Become a Great Communicator

Every living being communicates. Dogs bark, birds sing, and primates use hand gestures and noises akin to speech. Effective communication is needed in all areas of life. Paul Meyer describes communication best when he says, “Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal career success.” While basic communication skills are inherent, advanced skills that lead one to becoming a great communicator takes practice.

Effective communication begins with listening. Too many times, people are either thinking about their responses or about something else entirely, and they fail to completely listen to the other person. By doing this, you lose focus on the conversation and may find out, in embarrassment, that your response is completely off base. When you are not listening, you are creating a one-sided conversation that shows others that you really do not care about what they have to say. Showing a genuine interest in learning what others think and feel about any matter they find worth discussing will place you in a position to be the one they go to for encouragement and to brainstorm solutions to difficult problems – because what you say in response will all of a sudden matter, too.

Focusing on your interactions shows respect. Checking emails, texting, or engaging in social media while in a conversation is rude. Great communicators respect those they are with by putting away or turning off their electronic devices when engaged in conversation. One-on-one conversations are becoming a lost art because of the ease of technology. Eliminate the distractions and hone in your listening skills.

When communicating to anyone be specific. Make your message clear. Doing so ensures that you are heard and understood in the way you intended. If giving instructions, provide details in order to avoid confusion and ensure better outcomes. When setting up appointments, be specific about your availability and give details about the time, location, who else will be in attendance. Frustration occurs when specific details are not shared and people have to go back and do something that could have easily been done correctly the first time.

While being specific is very important, it is also important to simplify your message. Make certain that what you are communicating is understandable. If the thought is confused in your mind, it will most certainly be confusing to the person you are communicating with. Take the time to think through what you need to convey. Pauses should not be feared, especially if that pause helps you communicate your point clearly and more effectively.

Finally, ask questions. Great communicators ask questions and they are not afraid to get specific. Taking a genuine interest in learning more about people and what they think, feel, and experience helps keep the conversation going and shows that you are engaged. People appreciate it when someone wants to get to know them better and the knowledge gained through great interactions can help you further yourself both personally and professionally.

Effective communication is a great skill for everyone to have. It is also a necessary skill in order to get along successfully in the world around you. It is a lost art by many that can be easily revived by practicing your listening skills, being specific, and asking questions.

Dallas School District is Seeking Public Input on the Naming of Two Facilities

Oakdale Heights Multi-Purpose Room

Name after: Ian Tawney

Ian Tawney grew up in Dallas and attended Oakdale, and graduated from DHS in 2003. He enlisted in the Marines, and served honorably in Iraq and Afghanistan until his death in combat on October 16, 2010.

Community member Request: Our kids deserve heroes. I believe it would be most fitting to provide present and future Oakdale students with the chance to become better acquainted with Ian. They need to learn about people who spend their life giving more than they take. People that make themselves better by lifting up the people around them. They need to understand that true courage is not the lack of fear, but in doing what must be done even when you are afraid.

Please send your input by March 29th to [email protected]

 

Dallas High School Track

Name after: Paul and Judee Ward

Community member request: The Ward’s have made a noteworthiness and significant contribution to DHS athletics. Paul has been a two-time DHS Head track and field coach and long-time assistant coach whose career spanned nearly sixty years. Paul’s dedication to Dallas High School athletics is legendary with his influence going beyond just coaching. It includes imparting his knowledge on to several other coaches over the years, and keeping kids involved no matter what their particular life situations happen to be. Paul was a major advocate for student athletes going through difficult life changes and seeing to it that they had the same opportunity to participate as others. Both the Wards have made tremendous impact on all athletic programs by donating funding, building materials, equipment, and literally thousands of hours toward facility improvements at time when the district lacked the funding and personnel to put toward maintaining aging facilities. Paul and Judee Ward have held a high level dedication for the track program year in and out for several decades.

Please send your input by March 29th to [email protected]

8 Ways to Get More Out of Your Chamber of Commerce Membership

There are many reasons to join your local Chamber of Commerce. Some of the obvious ones are networking opportunities, community involvement, political advocacy, and the trust that Chamber affiliation builds with your customers. Of course, there are many more benefits you receive from becoming a Chamber member, but many people don’t fully enjoy them. They wrongly assume that by simply paying their annual membership dues lots of new business and friends will automatically show up. Without understanding how to make their Chamber experience work for them they give up on the Chamber in frustration.

If all you do is pay your membership fee you will get a welcome letter and a nice sticker to put on your front door. However, if you invest in building trusting, professional relationships with others through the Chamber the rewards in leads, sales, and friendships are potentially game changing for your business. Here are several ways to get more out of the Chamber by investing in other members.

