‘In this place we never have real conversations or when we do it’s usually too late’
Since beginning my working life as a workplace consultant I have focused on helping workplaces on their journey towards improving communication, leadership and getting to ‘Hum’.
For more than twenty five years of consulting I have heard this familiar refrain hundreds of times - ‘we don’t have real conversations in one form or another’. The goal for me has always been to get to the Hum where the workplace vibe (I call it the Hum) is positive, engaging and edgy because people dare to have real conversations. I admit I enjoy working in the space of Conflict because it is an uncomfortable space for many to be in. It is also the space where pathways can open up to and reveal a way forwards that is creative, more enlivening, more energising and more productive. A process I have developed and enjoy working with is ClearView. This process helps those at the top of the organisation get a look-in to understand what is happening in the minds and behaviours of staff below. More than a process of surveys and diagnostic tools, ClearView enables the Board or the CEO to have a direct line of sight into what is happening and what needs to happen to shift the culture towards greater teamwork, greater leadership and better conversations.
Here is a powerpoint of my belief about having real conversations (less conflict) that I try and bring to my work all the time….
I reckon all people should be able to go to work and feel effective, safe and supported. They should be able to leave the workplace each day, return home and be available to their loved ones. In four decades of working, I have too frequently seen people being prevented from being effective, becoming unwell and taking the workplace issues home in the form of stress and distraction. They cannot be fully present for their families and friends.
I notice that many workplaces are under stress through the rate of change, competition, increased demands and that the benefits of technology also come with some downsides as we are expected to respond immediately to complex issues.
The team at C4M provides a wonderful opportunity to work with organisations, teams and individuals to identify ways and means to bring about healthy workplace cultures, behaviours and deliver the essential conditions that all of us strive for.
I’m intrigued by the way people interact, particularly when they perceive that resources are limited. In the cultural, negotiation and mediation work I undertake, I’ve observed that people are inclined to make the wrong choice in their interactions with others, particularly when the pressure of outcomes is important. It takes a high level of awareness, an adroitly developed ability and then a flawless application of skills in the moment, to manage key interactions and attain really beneficial results.
For me, human interaction is the final frontier of leadership. Its unpredictability coupled with people’s fear of losing control demands appropriate partnering from a suitably experienced third person. Once mastered, a leader’s interactions will be the core drivers in building sound cultures and setting important values.
I love working with leaders and their colleagues in building awareness of the keys that together deliver unexpected, constructive outcomes as the work brings enjoyment, creativity and improved production in the workplace. Even the slightest change in a leader’s awareness of the importance of these skills can make a significant impact for so many.
I am fascinated by the field of human interaction, conflict and negotiation and these schools of thought provide the theoretical models that I apply in the workplace.
Peter R Singer
© C4M 2018