Networking and Working with Colleagues
Workshop 2: Learning Outcomes
By the end of this workshop you will be able to:
· outline the importance of internal networking in an organisation
· outline the importance of external networking in an organisation
· outline ways to develop effective workplace relationships and ways to work more effectively with others
· describe the importance of a culture of trust and confidence in a workplace
· outline why it is important to understand others
· outline features of effective teams
Workshop2.1: Internal Networks
What is internal networking?
Internal networking is building informal relationships between individuals within an organisation. The purpose of the relationships are for seeking help, advice and support.
It is a way to increase the impact of each worker's duties in the organisation, as well as increasing resources for the individual.
The more people that the worker is able to communicate with in the organisation; the more information the worker has access to; the more influence the worker may have.
Reading:
This reading outlines ways for an person's ideas to influence activities within an organisation.
2.1: Reading - Internal networking
How can an individual get ideas heard?
To develop internal networks with the intention of getting your ideas heard, the people who have power and influence within the organisation need to be identified. Remember to choose the right time and place to express your ideas. In the process of putting across your ideas, you must be aware of not putting anyone down or offending anyone.
For example, if suggesting an idea you have for improving a production procedure, you must be careful that you are not suggesting that the person currently doing the job is not doing it well enough.
The following is a list of points to consider:
· choose the right time and place to put across your idea
· give the idea time to mature
· find individuals who you can quietly discuss the idea with
· be accepting about the idea as other information becomes available
· think through all arguments for and against the idea.


Workshop 2.2: External Networks
What is external networking?

External networking is developing informal relationships outside your organisation to help with work. These networks can be used for support, advice and help.

Having the opportunity to talk to people in other related, or "feeder", industries, about issues you may have in common is also networking.
Although in many cases, opportunities to network with other people who work in your industry may be limited, it can pay to take advantage of opportunities that arise, but people must remember to be discreet. Loyalty to your own company is also highly respected.
Networking should not be gossip sessions. You are there to discuss common issues and perhaps to work out solutions that may be of benefit to both parties.
Reading:
This reading outlines ways for an individual's ideas to be of some influence in the organisation.
2.2: Reading - External networking
Examples of opportunities for external networking include
· attending trade fairs
· attending industry award ceremonies
· attending seminars and conferences
· being a member of an industry group or association
· talking to suppliers, clients and drivers / couriers
· business tours to related industries
When finding yourself in a networking environment, issues can be discussed in general terms. However details related to your company and its products and services should not be discussed as that can be seen as indiscreet and could affect the way your colleagues see your loyalty.
Workshop 2.2 Activity
Read this case study.

Charley works in the laundry industry. The company he works for specialises in hospital linen cleaning and rental. Every year Charley and some of his colleagues go to a trade fair where the latest in linen and cleaning products, as well as other associated equipment, is displayed.

This year, Charley met a colleague, Jacinta who works for a rural laundry that deals with the tourism and hospitality industry. During the day they were able to discuss the benefits and possible disadvantages of a new deodorising washing machine that was on display from the cleaning machine industry, a supplier to the laundry industry.

Although the industries that Charley and Jacinta’s companies service were different, they both had an interest in this machine. Being able to discuss the machine from their different perspectives helped both Charley and Jacinta to see the possible strengths and weaknesses of the machine.

Over a drink that evening, however, Jacinta started to criticise the practices of her company and some of her colleagues. Although it considered just gossip at the time, it did have an impact on Charley’s perception of the company that Jacinta worked for.

Reflect on your industry.
1. What is your industry?
2. What are the associated or feeder industries? For example, the furniture manufacturing industry relies on suppliers of fabrics, timber, foam and other components.
3. What might be the benefits of developing external networks for you and your organisation?
4. Outline your organisation's policy (either informal or formal) about external networking? Is it encouraged? Why? Why not?
5. List the groups that you could possibly join that would be beneficial?
6. Outline the benefits of joining these groups?
7. List the seminars, conferences, trade fairs etc. that you could attend?
8. Outline the possible benefits of attending these events?

Discuss your ideas with your colleagues / mentor.
Submit the completed worksheet to your teacher.


Workshop 2.3: Developing Positive Relationships
When working with others you are working with the total person.
People bring to the workplace not only their skills but their mind, thoughts, desires and motivation.
All people in the workplace deserve to be treated with dignity and respect no matter what their job.
Each worker will usually have a good idea of the effort and time involved in completing their tasks safely and to a satisfactory standard. Everyone has different ways of working to achieve the desired outcome and people work at different speeds. The outcome, meaning the final product or service, is important, as are deadlines.
It is up to the managers/supervisors and workers to create an environment in which the workers try to do the best job they can possibly do within the given timeframe.
Reading:
This reading outlines how to develop positive relationships.

Workshop 2.3 Activity

Developing positive relationships
Read the following case study

Sophie is a member of a team. She prides herself on being a perfectionist, is confident in all areas of work and she works quickly. Fred is 56 and works with Sophie. He works slowly and is unable to understand new procedures quickly. He needs to have them explained step by step and they need to be repeated numerous times. Once he has understood, he is fine. He finds the demands of new procedures / practices in the workplace difficult. At times he appears nervous and vulnerable. Sophie is very frustrated about Fred, but she knows that she has to work with him for at least one more year.

  1. What can Sophie do about Fred?
  2. What does Sophie need to change in herself to be able to work with Fred without feeling frustrated all the time?
  3. How can Sophie approach Fred to help him where he needs it without putting him down at the same time.


Discuss your ideas with your colleagues / mentor.
Submit the completed worksheet to your teacher.



