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December 2nd, 2014

Conflict ResoultionRecognizing Conflict

It is almost impossible to have a workplace without any conflict.  Conflict can be caused by a variety of factors but the root issue is that each person has an individual personality and sometimes it clashes with others.  The conflict may be focused on work issues and ideas, not the personalities, but someone may feel as those they are being attached personally.  When that happens, there are some other issues at play such as lack of trust, lack of leadership, lack of communication skills and high stress levels to name but a few, it is possible for conflict to arise.  The real problem happens when there are no strategies for conflict resolution and they escalate into unmanageable situations.  If you recognize that there is conflict in your workplace, whether you are directly involved in it or are charged with resolving it, then the following tips may be of assistance to you in order to once again create harmonious workplace relationships.

 

1 – LARA

LARA is a strategy that is based on Listen, Affirm, Respond and Add.

“When engaging with others, often the best thing we can do is to listen, and to affirm what is being said.  Too often when we are not speaking, we are also not listening with intent to understand – we are simply waiting our turn to speak, then we jump to respond without affirming a single thing we heard.”  Tips and Tools for Constructive Conflict Resolution

This is about having the right communication skills in place and being aware of your own attitudes and preconceptions.  By listening properly to what is actually being said, then affirming it to check if you have understood it properly before formulating a response, you show that you are willing to hear both sides of an argument before coming to a resolution.

 

2 – Understand – Conflict Is Natural

Nobody likes to be involved in conflict and we often feel it reflects badly and negatively on us, our personality and our work ethics.  If you enter a conflict from that position, it is far more likely to not be resolved properly, as you already have put yourself in a position of negative thought about yourself and the other person.  You must enter any negotiation surrounding conflict with the understanding that it is only natural to disagree, but the disagreement should focus around issues that are important to work issues and decisions.

“We are human: We all regress and act like babies sometime.  Cut yourself some slack, don’t be afraid of your mistakes, make amends and forgive yourself and others.”  10 More Tips for Effective Conflict Resolution

 

3 – Always Stay Calm

Staying calm, particularly when faced with someone who is very angry, may seem like an impossible thing to do.  However, it is absolutely vital that you do all you can to remain calm.  If not, you are letting your emotions run over you, and you will respond from a “fight or flight” reflex we all have.  When angry, you say things that you will later regret, and this means that rather than resolving a conflict, you are only escalating it or creating a new, even more difficult one.  Having the ability to remain calm is an amazing soft skill that everyone ought to develop.

“Arguing is ineffective because it raises barriers.”  7 Tips for Resolving Conflicts Quickly and Peacefully

 

4 – Know Your Style

Conflict resolution is something that all leaders and managers should be trained on.  During such training, they will be able to identify what their personal conflict resolution style is, and what the strengths and weaknesses in this style are.  It is very important to be aware of this style, but also of other people’s styles, so that you can adapt your communication to have a more positive outcome.  By knowing your own style, you will also be more aware of certain pitfalls that could accidentally make a conflict escalate.

The Everything DiSC Workplace Profile will give you a greater insight on how you present yourself when you are involved in a conflict with the personality styles of your co-workers. You will also learn about the motivation for their behavior, how they problem-solve and how you can create better relationships with them.  Each of these can be used either to your advantage to increase not only your effectiveness but the effectiveness of your team.

 

5 – Don’t Solve Problems

Often, particularly when we are called in to help resolve conflict between two other people, our immediate thought is on how to solve the problem that exists between them.  In many cases, the solution can seem so obvious that you wonder why the people in the conflict itself haven’t already seen it.  However, you are not there to solve a problem, you are there to resolve a conflict.  If you solve the problem, effectively telling people what to do, the issue that caused the conflict may have been resolved, but the people involved in it will still be in a state of conflict.  It is not your role to tell them what to do, it is your role to mediate and ensure positive relationships are restored.

“It’s easy to want to take sides to move a decision along.”  5 Tips to Resolve Conflict (Before it Gets Out of Control)

Not taking sides is perhaps even more important, although there are some exceptions.  For instance, if a conflict has already escalated directly due to the actions of one person, it is perfectly acceptable to tell them that.  However, a conflict is never completely caused by just one person, so although you may take sides on certain elements, you should never use that to fully resolve an issue.

When two people, or more, are involved in a conflict, there is often something deeper and more complicated going on.  Their personalities have clashed, and the further the conflict escalates, the more this will come to the foreground, until the initial issue has been completely lost.  Indeed, it could turn into a shouting match with those involved trying to score points by putting the other person down.  If you are a manager or leader, it is of vital importance that you are able to recognize the signs of arising conflict before it end up in a situation where people’s personal feelings towards each other have been ruined forever.  Resolving conflict can be very difficult, not in the least because you don’t want to get caught up in the crossfire, but it is vital that you do it anyway.

If the people involved in the conflict have completed an Everything DiSC Workplace Profile, then Everything DiSC Comparison Reports are great follow-up tools that can be used with each person to reduce their conflict.  The reports compare the DiSC style of one person with the style of the other person, shows both styles on the Everything DiSC Relationship Map and explains their differences and similarities in six specific areas. Each person receives their own version of the report, which includes customized questions to help them begin a dialogue about adapting their styles to work together more effectively.

October 16th, 2014

Job SatisfactionJob Satisfaction Is Key To Business Success

All businesses understand the importance of employee retention.  Each employee is an investment, both in terms of time and money.  And the return on investment is very good, so long as that employee stays with the company.  This means that employers also have to ensure their staff have good job satisfaction, meaning they are less likely to jump ship.

