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Catalytic Communication: Facilitating a Passionate


Sagittarius November 23 December 22. Capricorn December 23 January 20 ... Characteristics of Metaphors. 2007 CSREES Administrative Officers' Conference. 36. Trust ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Catalytic Communication: Facilitating a Passionate

Catalytic Communication Facilitating a
Passionate Productive Workplace
  • Emmett P. Fiske, PhD
  • Interim Director
  • Center for Environmental Research, Education and
    Outreach (CEREO)
  • Washington State University

(No Transcript)
Session Outline
  • Introductions and Overview
  • Gleanings from the Literature
  • Making Meaning through Metaphors
  • Focused Small Group Activity
  • Application in the Workplace

Instructions Please use the magic marker pen to
print your responses on the manila folder
  • Q-1 What is your name?
  • Q-2 How long have you been with CSREES?
  • Q-3 What do you do, and where do you do it?
  • Q-4 What is your sign of the zodiac?
  • Q-5 If the metaphor dance can be used to
    describe your current workplace what kind of
    dance would it be?

Signs of the Zodiac
  • Aries March 21 April 20
  • Taurus April 21 May 21
  • Gemini May 22 June 21
  • Cancer June 22 July 22
  • Leo July 23 August 21
  • Virgo August 22 September 23
  • Libra September 24 October 23
  • Scorpio October 24 November 22
  • Sagittarius November 23 December 22
  • Capricorn December 23 January 20
  • Aquarius January 21 February 19
  • Pisces February 20 March 20

OverviewChallenges in the Workplace
  • Getting on the Same Wavelength with Colleagues
    (frames for understanding)
  • Determining What is Valued by Colleagues(people
    process products)
  • Designing a Process to Engage Colleagues(individu
    als, teams, workgroups, bottom-up, top-down)
  • Recognizing and Rewarding Colleagues Taking
    Risks(public recognition, annual reviews,
    additional incentives)

Frames for Looking At / UnderstandingWhats
Swirling Around You
  • Structural (the Reamers)
  • Emphasis on the organization (rules, roles, and
    responsibilities procedures, workplans and time
    lines). Task-oriented (what is our mission,
    product or outcome? by when is it due?).
    Reliance on technical facts and expert opinions.
  • Human Resource (the Teamers)
  • Emphasis on individuals within the organization
    (encouraging active involvement and
    participation, enhanced communication and
    understanding, and back-up support through
    training and education). Process-oriented (how
    are we going to do it?). Reliance on
    give-and-take discussion.

Frames for Looking At / UnderstandingWhats
Swirling Around You
  • Political (the Schemers)
  • Emphasis on power shifts within the organization
    (identifying the major stakeholders and their
    interests, assessing the relative power of each
    group, and then building coalitions with the
    strongest faction). Process-oriented (who is
    going to be involved?). Reliance on
    competitively building coalitions in order to
    gain power and come out on top.

Frames for Looking At / Understanding Whats
Swirling Around You
  • Symbolic (the Dreamers)
  • Emphasis on finding new meaning in the midst of
    organizational chaos (ambiguity, confusion and
    uncertainty) by reinterpreting the situation and
    suggesting potential scripts that generate
    individual commitment to realize a greater good.
    Process- and task-oriented (why are we doing
    this? for what purpose?). Reliance on stories,
    myths, fables and metaphors to find deeper
    meaning in the human experience.

Adapted from Bolman and Deals Reframing
Organizations Artistry, Choice and Leadership
Organizational Effectiveness What Do We Mean?
  • Definition In order for a group to be effective
    within an organization, it must pay attention to
    its actual output (e.g., a problem solved or task
    completed), the state of the group as a
    performing unit, and the impact of the experience
    on individual members.
  • That is, organizational effectiveness in
    contingent upon finding the proper balance or
    alignment among the personal needs, values,
    cultures and traditions of the members (people)
    their manner of interaction in developing
    interpersonal relationships while working
    together (process) and the timely generation of
    satisfactory products or outcomes for those who
    receive and/or review such output (products).

