Any prospect of organisational change – a merger, a takeover, a relocation – tends to provoke fear and resentment out of proportion to the actual disruption that eventually happens
We always identify stress with overload – dangerous pressure building-up through those bulging in-trays and late nights. But too little pressure at work may be just as dangerous as too much. Underload (or under-demand) sets up constant stress through monotony, inertia and boredom for which we were simply not designed.
Stress management is basically one long battle, where mental resilience needs to be supported by physical resilience. Yet one of the most serious pressures is the extreme difficulty of arranging regular exercise, when your workload is made up of one panic after another.
Experienced negotiators often make use of a subtle form of questioning that does not make people feel they are being questioned at all – Active Listening. This is the technique of guiding a conversation by making minimal gestures and utterances that suggest empathy, while not actually indicating agreement. Attention is diverted away from the questioner […]
The old problem of absenteeism has a curious mirror-effect we call Presenteeism – the psychological need to over-attend. Redundancy fears focuses the mind on attendance and often translates into presenteeism. One of my clients was living in perpetual fear of redundancy, and believed that it would safeguard his job if he was seen to work […]
As well as credibility, trustworthiness and communication skills, a mediator must enjoy outsider status – the sheer fact of being a neutral observer brings a new dimension to workplace conflicts. I once had to perform some shuttle-diplomacy in a big electronics factory, where there was a dreadful atmosphere that hit you the moment you walked […]
Bullying is commonly identified with the abuse of physical or hierarchical power. Yet there is also bullying from below, and its effects can be just as harmful. Subordinates often demonstrate just how easy it is to make a manager’s job impossible. A young warehouse supervisor once told me he’d been driven to despair by a […]