Workplace

Navigating Tough Conversations without Torching Relationships

Mastering the art of tough talks at work can be daunting. Yet, it is essential for a harmonious workplace. Explores strategies to share worries without setting off fireworks. From leveraging allies to amplify your voice, and standing up for your values to using humor as an ice-breaker, we offer tips to ensure your perspective is noticed and respected.

June 2, 2023
Nitesh Padghan

Understanding how to manage tricky conversations in a professional environment without harming your relationships is key to success. Whether you encounter prejudice in corporate communication, find yourself at odds with your CEO's stance on a matter you hold dear, or witness subtle biases in team meetings, voicing your concerns is vital. However, the skill lies in doing so effectively.

Global survey data of 2,600 Gen Z employees indicates that only 20% would work for a company that doesn't align with their values. It's also noted that at least 70% of Gen Z actively participate in social or political causes. Moreover, evidence suggests those who can relate their social purpose to their jobs are more engaged and satisfied in their roles.

To explore how one can express their views and navigate challenging conversations without damaging professional relationships, we consulted a few of our experts. Here are their insights.

Embrace others as allies, not enemies.

When addressing an issue, like a subtle bias, approach the individual involved as an ally, not an adversary. Social advocacy is most effective when you initiate conversations by "inviting people in" instead of "calling them out" or outright criticism.

"To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others." - Tony Robbins

Aim for a dialogue, striving to comprehend the other party's perspective. Focus on assisting them in understanding their error rather than chastising them for it. Such conversations are not just ideologically sound but also pragmatic and practical. By inviting a person to discuss an issue rather than attempting to win a battle, they're more likely to listen and positively move forward from the conversation.

Understanding intent is vital; listen to their viewpoint.

Once on equal terms, actively listen to and consider the other person's perspective. Research indicates that we tend to overestimate how radical our adversaries' views are.

Clarify intentions by actively listening and displaying curiosity. Ask specific questions to comprehend their viewpoint better. After listening attentively, summarize what you've heard to avoid misunderstandings and confirm the facts. This will help you understand where you differ in your beliefs, their views' origins, and whether they're open to new information or prone to change.

Our ability to hear others increases when we listen and make them feel heard. As a basic human behavior, reciprocity - doing unto others as they do unto me - is a norm we should follow. Recognizing this reciprocity can make conveying your stance easier.

The human element is paramount.

It's crucial to remember you're interacting with a fellow human, a person with feelings, experiences, aspirations, and a shared desire to be understood and respected. Labeling others as narcissists, gaslighters, or toxic can lead to their dehumanization, especially when their views diverge from ours.

By listening to others and understanding their perspective, we respect their capacity for growth and change. Minson underscores that when we acknowledge the potential for change in those we disagree with, our engagement with them becomes more productive. Avoid the binary view of people as either "good" or "bad." Extending grace and empathy can go a long way.

Exclusion, on the other hand, can lead to the entrenchment of extreme views. If an individual feels marginalized, they might seek out like-minded individuals, thereby creating echo-chambers and perpetuating polarization. Treating people as humans, with their unique flaws and fundamental needs, is essential to the changes we hope to achieve.

Humor can be a potent tool.

Contrary to what one might expect, a sense of humor can play a critical role in social advocacy. Kashdan cites Loretta Rose's experience as an example of grace. In 2017, as a professor, she mistakenly used the wrong pronoun for a student. Instead of reacting negatively, the student lightened the situation with humor, saying, "That's all right; I misgender myself sometimes."

Humor allows us to connect on a human level, disarm others, and mitigate embarrassment. It invites dialogue and doesn't presuppose negative intentions. However, this approach depends on the situation and your comfort level with the individuals involved.

Don't hesitate to seek help.

Confronting broad organizational issues or engaging in difficult conversations with senior leadership can seem daunting. However, finding allies can prove invaluable in these circumstances. Look for individuals in leadership roles who share your concerns. Consult with them and propose how specific actions could benefit the company, its leaders, and its employees.

For instance, if your organization misses out on focusing on ESG, you could make a case for its potential benefits. Be proactive in suggesting how you can move forward with this issue.

