Consider these fresh ideas:
A Mind-Set that Leads to Achievement
by Leroy Hamm of IHD Corporation, NACDB Member
Years of frustration from living in a "prison of passivity" led me to write this article. Saying "yes" to decisions and people when I should have said "no" left me living with some very negative consequences - in some cases for years afterward. The internal struggle of feeling powerless in some situations and of being tentative in circumstances that required honest, direct communication left me ultimately with a choice: Learn how to communicate more effectively, regardless of the different communication styles of others, or stay locked in my ineffective, self-made prison. I had to learn to be more assertive.
Assertiveness is not just a skill, it is a mind-set. And it can be difficult to learn because living it is more of an emotional issue than a rational one - both for the aggressive and for the passive person. It is a matter of unlearning certain misconceptions and learning another way of looking at one's self and others. In a word, it is confidence. In their book, Execution, Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan and Charles Burek call assertiveness or confidence "emotional fortitude." "Emotional fortitude," says Bossidy, "gives you the courage to accept points of view that are opposite of yours and deal with conflict and the confidence to encourage and accept challenges in group settings. It enables you to deal with your own weaknesses, be firm with people who aren't performing, and to handle the ambiguity inherent in fast-moving, complex organizations." He goes on to say, "How can your organization face reality if people don't speak honestly and if its leaders don't have the confidence to surface and resolve conflicts or give and take honest criticism?"
Bossidy's "emotional fortitude" is assertiveness, and managers have to have it or run the risk of not having any effectiveness. In the book, First Break All the Rules, by Buckingham & Coffman of the Gallup organization, according to their feedback, it is the mid-level manager who makes or breaks an organization. They report, "We discovered that the manager - not pay, benefits, perks or a charismatic corporate leader - was the critical player in building a strong workplace. The manager was the key. People leave managers, not companies. If you have a turnover problem, look first to your managers."
Why do people leave their managers? In a study by Morgan McCall & Michael
Lombardo titled, Derailed Executives, six out of ten reasons that managers derail on their way to the top had to do with relationships. They are as follows:
1. Insensitivity to others, an abrasive, intimidating bullying style.
2. Coldness, aloofness or arrogance.
3. Over-managing, failing to delegate or to build a team.
4. Failure to staff effectively.
5. Inability to adapt to a boss with a different style.
6. Over-dependence on a single mentor.
All of the six causes of derailment listed above can be related back to assertiveness issues. For example, one assertiveness issue, aggressiveness, is a behavioral style that cares little about the needs, opinions or feelings of others, and gets what he or she wants in a domineering, obtuse and often impatient way. They are interested in winning and will do what it takes to do it. The language of an aggressive person is personal and demeaning, "You can't do anything right. You'll never make it." "You shouldn't be in this business." "Even a six year old would understand that." Their language may even be aggressive and they feel free to violate the rights and feelings of others. "If you don't like it, then you know what you can do with it!" or "I know what I am doing so if you don't like it then get someone else!” Aggressiveness inherently has character flaws. It is selfish, insensitive, and unfair. Typically, control is a big issue for aggressive people. They demand control because they fear the loss of it. When they feel they are losing it, their fear increases. What we fear tends to make us angry. And since the aggressive person handles his anger in an unhealthy way, it can damage relationships and scatter bodies on his way to the top.
Dealing Effectively with the Aggressive Person
The aggressive person actually responds well to those who stand up to them. However, if it is another aggressive, person, the problem is likely to escalate. The challenge for others less aggressive is just getting past the fear of what the aggressive person might do if they confront them. Once the passive person learns an assertiveness skill set, he may be surprised that the aggressive bark is bigger than the bite. The following are some suggested healthy responses to the aggressive person:
1. I want to hear what you have to say. I am not willing to be called names.
2. You seem really angry about this. I'll talk to you about this at 2:00 p.m.
3. I can't talk to you when you are shouting.
Never get into a shouting match unless it is absolutely necessary. Never allow the aggressive person to intimidate you. Never get "personal" even if the aggressive person gets personal. Respond with "I want to hear what you have to say. I am not willing to be called names." Keep it professional, not personal. Prepare ahead of time for the interaction if possible. If caught off guard, consider the source and keep your goals in mind. Depending on who it is and the potential risk versus benefits, it may not be worth engaging full throttle. Assertiveness is a choice and the response you choose to use may be aggressive, assertive or even passive but your goals are always assertive. Carol Price says in her CD series Assertiveness Communication Skills for Professionals that sometimes a "good run is better than a bad stand. "You decide your response. Don't let others decide it for you. It is your choice.
By: Ron Ogden of Series Seating, NACDB member and Corporate Sponsor
Conventional wisdom is doing what you have always done because that’s what you have always done...accepting the status quo. The responsibility of SpaceStewardship inspired us to challenge conventional ways of doing seating. The conventional options shown below all present significant restrictions in seat capacity and traffic flow with the limited amount of egress space between the rows.
The principle of stewardship recognizes that everything we have comes from God and belongs to God. We are simply given charge over it to put it to good use and make the most of it. This applies to our finances, our talents, and all resources. And though you don’t always think about it, your church campus real estate is another gift placed under your charge - and at the heart of that campus is perhaps the most important space of all...that space set aside for worship. Making the most of that valuable footprint is part of what pew replacement and SpaceStewardship is all about - and remains at the heart of all we do for the market we serve.
The key to space efficiency is in achieving a tight seat envelope in the seat design. This is what determines the amount of passage between rows and ultimately impacts seat capacity, traffic flow, and maintenance issues. The illustration below shows the 15.5” envelope in the SERIES Vera chair that allows a 20.5” egress, significantly greater than the typical 12” egress on a conventional pew.
Eliminating the intermediate arm dividers associated with conventional theater seats advances the cause of space efficiency by providing 2 more inches of individual space at the hips and elbows. Over the past several years the “no arm” option has accounted for over 97% of sales to the church market.
REAL ESTATE VALUE
At SERIES we take great strides in making small footprints. The Vera chair consumes only 2.36 square feet of floor space compared to 3.66 square foot per seating unit with a conventional pew. We call that a small footprint that makes a big impression. In an auditorium designed to seat 1000 people with a conventional pew, the Vera chair will free up 1300 square foot of usable floor space that would be lost to a pew, allowing you to make the most of your own worship area footprint. Ultimately the Value of the SERIES Vera chair will be inseparably linked to the value of your real estate.
SERIES is the industry leader in product innovation and design solutions in the seating industry. We have proven excellence in the Performing Arts, Worship, Education, Stadium, and Cinema Markets. Ron Ogden is founder and president of Worship Space Advisors based in Winona Lake In. Ron can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are here to help! Please let us know if you need anything. To speak with an NACDB Certified Church Consultant, please contact us! Plus, you can always learn more on our website: www.nacdb.com