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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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The “Over-Qualified Bias”: What does this mean to employers and candidates?


MP900443225[1]Evelina Silveira, President, Diversity at Work in London,co-author  The No-Nonsense Guide to Workplace Inclusion

The topic of implicit bias has become increasingly popular in diversity and inclusion discussion circles.  Racial, gender, ability, age, cultural and other biases often play a part in deciding whether a  candidate is interviewed, offered, retained and promoted in a job.  Have you ever taken into account that an “over-qualified” label can also have serious ramifications for both your organization and the candidate?

With global unemployment as an epidemic, it naturally makes sense that many applicants may apply for work they have done before, with ease and for an extended period of time.  When these individuals then go to apply for a job which  is similar to what they have done before they are considered “over-qualified” and thus overlooked.  When employers go the “over-qualified” route, they believe that this is a nice way to let applicants down; telling them in a nutshell – “you are too good for this job”.

Next time you consider dismissing an applicant because they are “over-qualified’ it is worth reflecting on the following points:

  1.  The candidate applied for the job and this means they are interested just as any other.
  2.   You may think they are overqualified but they might feel otherwise.
  3.   They may be fine with lateral moves – not everyone wants to climb the corporate ladder.
  4.   They are looking for a less stressful job that they can balance more easily.
  5.   They have outside interests which they may want to devote more energy; and that is why they have chosen to apply for a job which they can perform easily.
  6.   An overqualified candidate can be your best asset. They can bring industry experience which can help your organization soar.
  7.   Do you want to eliminate a candidate from the pool because you fear they will take your job?
  8.   Different people approach work differently. This means that the candidate may find a new way of doing the work that will make it more stimulating and thus more inclined to stay.
  9.   You may be getting more value for their work.
  10.   Over-qualified is a label associated with mature workers. Could you be prejudicing the employment of mature workers?
  11.   Not all over-qualified people demand high salaries which is an assumption that is made all to often.

Before you think a candidate will be “bored in a second and gone in a minute” try some probing questions in the interview to determine whether the risk is high.

  1.   Where do you hope to be in 2 years?
  2.   What are you hoping to learn in this job?
  3.   What motivates you at work?
  4.   What is the ideal job for you?
  5.   What are you looking for in a job?

You may find the job is a perfect match for the candidate you have slotted as “over-qualified”.  There is no guarantee anymore that an employee is going to stay with a company for 10 years.  But realistically, job seekers are not doing a lot of job hopping when there are few options to go to.  If you are concerned their skills are not adequately being used asked them for suggestions.  With work experience under their belt they may make a fantastic mentor which is an exceptionally good way to recognize their value.

 

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The Guide to Workplace Inclusion


Preview and Purchase at www.yourdiversityatwork.com/ebook/

Read  below what others have said about our book:

linked in

ENDORSEMENTS:

This is an important and timely book for those who want more inclusive workplaces. It moves seamlessly from concepts and terminology and translates them into practical and actionable ideas. All readers, no matter where they are on their diversity and inclusive journey, will find something valuable in this book. Evelina Silveira and Jill Walters have created an impressive resource that includes examples of promising practices from across the globe. This should be every HR professional’s companion!

~Ratna Omidvar, executive director, Global Diversity Exchange, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University

The No-Nonsense Guide to Workplace Inclusion provides a thorough and engaging roadmap of the journey toward organizational inclusion. The authors write from a position of rich, credible experience, with the result that this Guide can help companies capitalize on opportunities and skirt problems on the road to fuller inclusion of an increasingly diverse workplace. Filled with examples and evidence-based solutions, this Guide is a valuable tool for any organization working on building and strengthening its culture of inclusiveness.

~Alison Konrad, PhD, professor of organizational behaviour, Ivey Business School, London, Canada

Managing diversity and creating inclusive workplaces can seem like a daunting challenge for many organisations, but Evelina and Jill have produced a really accessible, highly practical guide to help organisations get going. What we particularly liked was that it was packed full of real examples and illustrations and lots of useful links and tools.

~Tracy Powley, director, Focal Point Training and Consultancy Ltd, United Kingdom

Because inclusion is one of the core values of the USTA, it is important for me to lead, motivate and work well with individuals of diverse backgrounds, capabilities and interests in order to achieve the outcomes we’ve set for ourselves. This book is a great resource for any organization looking to create a successful culture of inclusion.

~D.A. Abrams, chief diversity & inclusion officer, United States Tennis Association/ author, Diversity & Inclusion: The Big Six Formula for Success

This book goes a long way in addressing the systemic discrimination faced by the LGBTQ2 community in the workplace. It tells you what you need to do and gives you the resources to do it. It makes it easy for any workplace to become more inclusive in their hiring, recruitment and retention practices. I highly recommend it for every workplace.

~ Deb Al-Hamza, past president, Pride London Festival/ diversity social worker, Children’s Aid Society of London & Middlesex

I think this book is very comprehensive! There is very valuable information from ‘Foundations for creating an Inclusive Business Environment’ to ‘Best Practices in Diversity.’ I see the value for small to medium businesses that lack a dedicated human resources professional or lack the experience with implementing policies and procedures to promote an inclusive environment; however, larger businesses can also benefit greatly from the examples, detail and strategy offered. I will continue to visit many of the resources offered in the future and have made note of some of the examples.