Advocating for a more empathetic, respectful world is no easy task, and you can't control how others react. But the most important thing is to make a sincere effort, even if your attempts to engage others aren't always successful. Patience is the key to changing minds and behaviors. Give it time.

Closing Thoughts

As we strive to foster a world of mutual respect and care, it's crucial to remember that the reactions of others aren't within our control. What truly matters is the sincerity and wholeheartedness of our attempts. Sometimes, change might be slow, but patience is key. Each conversation, each voice raised for what is right, takes us one step closer to a more empathetic, understanding workplace.

Occupational Wellbeing

Side Hustle to Success: Exploring the Potential of Multiple Income Streams

December 7, 2022
The Wellness Tribe Team

Building a career from different income streams can be a rewarding and fulfilling way to make a living. However, in today's economy, relying on a single source of income is becoming increasingly risky, as job security and stability are no longer guaranteed. By diversifying your income streams, you can protect yourself from financial uncertainty and take control of your own career. 

There are many different ways to create multiple income streams, and the best approach for you will depend on your individual circumstances, skills, and interests. In this article, we will explore potential options for generating additional income and provide tips for getting started.

Start A Side Hustle

One way to generate multiple income streams is to start a side hustle in addition to your full-time job. This could be something as simple as selling handmade products on Shopify or providing a service like home or online tutoring. The key is to start small and gradually build up, so you don't overwhelm yourself.

Portfolio Diversification

Portfolio Diversification
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Another way to create multiple income streams is by diversifying your investment portfolio. By investing in a range of assets, including stocks, bonds, real estate, and others, you can create a steady stream of passive income to help support your career and financial goals. Diversifying your investments can also reduce the risks associated with relying on a single source of income, such as job loss or market volatility.

Creating and Selling Online Courses

Another option is to leverage your current job or career to create additional income streams. For example, you could use your knowledge and experience to develop and sell an online course or e-book or offer to coach or consulting services to others in your field. By doing so, you can generate additional income without necessarily having to leave your current job or career.

The Benefits of Multiple Income Streams

Be Your Boss

One of the key advantages of building a career from multiple income streams is that it gives you more control over your work and income. Instead of being at the mercy of a single employer, you can create your own opportunities and choose the projects and clients that align with your values and interests. This can lead to greater job satisfaction and a sense of fulfilment.

A Safety Net for Income

Having multiple income streams can provide a sense of security, as it gives you a backup plan in case something goes wrong with one of your streams. This can be especially important in today's economy, where job security is not always guaranteed.

Multi-stream income generation workflow

Multi Stream Income : Side Hustles
Photo by Will Porada on Unsplash

Wondering how to get started? Here is a workflow for finding and creating multiple income streams through side hustles: 

1. Identify Your Skills and Interests: 

The first step is to think about what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. These skills and interests can help you identify potential side hustle opportunities.

2. Research Potential Opportunities: 

Once you have a list of your skills and interests, start researching potential side hustle opportunities that align with them. Look for opportunities that are in demand, have the potential for growth, and are flexible enough to fit into your schedule.

Here are a few platforms for side hustle opportunities: 

  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • Freelancer
  • SolidGigs

3. Create a business plan: 

Once you have identified a few potential side hustles, create a business plan outlining how to start and grow your business. This should include a market analysis, marketing, and financial plan.

Check these sample business plans from Hubspot to get you started. 

4. Test your idea: 

Before fully committing to a side hustle, it can be helpful to test your idea to see if it is viable. This can involve creating a prototype, offering a limited-time promotion, or launching a pilot project.

5. Launch your side hustle.

Once you have a solid business plan and have tested your idea, it's time to launch your side hustle. This may involve creating a website, setting up social media accounts, and networking to find potential clients.

6. Scale your business.

Once you have launched your side hustle, focus on growing and scaling your business. This may involve finding new clients, expanding your services, or creating new products.

"A side hustle is the ultimate form of job security. It gives you the freedom to explore your interests, try new things, and build a business around your passions." - Chris Guillebeau - American Author

Closing Thoughts

There are several ways to create multiple income streams, and the best approach will depend on your individual circumstances, skills, and interests. You may include some freelancing websites which can give side hustles more meaningful avenues.

