Hot Chicks, Guns and “Bad Words” Sell Merchandise!

By: Cody J. Giordano

Gary Vaynerchuk is a media expert. Vaynerchuk recently said in a Facebook video that he does not want to make a conventional video. He would rather make something people enjoy watching with cues, such as logos and objects or merchandise within those commercials. All forms of advertising have a place, but newspapers and inkblots, alone, will not cut it in our technology-driven society. Advertising styles have changed dramatically.

Black Rifle Coffee Company does an amazing job at selling products without directly advertising them. The veteran-owned and operated company makes funny and outrageous videos on YouTube and Facebook. The videos depict attractive women (hot chicks), guns, extreme sports, nice cars and everything else guys, like me, can’t get enough of. Below are three videos from BRCC.

John Willis, the owner of Special Operations Equipment (SOE) and James Yeager, the “MFCEO” of Tactical Response, have gotten famous by being unapologetic business owners. SOE makes gear like gun belts, chest rigs, rifle slings, etc. Tactical Response is a firearms-fighting school. Both Yeager and Willis speak their mind. When someone doesn’t agree with them, they will fan the flames. This gets the customer fired up. That customer then runs to forums and social media outlets to complain about either businessman. This draws supporters, like myself, to defend Willis and/or Yeager. Willis says that this model works because it is like a traffic jam. Everyone stops to look at the car with a flat tire. This slows down traffic, and more people see the flat tire (his name). The people then flock to his page by the hundreds to buy products. Yeager uses this model to get new students to sign up for classes at Tactical Response. They call this firing customers. By not wasting time on one bad customer, they can help two or three good ones. Both can be seen on YouTube and Facebook doing this very well.

Times have changes, and so have advertising styles. Rather than try to convince you why their product is better or tell you all about their products/services, they give you entertaining content that has subtle hints towards their business.

The Baby Boomers vs. The Millenials

If you are a young person sitting at a family event and happen to be texting your best friend about the next time you want to hang out, you may have been told by your grandmother to get off your phone and that you are becoming antisocial. It may not have happened to you, but it sure has happened to me.

What I do not think the generations before us understand is that communication is evolving with society. They see our ways of communicating with each other as unnecessary or inefficient. However, I feel that our generations have similar ways of communicating. Past generations would write letters to friends that lived farther away because they had no way of communicating with them otherwise. Heck, they would even use telephones to call them. The combination of these sound fairly familiar to me. I see the combination as a cell phone. The letters are the equivalent to texts, and the calls are pretty obvious. A major difference between the two generations would be having a landline vs. having a cell phone. I know my grandmother has a landline, but I do not.

Also, each generation has their own lingo. With each generation comes new words. For our generation words like “swag” and “twerk” have formed, but the older generations look down on us for them. I am not saying I myself am proud of these words, but they also formed words like “hickey” and “fuzz”, which means police. These words are also not the most intelligent, and I bet the generation before the baby boomers found this lingo unnecessary. It is like a never ending cycle.

Seth Sharpe

 

Good Ways to Deliver Bad News

Delivering bad news is never fun for any of us, but if you are a CEO of a company it definitely adds to the difficulty. Not only is your reputation on the line but you represent the company and how your employees and the public view you, they also view the company in the same way.  You have the whole company’s reputation at stake when speaking on its behalf. What you say should be something that you would want anyone to hear.

Leaking Information

IBM CEO, Ginni Rometty, is an example of this. After the disappointing earnings report on April 18, Rometty released a video to all 434,000 employees in which she admitted that IBM hadn’t “transformed rapidly enough.” She called out the sales staff for missing out on several big deals. “We were too slow,” she said. “The result? It didn’t get done.” The press got wind of her message, and Rometty’s now accused of the corporate equivalent of yelling at her children in public. (Suddath) Always keep in mind that internal information can be leaked to outside sources. Being clear and direct is a positive but being degrading and placing blame is not acceptable. Keep in mind that what you are communicating to your employees should be something that you don’t mind your stakeholders hearing.

