Tips for More Effective and Constructive Communication

Change how you think about a conflict or difficult situation

Think of a situation where you are experiencing conflict (either internally or externally) – perhaps finding it difficult to deal with or manage someone in your workplace or team. What sort of thoughts and feelings come up? Many of you might have thoughts such as: ‘What am I going to do with this (awkward/difficult/tricky) person?’……

Constructive Conflict: Are You an ‘I’ Statement or a ‘You’ Statement Person?

To what extent do you engage in constructive conflict? Think about the last time you got annoyed or frustrated with someone… What are the odds that silently or perhaps even aloud, your response was to along the lines of ‘You are unreliable’ or ‘You shouldn’t do x’ . So often when we are annoyed or…

Got a Difficult Conversation? Try the Indian Talking Stick

One of the tools use to help people effectively negotiate a difficult conversation is known as the Indian Talking Stick. Stephen Covey describes the Indian Talking stick as one of the most powerful communication tools he has used. Stemming from American Indian culture it has been used for centuries to build understanding and resolve differences…

Conversation gets a bit rocky? Switch to a ‘meta’-conversation

How often have you been in what starts as a fairly innocuous discussion or conversation but then find a divergence of views begins to send things down a rockier path? What you had expected to be a routine or even casual discussion moves slowly but steadily to a mini-debate and then progresses towards an argument.…

Five Ways to Improve Every Communication

One of the key principles of conflict resolution theory that we teach to trainee mediators is ‘focus on interests, not positions’. What’s meant by this is that you attempt all of the time to help people reflect on and articulate their needs, what’s important to them, what is ‘really’ going on for them. This is…

The Challenge of People Management

A research report just released this week on ‘Absence Management’ from the Charterted Institute of Personnel and Development & Simply Health cited workplace stress as the leading cause of long-term stress in the workplace and cites one of the main causes of this being ‘management style’. According to Dr Thomas Gordon (Leadership Effectiveness Training, 2001,…