January 2020 Meeting Recap: Veterans, Relationship-Building and the ‘Afters’

Story and Photos by Rachel Friederich, ICSEW Communications Chair 

Experts offered workshops on employment support for veterans, diffusing difficult relationships and effective communications at the ICSEW’s Jan. 21 meeting at the Department of Labor and Industries.   

Below is a summary of key takeaways from the meeting. Meeting minutes, full presentations and handouts are available on our meeting minutes and materials page. 

Veteran’s Employee Resource Group (VERG) 

Man in front of projector
Jimmie Wimberly talks about the Veteran Employee Resource Group (VERG)

Jimmie Wimberly from the Veteran’s Employee Resource Group (VERG) spoke about the work this Business Resource Group does to support veterans and military spouses. He said the group offers many networking and career guidance opportunities for veterans and military spouses who are transitioning from military life to civilian life. It’s not uncommon for those transitioning out of the military to have trouble translating their military duties into terms civilian recruiters understand.   

Military spouses to have gaps on their resume or a series of short term jobs due to frequent relocation that might raise “red flags” for a potential employer. Wimberly said the VERG is there to give veterans and their spouses who are considering state employment or current state employees who are veterans who want to progress in their careers tools and resources they need to reach their professional goals. VERG also works with agencies to help them develop practices on how to recruit and retain veterans. 

Resources:  

Working with Difficult People  

Woman holding microphone
Betty Lochner gives tips on working with difficult people

If someone is causing conflict, you can’t change the way they act. You can only control how you react. That’s one of the messages Betty Lochner from Cornerstone Coaching & Training told attendees at the meeting.  

Lochner said these situations often occur because of a lack of trust. She gave tips on how to diffuse difficult relationships with people and suggestions on ways to develop trust: 

  1. Respond with positive intent. Try to figure out why they may be doing a behavior.
  2. Find ways for people to connect outside their comfort zone. Instead of asking “How are you?” ask something more engaging like “What’s going well for you today?” It gives a person a chance to tell you something they’re excited about.
  3. Practice intentional gratitude. Try to find the good in every difficult situation. 

 Lochner said a good way to develop trust is to show you are actively listening and understanding: 

  •  If someone seems upset or is acting in a negative way toward you, don’t offer advice. Instead, use phrases like “tell me more.” Eventually their negative energy may run out of steam. 

Lochner also gave some key phrases on how to communicate towards a difficult person if you don’t feel you are being heard: 

  • I appreciate working with you and I want our relationship to be better. However, I need to tell you about (insert behavior). If I were you, I would want to know about this… 
  • I feel like you’re not listening to me and here is why… 

Resources:  

 

Focus on the Afters 

Man holding microphone
Manny Martinez says the key to good communication is to ask clarifying questions focused on the results

The cost of miscommunication can be great. It can cost employees and employers time and money to redo a task that wasn’t done correctly the first time. Miscommunication can cause mistakes that cost lives. When doing any task, it’s important to focus on the ‘afters.’ That’s according to Manny Martinez, president of Relentless Leadership, Crestcom LLC. 

The ‘afters’ are the results, or effects that the task will have. For example, when your supervisor says ‘I need you to write a report on (topic).’ Ask some clarifying future tense questions: 

  • What are you hoping to accomplish with (task) 
  • Who is the audience who will be benefitting from (project) 
  • What is the message you are trying to convey  

 Resources: 

Learn strategies for a problem free work environment at ICSEW Jan. 2020 Meeting


Working with Difficult People

Most of us have a few people in our work lives that are difficult to work with.  And, if you don’t right now, you eventually will!  We’ll discuss strategies that proactively set the stage for a problem-free work environment and minimize the negative impact of difficult behaviors.  Some of the strategies include how to set expectations, encourage constructive feedback, and help resolve conflict when it arises.�


Session Presenter: Betty Lochner, SPHR, M.Ed

CEO, Cornerstone Coaching and Training, LLCa�Bb7�*

Betty Lochner is a human resources consultant, business coach and expert in workplace communications. She is the owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training, dedicated to helping individuals, workgroups and organizations become better communicators and leaders.

Betty is nationally certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and a Master’s in Education from Western Washington University. She is a certified trainer in Performance Coaching and has a Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma process improvement. She retired after 30 years as a public servant for the state of Washington where she led programs at The Evergreen State College, Department of Commerce and the Washington Student Achievement Council.

Betty is the author of two books on communication and her recently released journal titled “Intentional Gratitude”.  She hosts a live event Confident Communication: A Women’s Summit – that will be held on March 20, 2020.  

For more information visit: http://www.cornerstone-ct.com

Session Presenter: Manny Martinez, President of Relentless Leadership LLC

Manny Martinez is the President of Relentless Leadership LLC., a Crestcom International authorized agent. Crestcom delivers interactive learning experiences in leadership and management which help people produce real business results across 60 countries and 25,000 clients.

In October 2018, Manny completed a 30-year career in the United States Air Force, reaching the summit of leardership as Chief Master Sergeant and Senior Enlisted Leader. He served military tours in the U.S., Germany, Italy and Turkey, and deployed to military operations in Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan.

Additionally, he’s passionate about community: he’s the Chief Enchanting Educator of Olympia’s Dawn Talkers Toastmasters, volunteers at the Thurston County Food Bank and Centro Integral Educativo Latino de Olympia (CIELO) and sings in his church choir. Manny is married to his bride Barbara and has two children: Laura, a junior attending Washington State University (Go Cougs!) and Alessandro, who a high school freshman.

Today’s Talk: Focus on the Afters

“The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers,” warned the great Peter Drucker. “The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong questions.” If Drucker is right, then these are dangerous times indeed.

With so much data and uncertainty weighing on our decisions, asking the wrong questions – to arrive at the wrong destination – are mistakes we can’t afford to make. To help put us on the right course, Manny will facilitate practical exercises focused on asking future based questions. Additionally, we will hear from Crestcom faculty expert Andy Bounds; his “Afters” technique arms leaders to drive for the right results the first time.

A communications expert, Andy Bounds has been honored as Britain’s “Sales Trainer of the Year.” His book The Jelly Effect: How to Make Your Communication Stick is a best-selling business classic.

For a sneak peek of what Andy has to offer, watch Andy at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjmzQwDnWls

To Register please click here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/icsew-meeting-january-21-2020-registration-87695221769?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

Location: This meeting takes place from Tuesday, Jan. 21st, 2020 from 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM PST at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries building, 7273 Linderson Way SW, Rooms 117-119 in Tumwater, WA 98501-6504. All regular ICSEW meetings are free and open to anyone, regardless of gender or employment status. An two hour ICSEW executive board meeting immediately follows the regular meeting, which is also open for attendees to observe.

Parking: Parking is limited. We encourage carpooling or utilizing the Mountain View Church parking lot which is located at the corner of Linderson Way and Israel Road. Please make sure to have photo ID with you at check-in. InterCity Transit also provides free bus fare for state employees with a STAR pass. To receive your star pass, please contact your agency’s commute trip reduction coordinator.

Scent/Fragrance Free Environment As we strive to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment, we have learned more about the need to become fragrance-free. A growing number of people are adversely affected by chemicals used in fragrances and the health impacts that result from contact range from mild irritation to life-threatening airway compromise. Often people who experience these effects are unable to access public spaces. The Americans with Disabilities Act recognizes chemical sensitivity and supports the need for accommodations to allow everyone access to public spaces. To ensure the health of all attendees — and to support an inclusive and healthy environment for all — please refrain from using fragrance when attending the ICSEW Meetings and events. Thank you for your cooperation.