Focus on the Issue

When there is a big crisis, you must be ready to own the mistakes, express regret, and show that actions are being made to correct them and move forward. One of the most egregious in recent history was former BP CEO’s Tony Hayward’s handling of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in which 11 people lost their lives and billions of gallons of oil ended up in the Gulf of Mexico. (Andersen) His infamous words “I want my life back” remind us that when you have to deliver bad news, you should put your self-pity to the side. Stakeholders would have much rather heard that he understands the extremity of the spill as well as the relentless efforts that were being made to clean the water and rescue wildlife, as well as what actions are in place to keep this from happening again. (Owen) His words made the public feel that he was being insensitive about the concerns of the oil spill in 2010 and thinking of only himself instead of focusing on how he was going to assist in the efforts to make this bad situation better. This reminds us that even though you are being impacted by this, make it about them not you. Always keep in mind that you need your stakeholder’s support and that they are depending on your to be a strong leader that takes ownership when something bad happens.

Handling Bad News

Here are some ways that you can better handle delivering bad news:

  • First speak up and be credible by giving accurate information.
  • Come up with a plan right away and communicate it.
  • Don’t put it off because it is always better that the accurate information comes directly from you. Take responsibility for what has happened and show empathy.
  • Listen with courtesy and respect to the response.
  • Communicate the next steps of the plan.
  • Do what you said you were going to do. Repeat as needed. (Andersen)

Good News

To end on a good note…the founder of one of Turkey’s most successful brands, the food delivery company Yemeksepeti, in May sold his 15-year-old company to Germany’s Delivery Hero for $589 million. $27 million is going to 114 of the company’s 370 employees. With the typical employee earning between $1,000 and $2,000 a month, the average $237,000 bonus works out to roughly 150 months of wages, per CNN Money. (CEO gives employees “life changing” bonus) This bad news of the company being sold, turned out to be the best news to 114 of its employees. The news of the bonus would be easy to deliver, however, telling the 256 employees that they will not be receiving the bonus because they have not been with the company longer than two years would be more difficult.

Works Cited

Andersen, Erica. “How Great Leaders Deliver Bad News.” 6 March 2013. Forbes. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikaandersen/2013/03/06/how-great-leaders-deliver-bad-news/&gt;.

Beam, Christopher. “Oil Slick: How BP is handling its P.R. Disaster.” 21 October 2015. Slate. <http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2010/05/oil_slick.html&gt;.

Bies, Robert. “The 10 Commandments for Delivering Bad News.” 30 May 2012. Wiki How. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesleadershipforum/2012/05/30/10-commandments-for-delivering-bad-news/&gt;.

“CEO gives employees “life changing” bonus.” 30 July 2015. USA Today. <http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/07/30/ceo-sells-company-gives-employees-life-changing-bonus/30878901/&gt;.

Mullane, Denise Lenci and John. “COMMENT: Communicating with the public: how BP told the Macondo story.” 6 December 2010. Oil and Gas Journal. <http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-108/issue-46/general-interest/comment-communicating-with-the-public.html&gt;.

Owen, Jo. “BP Oil Spill Crisis Management: How Not to Do it.” 11 June 2010. CBS News. <http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bp-oil-spill-crisis-management-how-not-to-do-it/&gt;.

Suddath, Claire. “The Right Way for a CEO to Deliver Bad News.” 9 May 2013. Bloomberg Business. <http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2013-05-09/the-right-way-for-a-ceo-to-deliver-bad-news&gt;.

Team, Mind Tools Editorial. “Delivering Bad News.” n.d. Mind Tools. <https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/bad-news.htm&gt;.

Weber, Erin McClam and Harry R. “BP’s Failures made worse by P.R. mistakes.” 11 June 2010 . NBC News. <http://www.nbcnews.com/id/37647218/ns/business-world_business/t/bps-failures-made-worse-pr-mistakes/#.Vikx1418OUk&gt;.

Witt, Chris. “How Good Leaders Can Deliver Bad News.” 21 October 2015. Reliable Plant. <http://www.reliableplant.com/Read/17101/how-good-leaders-can-deliver-bad-news&gt;.

 

Ad Web Audience Targeting

Defining and targeting an audience are vital steps in great communication.  In publications, the ads are an excellent representation of who the targeted audience is.  Websites of these publications also target an audience but with an added dimension, the ability to individually target the viewer (audience.)  The ads vary by the choices selected within the publication website thus, redefining the audience.