  1. Sign up for their newsletters or updates.
    A great way to learn more about your peers at the Chamber and how you can support their business is to sign up for their company newsletter, directory, or weekly email.
  2. Support them online.
    Support other Chamber members through any of the social media outlets they use and tell your network about them as well. Have you experienced their service or product first hand? Show your support by writing positive product reviews online. 
  3. Submit their news to other groups you are part of.
    Be sure to share your Chamber peers’ news with other groups you may be part of. Think about professional, LinkedIn, or civic groups for example. 
  4. Invite them to be part of your seminars.
    Invite fellow Chamber members to come speak at your company functions or the business seminars you are hosting. They will appreciate the opportunity to showcase their area of expertise and you will enhance your event with guest speakers. 
  5. Share or trade skills and expertise.
    We are all experts at something. What is your “something”? Share that something with someone else at the Chamber. If you are good at writing ad copy and someone else is good at printing sales flyers then offer to share skills. You will probably help each attract more business this way. 
  6. Introduce them to your friends.
    Be the first person to approach new Chamber members when they arrive. Be friendly and introduce them to others in the group. Your gesture will be remembered and appreciated forever. 
  7. Bring them to other functions.
    Perhaps you are member of other organizations in addition to the Chamber. Invite one or two of your Chamber peers to attend other functions with you as your guest. Introduce them to your other associates. This will increase their circle of connections and you will look like a master networker. 
  8. Use their business first.
    Support your fellow Chamber members by giving them preference when you shop. For example, if you need replacement windows for your home and one of the window companies is a Chamber member, give that company your business. Even if they cost a little more, the goodwill your business generates can be invaluable.

Sometimes Saying “Goodbye” is not Easy

The decision to proceed with releasing a team member should be well thought-out. Many managers avoid terminating “ok” or even “bad” employees because they are conflict-adverse, have self-doubt, or are unable to separate their concern for the person from the performance. The price of keeping these employees is high. “Ok” and “bad” employees can decrease morale within the team and organization, decrease long-term productivity, and can have negative effects on customer satisfaction and revenues. It also compromises your leadership ability.

There are four signs that it is time to say “goodbye”:

  1. There is a lack of progress or follow-through on projects.
  2. There is a disregard for organizational processes or procedures.
  3. There is a lack of trust.
  4. They have a poor attitude, especially if their attitude is spreading throughout the team.

The first step in the termination process is to create an outline of what steps the employee can take towards improvement. This should include very specific expectations, goals, and a 30-day deadline to meet expectations. Provide examples whenever possible. This outline should be shared with upper management and human resources.

The second step is to have a very honest conversation with the team member. Some organizations prefer to have a representative of upper management or human resources attend this meeting. Present the outline and answer any questions the employee may have. During this meeting allow the employee to share their thoughts on their performance. Emphasize that they have 30 days to show improvement. Also provide a copy of the outline to include any clarifications spelled out in detail to the employee and to any upper management representatives that may be present during this meeting.

During the 30-day improvement time, check in with the team member at least weekly. Also begin the hiring process for their replacement. This reduces the need to have other team members pick up the slack for an extended period of time once their colleague is gone. If after 30 days there is no measurable improvement, it is time to have one last honest conversation terminating the employee.

In the end, creating a plan of improvement will help both manager and employee remove any doubt in regards to employee performance and general fit within the company’s culture and its goals. It also allows the team member to prove themselves and receive coaching or mentoring they may require. While termination is never pleasant for either party involved, sometimes it is the best decision.

Is the Chamber a Government Entity?

A Chamber of Commerce, or a Board of Trade, is a form of business network. The Chamber of Commerce is a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community. Local businesses are members, and they elect a board of directors, or executive council to set policy for the chamber. The board or council then hires a President, CEO, or Executive Director, plus staffing of an appropriate size to run the organization.

A Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary association of business firms belonging to different trades and industries. They serve as spokesmen and representatives of the business community. They differ from city to city, and region to region.

In many areas Chambers of Commerce are a source of private sector information. The information is usually gathered by surveying Chamber members. This can be used by official governmental departments as a guide to the performance of the economy in the Chambers area.

As a non-governmental institution, a Chamber of Commerce has no direct role in the writing and passage of laws and regulations that affect businesses. It may however, lobby in an attempt to get laws passed that are favorable to businesses.

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Public Policy: Fire Department Consolidation

The City of Dallas, Sheridan Fire District, SW Polk Rural Fire Protection District, and West Valley Fire District are proposing a pilot consolidation of their fire and ems services. Once approved, a joint management services agreement between the four agencies could go into effect as early as July 1st, 2019. The following questions and answers provide details about the proposed consolidation.

What is changing?

