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Do You Watch ‘The Office’? My Workshop Gets At The Toughest Communication Grime! (‘Manager Michael Scott’ Needs To Attend!)


the office

 

I loved The Office. I still watch it in re-runs. It lets me laugh about situations I’ve seen again and again in actual workplaces. It’s not funny in real-life; but it’s hilarious in ‘pretend’!

IN REAL LIFE, I wasn’t laughing when I dealt with:

  • A manager wrongly accused of racism by an under-performer
  • An employee who unintentionally offended a client
  • An outreach worker who wanted to disclose community trends to alleviate a social problem but couldn’t without being falsely labelled herself

Why do these issues arise? Because ‘Awareness Training’ is not enough.

A healthy, safe, fearless workplace requires AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP. If you are an AUTHENTIC LEADER – or want to become one – then this workshop is for you.

What is an authentic leader? You’re confident, self-aware, and free to be yourself both publicly and privately. You see employees getting mired in political correctness, and the workplace climate being poisoned. You want to do something about it!

COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR DIVERSE WORKPLACES: My original, 6-HOUR, interactive workshop delivers tools that authentic leaders need to create and support openness and dialogue in the workplace.

In The Office ‘Dunder Mifflin Paper Products’ office and warehouse, people said the wrong things and lived in fear. They walked on eggshells. But they lacked the leadership to behave and communicate more successfully. In one episode, a diversity exercise became a circus of cultural stereotyping! It was funny because it resonates with everyone. Real-life offices face the same issues, but it’s never funny.

As a real-world manager, you experience:

  • Real conversation stifled because of fear of offense or ‘triggering’
  • An increase in bullying and harassment complaints/investigations

PARTICIPANTS IN MY MOST RECENT WORKSHOP (Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA) loved the workshop. In anonymous feedback, participants praised it:

 “I’m more inclined to engage in an uncomfortable dialogue than before this workshop.”

 “I received tools to work through difficult diversity dialogues.”

“Evelina created an atmosphere of openness and allowed uncomfortable conversations.”

“My favorite part was the variety of exercises and sessions.”

“This Communication Skills workshop was well-organized, on-time, and engaging.”

“I really appreciated the openness of Evelina!”

“This workshop was excellent: All the topics related to bias.”

“My favorite parts were the conversations and discussions.”

“I liked how the views and suggestions really support healthy dialogues.”

“I liked group discussions, thought-provoking conversations, and real-life examples.”

Workplaces today are quick to embrace diversity, but good intentions lead to conflict and toxicity. Sondra Thiederman calls this ‘Guerrilla Bias.’ In a workplace that picks up buzzwords, employees learn to identify as victims who are unable to cope with alternate views. No workplace can function and operate properly or effectively in this type of climate.

Authentic Leaders teach Authentic Communication

My workshop equips leaders with the skills necessary for authentic and challenging dialogues. Once in place, differences can be leveraged correctly. Differences become actual benefits, instead of becoming sticks to beat colleagues.

No manager wants their workplace evolving into a real-life version of The Office!

Risk-averse leaders cement a culture of silence. Silence leads to resentment and toxicity, which negates the potential benefits of a diverse workforce! In the wrong environment, diversity becomes a liability instead of an asset.

It doesn’t have to be this way. This is where I come in.

I understand. I hate workplace conflict. Increased calls to my anti-bullying service means workplaces are heating up because workers have stopped talking – they are afraid.

Do you blame them? I don’t.

More and more laws pop up telling us what we can and can’t say. A glance at the media shows how one wrong step, word, or tweet leads to a full-scale social-media attack and demonization.

Again: It doesn’t have to be this way. I can help.

If you want to be an authentic leader, I created my workshop for you and your organization. You’ll learn to be THE LEADER willing to take risks for the greater good of the organization, and to be a POSITIVE-COMMUNICATION MODEL for your team.

The Nitty-Gritty of COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR DIVERSE WORKPLACES:

  • A highly interactive, 6-hour workshop of my researched, original content
  • Self-reflection exercises for participants
  • Teamwork in small and large groups

But this workshop isn’t for everyone. Why? Because I challenge my participants! You won’t always feel comfortable, but discomfort is where awareness and learning begin.

