This week, we celebrated another International Women’s Day, a cultural observance whose original intention was to spark awareness and activism about the mistreatment of women around the world.
Yet this year on International Women’s Day, most of the focus I witnessed had to do with jobs and compensation in western countries. I’m sure this has something to do with the fact that I no longer work in or study international relations, but that’s not the whole story.
There are important connections between the above statistics and pay inequalities in high-income countries like the U.S.
It infects everything. Gender bias is at the base of bias against people in the...
It’s come up again: I was asked to explain why people are leaving their jobs. This client professes a deep belief in valuing their employees and the work they create, and they’ve been affected by the “great resignation” like so many others.
There’s been a lot of suggestions lately to rename "The Great Resignation” - I’ve seen or heard:
Personally, I like “The Great Upgrade” because it captures the fact that most who are changing jobs are doing so to find something better. I'm also hopeful that, as employers do things differently to attract and retain talent, perhaps our work experiences themselves and the many organizations we work for will also be upgraded.
Whatever you call it, millions of people have changed jobs over the past 18 months or so. At the same time, more women are dropping out of the workforce entirely,...
Even in the most close-knit teams, conflict happens. And in an ongoing pandemic, at a time when lots of people may be moving to new jobs and positions? New people joining a team that's been stressed? It can be hard to just get through the day - let alone know what to do when a dispute pops up!
Leaders - whether you're formally a supervisor, division head, executive, or just someone people look to for guidance - set the tone of the group. Some of us do it well and easily! And even those of us who make it look SO easy can still fall flat on our faces when faced with a conflict.
That's part of why I became a mediator: I wanted to learn how to handle conflict (and help others). Yes, I've learned some tips I use personally - though you should NEVER mediate something important to you, because you can't be impartial.
So let's dive into some tips for leaders needing to handle a conflict on their team:
Workplace cultures that are generally supportive and collaborative usually have fewer conflicts - because they approach disagreements as opportunities to innovate, converse, connect, and build something new.
Usually that's easier said than done, but an essential element is to build trust on your team.
Building trust within your team, no matter the larger culture in which you work, goes a long way toward preventing conflicts on the team.
If you're new to managing this team, it can be relatively easy to build trust:
get to know your team members;
find excuses to share fun, light-hearted moments with them;
say a heartfelt “thank you” for specific actions whenever you can;
and, follow through on whatever plans or promises you may make to them.
If you can’t follow through, or if you’re finding that on stressful days you are a bit less nice than you would want to be - just be authentic. Let the team know that you’re having a tough...
Ask: What’s the micromanager’s motivation?
People may micromanage for different reasons. Often, they don’t know how else to manage; they may have to deal with a micromanager themselves and require info from you to pass on; or, they may think they’re supporting you by checking on tasks. You may be able to figure this out on your own through reflection and observation, or, you may have to ask them - tactfully - about it.
Example: “I notice that most of our conversations are about tasks rather than how...
'Tis the season!
Resolutions are simply promises we make, whether to ourselves or others. New Year's resolutions tend to be those we make that somehow connect to being better people - or perhaps, behaving in a manner more in the way we want to behave.
For me, that brings to mind purpose and values. It is never a bad idea to reflect on our WHY - why do you want to make that particular resolution? Why haven't you made that change yet? Why do you want to behave differently? Sometimes better understanding our WHY helps us to get to the right how.
At work, too often, when someone asks "Why?" they get told some variation of "Well that's how we've always done it." (I have literally been told this. And some of my clients have, too.)
Don't get me wrong: Familiarity is a nice thing to experience, when we're stressed, or when it's a family custom at the holidays.
When we break away from what's familiar, then we can start to:
“People are not respecting each other’s time or calendars. I think we need a communications training. Can you help us?”
“We need a training on managing remotely. Also, on how managers can help their teams not burn out. Can you help us?”
“We need a manager training. There’s a lot of burnout in our industry. Can you train our managers to have more empathy?”
These are real requests I’ve received from clients, clients with good intentions who wish to make positive change in their workplace. They want to inspire better manners, more positivity, better feedback and communication, more empathy and positive behaviors.
Yet the underlying issue here - ending the burnout epidemic - is not going to be solved just because someone does a training.
That’s the thing about burnout: it’s a multifactored problem that requires a complete change in how people work. One or two trainings, even those...