UW Staff Conference 2018

Thursday, 5 April, 2018

Friday, 6 April, 2018

Stop Trying so Hard. Build Resilience Instead! (Part 1 & Part 2)


You have likely heard about the value of resilience in terms of our health, professional, social, and family life, but what does this mean for you? There are advantages to having resilience. It can help prevent burnout, help minimize the effects sustained when we are exposed to ongoing or one time incidents/events that impact our lives. Resilience may also reduce the feeling of being “trapped” in difficult situations. In this workshop you will create your private plan for resilience based on your unique personality and life circumstances. Presenter: Mary Ann Baynton, MSW, RSW

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand benefits of having a resiliency plan
  • Develop insight and strategies to better deal with whatever life throws at you.

Handout: "Employee's Plan for Resilience" at https://www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com/free-training-and-tools/plan-for-resilience

Everyone deals with crisis. This workshop is for building capacity to not be overwhelmed by them.

Resiliance is the capacity to adapt or recover in the face of adversity, including: distress, trauma, tragedy, threats, harassment, loss, health problems, workplace issues.

  • Research shows results common elements of: 1) traumatic incidents; 2) burnout; 3) conflict/bullying
  • Issues: 1) powerless; 2) no mental reserves; 3) assumptions
  • Triggers: 1) intentional cruelty; 2) lack of appreciation; 3) no support
  • Unprepared for: 1) Unexpected; 2) Blindsided; 3) Perceptions
Resilience = Problem Solving, Social Support, and Preparation

Ability to bounce back after being blindsided.

  • adversity will still cause disruption, but being able to reset to a sense of calm
Workbook exercises:
  • Checklist of factors that test resilience affecting an individual right now- or might in the future (a long list to review and check-mark)
    • how do we anticipate the issues? Perhaps thinking and planning can reduce the negative impact.
  • Automatic responses to stress- what automatic responses do you experience? Write out how they impact you.
    • reviewing this list: am I affected by these? Can I recognize and address them?
  • Resilience through interdependence- acknowledging our interdependence on each other.
    • Noting cognitive dissonance- am I happy to help other people- but unwilling to accept help from others?
      • does this mean I subconsciously assume other people are less strong than I need to be- they should be accept help but I don't? Why?
    • worksheet to name which family/friends/neighbours/coworkers/services I could reach out to for help, in 15 areas. (Also, who do I help?)
      • Is my support network larger than I thought?
      • If my support network isn't as large as it could be, could I expand it? (First look to the people I help)
  • Beyond automatic responses to stress- choosing responses that support resilience
    • Reviewing this list: What do I do now? What do I want to try?
    • Many are evidence-based approaches such as mindfulness, practicing gratitude, and deep breathing.
    • Not one-size-fits-all. Some of these are not going to be suitable for me.

  • What makes it worse? What makes it better?
    • Four A's: Accept, Avoid, Alter, Adapt
    • ACCEPT – putting the situation in perspective – it is what it is– so that it becomes less personal or stressful.
    • AVOID – refocusing away from the stressful situation toward something more positive for you.
    • ALTER – shifting your circumstances in some way
    • ADAPT – changing the way you interact with the source of the stress.
Example: work conflict with boss.
  • Accept: recognizing that the boss may have their own issues and making a conscious effort not to react to them.
  • Avoid: choosing to avoid the boss and not saying much when they are around.
  • Alter: sitting down and negotiating a different way of interacting with the boss. In this scenario, we would seek to understand what the boss is experiencing and what they need from us at work.
  • Adapt: changing the way we interact with and work for the boss to meet their expectations.
    • How might it make it worse or better?
      • Avoid: Better: Could minimize exposure and harm. Worse: Could get fired or performance managed.
      • Alter: Better: A new way of working together may make it much better. Worse: Could backfire and garner more hostility.
      • Adapt: Better: May provide personal growth and strength. Worse: May not be able to sustain it and may not want to.
      • Accept: Better: Perspective may reduce or eliminate the stress. Worse: May be settling or missing out on a better option.
We're supposed to take an example stressor suggested in the first checklist, and work out the 4 As for it.

Exercise of having a plan in case I wasn't able to do my regular work for any reason; knowing what do do.

Commitment to Myself: Over the next three weeks, choose one or more exercises to try, in order to build resilience.

