Blog

Loyalty is a Two-edged Sword

Posted by in leadership, Resolving Conflict at Work | 0 comments

Loyalty is a Two-edged Sword

I was working with a CEO recently who asked for my unbiased advice on a staff conflict issue. One of his phrases struck me. “She is a really loyal member of staff”. This got me thinking. What does loyal actually mean in practice? The ideal company cares about their staff and loyalty is important to them. Many CVs I have seen quote loyalty as one of the key values of the applicant. But I wonder if loyalty, as an abstract quality or value, means anything at all? The whole point of loyalty is, surely, loyalty to what or to...

read more

Calling All Good Managers

Posted by in leadership, Resolving Conflict at Work | 0 comments

Calling All Good Managers

  It seems I hit a nerve every time I report increasing stress levels and ineffective management in companies.   One reader wrote: “I just want to say thank you for your article.  At last someone is prepared to stand up for the rest of us and say what’s really going on.  I can’t agree more with your comments and you have hit the nail on the head on all counts.  If you do use my comments, please, please don’t publish my name.  My life wouldn’t be worth living if my manager found out.”   Here are some extracts from another...

read more

Win/Win? What’s it all about?

Posted by in Resolving Conflict at Work | 0 comments

A while back I got into a conversation with an Olympic medallist and world champion on the concept of Win/Win. He was puzzled because in his world, there was only one winner. If you don’t win, you lose. It’s a valid point and one worth addressing. Win/win does not always mean a solution where everyone is 100% happy. This is real life, after all. Whenever there is a disagreement, major or minor, each party has a “shopping list” of needs and concerns. A main hurdle in reaching  agreement is that so many of these are not openly expressed. Sometimes the...

read more

Are you changing just one piece of the jigsaw?

Posted by in Change management, leadership, Resolving Conflict at Work | 0 comments

I find the best time to reflect on the year gone by is just before the start of the new working year.   It’s the time I look back and make connections between the various projects with which I have been involved.   One of my key beliefs is that an organisation is a system.   A bowl of water is not a system. You can take away a cup or add a teaspoon and it is still basically a bowl of water. But a car is a system. Take away the carburetor or one of the wheels and it will...

read more

Relationships really matter!

Posted by in Resolving Conflict at Work | 0 comments

Relationships really matter!

Relationships between people never cease to fascinate me. Whether domestic, social, or business-related, they all go through the same complex cycles. Sometimes we see a calm façade with strong deep undercurrents. Sometimes, the waves practically engulf you and you have to struggle to stay afloat. And, sometimes, it’s a perfect day! If I lived in a society like the ones depicted in soaps such as “East Enders” or “Coronation Street”, I think I would barricade myself at home and go out only when strictly necessary! And yet, some people truly live their lives like that! Or at least, that...

read more

An accident just waiting to happen!

Posted by in Resolving Conflict at Work | 0 comments

How often do you hear members of the public saying they were not surprised a collision occurred, describing the place as “an accident waiting to happen.” Typical comments are: “I am not surprised at all. Ever since the road layout changed, it’s been chaos. We all knew it was only a matter of time.” “People come whizzing through here at 40mph and no one knows who has priority.” “We complained to the council but did they listen to us?” In other words, the people around identified a set of circumstances that was likely to result in an accident sooner...

read more

Difficult people do exist…..but they think YOU are the problem!

Posted by in Resolving Conflict at Work | 0 comments

Difficult people do exist…..but they think YOU are the problem!

If I asked you to name three people whom you consider to be “difficult”, how long would it take? Typical responses are “Only three?” You may have different reasons for each choice.  Something about their behaviour or communication doesn’t fit with your pre-conceived notion of how people should behave. Imagine, though, if every reason you give for finding someone difficult to deal with actually pointed back at you! If you were to analyse your reasons, I think you may find some overlap which tells you much about yourself. This is not to say that they are right and you...

read more

The Eagle in the Rain

Posted by in Resolving Conflict at Work | 1 comment

The Eagle in the Rain

My sister reminded me of a powerful fable last week. When it rains, most birds head for shelter. The eagle is the only bird that, in order to avoid the rain, starts flying above the clouds. This set me thinking.  Eagles are among the longest living birds. Their life is full of lessons we can learn. I started a Google search and came across a wealth of information.  The most useful I found was at http://tinyurl.com/d3wojuk. It has more information than I can possibly do justice to, so do refer to it.  Here is a synopsis of what I...

read more

The Two Envelopes

Posted by in Resolving Conflict at Work | 0 comments

I was reminded this morning of an old story.  A manager is given a golden handshake from his cushy job in a large organisation.  At his farewell party, he meets Tom, his eventual replacement.  They share a drink or two and Tom asks the outgoing manager if he has any advice for him. The outgoing manager tells Tom that he has prepared two envelopes in his upper right hand desk drawer.  “They are labelled Crisis #1 and Crisis #2” he tells Tom, “When you get your first crisis that you can’t handle on your own, open the first envelope,...

read more

The Heart Surgeon and the Car Mechanic

Posted by in Resolving Conflict at Work | 0 comments

A heart surgeon took his car to his local garage for a regular service. The mechanic was knowledgeable and skilled. And he charged a reasonable fee for his services. “So,” says the mechanic as he worked on the surgeon’s big complicated engine, “I’ve been wondering about what we both do for a living.  Like you, I check how an engine is running, open it up, fix the valves, and put it all back together so it works good as new.  We basically do the same job don’t we? And yet you are paid ten times what I am –...

read more