Dave: Welcome to another addition of the Public Relations Security Service video cast. We are really privileged to have with us Catherine Mattice Zundell from Civility Partners. Catherine so much for joining us.
Catherine: Thank you.
Dave: For those who don’t know Civility Partners, why don’t you give us a little run down on your business and who you serve, and the organizations you’re privileged to have clients.
Catherine: Yup. We specialize in HR consulting, focused around toxic work environments. We work in organizations that have bulling, harassment, discrimination as a cultural problem, and we help them transform into a better, healthier culture. We do that through training programs. I specialize in coaching ‘bullies’ or abrasive, aggressive leaders, and also through full consulting programs.
Dave: I guess the first question I have is can bullies be retrained, can you really re-tool a culture that is embedded, and often times inherent to the business, you know in the first place?
Catherine: You can. So coaching a bully is a little bit different. That part of the issue there is they’re really completely unaware of the damage they cause, and they think their management style is helping get results. I’m able to help them see differently through coaching. In terms of culture change, yes there are many long steps that go into it. Those contracts are usually two years, and at that point we’re only part way there, but yes.
Dave: Catherine I imagine you see a wide range of obstacles to overcome within the work place, that they’ve erected over time. What are the typical ones you see, and how do you help them over come it?
Catherine: Yeah, I’ll give you two. One is clients come to me as a reactive situation. They’re reacting to something bad that happened. A public complaint, or hostile work environment complaints. One obstacle that I overcome initially is with just the leaders, where they haven’t seen this coming. All of a sudden there’s a slap in the face event. I have to convince them that is a cultural problem, and the best option is culture change, as opposed to one training program or something. There’s a real shift in their mind that I have to help them make.
Catherine: The second obstacle, as with any culture change, you have resisters. People who don’t think its necessary. They like it the way it is. A lot of it is just time. Communicating with those people over time to bring them in, and help them see why this is beneficial for them and the organization they care so much about. There’s a lot of different ways to do that. Those are kind of the two main obstacles, it’s just getting the buy in.
Dave: To that end, can people once you sort of shine the light, can they truly be retrained? Can they relearn things that may have taken them decades to forge, is that possible?
Catherine: Yeah, so part of what we do is put a lot of processes in place to ensure there is change, right. So for example, if we’re going to ask managers to be more accountable for coaching negative behavior, and creating a positive environment, then they have core competencies now related to that. They get training around that. It’s going to be part of their performance, so now there’s organizational processes in place that force them to change. We find in culture change sometimes people drop off. You know maybe you have someone who says, “I don’t like this kind of management. I don’t want to do it.” That’s fine, they can go somewhere else. You know, some people buy into it. Some people are kind of so, so, and those that don’t want to do it are invited to leave.
Dave: Yes. Self selected is not a term.
Catherine: Yeah. Yeah.
Dave: With that in mind, once a plan is place I imagine communicating that to all parties, all stake holders, is paramount if you’re going to see success. How important is that in your process, and your plans that you put together for clients?
Catherine: Yup. Any culture change consultant will tell you that communication is a huge part of success in culture change. That is part of, you know we’re always trying to figure out how can we communicate about things. How can leaders be having more one on one’s. How can, you know do we need a E-News letter. There’s just a million different ways to communicate. We’ve had an experience you and I.
Dave: We did.
Catherine: That was pretty interesting. Where the communication from the top just was not right. It wasn’t what the employees needed to hear, and it wasn’t bad natured. It was just tone deaf, I think is the fraise that you used. He just needed some assistance on communicating around it, and I was able to bring you in, and appreciated that.
Dave: You know for me it was fascinating, because it really showed me that people could in fact really see things, and act differently. With just being shown how to their current actions are actually counter productive. Most seem to be, at least in that case, the person wanted to do the right thing. Just didn’t know how, or had never been shown that before. Thanks for that.
Dave: Tell people how to learn more about Civility Partners, how they can get ahold of you.
Catherine: My website, civilitypartners.com. You can find me all over the internet. Send me a carrier pigeon, or a fax you know. I’m here.
Dave: If they have a carrier pigeon, they probably have a fax.
Dave: Catherine this has been a treat. Thank you so much for the time.
Catherine: Yeah, thank you.
Dave: We’ll see you at the next video cast. Thanks for watching.