Adapted from Hackmans The Design of Work
Teams (1987).
(No Transcript)
Organizational EffectivenessHow is it Measured?
Facilitating groups is mentally challenging
work. It requires simultaneously paying
attention to content and process, verbal and
nonverbal behavior, those who are speaking and
those who are not, and comparing what is
apparently happening in a group to what has
happened in the past and what will likely happen
in the future. While considering all this, the
facilitator must also be thinking about whether
to intervene, what interventions to make, when to
make them, how deep to make them, to whom to
address them, and the effects of the
interventions on the group once they are made.
Then the facilitator must intervene. The
facilitator often must do all this in less time
than it takes to read this paragraph.
Schwarz The Skilled Facilitator Practical
Wisdom for Developing Effective Groups, pg. 210
Organizational EffectivenessCore Values
  • Valid Information
  • People share all information relevant to an
    issue, using specific examples so that other
    people can determine independently whether the
    information is true.
  • Free and Informed Choice
  • People can define their own objectives and the
    methods for achieving themwith such choices
    grounded in valid information.
  • Internal Commitment to those Choices
  • People feel personally responsible for the
    decisions they make. Each person is committed to
    the decision because it is intrinsically
    compelling or satisfying, not because the person
    will be rewarded or penalized for making that

Schwarz The Skilled Facilitator Practical
Wisdom for Developing Effective Groups, pg. 8
Success Traits Associated with Achieving
Long-Term Effectiveness in the Workplace
  • N200 personal interviews (1996 2006) with
    individuals having a minimum of two decades of
    impact in one or many areas of endeavor
  • Interviews were unscripted, exploratory and
    wide-ranging focusing on success and leadership
    in their lives and the principles that guided
    their careers.
  • Interview contents analyzed and coded by
    organizational theme codes, such as leadership,
    values, innovation, fears, passions, etc. (see
    slides19 22), and behavioral points of view.
  • Conclusions tested with comparison (control)
    group (N365) via independent survey (the World
    Success Survey).
  • Results were remarkable, adding incredible depth
    and insight into a decade of field research in
    personal interviews.

Organizational Theme Codes (OTCs)
  • Leadershipperspectives, roles, meaning.
  • Risktaking risks, managing risk.
  • Failureharvesting failure, resilience,
  • Paingrief, lack of fairness, using your pain,
    managing pain.
  • Confidencethe role of self-confidence,
  • Focusclarity, letting go, managing
    time/resources, choosing goals, persistence.
  • Measurabilityability to measure goals (both big
    and small).
  • Trustrespect, listening, building trust,
    importance of trust.
  • Valuesthe role of core values.
  • Changemanaging change, helping others through

Organizational Theme Codes (OTCs)
  • Growthencouraging growth, managing it, the need
    for growth.
  • Excellence/Bestdoing your best, quality of
  • Innovationcreativity, how to encourage
    innovation, giving resources to innovation. The
    paradox of failure as necessary for innovation.
  • Cultureorganizational culture creating a
    culture around a goal, idea, or passion.
  • Global/Environmentglobalization, diversity of
    ideas, the environment always wins.
  • Stakeholdersthe role of and relationship with
    customers, shareholders, community, and
  • New Venturesthe special needs of new ventures,
    new services, or ideas.

Organizational Theme Codes (OTCs)
  • Teamsmanaging people managing yourself, as well
    as subcategories like the following
  • Authority giving power away, holding others
    accountable, giving resources to team members.
    Managing through others.
  • Skills building other leaders, training,
    building the team, mentoring.
  • Rewards/Recognition/Incentives/Gratitude using
    rewards to focus goals using rewards to
    communicate the goal.
  • Alignment with goals/buy-in.
  • Incentives paying for performance and
    consequences of ignoring this.
  • POV communicating the goal and meaning to the
    team consistency.
  • Contention encouraging contention, managing it.

Organizational Theme Codes (OTCs)
  • Fearmanaging fear helping others manage fear.
  • Preparationthe importance of doing your
    homework whats involved in preparation,
  • Passionsthe role of passion loving your work
    and life (or not).

