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CompTIA Interpersonal Workplace Communications

CompTIA Interpersonal Workplace Communications2 H 30 M

Episodes
Episodes
  • CompTIA Interpersonal Workplace Communications
    • How to Show Up at Work
    • Establishing Good Working Relationships
    • Active Listening
    • Nonverbal Communication
    • Diversity
    • Dealing with Non-Techies
    • Email and IM
    • Taking Feedback
    • How to Act in a Meeting
    • Telephone Skills

How to Show Up at Work

18 M

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  • Episode Description
  • Transcript

Stephanie and Teresa explain how to assess your company culture and navigate issues like workplace communications, networking, and being a positive influence. The experts also offer advice on how to deal with gossip and behave at workplace outings.

Hi, I'm Stephanie Morgan. I'm director of member education at CompTIA. I'd like to welcome you to our course interpersonal workplace Communications. This course is designed to give you the tools to get clarity on your assignments to build your team work and collaboration skills to deliver on your technical SME capabilities to build your managerial competencies to maximize your productivity and to build your influence at work. To help me in that effort. I'd like to introduce Teresa Freeman of Teresa Freeman Associates. Welcome Teresa. Can you introduce yourself a little bit more and tell our viewers a little bit about yourself? Thank you Stephanie. I am the owner of Teresa Freeman Associates at Teresa Freeman Associates were focused on developing and guiding professionals with their soft skill development. I have experience in human resources at several Fortune 500 organizations and more recently. I've spent time facilitating workshops working one-on-one with clients and coaching also speaking at seminars really focused in this area of soft skill development when we talk about soft skills. We mean communication collaboration presentation skills interviewing skills. These are all skills that I've seen professionally on a decline over the last few years. And so I'm really passionate about developing these skills and others. I'm excited to be part of the CompTIA family and to help her. The series if you're an IT professional, I think you'll get a lot out of this series in terms of techniques and tools throughout my career. I've seen a lot of people either progress or fail based on their strength and capability and soft skills. So it's really important that we develop these skills because they can really be a differentiator in the marketplace or even at work for these professionals that brings us to this episode. We'll be talking about corporate culture and understanding how to assess your company's culture figuring out. What's appropriate in the workplace as well as what's appropriate outside of the the traditional workplace, but maybe at work events with that in mind cultures of really big topic and at times it can be morning Theresa. Can you walk us through how to think about culture in that broad sense and how we might start to gather clues about our company's culture. Absolutely. So when you first start a job one of the first things you want to do is About the culture you want to think about how that organization Works how they operate in the first step to that is an environmental scan. And that's really looking at behaviors. And also just the setup of the organization will talk a little bit more about that in a few minutes and in detail when you are first starting a job in you're transitioning from college to working in a corporate environment, you'll want to be aware of how people are talking with one another what the dress codes like. So these nuances that will help you figure out how to assimilate and how to be a part of the Norms that have already been set up if you're an experienced professional you may want to think about how this culture is a little bit different than the previous culture that you work for because that's always something that may be a little bit different. The bottom line is that you really want to be aware of the culture that's going to be how you can get off to a really good start at your new organization. So one of the things that I'm hearing from you is that we Often talk about kind of corporate culture like it's like one thing but you mentioned that offices can differ and of course they can right absolutely. So we need to be sort of sensitive to how those things how those work places differ and they're often Unwritten rules to sort of the cultural norms. And the the company values. Can you talk us through how to go about doing that environmental scan that will reveal some of those Unwritten company values? Yes, absolutely. So I think one of the first things about that environmental scan, it's pretty simple. You're just looking at the layout you want to see how the conference rooms are set up. You want to see are there a lot of communal spaces where people are working together or people more in cubes or they isolated are they is it really more of an individual contributor type environment? The other thing that you may notice is how people communicate so I had a team we'd be side by side and I am aiming because other people are Can you don't want to disrupt that so sometimes you know just in conversation you'll have I am or you'll be doing that versus meeting in a meeting space or disrupting the flow. So again, the thing about the scam that's really important is that you're being observant and you're trying to understand what that landscape is like and then how you can fit into it. What can you you mentioned sort of sitting side-by-side vs. Going to a meeting room? What can you infer about sort of the geography of an office? Like what is how does layout matter in the environmental scan? Well, it's interesting. It's not foolproof. So nothing that we talk about here is an exact science, but there are some cues so we talked about it a little bit before in terms of just recognizing is it open is the