Today’s Talk On Purpose With Shad Ali (190502) – Strategies For Managing Workplace Conflict

Strategies for Managing Workplace Conflict – Today’s Talk On Purpose With Shad Ali – 190502

First, let me say I am amazed but not entirely surprised by the extent to which Workplace Conflict has become prevalent. And this view is validated by research data and real-world experience even as recent as two days ago.

Studies indicate: 25 percent of employees surveyed in 1998 reported being treated rudely at work at least once a week and That figure rose to 55 percent in 2011 and rose again to 62 percent in 2016,

Another study from the UK this time found that four in 10 employees reported having experienced some form of interpersonal conflict at work in the last year. Oh and 85% say they deal with conflict to some extent at work; 29% of them say it occurs always or frequently.

Now, should we be concerned about this? Well consider the impacts:

  • It costs organizations on average $12,000. in Employee turnover costs per toxic employee;
  • Employees spend on average one day per month dealing with Conflict
  • Managers can spend as much as 1/3 of their time dealing with conflict issues.

And I encourage you to visit onpurpose.ca and calculate the costs of employee disengagement in your workplace, we have a quick and simple calculator there that can help.

While there are several causes of workplace conflict, among them being: poor communication; Incomplete, incorrect or ambiguous information (Assumptions); inappropriate management styles; Cultural, social or personal uniqueness and sensitivities; Inappropriate use of authority; Opposing positions, competitive tensions, power struggles, ego, pride, jealousy, performance discrepancies, compensation issues, or someone just having a bad day.

As for the effects, well they are several to including work disruption; decreased productivity; project failure; absenteeism; turnover; voluntary and involuntary termination; and of course, Emotional stress can be both a cause and an effect of workplace conflict. You know, our Stages of growth X-Ray process is pretty good at detecting these types of issues and helping leaders cut them off at the pass, so that’s something worth looking in to.

So, what can managers and leaders do to address and maybe stem or arrest workplace conflict?

  • Well start by defining acceptable behaviour,
  • Have open dialogue about conflict and address it head on
  • View conflict as an opportunity
  • Foster interactive communication. Communication that is clear and respectful can help build trust between and among employees and managers
  1. Build and foster Trust environments. The absence of trust among employees and managers can compromise communication all around and the presence of Trust can accelerate performance, productivity and results.
  • Encourage Empathy. When people are sensitive to colleague’s feelings and show empathy and awareness wow, this is central to establishing a trusting relationship among
  • Set clear expectations and communicate up and down the line.
  • Commit to Conflict resolution Although conflicts arise in every organization, the methods to handle them vary. Managers and leaders must deal with workplace conflict issues head-on and resolve disputes fairly and quickly or they will escalate and gain amplitude.

While not a complete list of strategies the aforenoted is a good start anyway. So take action on these strategies for addressing workplace conflict – Today’s Talk On Purpose With Shad Ali.

Today’s Talk On Purpose With Shad Ali – 190424. Today’s Topic: Strategies That Enhance Employee Engagement.

Click to View Todays Talk On Purpose With Shad Ali – 190424. Today’s topic: Strategies That Enhance Employee Engagement.

Strategies That Enhance Employee Engagement – Todays Talk On Purpose with Shad Ali 190423

Recent studies suggest a mere 7% of employees fully understand their company’s business strategies and what’s expected of them to help achieve company goals. This is of grave concern for you if you are a CEO, President, Executive Director or Business Owner.

Another study involving over 100,000 employees found employees want from their leaders: Hope, Compassion, Stability and Trust. It also found 29% of employees are engaged, while 54% are not engaged and 17% are actively disengaged. Contrast that with the finding that 30% of executives say motivating their employees is their toughest challenge.

So how exactly does one create better engagement and build a strong culture?

First, a couple of root causes:

  • Hiring right in the first place – every time you add a person you affect company culture. so be sure to use tools such as our On Purpose Job Benchmarking process which has proved to be highly effective in this.
  • Our Stages of Growth process illustrates that when organizations don’t delegate both authority and responsibility appropriately, particularly if in Stage 3 Maturity, they increase the chances of failure within 3 years by up to 80%. And by contrast, those that regularly allow staff to author, contribute and monitor the business vision have 60% less employee turnover than those that plan and strategize from the top down.

Second, Is it worth it to invest in employee engagement?

Well according to the Best Workplaces for Giving Back study it sure does. Employee Engagement insights from this study indicate:

  • Brand ambassadorship is 79% higher
  • Discretionary effort from staff is 83% higher
  • Employee Impact is 57% higher
  • Voluntary turnover is 43% lower
  • Revenue growth is 19% faster
  • And they have 33% more innovation
  • So clearly there is tremendous and tangible benefit from investing in employee engagement.