Forbes website was the chosen publication to illustrate this changing targeted audience.  On the homepage of Forbes, the ads are geared toward a well-defined target group.  The initial ads were for Wall Street Journal; government tax programs; CD bank rates; oil dividends; filmmaking courses; and senior cell phone plans.  Together, these ads are for older wealthy businessmen. These are representative of the homepage initial ads.  The target audience is towards one who is interested in financial issues of taxes, CD notes, dividends, and business news from the WSJ…a businessman of diverse monetary concerns.  Definitely, the “senior plan” refers to an older generation.  The filmmaking courses also reinforce the older target group with an advertisement for a new hobby or starting a new business.  This is an extremely focused target audience.

Having the advantage of real-time viewing, websites can narrow the target audience.  When a viewer chooses a selection, a story or an article, the site chooses ads focusing on the audience’s interests.  If the chosen article deals with businesses with negative issues then the ads may change to customer service aids for businesses, insurance ads, or company improvement ads.  Relating the ads to the different types of articles narrows the targeted audience.

Another audience-targeting dimension of websites is third party advertising, directly targeting the individual viewer.  Third party advertising is advertisers which monitor viewers’ web surfing on their computers.  Directing ads of the real-time viewer’s interests allows the publication to broaden its audience.  These viewer-interest ads frame the articles with familiar and personal target ads.  Even though these ads may not have any connection with the article or the publication, the audience is familiar with these ads.  This frame may keep them reading the articles.  This allows for various changes so the targeted audience is the viewer even if the viewers do not fit the original targeted audience.  A young want-to-be businesswoman planning to start her own business would now be a targeted audience.  This real-time changing redefines the target audience as the current viewer to keep them interested in the publication even if they may not initially seem to be the audience targeted.

Concluding, this publication’s ads were aimed at a senior population of wealthy businessmen.  In general, this is the overall targeted audience but with websites drawing in different audiences with a specific article, the website uses ads to include the new audience in real-time viewing.  This advantage allows websites to reframe the site to include the viewer.  This is the magic of website ads – framing articles with advertising content this viewer is interested in seeing.

By Kentrina Freeman, Liberal Arts Major – IUPUC

The Deadliest of Them All

BLOGS

It is night, and the only thing filling the sky is lightning and earth shattering thunder. The crews are almost finished with their seasons of crab fishing and the end of the road could not be any closer, but Captain Campbell and Captain Hillstrand are not about to let a small storm ruin their chances at finishing the season strong.The two captains are both having issues with weather and a few bad strands of fishing spots.

Captain of the 109 foot Seabrooke, Scott Campbell Jr. is eager to gather enough crabs to finish the fishing season. Before today I have never actually watched an episode of deadliest catch. I would have to say that I thought that the show was very interesting and intense. The two captains Seabrookehave to keep watch and keep safe there whole crew. I realized that crab fishing is dangerous and tiresome. The waves beat against the boats as they drive out into the ocean. Captain Scott Campbell Jr. is a rough and tough captain who wants what is best for the members of his crew.

I watched episode 10, season 4, and during the show Captain Campbell was faced with a horrible storm and he had to decide whether or not to turn his boat around or keep pushing forward. With the crews best interest at heart he made the correct decision to get the boat to land to wait out the storm. Trying to gather as many crabs as they can on their way back to the main land Campbell is pained by the issues he is having with his back. The wind gusts were up to a raging 70 miles per hour. Although the weather was not in their favor they pushed through for 8 hours and gathered 143 crates of crabs. The crew rejoiced with excitement for a great nights catch. The captain nears land and finished for the sake of the crew even though his back was injured. Worried that they would not be able to meet their goal of king crabs Captain Campbell tries to push his team through the  waves in the Barring Sea so they can collect as many crabs as possible as their season ends. During the storm before they could call it quits they had to gather 140 pots full of crabs. The men on the deck  received a large amount of  18,000 dollars a piece, for the hard work they put in.

Captain Jonathan Hillstrand is captain of the 113 foot boat Time Bandit has Timebeen having bad luck with crab and poor weather conditions for over a week. They have to get as much crab as they can to have enough to meet their goals. At this point in the season the crew is not even close to the amount of crab that they need at turn in. They have been pulling up plots of only one and two crabs at a time. The lack of crab is making it very hard on the crew and is crushing their spirits. Captain Hillstrand is teaming up with the captain of the Northwestern to share in his glory of the crabs he is picking up. Both captains are going to work together to keep the other fishers out of their area. The captain believes that his decision was a good one but the crew may not agree with his choice.

