January 14

The Four Workplace Toxins – Poisonous Workplace Communication Styles

This article was written by Roger Beaudry on January 13th 2010.

Maximizing productivity in a modern workplace requires an approach that ensures that everybody on the team has good and respectful working relationships and is focussed on resolving problems as they occur (please see my post titled A Vision of What Makes Workplaces and Teams in Them Work for a discussion of this).  There are four communication styles that distract from effective problem solving and that are particularly toxic to constructive working relationships: BLAME, DEFENSIVENESS, STONEWALLING and CONTEMPT. Recognising and learning to avoid these four toxins is fundamental to building and maintaining the “people side” of a happy, respectful and productive workplace.

January 14

Introduction to the Theory of Workplace Investigations: The Six Elements

This article was written by Roger Beaudry on October 18th 2009.

What follows are my reflections on approaches to conducting more effective investigations into workplace wrongdoing. To simplify matters, I have broken things down into six elements: CONCORDANCE, STANDARDS, THEORIES, TARGETS, EVIDENCE AND PLANNING. Note that I have concentrated on the skills side of investigating workplace wrongdoing rather than on legal concepts that investigators should know to properly conduct investigations. The legal side of things will be for later posts. For each of the six elements, I hope to help readers understand:

  • Why the element is important;
  • What investigators should do in relation to it; and,
  • How they should do it.
January 14

Introduction to Negotiation Theory – Part I: The Role of Competition and Cooperation in Negotiation

This article was written by Roger Beaudry on October 10th 2009.

NOTE: To make sure that readers of future posts have a basis upon which to understand more advanced negotiation approaches, issues and techniques, I have decided to start my posts on negotiation with an introduction to negotiation theory. The introduction (which is in large part based on the concepts advanced by Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton in their book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In) is divided into four posts: this first post will deal with the role of competition and cooperation in negotiation, the second will cover the role of alternatives and interests, the third will focus on options, legitimacy, relationship, communication and commitment, and the last will cover the concepts of goals, process and strategy. My hope for this introduction is to give readers a good foundation upon which to understand other ideas I will share in later posts.

Understanding negotiation theory begins with the realisation and for some the acceptance, that all negotiation involves competition and cooperation. Negotiation involves competition in the sense that there are very often limited resources or options available to satisfy the needs at play between of the parties, and both sides want the best result for themselves. As such, the parties to a negotiation typically compete for a limited “pie”. That said, negotiation involves cooperation in the sense that it is a consensual process that depends on a measure of cooperation and consensus to work. Meeting with the other side, talking to the other side, making concessions, sharing information, and ultimately agreeing with the other side, involves cooperation.