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The Human Factor: Maintaining Effective Communication


The Human Factor: Maintaining Effective Communication Phillip Maynard, ASCCC Executive Committee (Mt. San Antonio College) ... (Golden West College ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Human Factor: Maintaining Effective Communication

The Human Factor Maintaining Effective
  • Phillip Maynard, ASCCC Executive Committee (Mt.
    San Antonio College)
  • David Morse, ASCCC Executive Committee (Long
    Beach City College)
  • Stephanie Dumont, ASCCC Executive Committee
    (Golden West College

  • Opening Icebreaker
  • 3 Areas of Communication
  • Activities

First Area of Communication
  • The Process of Communication and its Relationship
    to Faculty Leadership

  • Ten Bad Listening Skills and Ten Good Listening

Second Area of Communication
  • The Influence of Diversity in Communication

Third Area of Communication
  • Dealing with Difficult People and Developing
    Conflict Resolution Skills

Conflict Resolution
  • Conflict within the Senate
  • Conflict among faculty members or sub-committees
    of the Senate
  • Conflicting positions between Senate and Union
  • Disagreement between faculty leadership and
  • Conflicting positions between faculty and other
    campus constituencies (classified, students,
  • Disagreement between faculty leadership and the
    Board of Trustees
  • Disagreement or conflict between the faculty
    leader himself or herself and others

Conflict within the Senate
  • Important to avoid taking sides as much as
  • Make sure everyone is able to have his or her
    say. Do not let anyone feel he or she is being
    silenced or ignored, but avoid allowing one
    individual to dominate the discussion.
  • Talk things through as much as possibledont
  • Be sure you hear both sides and have the entire
    story before you being begin to moderate or guide
    the discussion.
  • Keep the overall interests of the senate in the
    forefront of your mind and try to guide all
    participants to do the same.
  • If conflict occurs outside a meeting and
    resolution cannot be reached in any other way,
    consider bringing the issue before the senate and
    letting the senate decide. This is a judgment
    call and is very dependent on the situation such
    a strategy clearly does not apply to personal
    issues among individuals.
  • Its in a senate presidents best interest to use
    Roberts Rules of Order to help the discussion
    remain professional.

Conflict Among Faculty Members or Subcommittees
of the Senate
  • Again, be sure you hear both sides and have the
    entire story before you being begin to moderate
    or guide the discussion. This may mean meeting
    with individuals first to hear them out before
    bringing the sides together.
  • Consider the interests of the faculty and of the
    college overall in working toward a resolution.
  • Be sure that both sides are aware of any college
    policy or state regulations that apply to the
  • You may need to assess whether or not its an
    academic and/or professional matter (rather than
    personality or other conflicts not within the
    senate purview).

Conflicting Positions Between Senate and the
  • Keep the conflict in closed meetings as much as
    possible. Try not to let administration see
    faculty divided.
  • Do not try to deal with it on your own. A
    liaison group between senate and union is a good
    idea. As much as possible, let the
    organizations, not just the leaders, come to

Disagreement Between Faculty Leadership and
  • Overall process should be defined in college
    policy. Be sure to stay faithful to your
  • Stick to the issue at hand. Do not let past
    problems or other conflicts cloud the discussion.
  • Stay positive. Do not go into a meeting with an
    attitude of distrust. Such an approach inhibits
    any real attempt at resolution.
  • On the Other Hand . . .
  • Be vigilant. See yourself as equal to the
    administration. Be positive and constructive,
    but do not be pushed around. No administrator
    outranks a senate president.
  • Always remember that you are representing faculty
    interests, not your own.
  • Know T5 gives you the authority to bring the
    issue to the Trustees if resolution cannot be

Conflicting Positions Between Faculty and
Other Campus Constituencies (Classified,
Students, other)
  • Always be respectful of the leadership of other
    groups. You may need them on your side in
    another situation.
  • Listen carefully to the perspectives of other
    groups and share senate positions as clearly as
  • Be sure you have senate support for any position
    you take or any agreement you reach. Remember
    that you are a representative of the body.

Disagreement Between Faculty Leadership and the
Board of Trustees
  • Maintain a positive relationship with the
    trustees whenever possible.
  • Follow proper procedures as determined by your
    college in approaching trustees and communicating
    with them.
  • Remember that the senate has a right to address
    the Board during meetings.
  • Never miss a chance to educate the Board about
    the rights and roles of the senate.
  • Remember that the trustees are individual people
    but they officially speak with one voice. You
    may be able to meet with some trustees
    individually to get your point across, but what
    is said in the meeting is what counts.

Disagreement or Conflict Between the Faculty
Leader Himself or Herself and Others
  • Take nothing personally.
  • Do not be afraid to claim responsibility for a
    problem in order to calm a situation, even if it
    is not really your fault.
  • Resist the urge to pursue or claim personal
    victories over others. Such victories are likely
    to haunt you later.
  • Always keep the interests of the senate and the
    faculty at the heart of any position you take.
  • Fight the urge to react to a conflict. Take the
    time to process the situation and organize a
    response (use your emotional intelligence).
  • When you disagree, do so respectfully.

Scenario 1
  • Your Student Learning Outcomes Committee is a
    sub-committee of your Curriculum Committee, which
    in turn reports to the academic senate. The
    faculty chairperson of the SLO Committee is
    resisting requests from the curriculum chair to
    make more complete reports to the Curriculum
    Committee and to bring decisions to the
    Curriculum Committee for ratification. The SLO
    chair claims that her committee has developed
    expertise in the area of SLOs beyond that held by
    the average Curriculum Committee member and that
    this expertise should be respected by allowing
    the SLO committee to work without having its
    decisions questioned. The curriculum chair has
    become frustrated with this conflict and has
    asked the senate, which has oversight of both
    curriculum and SLOs, to help resolve it.

Scenario 2
  • Sabbatical procedures and approvals are written
    into your local bargaining agreement and have
    traditionally been seen on your campus as a union
    issue. The union creates a committee to approve
    sabbatical proposals but does little to ensure
    the quality of the projects as they are
    completed. While some of the recent sabbatical
    projects were very well done, others were of
    debatable quality or usefulness. Your
    vice-president of instruction has noticed the
    questionable quality of some recently completed
    sabbatical projects and has suggested several
    times that the academic senate should have a hand
    in the sabbatical process. Your union insists
    that sabbatical issues have been and should
    remain a contract matter. How should the senate

Scenario 3
  • Your campus has historically elected department
    chairs for two-year terms. The election
    procedures are governed by language in the union
    contract. The Terms of Service section in the
    contract states the chair shall be elected for a
    term no less than one (1) semester, nor more than
    four (4) semesters and may be reelected for
    additional terms. Your college president and VPI
    have decided they want one-year terms in order to
    convince all chairs to take a stipend rather than
    release time because its cheaper for the
    college, and believe they have the right to
    determine length of terms. What is your senates