One of the keys is how leaders handle what our Stages of Growth process refers to as Transition Zones: The Flood Zone or Wind Tunnel that organizations experience when in transition between stages of maturity.

  • For instance adding staff too quickly when in a Flood Zone, all be it because the workload is increasing, can see employees become frustrated, performance erode, profits dwindle, clients leave and Systems become ignored due to the faster pace of delivery. So leaders need to take care in how they handle this. Leaders need to alert staff early enough about the impending changes in activity levels and they must work with managers to address how they will properly address these changes and impending volatility.

So here are a few strategies to help enhance your employee engagement:

(These are influenced by Gallup, who has a longitudinal study of Employee Engagement) 

  1. Begin at the source – For me that means start at the most localized level of your organization. This is where real work is done, at the workgroup level. And remember leaders set the tone and pace at the top. Leaders and managers must do everything to ensure employees feel empowered to make significant differences in their immediate environment.
  2. Ensure you have the right managers – The best managers are the ones who recognize their own success, as well as the success of the organization, relies on the achievements of its employees. Great managers empower their employees, recognize and value their contributions, and actively seek their ideas and opinions.
  3. Hold managers accountable for employee engagement – Managers are primarily responsible for the engagement of their employees and organizations need to ensure managers are taking an active role in building engagement plans with their employees. And here is one of the places where the Manager’s Emotional Quotient will be important.
  4. Realistic Goals stated in everyday terms: Leaders and managers must make engagement goals meaningful to employees’ day-to-day experiences. Employee engagement needs to be a part of weekly meetings and action planning conversations.
  5. Survey right – if you are going to survey and I think you should. Then when you survey don’t just survey for the sake of surveying. Generally, when a company asks its employees for their opinions and feedback, employees have an expectation, and a reasonable one at that, of follow up and follow through.so ensure survey data is specific, relevant and actionable but also that the data is proven to influence key performance metrics.

Commit to action on these Strategies that Enhance Employee Engagement – today’s Talk On Purpose With Shad Ali.

 

 

Today’s Talk on Purpose with Shad Ali – “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”

We are beginning a new feature which we have entitled Today’s Talk On Purpose with Shad Ali. And for this our inaugural episode, we have chosen the topic: “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”  Check out the video blog for more and then come back often for future episodes.

The Benefits Of Measuring More Than DISC

While the DISC tool, which provides insight on a person’s behavioural preferences and orientation, is powerful on its own, it’s impacts can and will be enhanced with other assessment tools. People are unique and measuring only one part in the hope to understand the whole will be challenging and near impossible. People with the same behaviors might different drivers that must be met in order for them to feel fulfilled. DISC may tell part of the story, but alone it does not paint a complete picture.

When you go deeper than DISC, you can have a much clearer understanding of yourself and others. Looking at an individual from more than one perspective is vital. At On Purpose Leadership Inc., we use the DISC assessment as well as a variety of others. We believe that a combination of these assessments will assist individuals and teams to reach new levels of excellence and success.

Let us give you one example. In a recent workshop with a team, we provided each team member with a Behaviours and Emotional Quotient assessment. When looking at the team and addressing a high conflict situation, we really could not find a sound rationale for the conflict by looking exclusively at the Behaviours (DISC) assessment comparisons. In fact, it wasn’t until we looked at the team members Emotional Quotient scores that we were able to identify the source of the conflict. One member of the team had a Self-Regulation score that was very low and well below the Self-Regulation scores of the other team members. This led us to understand that it was emotional outbursts from the one team member, and the way in which those were received and managed by the other team members, that was the real source of the conflict. Had we looked only at the Behaviours, we definitely would not have identified accurately the source or the real issue.

 

Below are ten reasons to go deeper than DISC:

  1. Increasing self-awareness

There’s an old saying that goes “you can’t help others until you help yourself.” Understanding yourself first and foremost will help you maximize your potential, which you can then leverage to help others achieve theirs. Self-awareness is an important skill that’s not measured by DISC but important to be successful in most walks of life. When a person is self-aware, especially during times of stress, they can identify a potential problem, remind themselves to take a step back and diffuse a potential problematic situation. Those with high self-awareness tend to find greater success compared with those who do not possess this skill.

  1. Understanding the how and the why behind a person’s behavior

How does someone identify that they are in a situation that isn’t meant for them? Identifying what drives or motivates a person is key. An example would be if an individual is motivated by creative endeavors, they could pursue avenues that utilizes creativity. This could give an individual a reason to get out of bed every morning and be excited to go to work.

  1. Better understanding others

Going deeper than DISC can also help a person as it relates to their peers, team and their boss or customers and suppliers. Once you figure out what your strengths are and truly know what motivates you, only then can you find your rightful part within an organization where you can use your skills and motivators – what drives you – to excel.

