Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a conflict resolution expert, mediator, national speaker, educator and bestselling author who uniquely applies neuroscience to the fields of conflict resolution and negotiations. Her expert perspective is always fresh and relevant.
in an interview :
Employees are no longer allowing their employers to silence them and they’re exposing their workplace for the toxic/racist cultures that they may breed. What can companies learn from these scandals so that they can start working on fixing their behaviors/cultures now? Here are 5 strategies to addressing toxicity in the workplace:
1) Communication is key. Having an environment that encourages open and honest dialog allows employees (over time) to trust they can speak without negative repercussions. This environment often helps companies identify blind spots as employees feel safer to speak out about issues and concerns.
2) When a concern is raised, it is important for management to be curious rather than defensive. It is much more important to listen and fully understand what an employee is experiencing or observing than it is to defend a position. Ask questions, seek to understand and then ask about what the employee sees as possible solutions.
3) Management should create opportunities for informal one-on-one conversations rather than just team meetings. Team meetings are a difficult environment to speak out in and most people will choose to stay quiet. Instead, find casual conversation opportunities to just “catch up” or “get a pulse.”
4) Know that humans do not like unexpected change, nor do they like being told what to do (take wearing face masks for instance). With this in mind, use the SCARF model of change created by David Rock (UCLA). This acronym stands for Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness. If a corporation uses this change model, their team is far more likely to embrace change and be more positive about transitions.
5) Be grateful. If someone speaks up, we have the advantage of knowing what they are thinking. That means we can do something about it. When people do not speak up and suffer or stew in silence, this is when the most damage can happen to an organization. Use these moments to grow into a better organization by embracing the difficult conversations. They are catalysts to better times.
Interviews: Carol Barkes
Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a trend-setting mediator, business executive and educator specializing in the use of neuroscience to improve business performance, interpersonal communications, negotiation and conflict resolution processes for optimally successful results. She is also a speaker, educator, and author of the bestselling book: Success Breakthroughs: Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Reveal Their Secrets for Breaking Through to Success.
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Success In Media, Inc.