YOU’LL LEARN:

  • Types of bias, and how personal bias shows up in the workplace
  • Best responses to comments/behaviours you believe are offensive
  • Approaches for justifiable accusations of bias or problematic behaviour
  • How to listen and genuinely understand someone

You’ll emerge with tools and strategies to have AUTHENTIC DIALOGUES, which are the lifeblood of constructive workplace relationships.

 Want to learn more? Interested in creating a GENUINELY authentic, diverse, and inclusive workplace? If you feel you’re an authentic leader, or that you want to learn how to become one, then this workshop is for YOU.

 Contact me to deliver this important workshop to you and your group.

Contact Evelina for more details at: 519-659-4777 evelina@yourdiversityatwork.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Offense: The Price Of Diversity?


Evelina Silveira, President Diversity at Work

This past year has been particularly challenging for people like me: media/political junkies, who feverishly skim the international news trying to find the truth in a web of misinformation, lies and fake news.  My Twitter newsfeed supplies me with a variety of political viewpoints on diversity issues.  I take all of it in, recognizing that each point may have some validity.  I am open to different points of view and I welcome them.  I especially love factually- based debates.

Why do I like it when people argue about diversity?  Because it means we are part of a free society.

My husband and most of my friends have not lived in democratic countries.  They lived under communism where dissent could not be expressed.  If you have ever heard firsthand the stories of people who feared to say the wrong thing or going against the grain – you would certainly have a better appreciation for how we in the West have been afforded so many freedoms like free speech.

Increasingly, I see freedom of speech is only allowed if you express a certain opinion.  If for example, you go against a liberal opinion there can be severe consequences.

Let’s be very clear before I go any further.  I am not for hate speech — that is very different and our laws seem adequate in that regard. Disagreeing and hate are not the same.

American and Canadian universities have been host to violent protests where audiences thirsting for a  different point of view were hurt.  Campuses were set on fire and a lot of other nasty stuff happened.  You would think that university campuses would be the bastions of free speech and critical thinking? But, apparently not.  What impact does that have on education if what we must always be concerned with not offending others?

I remember sitting through my anthropology classes in university and hearing students rhyme off a very different version of history than the one I was taught. Disparaging remarks were made about believers of my faith and their historically oppressive role.  The professor did not stop the discussion, nor was that the expectation. (Probably these days that would be different.)  I sat and listened to what the student said and decided I would not oppose the remarks. Because the student exchange was deeply emotional for me, it left an imprint.  Decades later, I was able to understand my fellow student’s opinion and would agree with her in part and glad the professor did not shut down the conversation because she was concerned it “would offend someone”.

One of the ways I like to set myself apart from other practitioners is that I encourage the free flow of discussion about various diversity issues from a number of sources which is reflected in my Twitter and Facebook presence.  It reminds me of when teachers would explain that you should use a number of sources to substantiate your argument and present both sides.  That’s a really honest approach – and one I support.

Unfortunately, I have found that my need to present a diversity of opinions is not always met very well on social media.  And despite having a private business, some Tweeters feel that I should stick to the same predictable perspectives on issues all of the time.  For me, if I only present one side of an argument I am just another agent of propaganda.  I also feel that I am insulting my followers/ readers believing that they are not entitled to other views and can make their own decisions.  Diversity for me also spells diversity of ideas and opinions.

What I do know is that the lines between expressing a different point of view and hate speech are becoming frightfully blurred.  The best way to shut down a dissenting argument is to say it is “hateful” or “offensive”. Calling someone a racist in Western society is one of the worst accusations and is hurled left, right and centre at people who are often expressing a different view which has nothing to do with hate.

Diversity, free speech, and offense go hand in hand.  If we are going to be a welcoming society to a diversity of people, their values, and beliefs we all need to make peace with the fact that at times we will be challenged and that can be very emotional.  We cannot legislate hurt feelings or thoughts so why are we even trying?  We either grow a tougher skin or live in an Orwellian thought-controlled society:  what would you prefer?

 

 

 

 

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