Author: Joe Saunders

Assertive Courtesy: A 21st Century Technique for Managing Conflict

I’m sure at some stage in our lives, we’ve all been told that we need to “stand up for ourselves” and not let anyone push us around. Likewise, we’ve all likely been told to be polite, choose our battles or “go with the flow.” In the field of verbal self-defence (alternatively called conflict management, verbal de-escalation, tactical communication, or any other buzz word that suits you) there is an ongoing dichotomy between two of the most common pieces of general advice offered.

1)   Treat the other party with respect

2)   Don’t be too soft! Set your boundaries!

So which is it? Should we be telling everyone to “STOP RIGHT THERE! LEAVE ME ALONE!” or should we apologise for the inconvenience of our presence? Clearly, neither is appropriate in every situation and a middle ground should be established. This article is about that middle ground and how we can use it as a foundation stone of our modern approach to conflict management. read more

Developing your intuition in a world of distraction

Intuition is an interesting concept. It’s something nearly all of us acknowledge the existence of. If you’re a spiritual person you might call it psychic, or a word from God, energy of the universe, etcetera. If you’re more of a scientifically minded sceptic, you might explain it through the lens of the reticular activating system or subliminal information gathering.

Whatever you want to call it, we all experience it the same way. A gut feeling. A pull. A “knowing” without knowing why. It’s like having the answer to a math problem without being able to show your working. It feels good, but also disconcerting. Like being right isn’t as valid if you don’t know why you were right.

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Top five resources to get you through COVID-19

COVID-19 has changed the way we do things. As organisations, as teams, as friends, as families and as individuals.

The change has come suddenly. And the situation keeps changing, which is likely to continue.

This has taken a huge toll on many of us in terms of our health – physically, mentally and emotionally.

Keeping yourself healthy, fit, active, and mentally well during this time has to be a top priority and many of the normal ways we do this are off-limits for an indeterminable period of time.

We have scoured the internet for the best free, or at least affordable, resources to assist you with boosting your own personal resilience and making this time productive.

Here are the top five resources to get you through COVID 19:

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7 Mistakes Organisations Make When Tackling Customer Aggression

I’ve been working around customer aggression and workplace violence for close to 15 years now. In that time, I’ve worked amongst a variety of industries including, but not limited to:

  • Hospitality and liquor retail
  • Private security
  • Hotel and resort industry
  • Hospitals and healthcare
  • Human services and community support roles
  • Travel and aviation
  • Funeral industry
  • Service stations and late-night retail
  • Fast food
  • Banking
  • Utilities
  • Government service centres
  • Local council functions (parking, waste management, etc.)

All of these industries have had their own issues with customer aggression and workplace violence. Whether we like to admit it or not, when we put our people into customer-facing roles, we expose them to the risk of aggression. In roles where they will occasionally either give someone unwanted news or deal with alcohol and/or drug affected persons, that risk is magnified.

To their credit, I haven’t had a single client or employer who simply didn’t care about their staff being abused or assaulted at work. Everyone I spoke to agreed that not feeling safe at work wasn’t acceptable. They had all, to some degree, implemented treatments to control that risk.

So why wasn’t it working?

After 15 years of researching and working in this field, these are the most common mistakes I’ve found well-intentioned organisations making.

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