Harness the Power of Healthy Conflict

masked coworkers

Many people don’t enjoy conflict. We often undervalue the positive role that healthy conflict can contribute to the workplace. Workplace disagreements don’t have to result in hurt feelings, anger, or anxiety. When properly facilitated, healthy conflict can create opportunities for innovation, better decision making, and more robust strategic thinking. The first thing to recognize is that at the heart of disagreement is passion. Individuals who don’t care deeply about the success of a project, future of the organization, or organizational values won’t devote any energy to engaging in conflict. Disagreement means your team members are engaged enough to care about … Read More

Leverage Your People-watching Skills at Work

online conversation

People-watching has long been one of my favorite hobbies. I enjoy watching people’s behavior, body language, and facial expressions, especially when they believe no one is watching. I enjoy making hypotheses about what the person will do next and imagine backstories for each person I encounter. While people-watching is a fun way to pass the time (and reduce time spent doom scrolling), building the skill of people watching, even online, can be particularly effective in the workplace.

What Happens Next Will Define Us

Photo of Home Office

As we close out this long, exhausting year, a feeling begins to emerge that we are on the verge of a critical turning point. It is possible this feeling is fostered by a false sense of hope that we can put 2020 in the rear-view mirror. Or perhaps it’s due to an overly optimistic view that vaccines will be quickly distributed and adopted en masse. And yet, despite the highest daily recorded deaths due to the pandemic, many organizations are still pushing for a plan to return to the office. Last spring, many employers had to make tough decisions to … Read More

The End of the 8-Hour Workday

The 8-hour workday dates back to the 19th-century. It was designed to split the day into three equal parts (work, free-time, and sleep). Given the heavily industrial nature of work in those days, and the rise of labor unions to protect workers, the 8-hour workday not only became commonplace, but was also legislated with additional protections for over-time. Nearly 100 years later, most organizations still cling to the 8-hour workday, in spite of the dramatically different landscape of the workplace today.

COVID-19: Is There a Silver Lining?

image-cloud-silver-lining

Of all the unexpected changes the pandemic has brought on, one that has captivated my attention is how awkward email introductions have become.  “I hope you’re doing well in spite of these wild times” is probably the most common opening line, but the one that always makes me cringe is “I hope you’re adjusting to the new normal.” Like most people, I’m not quite ready to accept that this is actually our new normal. Perhaps that’s just the denial stage of the grief process, but I certainly hope this is a short-term experience and we’ll drift back towards “normal” soon. … Read More

Coworkers: The Family You Choose?

Work Group as Family

Most adults spend 90,000 hours of their lives at work, so it’s natural that we want to feel deeply connected to the individuals we work alongside all day. Employees who feel emotionally connected with one another report they are not only happier at work, but also more engaged and creative. In fact, employees who work with their best friend are 7 times more likely to be fully engaged at work. With such key business outcomes on the line, naturally many organizations aspire to a family-like culture where employees feel deeply connected and comfortable with one another. From picnics to softball … Read More