Strengthening Relationships by Removing Blame: Constructive Relationships with Difficult Stakeholders

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Published on March 5, 2014

Author: mieko_ozeki

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Workshop presented at New England Campus Sustainability Forum in Boston, MA on September 20, 2013. This workshop focused on constructive conversations and applying systems thinking through mind-mapping.

Strengthening Relationships by Removing Blame: Constructive Relationships with Difficult Stakeholders

This Morning’s Facilitators Dallase Scott Sustainability Program Manager GreenerU Mieko A. Ozeki Sustainability Projects Coordinator University of Vermont The sustainability officers challenge...strategically addressing the chaos of implementing initiatives on our campuses and strengthening relationships with constituents without spiraling into negativity.

Workshop Outcomes ● Practice developing strategic mind maps with a 30,000 foot perspective on issues you are working on at your campus. ● Walk out with a starter “playbook” for addressing specific issues, campaigns, etc. and stakeholder relationships. ● Practice having a constructive conversation and strategizing how to develop a constructive relationship for future collaborations.

Your participation in this workshop will help you walk out with new tools for your sustainability tool box. It also requires….

Strategic Mapping of Issues and Relationships • The intent is to look at issues, problems, campaigns, relationships, etc. from 30,000 foot view by identifying opportunities, barriers, key stakeholders, etc. through the process of mindmapping. Also called network mapping. • Mindmapping is the process of visually presenting information via a diagram. • Mindmapping is a tool that conceptually associated with the process of systems thinking.

Example: Food Systems @UVM

Example: Bottled Water Ban @UVM

Example: Hydration Hydra Map Translated into a To-Do List

Mind Map Activity ① Spend 2-minutes each identifying a pressing issue, problem, etc. you are about to or currently engaged in. With partners (groups of 2): ② ③ o Summarize the issue into a single word or succinct term. With Post-it notes, put your single word in the center of your map work space. (Note: Your workspace can be at a table or wall) Discuss with your partner the issue for 8-minutes: identifying key concepts, people, logistics, barriers, opportunities, etc. o Your partner will listen and write on Post-it notes a phrase, idea, opportunity, relationship they hear as you work through the problem. One term per Post-it note. ④ For the next 5-minutes, start to put together a rough draft of a map with your post-it notes. Total time for activity: 20 minutes ⑤ Switch roles and repeat Steps 14 with other partner.

= Node, a concept associated with central issue. = Branch, connects one node related to another node.

Record your maps • Take a picture or draw out the map you developed. • You can take your map and draft it on a program such as Mindjet Mind Manager, Mindnode, or other online software. • Create to-do lists or action plans based on your map.

Constructive Conversations Being an effective communicator is essential in our roles as change agents. Difficult conversations that challenge our identity can feel like a direct hit.

Difficult Conversations Check List Preparation: What happened? Take a learning stance Check Your Purpose Action: Start from the Third Story Explore Their Story and Yours Problem Solving • • • • • •

Process • Example situation • Reflect on a personal experience • With a partner, "coach” each other through a difficult conversation Reminder o This is not easy o Important to be supportive coaches o Important to be honest and vulnerable

Preparation: Describe What Happened What happened? Recognizing it is your description of the event not others.

Sam the Student My Story: • Hired Sam a passionate, very likeable student • We had a few great weeks of work Then… Sam missed a few deadlines Delayed response to no response to my emails Stopped dropping by the office to check-in • • • “What Gives?!”

Preparation: Take a learning stance. What impact has this situation had on me? What does this situation say about who I am? My identity? What might their intentions have been? What did we each contribute to this situation?

Preparation: Check Your Purpose. What do you hope to accomplish? Is this the best way to address the issues? If you don’t raise it, what could you do to let it go?

Action: Start from the Third Story Share your purpose and your goals. Describe the problem as the difference between both stories. Ask to sort out the situation together.

Action: Explore Both Stories Reframe from: • • Truth to Perspective Blame to Contribution Accusations to Feelings Listen to understand their perspective. Ask questions. Acknowledge their feelings and yours.

Action: Problem Solving Invent options that meet each sides important concerns and interests. Look to standards for what should happen. Ask how you can both keep communication open going forward.

Difficult Conversation Activity • Reflect on a conversation you have been avoiding because you know it will be a difficult one. o 2 min • With a partner use the “Coaching Key” worksheet to share each others experience. o 8 min each • Reminder! o Be honest. There is great value in understanding your contributions.

Closing: Reflections on workshop and moving forward, utilizing these tools.

Reference and Tools • Stone, Patton, & Heen (2000) Difficult Conversations. • Buzan, T. (1996) The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain's Untapped Potential. • Tools: Mindjet Mindmanager: www.mindjet.com/mindmanager/ Mindnode: www.mindnode.com • •

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