Tag Archives: Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution - Workplace

Bullying in the Workplace?

It’s not me, it’s you….
Four years ago, I was asked to coach Tracy.  Tracy was by definition morbidly obese.  She was experiencing extreme distress and anxiety because her colleagues – grown adults – teased and taunted her about her weight.
When the culprits were questioned, each acknowledged the behavior occurred within the department, but they said, “It wasn’t that bad,” and “They [not we] were only joking,” and even, “We just did it once.”
Interesting!  We might think bullying is an issue that goes away once we are out of elementary school.  But my years as a workplace consultant tell me that this is definitely not the case.  In some workplaces, it is overlooked when inappropriate jokes are told, when comments are made, and when whispering occurs.
Researchers have found that when employees are asked, “Does bullying exist in your workplace?” they answer “Yes.”  But, when the same researchers ask “Do you ever bully?” the answer is “No.”
stop-bullying
Who do you suppose is doing the bullying?
I asked Tracy’s colleagues, “What do you do to stop the bullying?”  They responded that it wasn’t their job to stop it.
Not only do I disagree with their attitude, so does the law:  If people are being bullied based on their gender, gender preference, ethnicity, religion, age, or as in this example weight/physique, the workplace is liable.
But not only that:  The behavior isn’t nice, and it leads to a toxic work environment.
So, what do you do if you see this behavior happening?
  1. Change the subject
  2. Talk to the perpetrators privately:”I’m really uncomfortable when you do that.  This is how your behavior affects me.”
  3. Express your expectations: “It’s really important to me that we treat one another with repect and that we only talk about people’s ideas as they relate to work.”
If these strategies don’t work, you must, by law, report the behavior to your manager and to human resources.  If your concerns are not taken seriously, you need to contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (https://www.eeoc.gov/) and ask them to research the situation.
Are you a manager who is struggling to create a positive work environment?  The law – and human decency – dictate that everyone has the right to an emotionally, as well as physically, safe workplace.
We can help you create one.
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Communication - Conflict Resolution - Employee Feedback - Management - Meaningful Conversations

Thanksgiving Overload!

Yesterday, I was meeting with a senior manager – we’ll call him Saresh – and he was telling me about a problem he had with one of his employees, Chris.  Saresh told me that Chris hadn’t been sharing information with the team.

Saresh also told me about a number of other small problems dating back months and years…As we talked I realized that there weren’t a few problems, but a lot of issues; and they weren’t small, some were rather big and impactful.

When I asked Saresh how Chris handled it when he gave him feedback, Saresh said that he hadn’t given much feedback.   Saresh felt it was always better to give positive feedback, so he never commented on the things that were going wrong.  Not surprisingly, the behavior and problems continued.

We talked about how important it was for Saresh to sit down with Chris and address the issues.  He agreed to do just that, but I had forgotten to tell Saresh, “Just a few at a time.  Don’t overwhelm.”

So, Saresh sat with Chris and he noted a lot of the problems – some dating back as far as two years prior.  This, as you can imagine, led to a complete overload of information.

What went wrong?

Think of how a body needs to be nourished.  We need healthy foods day in and day out.  Our bodies benefit from moderation and consistency.

Feedback is just the same.  Many employees are literally starving for feedback.  They want the positive feedback, we can think of it as the dessert, and they also want the feedback that will help them grow, perhaps the veggies.  Employees benefit from consistent feedback in small doses, just enough to ‘digest’.  This is the type of feedback that they can apply to make changes and streamline and improve practices.

An overload of feedback in one sitting is like Thanksgiving dinner at my mother’s house.  My body becomes overloaded and sluggish.

Have you even been overloaded or starved for feedback?

My wonderful husband cutting the turkey, confined to the laundry room because the turkey is so messy, and still smiling away!

My wonderful husband cutting the turkey, confined to the laundry room because the turkey is so messy, and still smiling away!

 

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