Learning Point: Understanding How to Deal With Difficult People

We have all experienced the dread of attending a meeting where we know 'that person' will be there - the one that always manages to press the wrong buttons.

When dealing with difficult people, stay out of it emotionally and concentrate on listening non-defensively and actively. People may make disparaging and emotional remarks - don't rise to the bait!

When dealing with difficult people, it is important to keep the emotions in check and concentrate on listening non-defensively and actively to what is being said. People may make disparaging and emotional remarks - but don't rise to the bait!

Here are just eight reminders to help you overcome these difficult situations.

Don't Get Hooked !!!

  • When people behave towards you in a manner that makes you feel angry, frustrated or annoyed - this is known as a Hook.
  • We can even become "Hooked" by the way people look, how they talk, how they smell and even by their general demeanour.
  • If we take the bait then we are allowing the other person to control our behaviour. This can then result in an unproductive response.
  • We have a choice whether we decided to get hooked or stay unhooked.

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High Performing Teams Survey

All research tells us that people who work well together and form high-performing teams not only produce more for their organisation but are happier at work.

This survey and associated action plan can be used to help your team judge how effective they are and what they could do to become a well-regarded high performing team.

It asks delegates to rate the team on the following:

Purpose

Empowerment

Relationships & Communication

Flexibility

Optimal Productivity

Recognition & Appreciation

Moral

Facilitator notes and handouts are included in this activity.

 HIGH PERFORMING TEAMS

Conflict Management – A CIPD Report

The CIPD report ‘Conflict Management – A Shift in Direction?’ is based on research which set out to examine changes in employers’ use of different methods of managing individual conflict, and how far recent changes in legislation on dispute resolution have impacted employer practices.

The report is based largely on the telephone and face-to-face interviews with HR managers, supplemented by a small number of interviews with employment lawyers, ACAS officers and trade union officials.

Key findings from the research highlight that:

    • The introduction of employment tribunal (ET) fees has changed the balance of power between employers and claimants.
    • Employers spend an average of 19 days of management time dealing with individual ET cases.
    • The longer-term future and impact of fees will depend on decisions still to be taken by the courts and/ or the Government.
    • Beyond the introduction of ET fees, recent legislation has so far had only a limited impact on employers’ approaches to managing conflict.
    • Employers and trade unions generally take a pragmatic approach to deciding whether or not to seek settlement of a claim or allow it to go forward to a hearing.
    • There is an increased level of interest by employers in using settlement agreements as a means of terminating employment.

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How CEOs Should Handle Criticism

Corporate leaders have always been targets of criticism, both from inside and outside the firms they lead.

But these days leaders are getting it from an increasing number of sources, thanks to a bevvy of internet platforms designed to bring more transparency to work, as well as a social media ecosystem capable of spreading word rapidly. 

“The opportunities for negative comments about CEOs to emerge are through the roof,” said Brian Kropp, of CEB, a research firm based in Stamford, Connecticut.

Just ask Oscar Munoz. The boss of United Airlines is the latest example of the perils of CEO critique. Not only did Munoz feel the heat when a video in April emerged on social media showing a United passenger being dragged off a flight by authorities after refusing to give up his seat to make room for United crew members needing to get to a job in another city, but his leaked internal response to his employees regarding the incident quickly drew ire from company review websites, social media and cable news.

While United’s incident is extreme, it shows just how important it is for leaders to be prepared to face such circumstances. Whether it’s a full-blown national scandal or an internal spat about direct reports, CEOs would be wise to develop the skills necessary to take criticism constructively.     

First and foremost, CEOs need to take any criticism thrown their way head on, Kropp said. In most cases, leaders who try to ignore or deflect negative feedback are likely digging themselves a deeper hole, one that could potentially come with serious consequences for the companies they lead.  

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Learning Point: Understanding Why a Good Team Needs a Good Leader

If you want to have successful teams in your organisation, make sure you have successful leaders. 

What do I mean by this you ask?  The way a team is led will have a major impact on the success or otherwise of the team.

What do I mean by this you ask?  The way a team is led will have a major impact on the success or otherwise of the team.

In fact, when I asked team members from within a large financial institution what they wanted from a team leader they identified the following values they would like their leader to hold.

What do I mean by this you ask?  The way a team is led will have a major impact on the success or otherwise of the team.  In fact, when I asked team members from within a large financial institution what they wanted from a team leader they identified the following values they would like their leader to hold.

  • Trust
  • A commitment to their staff as well as the task
  • The willingness to support and serve the team
  • Inspirational leadership, combined with energy, enthusiasm and appropriate expertise
  • The guts to take responsibility rather than pass the buck
  • The glue to make the team come together and operate as a team
  • A willingness to have fun!

I’ll explain each of these in more detail.Continue reading

FIve Ways To Connect With Remote Workers

Maintaining company culture with remote workers can be difficult, but there are five things managers can do to connect with and engage employees operating outside the office:

To Trent Harvey working remotely is like playing a video game online. It gathers enthusiasts together from separate locales in order to attain a shared goal. But Harvey isn’t a kid anymore and a job isn’t a hobby.

He’s worked remotely for software companies like Inside Interactive, and the experience has its perks, like working poolside or at a coffee shop, although Harvey has had challenges staying connected with his employers.

“Company-specific culture gets reduced down to the same type of culture you would find in an internet chatroom,” he explained. “You know people; you have inside jokes. You have a level of trust with the people you’re working with, but that’s not the same as working in an office with your colleagues.”

Maintaining company culture with remote workers can be difficult, but it can be done. Bonnie Evans, global client executive at Xerox Learning Services, said it’s critically important to engage remote workers. “I’ve been on-site, I’ve also been remote. I’ve seen the impact of really strong engagement with remote workers. I’ve also seen the impact when there aren’t opportunities. That’s why I’m passionate about it and why I talk to clients about it.”

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