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How Do You Say What You Want To Say by amberp

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									 How Do You Say
What You Want To

  ULA Annual Conference
        May 2006
     C. Jeffrey Belliston, Chair
General Information Services Brigham
          Young University
   Definition: Communication undertaken in the
    performance of, or furtherance of, one’s job
   Touch on five areas
    –   Importance
    –   Applicability
    –   Principles
    –   Hurdles
    –   Tools
   Good (but only representative) summary of issues
    is Parsley, Andy. “Road map for employee
    engagement.” Management Services, Spring 2006,
    10-11. (Items in quotes from this article.)
   Poor communication frequently cited as number
    one, or at least a major, problem in organizations.
   Another way of saying the same thing: lack of good
    organization and/or dissemination of information
   Personal work experiences of most people bear this
   Good communication  employee engagement 
    organizational performance by helping to create
    happy, loyal customers (patrons)

   Applies to all libraries regardless of
   No one knows everything
   We must inform and be informed by
   1 – Effective communication is everyone’s
   2 – Assuming things about communication
    leads to problems.
    – Common assumptions include Everybody already
      knows. and They don’t need to know.
   3 – Timely communication is the best
    – If necessary, give emotions time to cool before
      generating institutional communication whether
      verbal or written.
Principles (cont.)

   4 – Strive to give the right amount of
   5 – The larger the organization, the
    greater the challenge in creating
    effective institutional communication.
   1 – People (especially managers) “don’t see
    communication as part of their day job.”
   2 – People “have not developed their
    communication skills” which rely on
    “unnatural” technological tools.
    – Consist, conscious effort and practice are
    – Technological tools may not feel as “unnatural”
      to younger librarians
   3 – “Communication channels are absent,
    inappropriate, or over-subscribed”
   Feet (go see someone in person when
   Meetings (which allow for a true exchange
    of information among a larger group)
   Phone (no visual cues but still have voice
    cues and is interactive)
   Voicemail (completely one-sided but
    effective for verbally giving information to
    one or more people)
    – Change voicemail greeting often
Tools (cont.)
   E-mail & Organizational Listservs (writing
    isn’t the same as speaking)
    – Allows for a written conversation in an exchange
      of e-mails
    – Can be forwarded (good and bad)
    – Can be preserved (good and bad
   Intranet (place for posting of useful
    information such as meeting agendas and
   Instant messaging or IM (potential
    usefulness but no personal experience)

   Reemphasize
    – 1st Principle – Communication is
      everyone’s responsibility.
   With consistent, conscious effort we
    can improve to the betterment of our
    libraries and patrons.
       Diana Skousen
      Library Director
Summit County Library System
        What is feedback?

   Verbal or nonverbal
   Communicates perceptions and
    feelings about another person’s
      Why is it important?

   Learn new behaviors
   Assess our impact on others
   Learn to “keep on course”
   See ourselves as others see us
          Key ingredients

   Caring
   Trusting
   Acceptance
   Openness
   Concern for the needs of others
    Feedback is a learned skill that can
      be developed through use of 9

   Consider the needs of others.
   Describe behavior only; do not attempt to interpret.
   Focus on behavior that can be changed.
   Be specific.
   Wait for feedback to be solicited.
   Be nonjudgmental.
   Give feedback immediately after the behavior.
   Allow the freedom to change or not to change.
   Express feelings directly.

Consider the needs of

Describe behavior only;
  do not attempt to

Focus on behavior that
   can be changed.

     Be specific.

Wait for feedback to be

 Be nonjudgmental.

   Give feedback
immediately after the

Allow the freedom to
   change or not to

 Express feelings

Feedback should be
 Descriptive

 Nonjudgmental

 Specific

 Offer freedom of choice
Effective Listening
       Leslie Schow
     Branch Manager
     Herriman Library
         About Listening
      Assumption                       Reality
   Speakers control            Listeners control the
    communication                dialogue

   We can listen when we       Listening harder
    really have to               doesn’t mean listening

   When we start talking,      It takes time to engage
    others start listening       listeners
        Listening Skills
   Stop talking
   Imagine the other person’s point of view
   Look, act, and be interested
   Watch body language
   Don’t interrupt
   Listen between the lines
   Speak only affirmatively while listening
   Rephrase what you hear
   Stop talking

Britt Fagerheim,
Reference Librarian,
Utah State University
Group Communication

   Communication skills for working in
    groups or teams.
   Teams = Sharing ideas and experience
    = discussions
   Good discussion skills are key to a
    productive team.
   How are groups skills different than
    individual communication skills?
Communication in a

   Speak loudly enough.
   Keep focused on key points.
   Explain jargon.
   Avoid sarcasm or put-downs.
   Show how your idea ties into the
    current topic.
Communication in a

   Actively contribute your ideas and
    suggestions to the discussion.
   Make eye contact with everyone in the
   Be clear about the messages or points
    you want to make.
   Try making a simple drawing or visual
    aid to explain or make your point.
Communication in a

   Give specific reasons for your
    opinions. Be prepared to support your
    ideas with examples, data, etc.
   Ask others to explain the reasons
    behind their opinions.
   Listen closely to what others are
   Ask other people for their opinions –
    help to get everyone involved.
Communication in a

   Help to manage your team’s
    discussions – don’t contribute to
    leading the discussion off topic.
   Pull together thoughts and ideas
   Provide ideas for how the group can
    work better, resolve issues.
Communication in a

   Help the group check for agreement
    and consensus.
   Try to find areas of agreement for
    conflicting points of view – be a
    positive force in the group.
   Source: The Team Memory Jogger: A
    Pocket Guide for Team Members. Madison,
    WI: Joiner Associations, Inc., 1995.
Meeting protocol

   From Mindtools
   Involve the group in creating an agenda for
    the meeting
   Encourage active participation
   Try to keep the meeting at a comfortable
   Summarize discussions and
    recommendations throughout the meeting
   Circulate minutes to all participants

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