I decided to watch two completely different episodes for my second show because i wanted to make sure I was able to understand the season. What I noticed about the two captains was that Captain Campbell was very independent and could handle his crew without relying on someone else to help him with his troubles unlike Captain Hillstrand did. Captain Campbell pushed his team hard, but I think that Captain Hillstrand was the toughest on his members.

Seeing as I haven’t seen but the two episodes I watched I had a hard time figuring out the captains strategies about how they controlled their crew. In my opinion captain Hillstrand was more dominant than the surrounding captains I noticed that his crew worked better together because there was not as much strain on the team. In conclusion, the Seabrooke is going to have a better outcome for their seasons ahead, because of the way he treats his crew members. The crew members benefit from the captains strategies because they work as a team rather than competing.

Miscommunication That Can Lead to Malpractice in Hospitals

Did you know that the leading cause for malpractice in hospitals is miscommunication?

According to the research that I have done, there are five key risk factors as to why miscommunication can happen in hospitals; Culture/ Ethnicity, Beliefs, Literacy, and Gender.

Culture and Ethnicity are major reasons why there is miscommunication in hospitals. “In 2008, according to the U.S. Census, nearly 20% of people living in the United States spoke a different language.” (Quan. Introduction) Though, that does not seem like a lot of people, think of how many people speak a foreign language in today’s world. This is a problem for hospitals and medical professionals because there is a language barrier between the two. If you have a Spanish speaking patient, and an English speaking doctor, chances are there is going to be some type of miscommunication. This is where it is necessary for hospitals to have language translators. Whether it be the medical staff learning the major languages that are in the United States, or by hiring immigrants who know English well enough that the medical staff can understand what the patient needs or wants.

Socioeconomics is another risk for miscommunication in hospitals that can cause malpractice. A patient’s beliefs can determine what a doctor can and cannot do for them. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in blood transfusions, this can cause a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding for hospital staff. Even if it means, letting them die, the doctor has to respect the patient’s beliefs. Ways that this can be dealt with is for the doctor to understand the culture itself. If the doctor is trying to give the patient something they do not believe in, that is going against who they are. Medical staff should always be understanding and caring even if what the patient believes in hurts them more than helps.

Does every patient understand medical terms? More than likely, absolutely not. If every patient understood medical terms, they would not receive a prescription, and wonder, “Now, what’s this for?” This is where miscommunication falls into place. When patients do not know their medical terminology, and do not ask the doctor questions when it is appropriate, things can get sticky. Not knowing what you are taking, can hurt you rather than help. A solution for this maybe to require students in high school to take classes to understand these words. An etymology class would be great for this. Advisors at my high school suggested this class for students who planned on going into the medical field.

Many people do not understand that there is a difference between sex and gender. Sex refers to biological, or what you are born with. Such as, your external sex organs. Gender is the characteristics that a society or culture defines as masculine of feminine. When a patient is a male, but dresses as a female, this can cause miscommunication between the patient and staff. One, they do not know what to call this patient. And, if they did not know what sex the patient was and gave him a medicine they would typically give a female, this can lead to a problem. In order to understand these kinds of people, is to actually get to know them before prescribing them medicine. Even if the patient checked off on the patient form that he was a she, it is still important to figure out who the doctor is really dealing with.

All of the things that I have talked about lead to the malpractice if miscommunicated. My suggestions will hopefully, one day, be a thing in the past and we will not have to worry about miscommunication between patients and medical staff.

Works Cited Page

http://www.hhnmag.com/hhnmag/jsp/articledisplay.jsp?dcrpath=HHNMAG/PubsNewsArticle/data/2006August/0608HHN_gatefold&domain=HHNMAG

http://www.med.monash.edu.au/gendermed/sexandgender.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah’s_Witnesses_and_blood_transfusions

https://www.ecri.org/Forms/Documents/Communication.pdf

http://healthlaw.org/images/stories/High_Costs_of_Language_Barriers_in_Malpractice.pdf

Discuss the importance of body language as an aspect of communication

Discuss the importance of body language as an aspect of communication

Blowing a kiss, waving, winking, giving an OK sign, thumbs up or thumbs down, giving the peace sign, and staring- all ways of communicating. Words weren’t spoken, but actions were noticed. These channels of communication are called body language or nonverbal communication. Everybody uses body language. As soon as we are in contact with others, we are communicating.

