KB 23 Cohesive Workplace

KNOWLEDGE BEANS -23 a huma n r e s ou r c e news l e t t e r june 2010

Highlights of this issue - Rupa Mathur shares her experience on handling conflicts at work - Vinita Chopra discusses role of communication in conflict management - Neha Kamat shows affirmations of conflicts - Priyanka Jaitly shows ways to increase the ROI by training employees - Deeksha Jawa’s bean tip on creating‘win – win’situations

workplace conflicts industry champion space

Rupa Mathur

Rupa is a Test Analyst with OzForex, Australia. She has over 4 years of experience in IT.

once a month and asking about accomplishments, challenges and issues ‰ Setup an anonymous suggestion box in which employees provided suggestions ‰ Held management meetings to communicate new initiatives and status of current projects in the pipeline.They would discuss about any immediate future hires as well All this created a positive vibe in the company. When we manage our conflicts more effectively, we use less energy on the burdensome tasks such as systemic conflicts and get to spend more of our energy on our projects at work and building our relationships.

Recently, the company that I work for went through a series of organizational changes. Due to growth of the company, new staff was being hired almost every week. People were being promoted and also being “shifted” around. Consider this example fromwithin my own department: Peter was hired as the Development Manager. He had no idea that Matt was in line for a promotion. No prize for guessing that Matt was upset. Matt had been working in the company for 3 years now and so he thought it was obvious that he will be given a promotion! But instead now he would have to report to Peter.This move came in as a “nasty” surprise to Matt. In the beginning, this looked like a small issue. The managers were not aware of it or the implications it might have. Eventually, Matt’s productivity at work got affected and soon he left the job out of frustration. The company ended up losing a valuable employee. There were some key managerial actions that the company took to avoid these kinds of conflicts in future: ‰ Regularly reviewed job descriptions and made sure that job roles don’t conflict or no tasks fall in a crack ‰ Intentionally built relationships with all subordinates, like holding team meeting at least

She has done her Masters in Business Administration from International School of Business and Media, Pune. She has keen interest in studying human behavior & bringing creativity in human resource processes. the editor’s column Deepa Sengupta

Atyaasaa Consulting Private Limited is a leading Human Resource Training & Consulting Organization partnering with some of the best brands in the country and overseas. Atyaasaa has

This edition talks about diverse root causes of conflicts at workplace and measures to surmount them.

been a catalyst & a contributor in their quest for people development and business excellence. The core differentiator of Atyaasaa process is continual innovation, unique customization and use of state of the art technology tools implemented through ethical and experiencedoperations andhuman resource facilitators having contribution as their core value.

Write to us For information: info@atyaasaa.com For contributing articles: atyaasaaeditor@atyaasaa.com For suggestions: feedback@atyaasaa.com

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OD experts speak ROI by Investing in your Workforce

Priyanka Jaitly

Priyanka is an Organizational Behaviorist and as a Consultant has been contributing to human resource development and effectiveness. Having worked with clients across the spectrum from IT to Pharmacy to FMCG, she has acquired a strong ability to understand the organizations’ DNA and following it up with concrete measures for improvement.

In the last few years of my corporate HR experience I have observed, engaged with and analyzed employees from different industries very closely. Having done that, I have arrived at the well validated conclusion that it’s imperative to get the pulse of your employees, map the aspirations and potentials your people have and follow it up with interventions. Like in case of research scientists, most of them can communicate the most difficult formulation to you that would sell like hot cake, however, would not be able to communicate effectively enough in an appraisal to be able to convey the right thing at the right time to the right person. Interpersonal communication, impression management, team work are just some of the soft skills in which they could be totally lagging and therefore hamper their hard work. Likewise there are the leaders who drive multinational organizations and are not shy to highlight their strengths and achievements or to give directives. However, more often than not leaders end up being skewed either towards their business alone or very rarely towards their people alone. Mapping people on the critical competencies and following it up with training to augment their skill set and bringing it to the desired level is definitely one area that I contribute to. This excites me a lot as the challenging part is not to deliver the training alone but to enable the employee to identify, open up and relate to the strengths and weaknesses that have been identified. Once this is done, it has to be followed up with training programs that are experiential and not just a conglomeration of fancy words and meaningless games.

academician opine Communicate to bring Opinion Together

Vinita Chopra

“Poor Communication” is a major managerial action that causes workplace conflicts. An organization is like a spider’s web of people, comprising of managers, staff and workers interacting in various ways to fulfill the organization mandate. Many times they communicate and incite conflict simply based on how they speak, words they choose and these interactions result in destructive conflicts mainly because they lack the skill to communicate.