  1. Uncovering information without making assumptions

In the job marketplace, everyone starts out as a faceless resume on a piece of paper or electronic document. So many companies rely on the interview process to uncover information about potential employees, but what can you honestly learn about someone during a 30-60 conversation about their job history? Utilizing multiple assessment solutions can uncover more about a person without making assumptions or having to rely on “gut” instincts. In a nutshell, going deeper than DISC helps companies to avoid judging a book by its cover.

  1. Identify the needs for a group of people

Using assessments, especially team reports, can help identify the needs of a team and the individuals that make up a team. While the individual reports will dive deep to unveil important information about the individual, the team reports can shed light on the team as a whole, and how all the people within the team fit together. This makes it easy to identify if someone is in a position not necessarily suited for them. This helps to build stronger, more cohesive teams because each person on the team is doing a job they enjoy and are qualified to do.

  1. Identify learned skills

Learned skills, or competencies, are not measured by DISC but are key in determining if someone is cut out for a certain role and accountabilities. Each person has a unique hierarchy of competencies and these include: leadership, interpersonal skills, goal orientation, understanding others, diplomacy, teamwork, problem solving, resiliency, flexibility and negotiation, just to name a few. Having competencies in many of these areas are keystones to certain jobs. Knowing, in advance, if a potential candidate is strong or weak in these areas can help a company hire the right person. And for the individual, they can identify any vulnerabilities, so they can set goals on specific areas to improve.

  1. Measuring emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence measures how someone operates under pressure and how well they deal with stress. An element again not measured by DISC, but an important one, especially for people that work in high-stress, fast-paced, competitive or otherwise demanding environments. When someone has a lower emotional intelligence, they are a candidate for the occasional emotional hijack (also known as an amygdala hijack). In this scenario, a person responds negatively to stress when put in stressful situations. While everyone has a bad day here and there, it’s good to identify if a person may be regularly susceptible to this sort of issue if their job is going to be continuously high-stress.

  1. Identifying stress levels

Stress assessments can measure how stressed a person is in a snapshot of time. While some people use stress as fuel or energy, others allow stress to eat them alive and obliterate their ability to be productive. Finding a person’s typical stress level will help to figure out what jobs or fields may be best suited for this person to consider for employment.

  1. Understanding a person’s acumen

Above we talked about identifying learned skills but understanding how these skills manifest for an individual are key to figuring out what is really inside someone. Research has shown that the most effective people are those who understand both their strengths and vulnerabilities, so they can develop strategies to meet the demands of their environment. Assessments that uncover insights about acumen can help predict the likelihood of a person succeeding or failing in certain situations.

  1. Solve for a problem through people

Every business exists because there is a perceived need. Whether it’s a basic need such as food or water, or a perceived need such as a new Porsche, if there is a need, there will be a product or person to fill that need. Filling certain roles within a company qualifies as a need, or “pain point.” So, if a company is looking to hire a person that needs to have very specific skills, how can an employer identify those characteristics within the framework of an interview? By assessing a person’s drivers, acumen, behaviors, stressors and emotional intelligence, a thorough, complete picture can be created that gives true insight into an individual and whether they are the person they are searching for to fill that very important position.

 

Conclusion

Understanding a person’s behavioural preferences and orientation through tools such as DISC is a great start to learning about an individual and how they might fit in with a team or an organization. But there is so much more information that can be learned and it’s important to go as deep as possible to uncover everything you can on the front end. DISC is just the tip of the iceberg. Knowing what’s underneath the iceberg is crucial in ensuring that you have all the information that’s needed to make the right decision in an important situation. Many of the points listed above have a coinciding assessment. For further information on the variety of the assessments we do at On Purpose Leadership Inc., click here

 

On Purpose Leadership Note: The above is adapted from an Article by, and we give our thanks to, Dave Clark. On Purpose Leadership is an Approved Provider partner of TTI Success Insights.

4 Ways to Improve Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is defined as an individual’s ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to facilitate higher levels of collaboration and productivity. Emotional intelligence is often referred to as emotional quotient (EQ) as the terms are interchangeable.

Regardless of where a person is today on the EQ scale, emotional intelligence can be improved. It takes a concentrated effort, a desire to become more aware and an active attempt at restraint when facing conflict. But with a combination of awareness and self-discipline, EQ can change relatively quickly. While there are many different factors that can influence EQ, today we observe 4 ways to improve emotional intelligence.

Research shows that successful leaders and superior performers have well developed emotional intelligence skills. This makes it possible for them to work well with a wide variety of people and to respond effectively to the rapidly changing conditions in the business world. In fact, a person’s emotional intelligence may potentially be a better predictor of performance success than intelligence alone.

