Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 25th 2016 Contents Resolve a conflict with
a remote colleague
What s the best way to solve a disagree-
ment with someone who s working in a dif-
First, try to give your colleague the benefit
of the doubt. Because you don t have a
shared context---you re not sitting in the
same building, experiencing the same weath-
er, seeing the same things---it s easy to make
assumptions about how your colleague feels
or why he is acting the way he is.
Pick up the phone or schedule a time for
a video call.
Start the conversation by highlighting
what you have in common, which can help
build bridges. If you re still not able to solve
the issue, you may need to ask someone
else for help. To prevent further conflicts,
try to travel to your colleague s office, if
that s feasible, or invite her to yours.
(Adapted from "Resolve a Fight With a
Remote Colleague," by Amy Gallo)
Give people time, space
to be more creative
Creativity takes time, requiring people to
struggle down several blind alleys before
finding the right solution. That s why a lot
of creative activity may look suspiciously
like loafing around until a breakthrough
happens. But if an organisation truly wants
creativity, it has to start by hiring more peo-
ple than it needs to complete the tasks
required for the company to stay afloat.
Managers also need to provide some flex-
ibility for employees to alter their schedules
when an interesting idea begins to develop.
And they need to reward employees for
engaging in tasks that ultimately lead to
creative solutions, like learning new things,
developing new skills, having wide-ranging
conversations with colleagues and trying
out ideas that don t work.
Adapted from "To Get More Creative,
Become Less Productive," by Art Markman
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TIPS & TALKING POINTS
Make group problem-solving
When groups get together to brainstorm, they
actually come up with fewer ideas than the individuals
in that group would have come up with on their own.
That s why it s important to think about group prob-
lem-solving in two phases: divergence and conver-
gence. Divergence happens when the group considers
as many different potential solutions as possible. For
example, "How many different uses can you find for
Convergence happens when a large number of
ideas are whittled down to a smaller set. For the best
results, have people work alone when generating
ideas. Then collect those ideas and send them around
to the group. Allow the divergence to continue as
group members individually build on the ideas of
their colleagues. Give the resulting ideas to everyone
and let the group get together to pick the best ones.
This way everyone can offer solutions without being
unduly influenced by others ideas.
(Adapted from "The Problem-Solving Process That
Prevents Groupthink," by Art Markman)
Get buy-in for
your new idea
When introducing a new idea to a potentially resist-
ant audience, you need to invest as much energy in
what you say and how you say it as you did in coming
up with the idea itself. There are a few ways to increase
the likelihood that your idea will get a fair hearing.
Start by connecting the idea to the existing strategy
and making analogies to current products, services
or processes. Building on what people already under-
stand will make your idea more relatable. And discuss
how your idea meets the needs of a key stakeholder.
Sometimes you need to borrow someone else s clout
to give your idea the extra oomph it needs to get over
(Adapted from "Your New Idea Is Worthless Unless
You Know How to Sell It," by Liane Davey)
Keep everyone on task
after your next meeting
To make sure productivity doesn t slow down after
you walk out of a meeting, send out clear and concise
meeting notes within 24 hours and follow up on the
commitments made. These notes should state each
topic you discussed, the key takeaways and a list of
specific actions along with who will do them and
when. Use the notes to keep everyone on track until
you meet again. Assign someone to check in with
the group at appropriate intervals to ensure that the
commitments are all being kept as promised or re-
evaluated if something unexpected comes up.
(Adapted from "2 Things to Do After Every Meeting,"
by Paul Axtell)
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