Body language is used when words are inadequate. We don’t tell each other that easily how we feel about each other, or how the words of a message need to be interpreted. In order to make the meaning of the words more clearly we use body language.

Body language is used to express feelings. It can be very difficult to lie or cover up through body language. People can give away their true feelings by not being aware of their body language. For instance, if we don’t like someone, it may be difficult to say that directly to the person. Instead, we can make it clear either intentionally or unintentionally through body language.

Kinesics is the study of motion and how people use them to communicate.

Kinesics follows into five categories:

  • Emblems– directly translate words or phrases. Examples are an OK sign, hitchhiker’s sign, and a “come here” wave.
  • Illustrators– cues that accompany and literally “illustrate” or add meaning to verbal messages. Examples are pointing when talking, hands far apart when talking of something large, and circular hand movements when talking of a circle.
  • Affect displays- facial expressions communicating emotions and feelings. Examples are pouting, winking, and eyebrow movement.
  • Regulators– cues that monitor, maintain, or control the speaking primarily of another. Examples are head nods and body shifts.
  • Adaptors– behaviors that satisfy some need and help you adapt to a situation. Examples are scratching your head, restless movements, and personal nervous actions.

The most revealing feature on your face is your eyes. The eyes are the “mirrors of the soul”. Smiling can give insight into how someone is feeling. A smile can have multiple meanings.

Physical appearance plays a role in our evaluations of others. Physical characteristics get noticed by other people. People might express themselves in terms of body language, like staring at an attractive person. Body artifacts, such as clothing, body piercings, make-up, and tattoos also get noticed by other people.

Haptics, or touch communication, is the most primitive form of human communication.

Touch can send different messages:

  • Positive emotion
  • Playfulness
  • Control
  • Ritualistic- which is a handshake to say hello or goodbye
  • Task function- a dentist or hair stylist
  • Hybrid function- to greet a person or show affection
  • Accidental- done without apparent intent

The elements of your environment can affect how a person feels and acts which contributes to body language. These elements include: sounds, smells, colors, temperature, architecture, designs, lighting, and furnishings. An example is the dentist office. The environment in the dentist office affects my body language. The elements of sound, smell, and furnishings affect the way I act and feel. I have a terrified and anxious look on my face until I leave the dentist office. While I am in the dentist chair, I tightly grip the chair arms. The dental assistants know from my body language how I feel about going to the dentist.

Body language is extremely influential in everyday life. It influences how relationships are established, maintained, and dissolved. It influences marital satisfaction and stability. Body language can help in the diagnosis of health-related problems, such as autism and how babies show emotional distress.

Body language can also by very distracting. When a person is communicating with another, they may tend to focus more on your nonverbal displays than on what you are saying. This will likely have the meaning to be unclear or little meaning will be exchanged in the interaction. Remember to keep in mind the relationship between verbal and nonverbal messages, “actions speak louder than words”.

Jill McClure, IUPUC student

Source:  West, Richard and Turner H. Lynn. Understanding Interpersonal Communication: Making choices in changing times. 2nd ed. Massachusetts: Wadsworth, 2006. Print.

 

Should Cursive Writing Be Taught in Schools?

As of right now, 41 states do not require cursive writing to be a part of their curriculum (“5 Reasons Cursive Writing”). That is far too many states in my opinion. There are many reasons as to why cursive is important and necessary to teach in elementary school.

Since Technology has increased drastically, many people think that teaching cursive writing is a waste of time. However, cursive motivates the brain. When writing in this form it improves the dynamic interplay of the left and right cerebral hemispheres, assists in creating neural pathways, and improves mental effectiveness (Hatfield).

Cursive uses different hand muscles and activates different parts of the brain that neither typing nor printing can do. For a more beneficial way to further the development of motor skills, children should be between the ages of 7 and 8 (“5 Reasons Cursive Writing”). Teaching children repetition by encouraging the force needing to be applied to the pencil and paper, positioning the pencil on the paper at the right angle, and motor planning to form writing each letter smoothly from the left to right creates physical and special awareness to write. Repetition also creates neural foundation of sensory skills to perform everyday tasks such as tying shoes, picking up objects, reacting, buttoning, and note-taking (Hatfield).

