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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué September 11, 2013


Positive Thinking Quotes to Get You Thinking

-Keith L. Smith, associate vice president, agricultural administration and director, OSU Extension

As I continue our series on positive thinking, I would like to share with you some thoughts from the book Attitude is Everything - 10 Rules for Staying Positive by Vicki Hitzges (2010), published by Simple Truths.

Learn to Say “NO” Graciously
If we always say “yes” we sometimes run as great or greater danger of severing relationships than if we gently refuse right off the bat. We have limits to our time, energy and interests. While we enjoy how it feels to please others, we also know it’s important to keep our lives balanced. When we can help, we should. Nobody profits from acting selfishly. But when we stretch too far, we hurt our family, our employer and ourselves by agreeing to give more than we actually can. When we dole out too much, we end up depleted and stressed. Better simply to say “no.”

But that leaves us with a real problem: How do we say “no” without hurting people’s feelings? Obviously whoever asks us to chair the committee, loan the money or help with the move, would like us to say “yes.” If we need or want to refuse, how can we do it graciously?

As You Turn People Down, Build Them Up
If someone asks you to donate your time and money, thank them for the opportunity. Donate if you can, but if you can’t give at that particular time, you might say, “I can’t help this year, but I fully support that cause and deeply appreciate the work you are doing. Thank you for asking me to help. Please feel free to ask me again next year.”

“The art of leadership is saying ‘No,’ not saying ‘Yes.’ It is very easy to say ‘yes.’”- Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister

One last note: Don’t be wishy-washy. Don’t say “maybe” or I’ll try to make it” if you have no intention of going or doing what’s been asked. Instead say, “No. I can’t make it. But thank you so much for inviting me. It’s always fun to be with you.” Answering “maybe” when you truly mean “no” simply teases the other person and that most often leads to hard feelings.

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Government Relations Update

- Gwen H. Wolford, director, Government Relations

In mid-August, OSU Extension, OARDC and ATI hosted congressional staff from 11 of Ohio’s 18 congressional offices. All of the staff members spent a day in the districts with Extension CEDs and hosts; and most joined us in Wooster for an overnight and group tour. A big thank you to all CEDs and volunteers who helped make this year’s event a success, as well as our Wooster-based faculty and staff. Sequestration has resulted in travel limitations for many congressional staff, so we were very pleased to have a turnout this strong. More of the staffers were from district offices than from Washington, but the fact that the DC staff thought it was important to have their member of Congress represented was very positive.

Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey toured the Wooster campus of OARDC and ATI the first week in September. Many of you will remember that Chancellor Carey spent many years in the Ohio General Assembly and was always a champion for Extension funding along with other CFAES programs. It was a great opportunity to showcase the impacts of CFAES on Ohio’s economy and our quality of life; and the chancellor was joined by Ohio State Interim President Joe Alutto.

Next week we will host the Vice President's Luncheon at the Farm Science Review, with about 625 of Ohio’s agricultural leaders, including elected officials and their representatives from the county, state and federal level.

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Ohio State’s New Tobacco Policy

Ohio State strives to enhance the general health and well-being of its faculty, staff, students, and visitors, to become the world’s healthiest university. We desire to support individuals to be tobacco-free, achieve their highest state of health, and to graduate students into their careers at a high level of health and well-being. To support this commitment, we intend to create a tobacco-free environment in part by prohibiting the use of tobacco in or on all university-owned, operated, or leased property including vehicles. Visit for more information.

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Complete Your Personal Health Assessment (PHA) by September 30

All Ohio State employees are encouraged to complete your Personal Health Assessment (PHA) by September 30 to have access to all available medical plans, receive an annual $360 PHA premium credit, and access Ohio State wellness resources. An additional $120 annual PHA premium credit is available when your spouse/same-sex domestic partner completes the PHA.

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences is at only 58 percent participation, and everyone is reminded to visit for more information and complete your PHA.

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Fall Leadership Institute - Effective Coaching and Emotional Intelligence: Building Individual and Organizational Capacity

Prior to the first session, participants will complete the online EQi-2.0 leadership assessment.   

  • October  10      Workshop, room 105 Agricultural Administration Building (9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)
  • TBD                  Individual feedback and coaching session regarding EQ
  • November 1     Distance Learning webinar (11 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
  • November 22   Distance Learning webinar (11 a.m. – 12 p.m.) 
  • December 6     Workshop, room 105 Agricultural Administration Building, (9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

During the past decade, a growing body of literature has documented the importance of social and emotional effectiveness as well as effective coaching (how we take good people and make them the best they can be) and feedback skills. As leaders face times of increasingly rapid changes within their respective organizations, they must proactively work with others to lead them through these challenging times while continuing to meet the changing needs of their stakeholders and clientele. Understanding and applying the dynamics of emotional intelligence and increasing one’s capacity as a coach will be a distinguishing characteristic of successful individuals, teams, and organizations in the future.

 As a part of this Institute. each participant will be completing an Emotional and Social Effectiveness assessment prior to the workshop as well as a Coaching for Commitment assessment. The program also includes a one-on-one feedback and coaching session about an individual’s unique results on his or her respective EQ and Coaching assessment.

 As a result of your participation, you will:

  • Strengthen your leadership capacity to more effectively lead within your organization.
  • Increase your ability to develop and lead others through an increased coaching and feedback capacity.
  • Increase your ability to handle conflict situations related to your leadership roles.
  • Increase your emotional and social abilities (awareness and competence) to more effectively work with and lead others.

The program is being supported through the CFAES Leadership, Education and Development Endowment Fund and by the George R. and Genevieve B. Gist Endowed Extension Leadership Chair within the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. The participant fee is $195 for OSU Extension and College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences faculty and staff; please use the code CFAES to receive the reduced rate. The fee is $320 for non-CFAES professionals. To register and make payment, please go to

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DISCflex™ Workshop Offered on October 15

The foundation of personal and professional success lies in understanding self, understanding others, and realizing the impact of personal behavior on the people around you. DISCflex™ provides insight into an individual’s style that can help predict the likely trends of his or her behavior in the future. It does this by evaluating four key factors in an individual style (dominance, influence, steadiness and compliance).

Participants in this workshop will complete an online assessment prior to the workshop. The DISCflex™ report is incredibly thorough, with nearly 60 pages of analysis. DISCflex™ not only provides an assessment of the individual employee, but offers a 360-degree view based on input from coworkers, family and friends. This allows for a comparison of your DISC profile with how others see you, showing where your personal assessment varies from those who know you well.

Beth Flynn will facilitate this workshop from 9:15 a.m. to noon in room 105 of the Agriculture Administration building. The registration fee is $75 per participant. Register at

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