A monthly newsletter from the Rochester Professional Consultants Network. November 2020
RPCN Social is a get-together to share thoughts, ideas, and get to know each other. Bring your own beverage and snacks, kick back, and enjoy each other's company!
Each meeting centers around a theme - November's topic will be Favorite Holiday Recipes. Whether it's your Aunt Lou's Famous Jello Salad or your secret for a juicy turkey, join our call and tell us about your favorite culinary traditions!
Tuesday, November 17 - 6.30-8 p.m.
Pop in for the whole session or just a few minutes.
Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Good facilitators artfully blend their process and interpersonal skills to fit situations they encounter. Consultants often facilitate groups. They use facilitation tools and flex their approach to help groups achieve objectives. But, some facilitators have idiosyncrasies that take their “art” to extremes. Let’s explore some of these you might have run into (or away from). Of course, none of us are like these, but, if you see yourself here, you might want to rethink your facilitating style. Here goes.
“Let's dig down deeper and deeper and deeper into the detailszzzzzz.” Time means nothing to the Tortoise. Analyzing all the info has top priority. Some call it “getting lost in the weeds”.
“We've spent the allotted 30 seconds on this agenda item. Let's move on.” Finishing on-time is all that matters to the Hare, regardless of results. They allow little time for participant input or creativity.
“Free your mind and drift along as we hold hands. Close your eyes. Let the aroma and music touch your soul and heighten your senses. Relax, drift, float....ahhhh.” Maharishi has us relax and get in touch with our inner self while we tap the universal consciousness for guidance. This has its place (maybe in an off-site event, or Yoga, or a séance), but doesn’t fit most team sessions.
4. Drill Sergeant
“We will do it by the book. Sit up straight. Be quiet.” A true Type-A personality. A dictatorial approach might be needed in some situations, but it’s usually a good way to stifle participation.
5. Sly Fox
“Answer yes or no: Have you stopped beating your spouse?” Sly Foxes ask questions in ways that support their hidden agenda. They encourage and gather inputs, but are crafty. They sort, filter, and summarize in ways that support their predetermined plan or point of view. They think they’ve pulled the wool over our eyes, but most of us know we’ve been “had”.
6. Wimpy Friend
”Let's be pals. Please like me. Please don't hurt me.” Wimpy Friends yearn for group approval and harmony. They tread lightly to avoid any hint of offending or controversy. Not the best choice to lead tough negotiations.
7. Process Freak
“This calls for a pareto-trend-affinity-scatter-brainstormed-forced-fishbone diagram. You know, a PTASBSFFD”. Facilitating tools have their place, but every situation needn’t be organized to death.
“That will cost too much. My way is better. You always come up with the dumbest ideas.” When in doubt, belittle the opposition.
“We tried that two years ago and it was a disaster.” How much participation and innovation will they get from the group?
10. Loosey Goose
“Oops. Did anyone bring a copy of the agenda? I seem to have lost mine. Do we really need an agenda? We all know what we‘re here for.” Group progress and productivity go downhill fast (if they ever get started).
What do you think? I hope you’ve had a little fun. Please send me details about any “special” facilitators you’ve suffered through (No facilitator names please), or some real-life blunders you’ve committed.
The Next RPCN Lunch & Learn presentation for the Enhancing Human Capital Group will be on November 18 at 11:30 am and will be facilitated by Robert Lewis. The subject will “Exploring Our Stakeholder Relations” and the program will be conducted via Zoom.
In this Lunch & Learn session we will address the concept and practice of “stakeholdernesss.” We will look specifically at the many layers of connection and why and how to respond appropriately.
Every day we are presented with situations that make us ask “Why do I have to deal with this?” When we think about it, it often results from some sort of expectation that we’re facing and may need to be sorted out before you respond. “What’s my stake here,” may be the question. Daily we find ourselves in some situation of stakeholder considerations that needs better clarification. “What’s my relation to this situation? What’s my responsibility here?” are common concerns.
October Meeting Recap - Feedback Loops
On October 15th, the RPCN Enhancing Human Capital group hosted a “Lunch and Learn” focused on feedback. During an overview of the Enhancing Human Capital system, we described the process used to get the right staff, doing the right things at their right time, for the right reasons.
We discussed the different types of feedback, including “reinforcing” feedback which serves to motivate and encourage continued good behaviors and “balancing” feedback which seeks to correct undesirable behaviors by increasing knowledge and capabilities. The concept of “Kairos” was introduced, reinforcing the importance of good timing in the feedback process.
We had a lively discussion on the barriers to effective feedback and how to circumvent them. This included an overview of the Johari Window, a technique that helps people better understand their relationship with themselves and others. We concluded with the idea of “feedforward” (instead of feedback” using the SOAR model of effective communication.
(Editor’s note: SOAR in this case refers to “SOAR conversations centered on what an organization is doing right, what skills could be enhanced, and what is compelling to those who have a 'stake' in the organization's success.”)
I just found a few interesting sites and thought I'd share them. Here are three for the newsletter.
From the CRIV Blog of the American Association of Law Libraries
Introduction: “The National Archives National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the University of Virginia completed a project to add select papers of John Jay to Founders Online. The John Jay papers in the collection are derived from the Jay Papers Project at Columbia University’s Rare Books & Manuscript Library.”
Contains papers, letters and documents of George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Adams
RPCN is fortunate to have Devin Floyd as our current President. It is not an easy job and has been unusually challenging for Devin because of the pandemic.
Have you ever wondered about RPCN’s previous Presidents? This is our organization‘s 30th anniversary, and there are 31 past Presidents listed (including our first President, who actually started in the year before RPCN’s anniversary date).
For a list of these gallant people, each of whom made major contributions to RPCN’s success, on our website, go to the About link and scroll down to List of RPCN Presidents.
Not an RPCN member? You can join RPCN now to receive great benefits, including free admission to RPCN presentations, a listing in the RPCN Member Directory, and discounts to RPCN events. Click here for more information on joining RPCN.
Program Ad Sheets
At every RPCN meeting, and at our events and tradeshow booths, RPCN distributes the Program Ad sheets.
Ads are inexpensive and support RPCN. The cost for members to advertise is $20 for 2 months. For non-members, the cost is $40 for 2 months. The deadline to get your ad included in the January/February 2021 calendar ad sheet is December 18, 2020. Sign up for your ad here.
A note from our copyeditor:
Good day, RPCN members:
As you know, I “pre-edit” the RPCN newsletter before sending it on to Melanie, who puts the newsletter together. This note is just to help us keep things in order because the system sometimes becomes rather more complicated than it sounds here.
In order to help me to retain my sanity, and to avoid my stretching Melanie’s to its limits as well, would you please, if possible:
1. Get your copy of the newsletter to us as close to the 21st of the month as is possible. (It is much more efficient if I can edit them all over a short period.)
2. Put your name and “RPCN newsletter” in the subject line.
3. Make sure that the piece you have just finished writing IS the piece that you actually send us.
The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion.