All Posts by Catherine Gillespie

Communication with High Conflict Personalities

Many years ago I attended a workshop conducted by Bill Eddy, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at the High Conflict Institute in California. Bill pioneered the High Conflict Personality Theory (HCP) and is considered an expert in managing disputes involving people with high conflict personalities.

I know that some readers will be thinking they have a few HCP employees at their current organisation.

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Negative Micro Behaviours Are A Sign Of Frustration And Poor Communication Skills

In a previous article, I explained which behaviours may constitute a negative micro behaviour and how the display of such behaviours should be best managed and addressed. In this article, I would like to explore with you why a staff member may display negative micro behaviours at work. All actions, all behaviours, whether overt or covert, whether […]

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Negative Micro Behaviours What Are They And How Can They Be Addressed?

In an HRM article (September 2021), a consulting workplace psychologist identified 8 negative micro behaviours which lead to interpersonal tensions and conflict.

These behaviours were identified as:

Interrupting others
Negative body language
Irritable or arrogant demeanour
Complaining and gossiping about others…

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Investigations and Procedural Fairness

Investigations and Procedural Fairness

Understanding how to separate past investigated misconduct matters from a current situation is crucial in ensuring natural justice is applied.

The FWC upheld an unfair dismissal claim when a childcare organisation dismissed two employees following an investigation (in 2019) into misconduct. The reasons for dismissal justified using the outcome of an investigation conducted in 2018.

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Understanding The Importance Of Giving And Receiving Honest Feedback


What happens when our managers can’t give honest feedback to staff?

Let’s face it, we all like positive feedback. When given positive feedback, we reward our managers with loyalty, attention, greater productivity and motivation, and a tendency to not ‘rock the boat’. So both the staff member and the manager enjoy the rewards.

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Are Your Employees Fine? How To Properly Manage Conflict In The Workplace

Are Your Employees Fine

“I’m fine.” You may be fine but how you’re delivering that answer might give away more information than you think.

Have you asked an employee how they are and you receive a blunt response? Have they responded, “Fine” (in a deeper tone with slight, downward intonation)?

Engaging your emotional intelligence, you know they aren’t fine at all.

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‘Emotional Agility’ as a Workplace Mediator

emotional agility in workplace

Susan David, psychologist and author or the book ‘Emotional Agility’ states that organisations need to get comfortable with uncomfortable emotions in order to provide a psychologically safe workplace in which staff feel safe to bare their emotional truth. She believes that when leaders are comfortable with uncomfortable emotions, they are better equipped to listen to staff and explore the real drivers of the emotion to uncover mutually beneficial outcomes for both the staff member and the organisation.

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Conflict In The Workplace And The Key To Setting It Right

Conflict In The Workplace And The Key To Setting It Right

A mediator is a ‘Conflict Engagement Practitioner’, a skilled, experienced and accredited mediator. They are external to the organisation and independent to the issues and understand how to constructively engage with conflict in any business.

Their role is ‘not about making nice – it is about coming to grips with what is wrong and ‘setting it right.’[1]

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The Role Of Generosity In Mediation

The Role of Genorisity In Mediation

At some point in a mediation, one person will ‘shift’ from presenting and defending their perspective to genuinely acknowledging the hurt, frustration, loss or other feeling of pain being expressed by the other.

To ‘move’ from a place of focusing only on one’s own opinions and perspectives, a place that has been a type of sanctuary for certainty and therefore comfort, requires one to lower their defenses and to step outside of their view of the past, which they may have held on to for so long as a being the truth.

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