~Lesley Oliver, diversity & accessibility coordinator, Equity & Human Rights Services, University of Western Ontario

The book is strategic, concrete and to the point. The various examples make it relevant to readers and practical. I also like the fact it is rooted in personal experiences and takes a holistic approach. The book makes one reflect on what is not obvious, helps avoid assumptions and discusses unconscious bias.

~Magali Toussaint, international career and cross-cultural coach/ diversity professional, Netherlands, http://about.me/magali.toussaint

 

 

 

 

Coaching New Canadians in Soft Skills: How do you do it?


Evelina Silveira, President, Diversity at Work in London Inc.

I am pleased to announce an upcoming workshop that I will be doing in London, Ontario on May 29th. It combines what I have learned over the years in: international education, coaching and mentoring New Canadians in the workplace and working directly with employers regarding their integration. If you are interested in learning how to optimize and retain immigrant talent, this workshop is for you. If you cannot make the workshop in London, we are happy to deliver it to your workplace or community. We travel anywhere, just ask.   For full details, visit our website at http://www.yourdiversityatwork.com/workshops/.

coaching

Are Your Hiring Practices Really Equitable?


Evelina Silveira, President, Diversity at Work in London Inc. Author of Diversity and Inclusion on a Budget: How to have a more innovative and engaged workforce with little or no dollars.

Equity statements on job postings have become part of the norm, implying the applicant has a fair shot at a job. If the ultimate goal is to hire the best person for the job, then some very common unfair workplace practices may be getting in the way. Let’s take a look at how allowing candidates to circumvent the hiring process throws equity out of the window.

A candidate may have “supporters” in the organization who would like him/her to be hired. The supporters may approach the hiring committee or senior leaders to advocate for the candidate. While this may be advantageous to the candidate and a time-saver for the hiring committee, how might this sit for an applicant who doesn’t have an “in” with the organization? If the supporters are successful, their candidate will be hired.

What happens to the other people who have applied? Your best candidate may have been waiting in the pile of resumes, which did not get your attention because of the “support” one candidate received.

What implication does this have on diversity and workplace inclusion? Immense. You ended up hiring very similar people. What is the effect on innovation? Abysmal. New Canadians, people who live out of town, youth, people with disabilities, aboriginal people and those who may be entering the workforce for the first time don’t stand a chance, unless “they know someone.”

In terms of succession planning, you may see very little in the way of diversity, creating huge implications for organizational profitably as well as innovation, not to mention corporate image.

If the situation I have described has become part of your organization’s hiring procedures, there is a good chance it has become well known. Do you want the word out that: “You need to know someone, to get a job”? Or would you prefer applicants have an equitable chance of getting hired as your equity statement would imply?

The hiring process should be transparent all of the way. If you don’t feel comfortable with writing down the specifics of your hiring process and making it public, there is a good chance it may be inequitable and even illegal.

You can argue that it has always been this way! In the past, we did not include equity statements, but now we do. Consequently, more than ever we need to be accountable for applicants who take the time to answer job ads and treat the process fairly out of respect to them and to the integrity of the organization.
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Creating an Employer Brand to Attract New Canadians and Generation Y


Three Smiling Businesswomen

An excerpt from Diversity and Inclusion on a Budget:  How to have a more engaged and innovative workforce with little or no dollars written by Evelina Silveira and Jill Walters.

Let hard-to-reach groups know that there’s an opportunity for employment with your organization by showcasing a broad spectrum of employees in your company literature and on your website. Let your employees know what your goals are in terms of a representative workforce, and that you value their suggestions and help. Ask if they would be willing to share their history with the company. This is a great way to demonstrate that you can be an employer of choice for diverse applicants.

Here’s how to do this:
–  Include the employee’s picture and history with company
–  Post a video on your site
–  Use a written profile, if your budget is really tight

The employees that you include in your staff literature and on your website should represent a cross-section of departments and available positions. If you are confused as to where to begin, bank websites are really great at creating an employer brand, specifically the Royal Bank of Canada (www.rbc.com).

Include employees who have held a number of positions within the organization and have advanced through the company. This demonstrates that there is equal opportunity for all. Note any committee involvement, special assignments, skills or expertise they have acquired as a result of working for your company.

These mini-profiles, highlighted on your website and in your literature, go a long way in promoting your company’s image as an employer of choice. Brag about it! Don’t hold back and be humble! Remember, labour shortages are starting to occur in many sectors. Stand out and let it be known who you are as a company, and what employees can expect from working for you.

It’s probably an odd analogy but think about your company as a potential date. If your company was on the dating scene, what attractive qualities would it promote? What could it offer? Why should a job seeker be interested in you? What could it gain from having you as an employee?
With this in mind, think about all the areas in which your company supports its employees, and include those details on your site. For instance, younger workers are really keen about seeking out employment with companies that are socially responsible, environmentally friendly, flexible and interactive. Having a pool table might be a bonus. Include this information!

Do you have an on-site day care? Flex-time opportunities? Cross-training? A mentoring program? Employee Resource Groups? Prayer rooms? Adaptive technology? A women’s leadership group? On-site smudging area? Gym? Pool table? English as a Second Language classes? Pets at  work? All these programs and services demonstrate that an employer supports and cares about the employees; their physical, social, spiritual and psychological well-being, and their need to succeed professionally. List them!

Consider asking those employees with more seniority about the special perks and selling points of working at your organization. Include them on your on your promotional materials as well.

 

 

 

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