Source Success Built to Last Creating a Life
That Matters, pp. 242-243.
Three essential traits appear necessary in
creating a life that matters
  • Meaning
  • What you do must matter deeply to youso much
    so that you lose all track of time. Its a
    flow experience.
  • ThoughtStyle
  • You have a highly developed sense of
    accountability, audacity, passion and optimism.
  • ActionStyle
  • You find effective ways to take action.

Meaning(Finding a Meaningful Passion)
  • Its all about finding meaning first, and method
  • Goals have no intrinsic meaning unless you invest
    meaning there. Goals by their nature dont
    necessarily require focusing on inspiration as
    much as they do on perspiration and the sheer
    pragmatic effort of getting things done.
  • The thing that matters is meaning! It drives
    everything. Builders align their attention on
    the things that matter most to them.
  • Builders use language to create a shared sense of
    reality and to manage for their partners and team
    members. Action is managed through language.

Source Success Built to Last Creating a Life
That Matters, pp. 175-208.
ThoughtStyle(Reflecting and Visioning)
  • If its worth doing, then treat it as if its
    worth doing.
  • Life takes passion, determination, and skill.
  • Trying and failing builds self-esteem.
  • Builders harvest failure (a constructive habit).
    Losers call it failure winners call it
  • Its in the struggle (meaning and action).
    Builders let go of what doesnt work when it
    isnt working. They dont make the future pay
    for the debts of the past.

Source Success Built to Last Creating a Life
That Matters, pp. 116-157.
ActionStyle(Engaging in the Future)
  • You may or may not be to blame for what happens
    to you, but either way you are responsible for
    doing something about it.
  • Actively seek out contention struggle with the
    issue, and not with each other.

Source Success Built to Last Creating a Life
That Matters, pp. 178-190.
  • Anything worth doing cant be done alone.
  • Recruit a team in support of your dream.
  • Strive to build long-term relationships.
  • The power of language and dialogue to reframe
    situations in ways that engage others.
  • Put yourself in others shoes (How would x look
    at this? What would x do, and why?).
  • It is a constant challenge to move the three
    circles (meaning, thought, and action) towards
    alignment in ones life and work. Since its
    never going to go away, you might as well embrace
    it with all of your heart, soul and being...

Source Success Built to Last Creating a Life
That Matters, pp. 178-190.
Making Meaning through Metaphors
  • 1. What does Metaphor Mean?
  • Google search 20 million hits!
  • This part of the presentation is based upon a few
    subjective sources
  • 2. Derivation from the Greek
  • meta a change pherein to bear, or carry
    to transfer or transport

Making Meaning through Metaphors
  • 3. Definition
  • An indirect comparison between two or more
    seemingly unrelated subjects that typically uses
    is a to join the first subjects...More
    generally, a metaphor casts a first subject as
    being or equal to a second subject in some way.
    Thus, the first subject can be economically
    described because implicit and explicit
    attributes from the second subject are used to
    enhance the description of the first. This
    device is known for usage in literature
    especially in poetrywhere with few words,
    emotions and associations from one context are
    associated with objects and entities in a
    different context.

Making Meaning through Metaphors
  • For example
  • My workplace is a mineshaft inhabited by dead
  • My workplace is a fishbowl filled with
  • My workplace is a heart pumping stronger each
  • My workplace is a tapestry of beautiful colors
    and intricate patterns...
  • http//

Making Meaning through Metaphors
  • Metaphors are vertical in nature. They deepen
    the information. Time is frozen while the
    information is developed. The questions used to
    develop a metaphor develop space not time. A
    metaphor awakens the conceptions with more force
    and grace than everyday language...
  • The reason metaphor is so convenient is that it
    allows us to express a lot starting with very
    little metaphor is a linguistic device to
    transfer properties from one concept to another.
  • Piero Scaruffis The Nature of

Making Meaning through Metaphors
4. Many categories of metaphorslets just look
at extended metaphors
  • Allegoryan extended metaphor in which a story is
    told to illustrate an important attribute of the
  • Parablean extended metaphor told as an anecdote
    to illustrate or teach a moral lesson.