The four agencies are considering a pilot consolidation of their fire and ems service delivery systems. Phase I of the consolidation would involve only management functions. All firefighters employed by each department would remain employees of their current departments, and all current bargaining agreements would remain in place. Phase I of the consolidation would include sharing the cost of a single fire chief, restructuring administrative support functions, and exploring opportunities to leverage resources through joint purchasing power. The four fire agencies also would establish a single operational structure and implement standardized training, policies, and procedures.

This effort will take the place of the several current individual intergovernmental agreements these agencies have between each other currently.

Phase II bring the benefits from consolidation that occurred in phase I to allow for increased response personnel and thus provide quicker, faster, safer services to our citizens.

Why are the four fire agencies considering consolidation?

All four agencies have operated their own fire and ems service system since their inception. Each agency has their own history of previous consolidation efforts to enhance their service delivery system. There is high level of cooperation between the four agencies, yet they maintain separate organizational infrastructures. As is the case in many areas, budgetary pressures are creating difficulties in maintaining appropriate levels of service. The goal of the proposed consolidation is to provide the best fire and ems services possible to the areas and communities given available resources. The plan would eliminate redundancy and duplication of effort, provide opportunities for cost savings, and enhance the level of service for all four agencies. At the same time, the proposed consolidation would generate significant savings over individually meeting the same service levels.

Are these the first fire and ems services to consider consolidation?

No. consolidating fire and ems services is a nationwide trend to maintain fire and emergency medical response in the face of budget challenges. There are several nearby completed examples: Lane Fire Authority, Redmond Fire District, and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue. Several other nearby areas are considering similar process: McMinnville, Forest Grove, Cornelius, and Albany.

Will this consolidation of fire and emergency medical services affect my annual tax payment?

Yes, there will be an increase in the annual property tax, however, the increase will be less than if the fire and ems systems were enhanced as individual agency systems. The amount of any increase will vary upon which service area you are located within.

The chart below describes each agency annual tax changes.

Agency Name Dallas Fire & EMS Sheridan District Fire SW Polk Fire West Valley Fire
Current tax rate per $1000 $1.21 $1.47 $1.54 $1.46
Individual tax rate per $1000 $2.65 $2.45 $2.57 $3.23
Consolidated tax rate per $1000 $1.94 $1.94 $1.94 $1.94

 

Would there be other benefits associated with consolidation?

Infrastructure improvements associated with the consolidation will improve service to the community. For example, all agencies could begin using a common information technology service including the need for meeting Oregon Records Retention laws. Emergency planning could also be improved through common practices and stronger communication.

Who would oversee the consolidated department?

Beginning in Phase I, the fire chief would be shared by all agencies. In addition to the fire chief, all agencies would share several senior command staff personnel. The fire chief would report to the Fire & EMS Planning Coalition.

What impact would the consolidation have on fire and emergency medical services to the area involved?

The consolidation effort is designed to increase fire & ems services within all agency areas involved. Eliminating the current vacant administrative positions within each agency thus allowing for those dollars to increase the number of fire and ems service providers.

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Great Employees Come From a Great Hiring Process

Candidates and employees are an organization’s best asset. They are also the primary consumers of your product with very specific expectations on the company’s brand. These expectations and their experience with the hiring process will ultimately shape their engagement and performance if hired. It is important to treat candidates with respect during the hiring process.

Talent assessments can be very beneficial when used as part of a well-defined hiring process. They can create a performance profile that includes behavioral characteristics, skills, and personal inventories. This information can then be maintained to be used not only in the hiring process, but in evaluating your current employees for opportunities that arise through the use of performance reviews and promotion assessments.

Choosing the right assessment tool can be challenging as more sophisticated tools are developed and released. It is important that the chosen tool do the following:

  • Be easy to take and be mobile optimized.
  • Ask questions that are directly related to the position.
  • Instill the organization’s values.
  • Provide the opportunity to show proof of ability to perform the job tasks.
  • Not be so long that it results in a high candidate abandon rate.

Regardless of the assessment tool employed, make sure to follow up with all candidates. Providing feedback and letting them know where they stand in the hiring process will help maintain a positive impression on the organization and its brand, whether the candidate has a future with the company, or not.

Future employees’ performance can be determined, in part, by an effective hiring process. The use of talent assessments as one part of the hiring process will help hiring managers understand more about the candidate and how well they may fit into the organization’s culture and production expectations.

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Technical Genius Solutions

Technical Genius Solutions is your source for Computer repairs in Polk County and the surrounding areas. Technical Genius provides the latest in residential and commercial networking solutions, computer repair and maintenance. They have a team of certified technicians who will pin-point your problem, and get you up and running quickly and efficiently. Technical Genius Solutions can streamline your communications, boost your productivity, protect your system, and help you maintain your workflow all while saving you time and money!

