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One final note

For all the APPM members reading from home, here’s a link to Val Hoeppner’s blog post with links to free and cheap (and fantastic) training and management materials. I sat in on her session earlier in the day and was blown away with the amount of quality tools available.

Free and Cheap: Online Training, Blogs and More

See you next year at the Poynter Institute!



Filed under: APPM, Photojournalism,

Difficult management conversations for photo managers

By Mary Poletti

Jill Geisler, of the Poynter Institute, followed up yesterday afternoon’s general session on management principles with a improv session about difficult management conversations with APPM participants.

The session was more relaxed — a circle of participants in a smaller room, having a conversation about management.

Geisler began the conversation by talking about the management challenges in the spaces of journalism, then asked participants where they thought their newsrooms were in leadership on a scale of 1 to 10. Participants gave extensive answers that directed the session.

The conversation touched on managing people, making time for writers and photographers alike to experience stories, the amateurization of photojournalism, managing and being managed by your journalists, bridging quality gaps without embarrassing journalists in the newsroom,

In all things, Geisler encouraged participants to keep a goal in mind whenever they’re having difficult conversations. Try to visualize your outcome: What would that look like? And try to visualize the obstacles the person you’re managing might raise in a difficult conversation about the goal you have.

Geisler also touched on the idea of attribution theory — the idea that we attribute our behavior to external sources, but others’ to their own personality. We look at situations through our own fears. We often assume the wrong motive when going into a situation. We try to figure out the motives and reasons for others’ behavior, but we are usually wrong.

Do enough due diligence within your group to know, Geisler encouraged participants, that they have your back and there is unanimity of purpose.

In any conflict situation, Geisler said, “you have your goal over here and your relationship over here” since you must work with the person every day. You want to come out on the other side of a difficult conversation with your relationship intact and your goal accomplished.

The group acted out a couple of the difficult conversations that participants expressed a need for help with having — to both the benefit and the entertainment of the group.

Geisler handed out a sheet with 10 tips for difficult conversations, which are often put off to a critical point:

  1. Be clear about your goal.
  2. Know yourself — and your management style.
  3. Prepare for the conversation.
  4. Start strong.
  5. Don’t pile information on. (In the most serious conversations, don’t bury the lede.)
  6. Focus on things you can describe.
  7. Expect emotion. (But don’t react with emotion.)
  8. Stay on track.
  9. End smart.
  10. Follow up.

Geisler emphasized the importance of practicing difficult conversations and again encouraged participants to e-mail her with any questions at jgeisler (at) poynter (dot) org.

Geisler’s News U course “Dealing With Difficult Conversations: A Guide for Managers and Others” can be found at http://bit.ly/2Z545W.

Filed under: APPM, Discussions, ,

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