Fairy tales and stories are used to teach others
what really matters. What is important is NOT
the literal meaning, but rather the underlying
concept (or moral).
http// Piero
Scaruffis The Nature of Consciousnesswww.thymos.
Making Meaning through Metaphors
5. Characteristics of Metaphors
  • Metaphor does not express similarities it
    creates similarity.
  • Metaphor is often indispensable to express a
    concept for which words just do not exist in the
  • We understand the world through metaphors, and we
    do so without any effort, automatically and
    unconsciously. It doesnt require us to think,
    it just happens and it happens all the time. We
    then employ these metaphors in our daily life.
  • Metaphor is not only a matter of words, but a
    matter of thought metaphor is central to our
    understanding of the world and of self.
  • Metaphorical language requires mastering the
    language skills first, and is proportional to
    those skills...

Piero Scaruffis The Nature of
TrustIts Meaning Lies in the Eyes of the
  • Why should anyone trust you? What have you
    done to earn it?
  • To build trust with others you must take that
    first step...
  • Provide opportunities for others to assess
    whether your rhetoric matches the reality
    theyre experiencing.
  • Be transparent in your actions, and respectful in
    your treatment of others
  • Sharing your power empowers others!

TrustWhat Might You Do?
  • Lead by example (due process and appearance of
  • Do what you say you will do (and welcome
  • Engage others passions
  • No surprises! Be pre-emptive, not defensive
    (anticipatory rather than reactive)
  • Communicate clearly (and often) what you expect
  • Regularly put yourself in others shoes (to
    understand perspectives that may differ from your

  • Effectiveness Success Trust Passionate
    Productive Workplace

(Personal Skills) Interpersonal Relationships)
(Organizational Accountability) Catalytic
How Might Communication Transform Your
  • Playful and Humorous Approach
  • Yogi Berra (when you get to a fork in the road,
    take it!)
  • Judge Noah S. Sweat, Jr. (whisky speechin
  • Inspirational and Uplifting Approach
  • President John F. Kennedy (ask not what your
    country can do for you speechin packet)
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (I have a dream
    speechin packet)

How Might Communication Transform Your
  • To Challenge Complacency
  • Helen Keller (it is a terrible thing to see and
    have no visionother examples in packet)
  • Maya Angelou (prejudice is a burden that
    confuses the past, threatens the future and
    renders the present inaccessibleother examples
    in packet)
  • Somewhere In-Between
  • Shaping the meaning of how others interpret you
  • Creating your personal, group and/or
    organizational slogan

Working Together
Small Group Activity
  • Instructions
  • 1. Please move to the designated area of the room
    where the name of your sign of the zodiac is
    posted. (2 minutes)
  • 2. Hopefully, your group wont be too large
    (preferred size is 5- 6 members). If it is,
    well then divide the group until each small
    group contains no more than 7 members. (2
  • 3. Once youre in your small group, please tape
    your manila folder responses to the wall next to
    your group. (1 minute)
  • 4. Member introductions (each member will then
    introduce her/himself).(5 minutes)

Small Group Activity
  • 5. Members will then select which dance metaphor
    (either positive or negative) will become their
    focus of attention.(2 minutes)
  • 6. Members will then strategize what actions
    might be taken to either enhance the positive
    metaphor or change the negative metaphor to
    foster a more passionate and productive
    workplace. Select your preferred action, and
    specify why.(13 minutes)
  • 7. Well then reconvene for small group reports.
    (up to 2 minutes per group)

Pulling it All Together
  • What happened in your small group? How did you
    move from individual ideas to collective
  • What factors influenced your small groups
    behavior? Did any of the core concepts (e.g.,
    effectiveness, success, trust) come into play?
  • Any lessons learned you plan to take from today
    to apply in your workplace?
  • Workplace applicationsinterest in keeping
    current on what others are doing?
  • Please fill out the evaluation form (in your
    packet) and turn it in.

Thank you!