Conflict Coaching in the Workplace
Kari Boyle, Queen’s IRC Facilitator, 2019
It is common for employees to seek help from their manager if they are experiencing conflict or relationship challenges in the workplace. What are your options as a manager to respond in a way that provides benefits to the employee, to the workplace as a whole and to you? Consider this scenario:
You are Karen’s manager:
- Karen is a longtime front line employee in the Hamilton branch and has recently taken a promotion as a front line manager, overseeing 20 full and part-time staff in the same location.
- Karen asks you for a meeting to discuss how to handle “a problem employee”, Frank.
- She explains that Frank has been resisting the improvements she has been implementing in the location’s workflows. She worked there so long she knows all the changes that need to be made and began making them as soon as she became manager.
- Karen explained that staff resistance has forced her to “manage them tightly”.
- You have recently received complaints from three of Karen’s staff alleging that she was micromanaging, stifling creativity and allowing them no voice in the change management process.
How would you handle this meeting with Karen?
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Questioning Your Way to Success
An Excerpt from BrainFishing: A Practice Guide to Questioning Skills
Gary T. Furlong and Jim Harrison, Queen’s IRC Facilitators, 2018
Many books have been written about negotiation strategy and the different approaches to negotiation, from interest-based to traditional bargaining to win-win to principled, and many more. Much less, however, has been written about the detailed mechanics of successful negotiation and problem solving, about the face-to-face tools and language skills we must master to be more effective negotiators. In particular, one of the most important skills is the “art of the question” - the ability to ask effective, powerful questions and to combine that ability with strong empathy and listening. These are the skills that deliver better outcomes and win-win solutions.
This is why we wrote BrainFishing: A Practice Guide to Questioning Skills. This new book delivers clear, useful skills in a practical format. It is both a “how to” book for making questioning skills your forte, and an informative guide to understanding the neuroscience behind why the use of questions is far more effective than arguing, telling, or debating. It identifies many different types of questions and when to use them; it highlights the effective use of acknowledging and empathy statements; and it even offers a few “magic words” - words that facilitate effective engagement. It’s also a fun, fast-paced, and at times irreverent look at the skills we can all use to be successful in times of constant change, whether it be at the negotiating table, during a workplace interaction or in a social situation.
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