Showing posts from September, 2023

Managing top-down messages

As a leader, there are times when you’ll need to communicate messages which you receive from above, down to your team. Sometimes these will be messages which you support, and sometimes you might not. It’s important to remember that you’re not there to openly disagree with the message, but to communicate the message onwards in a way which helps people to accept what’s been said. In order to be sincere when you communicate your message, you need to ensure that you have all the information you need from above. If you have to keep going back and checking things, it undermines your own belief in the message, and weakens the impact of your communication. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to ensure you have the full information… What’s the topic? What timescale does it relate to? Which areas of the business does it impact? What flexibility do I have when communicating it? What should I do if it’s badly received? What suppo

Resolving conflict using Nonviolent Communication

Using Nonviolent Communication to defuse conflict Nonviolent Communication was developed in the 1970s by Marshall Rosenberg as a way to get beyond the typical elements of conflict, and to encourage empathy by both parties. It requires you to adopt the mindset that the other person isn’t trying to annoy you on purpose, and then works to overcome differences and expand understanding of each other. It works like this: Observation: A neutral statement of what’s going on. “When you give me a large piece of work at 4 o’clock on a Friday…” Feelings: An accurate statement of how you feel. Avoid saying “you make me feel” and concentrate on the feelings themselves. “I feel stressed because I want to do a good job, and concerned that I’ll miss a personal appointment after work.” Needs: A statement of your internal needs. Avoid phrases which begin with “I need you to… (XYZ)”. “I need to know that I can deliver work to my usual high quality, and that I will be able to see my friends after work. ”

Recognising and resolving conflict

There are many definitions of “conflict” in the business world. It’s important to remember that conflict isn’t always visible. Some people might be “in conflict” with others, but instead of raising their voices and arguing, they withdraw inside themselves and go quiet. I like the following definition of conflict: Conflict is when someone is forced by someone else to operate in a way which makes them uncomfortable. If you take this definition, then the topic captures quite a wide range of situations. How does conflict start? Conflict comes about when an event happens which makes someone uncomfortable, and when it then spirals unchecked into a breakdown in the relationship. It goes through 4 steps: Situation: Something happens. One person does something the other person doesn’t like. Example:     Your manager gives you a big piece of work at 3pm on a Friday and tells you to finis