By Michelle Porchia
In March I spoke at a Sisterhood Celebration weekend at a church in Raleigh, NC. I spoke on “Taking Off the Masks in Roles and Relationships.” This article is not a replication of my presentation; it is, however, another train of thought about our roles in relationships. I’m focusing on work relationships in this article, although I feel the points can also relate to personal relationships.
Connecting: We meet people under various circumstances. We never know what will come out of our meeting. There is a saying, “People come into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime.” I suggest that we are open to meeting people without expectation of the purpose of the connection.
Though I am a speaker, presenter and life coach, I am also a very strong introvert. People are surprised and don’t believe it when I tell them that. The point is, I understand that some of you may be thinking “I’m shy" or “I’m not comfortable meeting people", etc. I suggest that you just allow yourself to be open to whoever may come your way. When I go to events, I set a goal to meet at least three people I don’t know.
Communicating: Communication is very important. Think before you speak. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” (Stephen Covey) Set expectations up front as to how you are going to interact/work together. Listen. Many people don’t listen to understand, they listen to respond (you’ve heard this many times). Become a good listener. Be open to hearing, and clarify what you have heard.
Collaborating is being able to work with another and to cooperate. Basically, each person brings his/her knowledge, experience, skills, thoughts, etc., to a situation and, through connecting and communicating, infusing what each person brings for the benefit of the agreed upon goal.
Ebony Speakers came together in part by using this formula. We connected at several NSA conferences. We communicated what we were doing and where we wanted to take our messages/businesses. We collaborated and created the Ebony Speakers.
What makes all of this work together for the good is being authentic, open, honest and vulnerable. Collaborating is very prominent these days. Connecting, communicating and collaborating can open many doors, opportunities and possibilities.
Watch Your Language!
By Debra W. Gould, MS
When you communicate, are you communicating with love, care, and service? Watch out for the language you use that speaks to your life. The language you speak to yourself determines your attitude.
Here are a few practical tips:
- Make your words "speak power" as a means of communication that will determine the action you take for your relationship.
- Avoid words like "I wish" because it means surrender. Do say, "I will" because it means you are determined.
- Your attitude determine your energy level
Debra W. Gould, MS is the president of Debra Gould & Associates, Inc. based in New Orleans and provides management consulting and training services to commercial and government clients. Debra is one of the founders of The Ebony Speakers and co-author of the book, Real Women, Real Issues - Positive Collaborations For Business Success. Debra can be reached at: (504) 244-6576, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and website: www:gouldassoc.com
From Left to Right: Atty Tanisha Sullivan (Moderator), Atty Juan Concepcion, Carole and Melanie Brennard Mueller
by Carole Copeland Thomas
I had a wonderful time serving as a panelist at this weekend's Educator of Color Leadership Conference at the UP Academy in Boston. Nealy 200 educators attended this second annual conference and my session was titled: "Leveraging Best Practices for Diversity and Inclusion In the Workplace."
Below is my presentation and my thoughts on why educators matter in the diversity equation.
By Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC
Leadership is a vital link in effective and successful organizations. Strong leadership is essential to moving organizations from mediocrity to greatness. As companies struggle with downsizing, rightsizing, capsizing, and resizing, leadership must be demonstrated to navigate the winds of change in the workplace. Cornerstones of leadership are integrity, respect, and accountability.
Integrity in its simplest form is walking the walk and talking the talk. It is about keeping your promises and doing the right thing ever when it is not popular. It requires making tough but fair decisions in difficult situations. Leaders must be willing to walk in integrity to lead, motivate, and retain a diverse workplace. It is not what you say that people remember; it is what you do.
Respect is a quality leaders must demonstrate when interacting with employees and colleagues throughout the organization. It does not matter what position, title, or rank employees hold, leaders must practice this attribute. It is about esteeming others and showing honor to them.
Accountability means when you mess up, miss a deadline, you own up to it, without making excuses or blaming others. You focus on solutions and review what needs to happen so this mistake does not occur again. There is no humiliation in failing as long as you learn from your experience. Leaders must understand through failure we grow and expand our comfort zones.
Cultivate an environment where integrity, respect, and accountability are the core essentials for building and sustaining a successful organization.
Your Comments Are Welcome
Book Debra, Michelle, Nancy or Carole for your next speaking engagement or training event.