Vinita is a communication faculty at International School of Business and Media and a corporate trainer as well. She firmly believes in learning and applying creativity at work.

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“You are never in time for your work”

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“It seems like you have some difficulty in travelling to work. Would like to discuss and help you with it”.

Out of the two which phrase do you think elicit a productive dialogue? The first one sure sounds antagonistic. The second phrase lacks confrontational characteristics and results in real problem solving. This is an example of co-operative communication which involves the use of techniques that are designed to prevent destructive conflicts and enhance workplace morale.Today a certain percentage of people do use a language to build bridges to create cooperation. Sigmund Freud says,“Flowers are restful to look at.They have neither emotions nor conflicts”. But we are human; we have emotions and communication happens and then conflicts. Conflicts occur where emotions run high. Avoid getting emotional while negotiating because it becomes difficult to channel our negotiation behavior in a constructive way. High EQ is appreciated. Good interpersonal communication helps to keep the conflict away. Never lose the common touch even if you walk with kings, keep your virtues when you talk to crowd and respect relations. Do not lessen the “integrity” of your listening to someone. Listening is a stroke which builds relations, for everyone wants to be heard. Remember listening involves a real effort to understand another person’s perspective. Our communication style also creates differences.We have a set style of communicating. It sounds strange but there is a beautiful way to understand this aspect in words of – Kjell Magne Bonderick – “Knowledge of other people, belief and ways of thinking must be used to build bridges, not to create conflicts”.

Avoid the crazy dance of trash communication before you collapse in a clatter of conflict.

bean tip

It is Healthier to Prevent Unessential Conflict than to Manage Conflict Once the Blaze has Started Deeksha Jawa

Deeksha Jawa, Head – Senior Consultant, Atyaasaa Consulting Private Limited, is a post graduate in Management HR and Green Belt in Six Sigma with a background in Psychology. She has a passion for behavioural sciences and combines her knowledge of psychometric testing with her management expertise to manage projects end to end and design & develop workshops in order to meet the changing needs of business.

Not all conflicts end up or should end up with a winner and a loser. The most constructive conflicts end up with both parties ‘winning’. Here are some tips to work towards the ‘win – win’ situation: ‰ Hone your emotional intelligence skills to take control over your emotions ‰ Share negative emotions only in person as other means are too impersonal for the delicate nature of negative words ‰ Learn to listen to the two sides of the conflict that you are in as if you are a mediator or counselor ‰ Wait a few days to cool down emotionally when a situation makes you feel wild with intense feelings, such as anger. As time passes, you will be able to think more objectively about the situation ‰ And finally, make a decision to speak with decorum when you are angry or frustrated

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Leveraging Conflicts space for everyone

Neha Kamat

Neha, Executive - Coaching Division, Atyaasaa Consulting Pvt. Ltd. is a post graduate diploma in Human Resources and Industrial Relations. She uses her analytical skills to apply management knowledge in dynamic business context and facilitate people bring out the best in themselves. She aspires to gain expertise and contribute in all facets of HR.

“Where all think alike, no one thinks very much” – Walter Lippmann

Clashes of thoughts and ideas are bound to occur in a ‘thinking organization’. Conflict is thus a sign that the employees are thinking differently, brainstorm- ing and trying to contribute to the organization. Conflicts, traditionally, were

considered harmful, causing hostility and loss of organizational productivity. However, this may not always stand true. Conflicts by nature are neither good nor bad. The negative outcomes seen are effects of improper conflict management and not the conflict itself. In fact engaging in conflicts can have positive effects on organizations. Conflicts are helpful, and at times even necessary, for the good health of an organization. It helps employees to discuss alternatives and arrive at a proposal or solution that is cumulative effort of all members. Ideas generated in this way are valid, comprehensive and superior as they are thoroughly discussed and debated. By challenging the existing processes and procedures, conflicts often result in improvements and up-gradations. Conflict of ideas, opinions and thoughts are also imperative for innovation and creativity to flourish in the organization. To harness the advantages of conflict the organization needs to be mature and open to new ideas.The employees need to commu- nicate constantly, learn to give and take constructive feedback. The role of conflict management in such organization becomes crucial. Conflict management here does not mean avoiding or suppressing conflict; it means streamlining and channelizing the direction of conflict to extract the superlative!

“ High Performance Teams must always move from conflicts to agreements – conflicts are healthy.”

bean statement

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