floor plan open? Are there opportunities to collaborate also are there spaces that are heavily decorated are they there's a lot of personal effects I had. Two teams at one time one in the u.s. One in India the team of the US was virtual so that when they would come into the office they were really more hoteling or dropping into a space. So you didn't see a lot of personal photos or a lot of flair and their workspace then in the team in India, they were an in-office culture and so they were full of like vibrant colors and personal effects. And so you really got a sense immediately just by going into that office space what the vibe is like and again you really want to be cognizant of your situation and your organization so that you can do what you need to do to best assimilate after you've been in an office for some time. What are some of the other aspects of culture that you'll start to pick up you mentioned being new but the longer we're in an office more lip start to reveal what are some of those that's a perfect word is layers, right? So I think there are the obvious things that we've talked about or your once you're aware of The Tactical in terms of the office environment or looking at some of the behaviors then you start to think about office politics you start to think about gossiping you start to think about people's schedules, you know, they may vary in terms of their you know, schedules and also another one and it's a big one our business outings. So there's a lot of professional things that happen after work and that's all part of your organization's culture. Right? So we're getting to the juicy stuff now we're talking some more about gossip. Let's let's dwell on Gossip for a second. So let's go there. Yeah. Yeah. So gossip is actually it can be intriguing right? It can be a fun part of work and it's a natural part of work. So I think that's something that's very normal. This is a good time really to start thinking about when you start somewhere and you're looking at culture think about your professional reputation. It's really an opportunity to start thinking about how do you want to be perceived in this organization or in this? Force and gossip is a part of that how you engage in these conversations? What is that? You're adding to the conversation versus you know what you're hearing. It's inevitable and it's also, you know an opportunity to bond, but you really just want to be careful of where the conversations headed and if it starts to feel nasty or it starts to feel like it's not productive. You can excuse yourself from that right you want to be mindful of the conversations that you're having and again how you want to be perceived. So if gossip is inevitable and people talk, what should you do? Like what what are some techniques for when it comes up the good question because these are some of the things that people don't talk about right always taught these things. So the first thing is pretty easy really it's just respecting everyone equally really trying to have that camaraderie and respect for one another and also coming off as neutral and one of my roles. I became the Vault where people knew they could come talk to me one because I protected privacy but two because I was able to be neutral and not overreact. So that's one tip is to stay professional and then the second is it's completely natural and normal that you want to make friends. You spend a lot of time at work. And so those people that you hang out with the people that you're going to build relationships with that's that you want that to be part of your work life thinking about who you choose right in terms of who you share stories with or who you get more. You might want to be a little bit more critical of that and thoughtful before you engage in those kind of conversations, right? So you mentioned venting like when you need to just get something off your chest and like blow off a little steam and people can get people getting angry is often like a source of Gossip, you know hearing about somebody who kind of let off steam maybe in the wrong way or the wrong place. How do you how do you not become one of those people that gets gossiped about how do you stay out of the gossip? Yeah. It's yeah, so there's a couple of things here one. It's it's everyone gets frustrated and it's totally normal to get you know, angry and I think one of the things we talked about in the beginning is we want to give you tools and we want to give you some real tips that you can use. So here's my first practical tool which is if you get an email, right and it sets you off or if you're really frustrated. Take a minute. Take a deep breath, right make sure that you are kind of processing what's going on. Maybe take a little walk around the cafe, you know, grab yourself a cup of coffee or water. Sometimes having someone else read it. I've had other people say can you read this so that I'm just gauging that appropriately those are some things if you get an email, there's also times where you're in person and you're hot or they're angry and you kind of trying to manage that situation and that situation I would say take a moment you can even say I need a moment to step away need to run to the restroom. You can think of an idea also just give yourself a moment or just say I just need a couple of minutes to think about that so that I can give you the best response. So giving yourself a little bit of time helps with that. So those are terrific tips. Is there anything else that somebody who needs to think about when it comes to culture? What are what are we talked about layers? What's the sort of additional layer beyond that? Yes, so this is my Fun one right where you talk about? Happy Audi happy hour going to sometimes there's corporate activities corporate citizenship activities those kind of things that feel casual right but it's really an extension of work. And so these are the types of scenarios that you need to remember you're still on the clock and that you still need to be cognizant of your behavior. They're usually fun