Conversations not Confrontations

Conversations not confrontations

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

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Difficult Conversations: Wills, Death and Powers of Attorney

difficult conversations death

Topics that rank high as difficult conversations: Wills, Death and Powers of Attorney. We feel uncomfortable thinking about our own deaths or those close to us dying. We know it’s important–but now isn’t a good time. The longer you wait, the harder and more urgent these decisions are. Are you playing peekaboo and hiding from…

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Pebbles and difficult decisions

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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4 Steps to Say No Nicely

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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Early Resolution: Conflict First Aid

anticipation early resolution

Early resolution of disputes, disagreements and performance issues saves time, trouble and money.  There are many issues that people tolerate, hoping they will get better: a demanding boss, irritating colleague, battling boards, disagreeing directors or silent obstruction. Delaying a decision is making a decision to ignore the issue at least temporarily (More on this topic). …

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Difficult Customer Complaints

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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Caring for Elderly Parents: A Source of Conflict?

Caring for elderly parents may bring a family together or tear them apart. As life expectancy grows, people in their 60s and 70s are still caring for parents, despite their own declining health.  People work for much longer now, often providing childcare for their grandchildren. Tiredness, ill health and family arguments add to the stress.…

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Manage annoyances well & avoid major problems

manage annoyances well

I’ve written before about how random acts of kindness can make a huge difference to others and boost your own happiness. In this blog, I’ll write about how little things can cause big problems. Like a dropped match that lights a wildfire, small irritations, if not addressed, can flare into major confrontations. Manage annoyances well…

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Making Difficult Conversations Easier

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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Personality Clash: Sandpaper People

Sandpaper People

Have you ever had a personality clash with someone? When just the sight of them starts you prickling? What can you do if it is someone you have to interact with? This might be at work, or socially because they are relatives or friends. A personality clash can really disrupt your life and impact on…

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