Workshop 2.4: Building Trust and Confidence
A team that is highly effective has a culture of trust and confidence within the whole group.
Trust and confidence may be difficult to develop within a team and once established may be lost very easily.
Once the trust and confidence is lost, they may be difficult to reestablish.
The manager/supervisor should be a good role model for the team. The way the manager approaches his / her work can often influence the members of the team.
This reading outlines the steps that may be taken to develop trust and confidence.
Reading:
This reading outlines how to develop positive relationships.
2.4: Reading - Developing trust and confidence
The following are steps a manager or supervisor should consider to assist with developing trust and confidence within their team. The manager should:
· be competent technically, professionally and have good interpersonal skills
· have the team's confidence by not repeating information that has been given in confidence
· be consistent in all aspects of work, such as decision making, problem solving and conflict resolution
· be able to express their opinion on particular issues, when appropriate, as well as taking into account the facts of the issue
· be fair and give credit where credit is due
· be loyal to the team in both action and words
· show that they are working in the team's interest and well as their own and the interests of the organisation.

Workshop 2.4 Activity

Developing trust and confidence

Reflect on the management and leadership styles in your organisation.

Consider your manager's abilities to develop trust and confidence in your organisation and comment on their

· technical, professional and interpersonal skills
· ability to maintain the team confidence
· ability to be consistent
· ability to share feelings
· ability to be fair
· ability to be loyal
· ability to show that they are working for the team

What can the manager/ leader do to improve their ability to develop trust and confidence?

Discuss your ideas with your colleagues / mentor.
Submit the completed worksheet to your teacher.




Workshop 2.5: Understanding others
Understanding the way others think and their work and cultural background, may make it easier to develop effective workplace relationships.
Understanding how people prefer to relate to others and deal with information may help teams to work more effectively.
Carl Jung studied personality types. He concluded that people face the world in at least two ways:
· Introverts – work best when they are by themselves, doing their own thing. They prefer not to seek out group, or social, activities
· Extroverts - work best when working with others and don’t like working alone.
Most people fall somewhere between the 2 personality types and lean more towards one than the other.
This reading outlines the way people receive and deal with information.
Reading:
This reading outlines the negotiation process
2.5: Reading - Understanding others
Carl Jung also studied the way people receive and deal with information. There are four ways:
· Thinkers – logically reason, analyse problems and are methodical. They like facts as well as rational information.
· Intuitors – use their imagination to come up with ideas. They see the big picture but sometimes miss details. They use hunches and these hunches are often correct. They are good at planning for the long term and are creative
· Feelers – see things from their personal values and have difficulty weighing up the pros and cons. They work well in groups and are sensitive to the feelings of others. They are good at organizing others and developing enthusiasm amongst others
· Sensors – are hard working, energetic, practical and are good at beginning projects but they do not necessarily analyse problems from all sides. They are impatient and want to get things done quickly. They are good at putting ideas into action.
Workshop 2.5 Activity

Case Study
Read the following case study outlining the negotiating process and answer the questions

Your company produces furniture. One of your customers has given you a large order that needs to be filled within a short period of time. The customer has insisted that the order be filled and your reputation is on the line.
You need your team to work overtime for a month. There are 10 members in the team. You have decided that the overtime needs to be done after work each day and that all members will be required to take part. The majority of the team are not interested in overtime usually. How will you negotiate with the team to get agreement on undertaking the overtime for a specific time.
.
Questions
· What are the problems and the issues?
· What is the goal statement?
· What is the desired outcome?
· List issues that will have to be considered with non verbal and verbal communication
· How will agreement be got?

Discuss your ideas with your colleagues / mentor.
Submit the completed worksheet to your teacher.



Workshop 2.6: Effective Workplace Relationships
Effective teams have the ability to be more than just a group of individuals.
For the team to be effective it should have
· team members who understand and are committed to the vision, processes and structure of the team
· goals that are shared and understood by the team and the individuals within the team
· individuals who get satisfaction from being part of the team and achieving goals
· a supportive environment and a supportive work system
· knowledge of how to work together cooperatively
A team that is effective has members who are motivated and involved. Creativity and innovation are encouraged and individual’s skills and abilities are developed and recognized.
Reading:
This reading outlines the key aspects of effective workplace relationships

2.6 Reading - Effective workplace relationships

For a team to be effective it needs to:
· understand and accept common goals
· have open communication and an equal distribution of work load
· have a system for giving and receiving feedback
· have the tools, equipment, time, information etc to do the best job
· have members who are skilled and experienced
· have members who recognise each other’s strengths and weaknesses
· have the time to step back from its activities to monitor and evaluate its performance and outcomes.
A team will be ineffective if:
· it has too many or too few members
· it operates without good leadership
· there is an environment of mistrust and disrespect
· there is no cooperation
· there are no procedures / forums for issues of concern to be heard.



Workshop 2: Self-assessment

As a way of assessing your progress, print the checklist

  • Complete the checklist
  • Submit the checklist to the teacher
  • The activity sheets are part of the evidence that is required for your assessment

I can
Yes
Not sure
No

outline the importance of internal networking in an organisation



outline the importance of external networking in an organisation



outline ways to develop effective workplace relationships and ways to work more effectively with others



describe the importance of a culture of trust and confidence in a workplace.




If you don’t feel confident answering ‘yes’ to all statements, go over the material and/or discuss concerns with your mentor and/or teacher.

If you feel confident answering ‘yes’ and you can provide evidence of the understanding by submitting completed workshop activity sheets to the teacher, complete workshop 2 ‘Evaluation’.