Emotional Intelligence is accurately measured through assessments. A person answers a series of questions, and in doing so, earns a specific score for each of the five individual sub-categories that make up EQ. Additionally, they receive an overall EQ score. Just as a person can increase their IQ through learning, a person can improve their EQ scores by focusing on specific areas of EQ.

  1. Becoming more self-aware

The more you become aware of your emotions and drives, the more you can control those things. Part of being self-aware is understanding the effect you have on others. Self-awareness boils down to being able to recognize when you are in a proper frame of mind.

Self-awareness starts within each person and it starts with a series of questions. To hone in on your self-awareness, ask yourself:

  • How am I feeling?
  • At this very moment, do things feel easy or difficult?
  • Do I have a smile or a frown on my face, and why?

You cannot address any social aspect of EQ without first being aware of what’s going on inside yourself. If your mindset is altered to the negative, chances are your interactions will be, as well. Once you are consciously aware of what’s going on inside of you, you can move on to the next stage of emotional intelligence, self-regulation.

  1.   Increasing self-regulation

Self-regulation speaks to the ability to suspend judgement in a moment of stress and thinking before acting. Defined, it is the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods. Self-regulation is a person’s ability to modify their own mood when they become self-aware of a disruptive mindset.

I don’t have to go far to find an example of someone who has benefitted from learning a little self-regulation. For years, I was the poster child of how not act when put in stressful situations. As someone who is honest to a fault and doesn’t like to bottle emotions, I had a propensity to voice my opinions regardless of whether or not they were solicited. And, if I felt I was in any way under attack, those opinions would turn into defences. Rational conversation could quickly turn into verbal sparring as a defence mechanism.

So many times I realized, much too late, that if I just let a little time go by, what seemed like a crisis then would later become an afterthought. This realization is an example of increasing one’s self-regulation. The process is two-fold: the act of first recognizing the need and then acting upon it for the greater good.

A few questions to ask yourself include:

  • Does this issue need to be addressed right this minute?
  • In the grand scheme of things, how important is this really?
  • Am I able to walk away from the situation to gain time and perspective?
  1.   Becoming more socially aware

A person with social awareness has the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people and how their words and actions affect others. It’s the ability to assess how they are communicating or may communicate with others.

We may have the best intentions. We wake in the morning and we want to treat everyone with respect. We want to be thought of in a positive way and plan to experience nothing but friendly interactions. And that all goes out the window when stress arrives. Whether the people we are communicating with are the cause of the stress or not, communicating when you’re not in the proper frame of mind can come with consequences and negative outcomes.

It can be as slight as facial expressions, mannerisms, body language or tone of voice. An observant person can gauge our mood and attitude before we even say our first word! Just like a math equation that has a definite starting and end point, EQ works in a similar fashion. Once a person becomes self-aware first and self-regulated next, they need to take those skills and use them outwardly in social interactions. These skills come in handy especially during stressful situations.

In trying to become more socially aware, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What does my outward expression say to someone?
  • How would someone interpret my body language?
  • Am I projecting my emotions through my tone of voice?
  1.   Improving social regulation

Social regulation involves the ability to influence the emotional clarity of others through a proficiency in managing relationships and building networks.

It’s very easy to be the life of the party when everyone is having a good time. A person with strong social regulation can be just as well-liked and respected during times of stress because they are able to control their reactions to the stress stimuli.

Think back over your career and picture a boss or bosses for which you had a great detail of respect. What were some of their characteristics? It’s likely they were fair, respectful, even-keeled and thoughtful. Chances are, what you’ll recall most about them is their consistent nature by which they communicated to you and your coworkers. Their consistency had a calming effect on you.

The more a person can regulate their social situations, the more successful they will likely be. It’s pretty simple really. Do you buy from a salesperson who is pushy or one who makes a personal connection with you? Do you go to a doctor that treats you like a number, or one that takes time to get to the heart of the matter? The better our interactions with others, the more successful we will be at whatever we want to accomplish, regardless if that’s closing a big sale or making a new friend.

Questions to ask yourself include:

  • Am I being respectful at this moment?
  • Am I hearing the entire story before passing judgement?
  • Is it possible that things aren’t really as they might appear to be on the surface?

Evolution of EQ

Just as we strive to increase our knowledge, wealth and interesting life stories, we can increase our EQ with a conscious effort. Bad habits are not formed overnight nor are they fixed that quickly. It doesn’t matter what our upbringing was, for whom we worked or what life was like on the playground when we were kids. It’s up to each of us to make a conscious decision to improve our EQ. If we take the lead and put in the effort, our EQ will rise, and very likely, also will our success in all walks of life.

On Purpose Leadership Note: Thanks to Dave Clark TTI Success Insights Staff writer for this article. On Purpose Leadership is an Approved Provider partner of TTI Success Insights.