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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

November 28, 2017

That Darn Cousin Jethro

Submitted by Gregg Hadley

Cousin Jethro ruined Thanksgiving – again!

We want holiday family gatherings to be idyllic. For many of us, they are. For others, there is always that one relative that makes your eyes roll, your skin craw, and your blood pressure rise. That person is Cousin Jethro.

You know the one. Cousin Jethro is way too brash. He has annoying habits. He got into the family by marrying poor unsuspecting Cousin Jenny – who, let’s face it, was a little desperate. He grew up in the rival town and went to the rival high school. He went to that other state university. He has different views on religion and politics, and he always wants to applaud those perspectives and tell you why yours are wrong. He suggests ways to raise your children. He is quick to tell you what is wrong with your generation. He is also always willing to tell you how to do your “easy” and overpaid government job.

Oh, well, at least you only have to deal with Cousin Jethro two to four times a year. Now, you can get back to work, but, wait a minute, you have a Cousin Jethro there, too. They are way too loud. They have a way of always pointing out how inferior your program area is to theirs. They infer your generation doesn’t have the proper work ethic. They are always telling you how you do your job wrong, and how, by doing the way they suggest, it could be done so much better. Oh, no. You have to deal with this Jethro all year long. Ahhhhhhhh!

Poor work environments – the poor professional relationship kind – are one of the top reasons given for our colleagues leaving their positions as Extension professionals. We often take those office environments as something that cannot or will not change. That doesn’t have to be true. If an office wants a better work environment, a better work environment can be achieved.

In order to help promote better work environments, we will be holding four, one day regional teambuilding workshops. Whether your office environment mirrors the above example or just needs tweaked a little, this is the workshop for you. All local unit personnel – including agents, directors, office professionals, and Extension Council members – are encouraged to participate. Topics to be discussed and worked at in these workshops will include how understanding others can lead to a better team, intergenerational communication and understanding, conflict management, and how to proactively build a better team.

The workshops will be held on:

• April 10 in Manhattan
• April 12 in El Dorado
• May 1 in Dodge City
• May 2 in Hays

If you want a better, more pleasant, and more effective work environment, (who doesn’t?), we encourage you and your team to save these dates and to participate. More registration information to follow in the near future.