether someone is the boss, or a middle manager, everyone has a responsibility to be civil and courteous. Developing a rapport with staff in which office friendships can flourish can go a long way to developing internal motivation and productivity. People who MUST work will work the terms of the contract and leave when the listen blows. People who TRUST are motivated by an affinity for the job and people around them will go the extra mile to meet objectives and maintain a positive environment. Maybe the problem with office morale is someone needs to be there to form office...

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Five Star Work place

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in bullying

Five Star Workplace Five Star Workplace Five Star Workplace Ever wonder why it is tough to return to work after a five star vacation? Think of the courtesy and service anyone receives when visiting a classy hotel.  Visitors are greeted kindly “How was your flight…” or “May I help you with your bags?”  The concierge will look for places to visit and offer directions.  Housekeeping will turn down the pillow and leave a chocolate.  Everyone typically has a smile on his or her faces, and visitors leave considering a return stay. The entire experience is MORE than civil. What would a five star workplace look like?  Colleagues and customers would smile as you enter the door.  Workers say please and thank you.  All people in the workplace have a smile on their faces and seem genuine about everyone being engaged in the experience. The summer months bring a time for many people to get away from the daily grind.  However whether one visits around the corner or around the world, the courtesy and kindness people experience on vacation play a large part in the relaxation and relief when they unwind.  Some readers may chime in and state that tips and fees bring that smile and courtesy on vacation; however in the workplace, everyone is being paid too.  So think again… the workplace also should be a place, which engages people. Here is a tip for anyone, despite the extravagance of their respective vacations. As we all go back to work, consider taking a five star attitude back to the office.  Please and thank you are more than courtesy. The smile opens doors, forms collaborations and motivates people to engage in the task.  A little five star civilities can help people reengage in the upcoming year.   Originally posted on Annie...

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Excusing Bad Behavior in the Office?

Posted by on Jun 9, 2015 in bullying

Excusing Bad Behavior in the Office? Excusing Bad Behavior in the Office? Excusing Bad Behavior in the Office? Layla was working on a project that required the input of two other offices. She needed data from the research office, and also promotional materials from the institution’s marketing division. She was on a deadline, but still needed to move forward and show progress. Layla was referred to Vivien in research. Vivien had come highly recommended and apparently a very competent colleague. During Layla’s initial contact with Vivien, they made a series of agreements about time line, gathering data, and how it should be conveyed for Layla’s project. Layla even developed a grid to confirm data in an effort to make Vivien’s job easier. But something went wrong. After the initial contact, Vivien didn’t welcome direct phone calls. Though through email, Vivien insisted she could deliver the data within the time limits and insisted with Layla “…and don’t call me.” Layla knew this was awkward. How could any two professionals work without communication? When the deadline finally came, Vivien had not followed through with what was promised. Layla could work with the delay but needed more information to manage other parts of the project. Apparently, Layla made a big mistake in picking up the phone for clarity. Not only did Vivien refuse to answer, Vivien immediately fired back with a very nasty email…”I told you not to call me… you are disturbing me…!” When Layla mentioned this email to her office mate the answer back was, “Oh yeah, Vivien is just like that…” This excuse is often given when someone acts unprofessional in the office. When incivility and a nasty attitude goes unchecked, the aggressor becomes emboldened and holds the office hostage with his or her nasty behavior. But what can Layla do? She needs the data. How to handle bad behavior: Trading self-respect for a project is never a good idea. Ignoring bad behavior only reinforces it and makes the aggressor more aggressive. Layla should speak up. No one should put up with a nasty attitude just to collaborate on a project. One of the reasons targets are bullied or picked on is because the aggressor perceives that the target will endure the abuse. Layla can find another way to work around Vivien. Are there other sources of data? Is there another way to present the report without Vivien’s information? Layla shouldn’t take it personally. The aggression apparently has personal issues. Layla never met Vivien before, and doesn’t have a history to make her that upset. Layla should check the behavior, then move onward and upward. Remember, we train people on how to treat us. If we say nothing about the abuse, we are indeed accepting unacceptable behavior.  Bullies and aggressive people act this way because they are “ALLOWED” to act...

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