Discussion of UW Employee Assistance Program / 800# for support through staff benefits. Guaranteed anonymous (other than telling HR in aggregate how many times the service is used by the university)

A Fresh New Approach to Productivity

Drawing from over a decade’s worth of research, as well as Chris Bailey’s yearlong deep dive experiment into the world of productivity, this counter-intuitive and wildly entertaining talk will transform how you think about productivity. Productivity doesn't have to be boring—and it’s possible to get more done every day without hating the process. In addition to showing how productivity is about managing your time as well as your attention and energy, this talk will give you several practical, tactical ways to get more done every day at work and at home—like Single-tasking and the Rule of 3—so you’ll walk away with some solid productivity techniques in your back pocket.

  • Diversion: conversation with the Captioning Service typist, who had a great sense of humour

  1. The rule of 3: At start of day, identify what 3 things I intend to accomplish today? At start of week: what 3 things to accomplish this week?
    • what one task deserves laser focus?
    • process goals? "Write for 90 minutes."
  2. Which one task is most impactful? 80/20 rule.
    • Find your most impactful tasks. 1) list your monthly activities. 2) choose your 3 most valuable. 3) focus on them as much as possible every day.
  3. Taming Distractions.
    • typically we have 40 seconds before we're distracted/interrupted by something. How to eliminate these?
    • When we're distracted, lose 26 minutes of productivity.
  • Four types of distractions. Two axes: Annoying/Fun; No Control/Control.
    • The annoying ones, that you have control over: Email, Meetings, Notifications. Take control! Only check email at set times; turn off notifications; consider whether meetings need to happen/be as long.
  • Email:
    • Take one day: record how often check email. 88x per day average (?) 11x per hour? Average email is waiting 6 seconds before it's opened... how important???
    • Don't open an email unless you have energy/time/focus to deal with it. Otherwise, let it wait.
    • Use VIPs feature for important email senders
    • Use the 5-sentence rule to limit email time/length.
  • Meetings:
    • No Meeting Mondays
    • 5-minute meetings: everyone gets 15-30 seconds to speak
    • ALWAYS have an agenda.
    • Know whether attendees are "Makers" or managers. Makers need focus/meetings cost them more.
  • check into phone app: "freedom" - to silence distractions.

Internal distractions:

  • Self-talk. 80% negative.
  • note that as you get better at impactful tasks and eliminate them, you're working on less-impactful tasks, which will lead to distractedness, more self-talk.


  • recall 3 things grateful for- for 21 days.
  • Genuinely reward yourself for shipping/achieving milestones.
  • Journaling good things. Keep accomplishments list.

The Happiness Economy

Organizational culture is the set of shared beliefs and values within an organization that help shape behaviour. Like community or national culture, organizational culture is an indispensable aspect of any company. It’s the holistic understanding of an organization’s goals and how they will be achieved. Organizational culture answers the question why do we do what we do? After two decades of research, we can prove that there is a direct correlation between a healthy, productive workplace culture and an organization’s bottom line. Presenter: Jennifer Moss

  • Happy people affect their surroundings. 3 degrees: Framingham study. 25%: happier friend within one mile 14%: happier sibling living within one mile. 34% happier neighbour. 8% happier spouse.
  • "social contagion" - connections between happiness/loneliness/depression upon other social ills.
  • Three determinants of happiness: 50% genetic set point. 40% intentional activities (thoughts and actions). 10% "stuff": outside circumstances
  • Hope: is about goal-setting, planning how to achieve it, and taking actions to do so. NOT wishful thinking. "Everything is figureoutable" - Marie Forleo
  • Building the habit now: Send a short email or text praising someone you know.
  • Attitude of gratitude: set a calendar reminder every day to write a thank-you note to somebody who helped you at work.
  • Mindfulness: Notice what is happening around you. "Three things activity:" 1) three things you can see; 2) three things you can hear; 3) three things you can feel
  • Hope: set a WOW! goal you want to complete within one week. List personal strengths that will help you on your goal
  • Sometime in the next month, discuss and write down how you could spend $100 to make work 10% happier.
-- DanielAllen - 2018-04-09
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JPEGjpg IMG_8113_copy.jpg r1 manage 233.6 K 2018-04-09 - 16:53 DanielAllen captioner replies to presenter Chris
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