There are a number of well-documented methods of increasing job satisfaction, such as paying a good salary, allowing for sufficient time off and a range of bonuses and other incentives.  However, measuring job satisfaction and the effectiveness of the various methods that are implemented can be somewhat more complicated.

 

Measuring Job Satisfaction

In most cases, job satisfaction is measured through the process of self-reporting.  This is done through questionnaires that have various scales.  A range of different measures have been developed recently, and there is quite a lot of variation between these.  Some have a stronger focus on cognitive job satisfaction, for instance, whereas others look at effective job satisfaction.  Furthermore, there are big differences between the psychometric validations of the various tests.  Let’s take a look at some of the most popular tests used today.

 

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October 14th, 2014

Effective Interpersonal EffectivenessA New Soft Skill: Interpersonal Effectiveness

The way we interact with others could be a reason for conflict and stress.  If this is not recognized appropriately, it can lead to escalating problematic behavior.  Too many people spend a lot of their time suppressing who they really are, what their values and goals are.  They live with feelings of guilt and anger and spend much of their time being incredibly frustrated. Much of this is directly linked to the way we speak to those around us, be that in the workplace, at home, in educational establishments, with friends, and with strangers.

It is incredibly important that we are all capable of saying no, thereby increasing our own self-respect and being able to deal with a variety of different situations in our day to day life.  This is achieved by improving our personal communication and interpersonal effectiveness.

 

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August 14th, 2014

Corporate CultureWhy Is Corporate Culture Important? 

Corporate culture is a very hot topic. We are constantly confronted with news items of poor culture being the reason why organizations fail, or become completely unethical. Unfortunately, we don’t often see stories of positive culture working properly. However, good leaders and managers understand the importance of having a strong corporate culture, something that every employee and the customers of the company are able to sign up to.

Businesses are becoming increasingly complex and the culture has to be able to respond to this. In a recent study by Booz & Company, who conduct research on innovation every year, it was noted that results are no longer driven by research and development. Instead, what matters was that companies have a culture that supports new techniques and innovation, and that this is strategically aligned. However, how do you build a strong corporate culture? What are some of the best practices we should look into in order to ensure your organization is able to move forward towards your vision?

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August 12th, 2014

SoftskillsThe Emerging Importance Of Soft Skills

It is becoming abundantly clear that employers are no longer looking solely for academic skills, or professional skills.  Rather, they want to ensure that people they hire have developed their soft skills as well.

However, many people still struggle to understand what soft skills are exactly.  Additionally, they are unsure about which soft skills they should work on the most.

There are a lot of soft skills training out there, but it is important to ensure you choose the training that will serve you the most.  So what are the soft skills you should be focusing on in order to further your career the most?

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August 7th, 2014

Managing Different Personality TypesThe Difficult Job Of Managing

Managers have a very difficult role to play, not in the least the fact that they have to lead a team of people who have their own personalities, priorities and traits.  A manager needs to be creative, help people increase their efficiency and productivity and do all that in a harmonious way.  The key to achieving that is the fact that great managers know the different personalities and understand the things that motivate these people to do well at work.  Individuals have their own thinking style, their own way of processing information, communicating, and solving problems.  They find different aspects of their work motivating.  Most workplace conflicts start because of miscommunication and personality clashes.  By recognizing the different personality types, a manager should be able to create a harmonious and productive working environment.

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August 5th, 2014

Navigating SuccessNavigating Workplace Success

Everybody wants to have success at work, but how do you know if you actually have it?  How do you know whether your efforts are paying off?  The reality is that very few businesses truly grasp how they can evaluate the things they have done and determine whether they have achieved success.

One element of this is that it is hard to know what to expect and what the definition of “success” actually is.  There isn’t a blue print or other tick box guide that explains this, so where do you start?

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July 31st, 2014

Self ImprovementStriving To Improve

Being better than what we are is something that we all strive towards.  We want to reach more, be more and generally improve ourselves.  That this is something that concerns all of us is clear by the thousands upon thousands of self-help books that are available in our book stores.  The reality is that no book can improve you.  The only thing that is able to improve yourself is you, your desire and your own will.  However, this doesn’t mean that there are no tips out there that you can’t implement in your own life.  Let’s take a look at top tips for self-improvement.

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July 29th, 2014

Leadership In FocusThe Speed Of Business Is Increasing 

The speed of business seems to get faster and faster. 
Because of this, it is all too easy to focus on the here and now and to forget the systematic issues within a business that actually are at the heart of long term success.    Leadership development is one of the areas that often could do with a lot more attention.  The impact of having great leaders is a critical element to any company’s success and spans across an entire organization, including employee well-being, improved engagement, employee satisfaction, retention and productivity.

Companies face an increasing number of challenges today such as globalization, competition, continuous innovation, new technology and leadership gaps at all levels.  But the bottom line of any organization will be massively improved with a strong emphasis on leadership development.  Luckily, awareness of this is being raised and there are now various models of leadership development that are getting increasingly popular.  Let’s take a look at some of these.

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July 24th, 2014

Use the DiSC Profile to Improve a ResumeImprove Your Job Search With A Great Resume

Your resume is like a master key to an important door – the door to a fulfilling career.  Only when you improve your resume will your job search become truly fruitful and do you stand a better chance of ending up with a career suitable for your level of education and experience.

You need to craft your resume in a skillful way because you will struggle to get to interview without one, let alone to a job.  But what are the key features of a good resume?

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