By learning cursive, it gives children the opportunity to better understand and know the alphabet. If they are only taught English in one form, print, then they only get that one chance of learning and memorizing the alphabet. It also gives a clear understanding of how letters are formed and that can also improve on printing as well (“5 Reasons Cursive Writing”).

Some children write sloppy in print that it is hard to determine where one word ends and another begins. However, cursive requires children to write from left to right so letters join together in correct sequence, which makes it easier to read. In cursive, it allows the child to see words as a whole, instead of separate letters, and makes it easier to check for spelling. After repetition of the use of cursive, the hand acknowledges the spelling patterns through movements that are repeated in spelling (Hatfield).

If schools take away cursive writing, students will not be able to read or write important documents. Many of the historical documents are written in cursive. Some of these documents are translated into print online but there are still some that are not. Without knowing cursive, children will miss out on our history and even read important letters from grandparents or great-grandparents. The older generation use cursive daily and if kids do not learn how to read it then they will miss out on certain things (Hatfield).

Cursive writing is a unique form of writing that can only be read by those who have been taught to write it. Using this form of writing is how we sign our own important documents such as checks, contracts, opening bank accounts, etc. With that being said, there are many important reasons why cursive should be a requirement to be taught in schools.

By Taylor Seaborn, Business Major – IUPUC

Works Cited

“5 Reasons Cursive Writing Should be Taught in School | Concordia University – Portland online.” Concordia University’s Online Education                           Degrees | Online Masters in Education. Web. 12 Sept. 2013. http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/curriculum-instruction/5-reasons-cursive-writing-should-be-taught-in-school/.

Hatfield, Iris. “Teaching Cursive Handwriting Tips Cursive Workbooks .”Teaching Cursive Handwriting Tips Cursive Workbooks Penmanship .                           Memoria Press, n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2013. http://www.newamericancursive.com/learncursive.

Conflict in the Workplace

When it comes to conflict, I can honestly say, over the past decade of being a manager I have seen and dealt with a lot of it.  I have seen hundreds, possibly thousands, of different scenarios and have assisted people with working through the conflict to reach a resolution. You could say conflict management is a large part of my job as a general manager.  During a normal work week I spend between 20-30% of my time identifying conflict and defusing it before it escalades into an out of control issue that can leave lasting consequences.

Most people believe conflict is bad within a company and it should be prevented. However, conflict is all around us, we all deal with it daily.  People like conflict; we verify this every time we turn on our televisions to the newest reality show. The longest running television series in America, according to Wikipedia, is Guiding Light at 18,262 episodes.  This is a show centered on conflict in a small group of people’s lives. If you are more of a reader than someone who likes television, when was the last time you read a good novel in which the main character did not face some type of conflict?  The truth is conflict is ingrained into our everyday lives. 

Is conflict always bad for a company? We are going to analyze conflict and what kind of outcomes it has within companies.  We will also cover some ways to work through conflict.

Before we dive deep into this topic lets define conflict. Dictionary.com defines conflict as a verb, “to come into collision or disagreement; be contradictory, at variance, or in opposition; clash.”   It can also be a noun; a fight or battle, quarrel, controversy.  Now with conflict defined, let’s discuss it.

Those who say conflict is bad for a company are partially correct; conflict can cost companies large sums of money, and their reputations, can negatively affect outcomes and can sometime lead to a company failing. When conflict is ignored and problems begin to arise from said conflict, problems will begin to surface. Some problems with conflict are that they involve personal attacks that can lead to hateful behaviors. Conflict doesn’t help organizations solve problems, it creates problems. Large amounts of bad conflict also create negative morale in companies that can lead to decreased production with a team, lowered performance level and poor attendance. 

There are a great deal of factors that can cause conflict such as:

–          age difference

–          preference

–          morals

–          maturity

–          methods of communication

–          misunderstandings

–          passion level or involvement for the job/task

–          interdependence conflict

–          gender

–          methods to obtain goals

Now that we can see some causes and outcomes that unaddressed conflict can have in the workplace let’s look at it in a different context. Conflict doesn’t always have to get out of control to the point that it becomes strictly emotional and starts tearing teams apart. Conflict can generate positive consequences as well as negative.  If conflict is effectively manage red it can result in:

–          A less stressful work environment

–          Increased morale

–          Increased loyalty to the company or cause

–          Lowered heath care cost

–          Team cohesion

–          Personal and professional growth

–          Increase in communication leading to new ideas that benefit the company

The best way to foster an environment with beneficial conflict is to learn to identify conflict between employees before it gets overly emotional for the employees. All conflict should be addressed as soon as it is noticed.  Your employees should always feel free to communicate ideas without reprimand or personal attack. 