Emotional Wellbeing

How to Deal with Burnout: A Guide for Team Leaders

September 25, 2022
The Wellness Tribe

Many employees feel the shift to remote work has been a welcome change from the in-office routine despite the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. In contrast, for others, the disadvantages of remote work became apparent as weeks turned into months and months into a year.

If you have access to the internet 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and don't need to commute, separating work and personal life can be challenging. Late night work and weekend work become more common. Our survey found that 77% of employees have experienced burnout. If staffing levels are cut, workloads increase and burnout quickly become a reality.

The good news is that it is preventable. Employee engagement through an employee wellness program is one important component. Employees that are engaged are happier and more productive. Greater resiliency benefits the organisation as well. However, effective tools and consistent efforts are required to keep staff engaged, reduce burnout, and guarantee that everyone is working toward the same goals.

Here are six strategies to help employees avoid burnout, increase employee engagement, and build resiliency.

Facilitate Better Communication

Facilitate Better Communication
Photo by Headway on Unsplash

It is necessary to communicate with your employees to understand their perspectives, difficulties, and perceptions of the organisation and management. Assessments should not be restricted to once a year. More frequency and consistency are crucial in mixed work environments, where employees may feel like they are working in a vacuum. Employees should be able to communicate through all channels available to avoid mental health issues that may arise from isolation.

Small chat groups and meet-ups like virtual lunchrooms and happy hours, as well as one-on-one meetings centred on progress and goals, are all examples of communication touchstones. You can create connections through them, unwind, reduce loneliness, and spot other people who are struggling. But, again, this could help you intervene before things get worse.

"Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence." - Sheryl Sandberg

Allow Employees to Take Time Off.

In many organisations, downtime must be considered to meet demand. Although the redistribution of work may be complex, downtime cannot be ignored. Provide employees with the option of taking breaks, personal days, or vacations when necessary.

Your company's typical working hours should be clearly communicated to employees. In addition, they should be encouraged to turn off their phones and laptops when they are not working. Recognising that they have the right to separate work and personal life will encourage employees to do so. In order to motivate employees to do these things, you might want to introduce some employee wellness initiatives. 

Even short breaks throughout the day can help improve their mood and productivity. Make it clear to your team members that they should not check their emails while on vacation. Find someone to cover their position if it is essential. Upon their return, they will be well-rested and ready to work.

Make Collaboration Easier by Investing in Tools.

Make Collaboration Easier by Investing in Tools.
Photo by Akson on Unsplash

Retention requires high levels of engagement and communication. Employees don't quit their jobs because they're awful. They leave lousy managers behind them. Organisational goals are more likely to be achieved by employees who clearly understand their responsibilities and are supported in fulfilling them.

Using employee engagement and performance management technology can help to boost productivity, knowledge sharing, and cooperation. Engagement will close the gap by providing coaching and feedback to both in-office and remote employees, connecting individual and team objectives to the organisation's strategic priorities.

Concentrate on the “Why”

Burnout is typically caused by a gap between a person's values and tasks. Although you are worried and exhausted, you continue to work, forgetting the reasons you joined the company or job in the first place. There is a risk of harm from it. 

Creating a shared sense of why is a task for any leader must determine why we are motivated to complete the goal. As a leader, it is your responsibility to energise your team. Remember the purpose and why it is crucial for the business and your customers. People are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs if they share common beliefs and connections.

Commit to Mental Health and Empathy

There is increasing recognition that mental health is vital for individuals, groups, and society. Moreover, those their leaders support through empathy are more likely, to be honest and accurate. 

When companies build stronger relationships with their employees, employees report it improved mental and physical health by 23% and 17%, respectively. Companies that provide holistic support to their employees report an increase of 21% in high performers. Additionally, employees feel heard and validated, resulting in a more productive work environment and a happier mind body soul.

Prioritise Your Own Health.

Before you can help your team members manage their stress, you must work on your own. Consider how you can help your employees get what they need instead of hunkering down and focusing" on your task.  

The best start is by taking care of your physical and emotional health first; you need to take care of yourself. Get enough sleep at night, eat healthfully, exercise regularly, meditate, and find another person to vent to who isn't "your boss.". Taking care of oneself is more than a luxury; it is a necessity.

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This month we are focusing on food and how it affects your mental health. Join us as we bring in the most relevant interesting content from across the wellness segment.

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