Dealing with conflict: Fudge, tackle, avoid?

Fudge Tackle Avoid

Workplace conflict is inevitable and takes many forms, from subtle, passive aggressive undermining, through a whole spectrum of behaviours up to full-on verbal or even physical confrontation.

How well do you manage those different types of conflict where you work? How well do those around you manage their conflict? When you spot a potential issue do you roll your sleeves up and tackle it head on or are you more inclined to fudge it in some way without really resolving the problem or do you avoid dealing with it, hoping the problem will resolve itself?

Whichever approach you take, if you are honest with yourself, the chances are that you feel you could do better and should try to find more effective resolutions.   You have probably received a lot of training as to how to do your job. It is less likely that you or your colleagues have had much targeted training in how to manage conflict in your working relationships or in the relationships of those around you, whether direct reports, your co-workers or even your bosses.

There are a number of core skills that you will need to master to manage workplace conflict better: Continue reading “Dealing with conflict: Fudge, tackle, avoid?”

What Happens If Workplace Stress Is Not Addressed?

Stressed woman

According to new research published by Process Bliss in January 2019, almost half (43%) of employees in SMEs have changed jobs because of unaddressed workplace stress and frustrations and one third have cited these reasons for periods of sickness absence. In addition, 68% of SME employees say collaboration in their company could be improved and a whopping 75% say communication in their company could be improved.

Continue reading “What Happens If Workplace Stress Is Not Addressed?”

Stress Awareness Day

Punch today in the face

The first Wednesday of November each year is Stress Awareness Day.

Workplace stress is a growing issue.  Anything that encourages awareness and discussion of this issue is a good thing. Conflict in the workplace is a significant source of stress, often because issues that arise are not being dealt with in a way that reduces or removes the conflict. Many issues turn into conflict because ‘difficult conversations’ are not taking place when they should or in a sensitive way. Many managers do not feel equipped to undertake difficult conversations and this can cause stress both for them and for the people they manage. These are skills that can be acquired by appropriate training. Many of the soft skills necessary to undertake these sorts of conversations well are the same as the skills that mediators use when addressing conflict. Continue reading “Stress Awareness Day”

Using Criticism Constructively – Be A Light Not A Judge

Criticism

“A critic is someone who enters the battlefield after the war is over and shoots the wounded.” (Murray Kempton)

In any form of dispute, it is very easy to become embroiled in mutual criticism. Frequently, it is the initial reflex response to something with which you strongly disagree. In the workplace, criticism needs to be managed especially sensitively, as its impact upon relationships can be swift and devastating. Continue reading “Using Criticism Constructively – Be A Light Not A Judge”

Top Tips For Mediation Advocates

Mediation advocacy - know the strength of silence

Mediation advocacy has become a key skill that all good litigators should master. Although it is uncommon to have professional representatives in workplace mediations (apart from Trade Union reps), we thought that some of our readers might find this article on ‘top tips’ for mediation advocates to be useful/helpful/informative. You can read the article which is published on Littleton Chambers’ website by clicking here.

We are always interested in anything that assists employment lawyers and HR professionals, in particular, to become more knowledgeable about mediation. Continue reading “Top Tips For Mediation Advocates”

How not to communicate – A Millennial Job Interview

A light-hearted look at the different workplace aspirations and expectations that baby-boomers and millennials have and the ways in which they may fail to communicate with each other. These different (and often fundamental) expectations can lead quickly to resentment, relationship breakdowns and disputes if the parties do not find ways to communicate effectively with each other.

Almost all workplace mediations have at their core a failure to communicate well. This may be as the result of a conversation that never happened or a conversation that happened, but for whatever reason, did not go well. Continue reading “How not to communicate – A Millennial Job Interview”

Trebles all round for Employment Lawyers!

Mediation Employment Claims Treble

It’s trebles all round for employment lawyers as the most recent figures from the Ministry of Justice show that in the quarter from July to September 2017 the number of claims issued in the Employment Tribunal trebled.

In the period , April to June 2017, 4,241  individual claims were issued, but in the three months from July to September 2017 that number rose to 7,042.  Furthermore, there was a 144% increase in the number of multiple claims during the same period. These figures appear to suggest that the abolition of Tribunal fees following the Supreme  Court decision in July 2017 has had a significant impact on the issuing of claims.  Continue reading “Trebles all round for Employment Lawyers!”

Performance Management: Accentuate the positive…

A new piece of research entitled “Strengths-based performance conversations: an organisational field trial” has been published by CIPD (November 2017). It shows clear evidence that performance review conversations with staff that focus on their strengths and how to improve performance even further has a very positive influence on the relationships between staff and management.  

The report notes that managers often find having conversations with staff about performance to be very difficult, using expressions such as ‘relentless’, ‘very stressful’, ‘tough’ and ‘challenging’. Continue reading “Performance Management: Accentuate the positive…”

Thriving At Work?

The recent ‘Thriving at Work Report’, co-written by Paul Farmer, the CEO of mental health charity, Mind and Lord Stevenson makes the following key points:

  • Mental health illness affects 1 in 6 people
  • 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems have to quit their jobs annually
  • The report makes 40 recommendations for ways in which support employees to remain at work
  • All employers, regardless of size or industry, should adopt 6 ‘mental health core standards’ that lay basic foundations for an approach to workplace mental health.
  • They should also set themselves a performance objective to support the mental wellbeing of all employees, through the implementation of the core and enhanced standards.

For a number of years, there has been a growing awareness and appreciation of Continue reading “Thriving At Work?”