Coaching, Conflict Management, EEO, HR, Management

How to Prepare Parties for a Mediation

Many of us are in a role to support mediation for our agencies or organizations. There is empirical data that demonstrates the most successful mediations occur when both parties come to the session prepared. Yet, there are many instances where the parties participating in the mediation don’t have a basic understanding of what to expect or how to leverage mediation. As professionals in this field, we all have an opportunity to improve the quality of mediation sessions by helping participants prepare. Here are some strategies we have found valuable when preparing parties for

Conflict Management, EEO, Leadership, Management

6 Things You Can Do To Prevent EEO Complaints

There is no magic formula you can follow to prevent an EEO complaint. The best you can do is to take steps to minimize complaints by creating and maintaining a positive work environment. In our last post, we discussed talking managers through their first EEO complaint, but the next question is usually how to avoid complaints. We can all agree with Ben Franklin’s famous axiom, “an ounce a prevention is worth a pound of cure”. To that end, we offer the following strategies… Treat Individuals Fairly and with Transparency: Another well-known axiom is that actions speak l

Coaching, Conflict Management, EEO, Leadership, Management

I’ve Been Named in an EEO Complaint? Help!!!

Anyone who has been a supervisor in the federal government for more than a few years has likely been named as a responsible management official (RMO) in an EEO complaint.   Many of you in HR, ADR or EEO programs are probably asked for help or advice from managers when they encounter their first complaint.   In this and future postings, we’d like to discuss some strategies for helping supervisors manage how they react to EEO complaints. Many managers recoil with the prospect of having their integrity questioned. Those are the managers we want to help. Talk them down from

Conflict Management, Leadership, Management

Improving Your Influence, Part 5: Manage Conflict Effectively (Conclusion)

This is a continuation of our last post, Manage Conflict Effectively and the conclusion in our series Improving Your Influence. We’ll use the example we started in the last post (link here) to illustrate the next strategy: focusing on interests, rather than positions. To summarize our example, Jim tells you he’s unhappy that Mike, his supervisor, routinely returns his work for revisions. He claims Mike is unreasonable. You help reframe the problem so that it focuses less on Mike, but more on what Jim can do to minimize the need for revisions by discussing it with Mike. J

Conflict Management, Leadership, Management

Improving Your Influence, Part 4: Manage Conflict Effectively

If you want to improve your influence in an organization, you need to avoid getting caught up with conflict and drama in the office. Being mired in conflict draws your focus away from your responsibilities, and more importantly, your goal to become more influential. While you may do a good job of avoiding conflict, your co-workers may try to pull you into theirs. In that case, you can actually add value (see previous post link here) by helping others navigate through the conflict. We’ve taken these ideas from the book Getting to Yes, by Fisher and Uri. The focus of the b

Career Development, Leadership, Management

Improving Your Influence, Part 3: Become the MVP

In the past 2 posts in this series we’ve been talking about positioning yourself to improve your influence.   We’re going to continue the discussion by focusing on what elevates you to the next level in any organization. Think about whom you consider the most valuable players in your organization or other places you’ve worked.   Now think of any player that has been named MVP, received the Heisman Trophy, or the Jim Thorpe award. What do all of these individuals have in common?  They deliver reliable results, consistently and when the chips are down. There are many who can

HR, Leadership, Management

57,000 Federal Employees on Paid Administrative Leave? Five Basic Steps to Keep You Out of the Headlines

The numbers reported in the October 20th Washington Post article of federal employees placed on administrative leave after being accused of misconduct are staggering: More than 50,000 on leave up to three months; 4,000 on leave three months to a year; and Several hundred on leave from one to three years. This is probably not a shock to those who work for the federal government. It wasn’t a surprise to us either – we saw this a lot when we worked in the government. Why are these numbers so high?   Because it’s easier to get the accused employee out of the offic

Career Development, Coaching, Leadership, Management

Improving Your Influence in an Organization… Step 1: Determine Where You Are

This is a part of a series of how you can improve your influence in your organization. Today’s post focus is on assessing where you currently are. Whether you work in the federal government or private sector, your image and reputation is everything. This is true whether you are an employee or a manager, although being a manager creates an even bigger burden because you have to worry about your personal reputation and image, as well as that of the unit or group you manage. In order to improve your influence, image or reputation, you must first take an honest of assessment