Communiqué May 24, 2012

Right Wrongs - Behavior #4 of High-Trust Leaders

-Keith Smith, associate vice president, Agricultural Administration and director, OSU Extension

As Covey says in The Speed of Trust, it is important to make things right when you’re wrong. Being able to “right wrongs” is one of the 13 behaviors that characterize the general actions of high-trust leaders.

This action is more than simply apologizing – it’s being quick to acknowledge when one is in the wrong, apologize, and then make restitution to repair the damage where possible. I think Covey presents two great examples about Oprah Winfrey and a former special assistant to President George W. Bush – and the very public, thorough ways they each acknowledged a wrong-doing AND the extensive work they did to repair relationships.

The opposite of this effort is true as well. Relationships can be permanently damaged and trust broken because someone fails to take responsibility for a mistake and follow up accordingly. Covey mentions the Watergate scandal and a former football player’s negative comments about his team as unfortunate examples about the fallout from lack of appropriate action.

We don’t want to be in the wrong, but it can happen. As Covey says, wrongs can create significant moments that define others’ trust in each of us – because the final outcome is based on our response and action to right the wrong (page 163). Covey even describes a personal example with his nephew that shows how correcting a mistake can help a relationship grow long after the fact. He gives some useful tips on how to improve your ability to right wrongs, and I encourage you to read and implement those actions that would be appropriate for you. 

10 Inclusionist Behaviors in Leadership

During 2012, we will publish short statements by OSU Extension Administrative Cabinet members describing how they strive to incorporate inclusionist behaviors into their work. Refer to the introductory article in the January 9 issue of Communiqué for more information. 

Behavior #5 – Inclusionist leaders make hiring decisions on more than just communication style assessments.

They look at the whole person and know that talent exists beyond where someone falls on a quadrant or alphabet. What if a person’s assessment defines them in a particular way, but they’ve developed interest in a different area? An assessment is just one piece of the process.

One important goal in the Extension hiring process is to select a person who is an effective communicator. Effective communication with clientele/stakeholders and among Extension employees is a vital component in fulfilling our organizational mission. However, we must also recognize the importance of not allowing communication style assessments to cloud our judgments on selecting the best candidate. When recommending a person for hire, I remind myself of the following: 

The impressions we form of others (and vice versa) are primarily based on verbal and non-verbal communications – what we say and what we do respectively. Another commonality that we all share is our capacity to communicate with varied communication styles and behaviors; we have varied accents, tonality of voice, different ways of responding to people, and we have varied ways in which we listen, receive and interpret messages. 

Like other aspects of our lives, life experiences, family, individual predispositions and culture have shaped our communication styles and our communication style bias. No matter how effective we believe we are as communicators, we all suffer from and have experienced some form of communication style bias. For example, reflect on why you prefer talking with similar persons within your family, culture, and the selection of preferred radio channels. By personally acknowledging the existence of communication style bias, one can take steps to mitigate such prejudice. Periodically, as an inclusive leader, I review prior leadership training on communication style bias and recognize that future personal development in this subject should continue. 

My take-away message: It is important to seek professional development in communication style bias in order to achieve greater self-awareness, value the benefit of hiring others with different styles, and support “diversity and inclusion” within OSU Extension by furthering your diversity education.

-Stephen Wright, West Region Director and Associate Department Chair

Director's Short Report Reminder - Signature Programs

A  short video about the OSU Extension signature programs was posted online this week at  

This is an introductory internal announcement, for viewing by OSU Extension professionals about the three new signature programs focusing on energy, local foods, and assuring quality care for animals, as well as the current signature programs that will graduate after December 31. Please note: these are working titles for the new programs, and much more detailed information will be shared as the teams organize to begin implementation this summer - including official titles, team leaders, and ways that everyone in the organization can get involved. The new programs will kick off on July 1.

Basecamp Administration Update

Overall Basecamp administration has been moved to the Section of Communications and Technology (CommTech). The contact for Basecamp is now Betsy Ludwig (614-292-2011; Individuals who are serving as administrators in OSU Extension may continue in that role, unless they state otherwise.

Current Basecamp projects are being reviewed for latest activity, in an effort to improve overall functionality. On July 1, all Basecamp projects without activity in the last two years will be archived. If you are no longer actively using a project, please contact Betsy for archiving. Archiving a project will still allow project members to view the entirety of the project, but not make changes. In addition, archived projects can be re-activated quickly and easily.

We are creating best practices for the use of Basecamp. Please be aware that restricted data, as defined by OSU CIO at NOT be posted on Basecamp at ANY TIME. Please review your current and archived projects, if you have reason to believe they may contain restricted data. Betsy can instruct you on deleting information or messages if you have questions.

FNP FY13 Changes

The FY13 (October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013) Family Nutrition Program will transition from EERA co-Principal Investigators(co-PIs) to regional co-PIs. FCS educators and educators with FCS training in FNP counties will continie as co-Investigators (co-Is) (including being the Level 1 approvers) of the project.

Counties without an FCS educator and who have had reciprocal agreements or pay-for-service agreements with an EERA's FCS educator are expected to continue comparable support for FCS programming in the county. Questions regarding the changes can be handles by the regional directors.

Adobe Connect Update

OSU Extension has been participating in a pilot project of Adobe Connect with five other colleges since fall 2011. The pilot will conclude on June 29th.  The university is considering whether to centrally fund Adobe Connect as an enterprise-wide application. OSU Extension will be evaluating whether Adobe Connect could be a viable web conferencing tool in the future. A short time ago Julie Fox used Adobe Connect to reach her clientele for an Extension program. The program was recorded and illustrates the capabilities that Adobe Connect has as a web conferencing tool. Watch the program and note the good use of the many different pod options for file sharing, web links, polling and chat that Julie used. The file can be viewed at this URL.  If you would like more information about Adobe Connect contact Ken Kulka at

Tri-State Diversity Conference-Proposals Due May 31

The Tri-State Diversity Conference committee is seeking seminar proposals.  This is a juried review and these can be added to an educator’s vita. The deadline for submitting proposals is May 31. Please encourage your colleagues, professional networks, and others leading the way in your communities. 

For proposal  information and to register online,