Technical Genius does not limit themselves to just repairs however. They also host classes designed to educate seniors, business, and everyone in between on their products, as well as common issues. If you are looking to get your certification in A+, Technical Genius offers tutoring with an opportunity to earn an internship position!

So whether you have a desktop computer, a laptop or an office with a 100 users and multiple servers, you are in good hands with Technical Genius Solutions. No job is too big – or too small! They do it all backed by their 100% satisfaction guarantee, and will work to serve you and make you happy!

It is their promise to you that they will do whatever it takes to earn your respect and loyalty in this very competitive industry. Give them a call today, and let Technical Genius Solutions prove to you that they have what it takes to let your problems to be history!

https://tgsoregon.net/ 

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How To Combat Burnout

Even if you love your job, it’s common to feel burnt out from time to time. Perhaps you just wrapped up a big project and are having trouble mustering motivation for the next one. It could be that your home life is taking up more of your energy than usual. Or maybe, you’re just bored.

Burnout – the mental and physical exhaustion you experience when the demands of your work consistently exceed the amount of energy you have available – has been called the epidemic of the modern workplace. So you need to find ways to “put gas back in your tank.” Here are some ideas for how to do that:

  1. Take breaks during the workday. Take a walk or go for a run. Have lunch away from your desk. But take your breaks at the right time. When our energy is highest – often in the morning – you should focus on work and maximize your productivity. Tackle your toughest challenges at those times, then step away for a rest.
  2. Put away your digital devices. Place your smartphone in a basket or drawer when you arrive home so you’re not tempted to pick it up and check your email; or you might devise a rule for yourself about turning it off past 8 pm.
  3. Do something interesting. Instead of concentrating on limiting or avoiding work in your off-hours, do an activity you find interesting. Even if that activity is taxing, like a sport, it is better for you than simply relaxing.
  4. Take long weekends. The break does not need to be a two-week vacation, it could be as simple as a three, or four day weekend. While you’re away, though, don’t call the office, or check your email.
  5. Focus on meaning. If your job responsibilities preclude immediate time off try focusing on why the work matters to you. Connecting your current assignment to a larger personal goal will help you fight the temptation to slack off. However, this may provide only temporary relief.

Make sure it’s really burnout. If none of these strategies work, you could be dealing with something more serious. If you’re listless and fatigued but still feel effective on the whole, then it’s probably just burnout. However, if you feel as though you’re not making progress and that the work you do doesn’t seem to matter, it’s a different problem

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Entrepreneurship & Innovation Ecosystems In Oregon

Monday, February 25, 2019
8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Northwest Community Credit Union
Community Room
545 E. 8th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401

REGISTER HERE (https://oeda.biz/event/entrepreneurship-innovation-ecosystems-in-oregon/)
*REGISTRATION INCLUDES CLASS MATERIALS, BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND COFFEE/BEVERAGE SERVICE.  STUDENTS WILL HAVE ONLINE ACCESS TO ALL CLASS MATERIALS FOR A PERIOD OF TIME FOLLOWING THE CLASS.

Join us for the next course in the Oregon Economic Development Certification Program to learn about essential features and tools for economic development in Oregon.

Participation in this training session also counts towards the Oregon Certified Economic Developer Program.

Course Information
Entrepreneurship and innovation are growing components of successful economies. As an Oregon Economic Development Professional, it’s important to understand the role entrepreneurs play in your community and how to build supportive ecosystems.

This interactive 8-credit training covers in depth information on the importance of entrepreneurial ecosystems, tools and resources to implement and measure ecosystems in your community, and state-wide collaboration tools.

You’ll leave this interactive training with an understanding of:

  • Overview of Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Oregon (Startups, Oregon’s entrepreneurial landscape, Oregon’s advantages)
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation Basics (Startup Life Cycle, Accelerators & Incubators, Investing, Other Funding Mechanisms, Mentoring, Tech Transfer)
  • Supporting Entrepreneurs in Your Community (Creating Community Specific Programs, Ingredients for Success, Do’s and Dont’s with Entrepreneurs)
  • Putting Learning and Resources into Practices (Actionable ways to use the information provided)

Rural Scholarships Available

OEDA is pleased to offer professional development scholarships to rural communities, in partnership with Business Oregon and the Ford Family Foundation. Scholarships are approved on a rolling basis and according to availability of funds.  Individuals that meet the criteria will be notified with an approval email and coupon code. Please await code before registering. Priority is given to applicants that best meet the criteria and that will benefit most from professional development opportunities. View Rural Scholarship Application: 2018 OEDA Professional Development Rural Scholarships

 

Questions? Email Annie Gorski ([email protected]) or AJ Foscoli ([email protected]), our Professional Development Committee Co-Chairs.

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