Tag: avoiding grievance

3D Juggling 501: No words

On BBC 2s Big Silence last week, Christopher Jameson said “Life would be transformed for the better if we learned to embrace silence”. When that’s positive it’s transformational… but that’s not always the case:

Jane writes: “I am reading a book called ‘The Help’ by Kathryn Stockett where she talks about a series of events which initiated a feeling of great bitterness. The character describes how her face went hot and her tongue went twitchy. She didn’t know what to say, all she knew was that she wasn’t saying it. She knew that the other person involved wasn’t saying what she wanted to say either and noticed that there was a strange thing happening where nobody was saying anything yet they were still managing to have a conversation.

Sound familiar? Sometimes we don’t respond to what we see and feel because we don’t know how to in a way that keeps us safe. Sometimes we don’t respond because we don’t think it’s our place to do so.

What difference could it make in your organisation if you could help others to acknowledge and respond to what’s really going on, to what’s being understood through those silent conversations? Could you save the time that is currently being spent on trying to keep the lid on things, and then on dealing with the fallout with the lid flies off? Maybe less time spent dealing with grievances and investigations?

We try to keep our coaching interventions very simple. Simple does not mean easy. We aim to help other coaches achieve simplicity through our Coaching for Excellence development programme, where we strip away all the complexities that have become associated with effective coaching and focus on the core skill of truly listening, of responding to what they see and feel as well as what they hear.

Talk to us about how we can help you through supervision, or about our Coaching for Excellence programme.”

2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 490: Litigation – or conversation?

Jane writes: “Are you having to find savings that mean other’s jobs might disappear?  Check out these statistics.  Last year the number of unfair dismissal claims accepted by employment tribunals increased by 9% to 57,400.  Claims associated with redundancy pay rose by 76% to 19,000.  Age discrimination claims rose by 37% to 5,200.

So how can you and your organisation minimise the risk of litigation when people have to leave even though they don’t want to?  When they’re not interested in the reasons why their job has gone, just the impact this has?  When they’re scared about the future and want someone to blame?  Obviously you need to follow any procedures that your organisation has put in place to comply with legislation, but how can you help people to leave with a good story to tell about their experience of leaving, even if they didn’t want to go?

People are likely to be prepared to ‘have a go’ at making a claim because they don’t have much to lose and could benefit to the tune of a few thousand pounds – even where you have followed all the correct procedures. They may be more likely to ‘have a go’ if they feel that their concerns and fears haven’t been considered, or if they feel that all the goodwill and expertise they have invested in your organisation is being treated as worthless.  So make time to talk, and to listen.  These are urgent and important tasks – make them a priority.

Invite conversations about reality – theirs, not yours. Hear their concerns and fears without judgement.  You don’t need to take responsibility for what happens after they leave, but you should take responsibility for helping them to understand why they are leaving and what they are taking with them.  Help them to recognise and accept their responses to unwelcome change, and to recognise and articulate their skills and achievements so that they can explain these to others.  Thank them for whatever you can be honestly grateful for.

The number of claims accepted by employment tribunals in 2009-10 was 236,100, an increase of 56% on the previous year. This is the highest figure on record.

What do you need to do to avoid being associated with this increase?”

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

Fact: Employment Tribunals are independent judicial bodies who determine disputes between employers and employees over employment rights.  Fighting a claim may cost £5k a day (and that doesn’t include figures in respect of compensation).

3D Juggling 488: Handle with care

Su writes: “In recent days a ‘media storm’ has grown around a particular Facebook group supporting a man described in various quarters as a murderer and a victim of the prison service.

Few posters on this group were actually supportive of the actions of the man. In fact, what was happening on the site was that people were excited to be engaged in an online conversation which was in real time having an impact on the media. As Andrew McNeil reported to the audience of ‘This Week’ that the Facebook site was getting more and more interest, this was immediately commented on with pleasure by one of the posters. Whatever the moral argument for whether the site should have been created or kept live, what was happening on it was different to how it was being reported.

The media was accurate in reporting the number of supporters on the site – but the detail behind the numbers told a different story. As a result great generalisations were posited by newspapers and politicians declaring what this indicated about our “broken” society.

The quantitative data said one thing: the qualitative another. The statistics were easy to report and re-report without interaction with the data behind it – eg what was really being said. The evidence was easy, the reporting lazy. Assumptions were made and held up as fact.

As managers we have to be careful with how we deal with data when appraising our staff.  Is the evidence we have reliable and valid? Does it need further investigation in order to make an assumption of what this means about our team member’s performance? It is too easy to take one piece of data about a team member and without challenging this, use it as evidence of fact.

Questions we can ask are:

•    is this one example of behaviour indicative of typical behaviour?
•    why did this happen? is there background data that needs to be investigated?

In order to be fair about the performance of members of our team, handle data with care.”

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

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3D Juggling 484: 70-68 In the Final Set

Claire writes:  “Did you, like me, watch the end of the Isner/Mahut match more than once?  On Tuesday, on Wednesday several times… and again on Thursday?  183 games with each player attacking and defending in equal measure.  It was an impasse.

Isn’t that what happens at work sometimes?  A colleague will comment or make a small criticism and the other person will defend themselves in a way that is aften received as an attack.  ‘I didn’t mean it like that. I meant….’ The dialogue continues.  Except that it is not dialogue. It’s an impasse.  And the longer an impasse continues, the more there is to lose.  It becomes a battle of egos. Isner and Mahut were each representing themselves and their country.  At work, we are all mean to to be working in service of the organisation and what it is there for! And time, relationships and even money are spent in battles which are being fought and lost.

The tennis match was always going to end in win/lose.  Can you imagine them agreeing they could both win?! At work, we need to take a higher view, and consider what the organisation needs. And perhaps the dialogue comes out of the question: ‘How can we…?'”

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 402: Optimising Time

Claire writes: “Did you know that on average HR professionals spend 3.4 hours every week managing conflict at work? This is one of the findings from a new survey report on conflict management quoted by CIPD this month.

What would be possble if we could spend that time doing something more productive because conflict was dealt with before it got out of control? I’ve been in two different organisations this week where the managers are spending an inordinate amount of time dealing with conflict. That’s time not spent doing something else. When people lock horns, the problem has become intractable and the metaphorical head to head allows absolutely no space to move or to think. That’s where there is enormous value of bringing in a third person. What happens when you add a third side to a 2 sided shape? The triangle offers room to manouvre and to think so that a constructive and healthy way forward can be found. Too often, organisations leave these communication difficulties until they are stuck. Much earlier conversations can provide a much more cost effective and fruitful outcome. Is it time to add a third side to a conversation you are having?”

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who you know who needs a third side!

(c) 2008 3D Coaching Ltd