difficult decisions

One of the difficult decisions we face every weekend is where to go! Durham is within easy reach of cities, mountains, woods, moors and the seaside. As well as gorgeous sandy beaches (not many blackened by coal now), the North East of England coast has ones lots of interesting rocks and pebbles. So after some…

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say no

When we say no nicely it actually stops destructive conflict. Yet so often we say yes when we know that no is the right answer. Why we say yes when we should say no Sometimes we don’t say no because we fear upsetting others. We say yes without thinking it through. We get in the…

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Conversations not confrontations

Conversations not Confrontations was designed in response to a request from an organisation after a mediation. The employees involved found the way the organisation had managed their differences had exacerbated the issues. They asked me to tell management that the “conversations not confrontations” approach of mediation was much better. I talked with the CEO and…

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Conflict Management training?!? Is it really necessary? It is essential. Why is Conflict Management Training Important? Conflict and disagreements are inevitable. The normal response is to fight, flight or freeze. Although useful if facing a sabre tooth tiger, this evolutionary instinct is not helpful in modern-day life. When we choose fighting, running away or ignoring…

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Small business disputes have a huge impact. In any organisation, disagreements and personality clashes cause problems. In her article on the cost of conflict, Andra Picincu lists 4 major issues: decreased productivity, loss of revenue, low morale and poor communication.  Other negative effects are increased absenteeism, staff resignation and mental health issues. However, when conflict…

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customer disputes

Customer disputes can cause havoc. For small businesses, one upset customer doesn’t just ruin your day, it could ruin your life if you don’t handle it carefully. Arguments over unmet expectations, unpaid bills or product quality add to the strain of managing a small business. Benefits of Mediation for Customer Disputes Customer disputes that end…

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Sign warning that we will not tolerate physical or verbal abuse

What are difficult customer complaints? All complaints hurt, especially when you care deeply about your business or organisation. The more you care, the more painful it is. When we are hurt, the natural reaction is to either hit back or run away. Both will make things worse in the long run. And when customers’ behaviour…

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nancy virtual coffee

The joys of live online interaction are so great, that I’d like to share them with you. Tomorrow, I will enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend–who lives thousands of miles away. It’s not as good as being there in real life. (For a start, she makes great coffee and usually has some home-baked…

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get back up

How much of today do we waste regretting yesterday? What is stopping us from leaving the past behind and moving on?  Why do we nurse our grudges and hang on to old injuries? Or are we not even aware that we are doing it? Here is a quiz to help you figure out where you…

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Making Difficult Conversations Easier Most people would prefer me to write about getting rid of the need for awkward discussions, rather than about making difficult conversations easier.  This is no more possible than waving a magic wand and get rid of all the ice and snow in winter. However, just as we can lessen the…

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