workplace


“Win-Win” in negotiation – myth or misunderstood?

I recently attended a professional development session on workplace conflict. One of the presenters – let’s call him Mark – delivered a 15-minute presentation about his experiences as a junior union representative of a major union. During this presentation, Mark referred on several occasions to the concept of “win-win” negotiations. And when he did so, […]

Gender parity: Negotiating equality in the workplace

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day (8 March 2016) is “Pledge for Parity”. Gender parity is a hot topic in organisations across the world. It is no longer simply a matter of ‘equality of the sexes’. It is increasingly evident that the participation of women in the workforce is an economic issue, with a recent McKinsey report suggesting that […]

Collaboration: working together to fuel innovation

It’s official: the “Century of Ideas” has begun. The Turnbull government has come out swinging with its first major policy document: an Innovation Statement. After decades of lamenting the “brain drain”, Australians can now look forward to an era of greater investment and lower risk for researchers and entrepreneurs who invest in the commercialisation of new ideas. The […]

Should the workplace be an emotion-free zone?

“Leave your emotions at the door!” This has been the unspoken mantra of the corporate world for so long that it might as well be printed in the induction materials. For many years, I bought into this expectation. After spending five years training my mind in the hyper-rational disciplines of Science and Law, it made […]

If it’s broken, fix it – don’t throw performance reviews away

It seems that performance review bashing has become the newest sport in human resources. Recent weeks have seen several major Australian corporates announce that they are scrapping annual performance reviews. These announcements are sending some practitioners jumping for joy – after all, plenty of research shows us that no-one like performance reviews. Before we get […]

Performance feedback: does “tough love” really work?

If you think reality television is a waste of time, think again. While some would say that it’s the detritus of the entertainment industry, there’s one area in which it generally excels – in the quantity and quality of its feedback conversations. The ability to give effective feedback is an essential leadership skill and, in our experience, […]

Music lesson: creating harmony through effective collaboration

What is your ‘fantasy ambition’? Mine is to be a musician. So when I agreed to sing a few pieces at my old law firm’s annual client function, I was secretly hoping that I would be ‘discovered’ and my career in music would take off. But the reality turned out to be a bit different. What happened […]

Don’t spit the dummy: how to respond to critical feedback

How do you manage your reaction to something that hits you when you’re least expecting it? I was once hit in the stomach with a basketball that I didn’t see coming. It knocked the wind right out of me, and I instinctively yelled: “I’m going to tell my mother on you!” In my defence, I was eight years old and […]

Mind your language: how to give effective performance feedback

Performance feedback – it’s a phrase almost guaranteed to fill managers and employees alike with a sense of dread. That’s disturbing, but hardly surprising when you consider the negative way in which most feedback in the workplace is delivered. As a learning and development professional who passionately believes in quality performance conversations, I can’t emphasise enough […]

The colourful truth about working collaboratively

Birds do it. Bees do it. Even Justin Bieber and Karl Lagerfeld are doing it. Everyone’s talking about collaboration at the moment. Deloitte Access Economics estimates that the ‘collaborative economy’ (the value of greater workplace collaboration) is worth a staggering $46 billion in Australia alone. So much of this talk is focused on using the […]