interactive activities. And so there's a lot going on. It's a probably casual setting and so you you know, maybe a little more informal where you want to get a sense of what people are wearing beforehand. But the big thing is to remember that you're still at work, right and there's still ways that you want to behave to make sure that your you keep that good impression going forward. One thing that is come for a lot of people is that they feel awkward at these events. That's not always comfortable when you're especially when you start new and if you don't know a lot of people so one thing you can do is just introduce. Yourself by sharing your role how long you've been with the organization you can even say how long have you been with CompTIA right or with your organization? The other thing is I always have a couple of questions in my back pocket that I use and they're just you can use them in any scenario one is tell me about your hobbies. That's a nice open ended question that people typically can come up with something that you can then have a conversation and then you can also talk about travel right travels a great one. Are you going anywhere? I haven't been anywhere. These are nice ways to extend conversation and have them, you know have them go forward. And then the other thing is just relax and have a good time. These events are a great opportunity to meet people. It's a great opportunity to share your skills. So try to relax and have some fun. Here's a couple of doughnuts, right? Yeah, I was gonna ask about the don't so you don't want to be the one that's throwing up on someone's shoes. You don't want to be the one that's maybe overindulged and you're sloppy or maybe potentially you hit on your co-workers wife or husband, right? So you want to make sure that you're kind of keeping yourself in check. The other thing that can happen is you can actually make progress on some work in those environments because inevitably the conversation shifts back to work. So being able to keep a note either in your mind or actually on your phone, even if you need to take notes things that you might follow up on it is a great way to just build that network and to start thinking about, you know, the community of professionals that you're working with. One of the things that I've noticed in terms of network is for me building that Network every development opportunity. I've had any situation for a promotion or other Growth opportunities, it's really been because of my network to kind of pause on networking for a second. Yeah. I've often heard from it Pros not everybody but some many it Pros that networking is kind of a dirty word because they often feel like they have to be fake to do it and that they just prefer not to that they'd like their technical skills to speak for themselves. So they sort of discount networking is something like, you know, like being fake and promoting themselves over over just letting their skills speak for themselves. Can you sort of help us and help those it Pros who maybe need to hear why again? Why networking is important? Can you kind of talk to that to that idea that networking is somehow fake or inauthentic? Absolutely, and I think it's a really common feeling. I actually that networking has a is like a bad word and I We believe it's a mindset. So if you go into a situation and you think about it as an opportunity to share how you're adding value whether it's to the organization to your colleagues, you just it's a bit of a mind spin, but it's less about collecting people right and being inauthentic and more about building connections and building connections can help you be more productive it can help you get more work done together as a team. So networking is really more than just that idea of you know, trying to be manipulative or trying to use people to get something else. It's really about connecting with your Workforce for Brady really your best performance and their best performance. And again, like you can you never know where those things are going to lead and and years apart. I've had people that I haven't spoken to in 10 years and something's come up, right or another example is I had someone that I didn't necessarily get Along with very well and then later on I ended up having to work for that person. And so you just always keeping an eye and idea of how you're interacting with people and how you're carrying yourself can go a really long way. There's a lot there. We've covered a lot of territory. It seems like if you that one of the things were kind of a thread we're starting to pull through here is sort of your professional image in your professional reputation and building that around your authentic self is a really important part of of networking and that's where you start from with networking absolutely true. And certainly when you're interviewing you're bringing your authentic self or when you first start and so that's a bets a piece of it is bringing that authentic self. The next piece is really one layer down and that's recognizing really what we've been talking about throughout. This episode is understanding your culture and then being able to assimilate to that culture. Recognizing what are the Norms that have been established? How do you feel comfortable? How do you feel comfortable assimilating to that? And if you have questions or you're not entirely sure don't be afraid to ask you can ask colleagues that are colleagues that are already there. There's a Char is always a good you know option for you, but don't be afraid to ask questions to make sure you have a better understanding of culture. Thanks Teresa. I'll leave you with some takeaway tips from this episode. Be sure to scan your environment to understand your current company culture gossip will happen. You don't need to wallow in it and you don't need to repeat it treat your co-workers equally and with respect and lastly Network for authenticity to promote your skills and build your career. Thanks, and we'll see you again soon.

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