Assessing Workplace Conflict

Assessing Workplace Conflict
There can be many types of conflict in the workplace. Work groups, teams, or departments may disagree about the best way to proceed. Employees may disagree about decisions management or their supervisors have made. There can also be conflict between two employees about a project or option. Sometimes conflicts occur because there is a lack of information or data. Other times, conflict results from a lack of resources, and the conflict becomes a zero-sum game. If one side wins, the other side ... Read more
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The Importance of Workplace Confidentiality

The Importance of Workplace Confidentiality
Years ago, I was making a presentation to an audience of health care professionals. To illustrate a point, I included a case example of an older deceased woman who had experienced a variety of issues. I had changed the name and some of the relevant identifying information to protect the women’s privacy, but my changes weren’t thorough enough. After my presentation, a young woman, who appeared upset, approached me. She loudly accused me of using her grandmother as my case ... Read more
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Overcoming Workplace Fear

Overcoming Workplace Fear
Recently a young professional woman noted that she feared something almost as much as she feared public speaking. Her mention of a fear of public speaking was surprising because she is a “take charge” person, never reticent in a meeting or group.  She is an outstanding team leader, a good delegator, and she doesn’t shy away from conflict. So why the fear? Experts note that public speaking is one of the top two or three fears of the average person. It is so common that it ... Read more
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What Does Your Office Tell Others About You?

What Does Your Office Tell Others About You?
Have you ever walked into someone’s office and had to wait for them to take stacks of clutter off a chair so you could sit down. Or have you been repulsed by old take-out food containers sitting on your colleague’s desk or by putting your papers down on top of something sticky? Or maybe your coworker likes to work out after work and keeps gym clothes and shoes in the corner. These may seem like extremes, but they are more common than you might imagine. You also may be thinking ... Read more
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Avoiding Negative Optics

Avoiding Negative Optics
Recently, President Trump arrived 20 minutes late for a Gender Equality Advisory Committee meeting at the G7 Summit in Quebec. His entrance was disruptive and rude, and it was documented in news reports around the world. The optics were especially negative. Think back to a recent meeting at your workplace. Was anyone late? Were you late? If so, what optic did your lateness provide for others? A few possible scenarios include: 1. You were viewed as someone who thinks she is self-important. ... Read more
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What’s Your Hurry?

What’s Your Hurry?
“What’s your hurry?” “You have plenty of time to get ahead in your career.” “Take some time for fun.” “Why would you change jobs when you can coast in the one you have?” “Don’t be so competitive.” “Stop pushing yourself so hard.” Perhaps friends and relatives have made statements like those above  to you. Perhaps they are well meaning and they do feel like you are working too much. Or, perhaps they ... Read more
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Would You Promote You?

Would You Promote You?
Most promotions are not automatic, and, generally, a variety of factors enter into the decision making process. Sometimes there are annual quotas such as the number of open positions for tenure decisions at a university. Sometimes a business is quite small, and there is a very short career ladder. Other jobs, like many in government, require a certain score on a civil service exam in order to be promoted. And, it is a reality that not all promotions are fair. For example, a family member of ... Read more
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Are you Managing Your Career?

Are you Managing Your Career?
Remember how you felt at the start, when you were looking for your first job? All you wanted was a toehold, a way in, a chance. But it felt like everyone else had control of your future. I got my first job out of college because I could type. And yes, I was taken aback when the hiring manager later told me the reason she interviewed me. Typing wasn’t supposed to be what got me a job—my BA in Spanish was supposed to be wildly appealing to the Pan American Health Organization! Years later, I ... Read more
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If You Want to Be Heard, Listen

If You Want to Be Heard, Listen
You are in a staff meeting with your boss. She details a possible situation that might occur and is asking for ways to address it. You have an idea that you think might work. Your hand quickly goes up and you speak forcefully. Two of your colleagues begin shaking their heads “no.” As soon as you finish, the negative responses start. There are some things you hadn’t thought about—a couple of weaknesses in your plan, but you still feel the need to defend your idea. The ... Read more
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Be Heard Over Male Chatter

Be Heard Over Male Chatter
Are there different communication patterns for men and women at your workplace? Are male and female voices given equal credit? Do men monopolize the conversations, using louder voices and talking over women? If so, you need to find a way not just to enter the conversation, but to get your ideas heard. The following are some suggestions that may help you become more visible and assertive, especially during meetings: •First, choose your timing. While you do want to speak in most discussions, ... Read more
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