If you have begun working in an environment filled with negative conflict personal mediation may be required of you.  As the mediator you have a very important role in conflict resolution. There are many things you will need to know to become a good mediator. 

–          No one is right or wrong. Both sides will have to give some for a successful resolution.

–          Get to the root cause for the conflict. The true reason for the conflict may not always be on the surface.

–          Set guidelines to establish you as the leader and to ensure there will be mutual respect and vulgar language is not used.

–          The most emotionally explosive time will be at the beginning of discussion. Once both sides have made their initial statement you will then be able to mediate the situation better.

–          Ensure only one person speaks at a time.

–          Be sincere, and listen with empathy.

–          Paraphrase what is said to display your involvement in the mediating and to show you have an understanding of what both parties are saying.

–          Focus on separating the persons from the facts.  Make the conversation about the facts, not the parties involved.

–          Ask open ended questions to encourage involvement.

–          Offer alternatives to the current situation to help correct the problem.

–          Make sure both sides buy into the solution. If one person is talking and the other is silent you need to be able to pick up on the fact that the silent party is not happy with the solution and you need to continue seeking alternatives. Without both sides buying into the action plan you will not have a favorable outcome.

–          Always follow up on the situation to ensure the agreed upon solution is working.

If you are able to perfect these skills it will be very beneficial in maintaining an environment with less negative conflict and more positive interactions. People will be able to see that you care about them and begin caring more for the business. Conflict can be damaging to a company if not properly managed.  When in a work place of motivated people there will always be some level of conflict. I would have to agree with the quote, “Show me a workplace without conflict and I’ll show you a workplace where no one gives a damn.” – Alexander Kjerulf

By Richard Dockins Business/Marketing Major IUPUC

What you said and what I heard.

What you said… What I heard.

Your non-verbal communication could be the reason you are not getting the job of your dreams or the promotion you really deserve.  Some of the number one reasons companies are not or will not hire you is not because of what you say verbally but what your non-verbal communication is saying about you. Some of the top reasons are piercings, bad breath, visible tattoos, wrinkled clothes, and messy hair according to Forbes magazine.

  • Piercings: 37%                                                                
  • Bad breath: 34%                                                                            
  • Visible tattoos: 31%     

But how far will employers go? For example American Apparel’s corporate policy states that shiny lip gloss and bangs are forbidden as well as over drying hair may cause excessive drying. Yet most companies don’t have a written policy on tattoos and piercings. Tattoos have come a long way from when they were only on felons and bikers. Today it is just as likely for Robin to have a tattoo as it is for me.  Roughly 24 percent of Americans ages 18 – 50 have at least one tattoo.

Although a tattoo may represent a fond memory, your personality, or that one crazy night in Vegas, they are nothing more than a body adornment just like a wedding ring or even the clothes you wear. They also project just as much non-verbal communication as the tone of your voice. Your voice can clearly let another person know what kind of mood you are in, if you are comfortable, or if you have a bad attitude. Same can be said for your tattoos and piercings. They could be misconstrued as negative simply because the tattoos could be misinterpreted.  An example is a petunia tattoo, a petunia in the flower world stands for anger and resentment. There are also Hindu tattoos such as a swastika. A swastika can easily be mistaken for having Nazi beliefs as opposed to a very common form of Hindu art meaning good fortune, luck and well-being.  The problem is most companies do not know what you are projecting with piercings and tattoos since they can be easily misunderstood.

An employer’s main concern is how to cover up the tattoos or sometimes will just write the potential employees off because of their tattoos. Companies may not be realizing that they could be missing out on the next best thing since sliced bread because of how they are interpreting the tattoo or piercing.  Be aware of what your non-verbal communication is saying about you. You may not get fired for having a tattoo but you also may not get hired.  As always, think before you ink.

Cites: Faw, Larissa. Visible Tattoos and Other Corporate No-Nos. ForbesWoman. Forbes.com. September 25,2011

By: Natalie Taylor

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