• 6 Points to Improve Conflict Resolution

    by Mary Ann Gontin

    In my team building and executive coaching work, conflict is a topic that is frequently discussed. Conflict is viewed as a negative situation 6 Points for Improving Conflict Resolution by most people—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Conflict, when handled appropriately, can lead to creative solutions, improved communication and teamwork, and a greater respect for others. Conflict in business relationships usually is caused by disputes over resources or misunderstandings around expectations and commitments.

    The biggest mistake managers can make is to assume the conflict will just disappear. There are sometimes small conflicts that surface and indeed do get resolved very quickly. I’m not suggesting that at the first sign of a disagreement between employees managers should jump into “conflict resolution mode.” This post is about conflict that results in work inefficiencies, missed deadlines, errors or employee turnover. Too many times managers just hope it will magically get resolved—because they truly don’t know what to do.

    Here are six points that can help you more effectively address and navigate conflict:

    1. Change your mindset – Mary Parker Follett, renowned management theorist, suggested that we “think of conflict as neither good nor bad…not as warfare, but as the appearance of difference.” Conflict is part of the human condition so don’t waste energy complaining about it. Try to make it work for you and your organization.

    2. Set the stage – Tell those involved that it’s okay to have conflict but not okay to be disrespectful. Tell them conflict usually means people are invested in doing a good job, but may have different views or challenges to deal with that are unknown to the other person or department. Therefore, the goal is to get clarity and find better ways to work together.

    3. Don’t assume you’re hearing the whole story or know what’s ...

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  • 5 Ways to Rock Your Next Interview

    by Courtney Farris 

    Landing a job is the end goal for all job seekers, but a proactive job search isn’t as simple as that. It’s often a long process that includes5 ways to rock your next interview resume building, networking, seeking out positions and the dreaded interview. Job seekers can get stuck in any one of these job search checkpoints. One place that we commonly see our clients struggle is with the interview. Having dozens of unsuccessful interviews can be both frustrating and discouraging. Here are 5 key tips for better interview performance:

    1. Bring Your Resume. Make sure that your resume is up to date, personalized and customized to the position you are interviewing for. A well-crafted resume should include key accomplishments from your previous positions and use descriptive action words that clearly describe how you contributed to the company’s success. Make sure it speaks to the value you bring and why you are the best candidate for the position. Know the content on your resume well so that you can use it as a tool to address the questions they ask.

    2. Prepare Your 30-Second Commercial. You may have also heard of this as an “elevator pitch.” It’s likely that the interviewer will open with a general, “tell me about yourself” question. While the question seems simple to answer, the broad topic under the pressure of an interview can be tricky for some. Practice describing yourself in 30 seconds or less. You’ll want to quickly tell them who you are, what you do and the value that you bring. Make sure that it’s a memorable message that makes the interviewer want to learn more about you.

    3. Do Your Research. This is critical to your interview success. You don’t need to know the company inside and out, but you should have a very good ...

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  • Downsizing: Best Practice Advice

    Having worked with a multitude of companies who have had to manage a downsizing, I have observed many negative approaches to thisdownsizing best practices process. As such, I know of better and more sensitive ways. 

    The goal is to relay this difficult message to an employee in a sensitive way in order to avoid negative or extreme emotions and reactions. The fact is this message to an employee (losing one’s job) is a negative one, but you don’t want to handle this in such a way as to cause outrage or retaliation.

    Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to handle a corporate downsizing.

    -       When possible, avoid delivering the downsizing message on a Friday. When releasing someone on a Friday, chances are your business will be closed over the weekend. This is important because at the time of hearing this news, most employees won’t hear all the information being shared and thus will have questions a day or two later. If unable to ask you/the employer, they may turn to friends and neighbors, who could stir up negative emotions within the employee. Then by Monday, the employee may have become highly agitated. Therefore, consider releasing on another day of the week.

    -       Give the notice in a private setting, as the employee could easily become emotional (crying, etc.) and should not be exposed to others walking or seated close by. You should also close the door for privacy.

    -       Have tissues available and give the employee time to ask questions or collect themselves before leaving. Be sure the employee is calm enough to drive him/herself home safely, as well as confirm they have transportation.

    -       Though some companies are advised by their lawyers to have security close by or even escort the ...

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  • Endorsements on LinkedIn – A Good Thing?

    by Shawna Simcik

    When LinkedIn first introduced the endorsement function, there was plenty of distress and uproar. We’ve all received endorsements for skills we didn’t know we had from people who don’t even know us.


    Though I think I could navigate compensation and benefits, I’ve never done it, so I was mystified when a mystery endorsement came from someone who endorsed me for “compensation and benefits.”

    So, in an effort to understand more about this function and to educate those in a job search, I went to explore the pros and cons of endorsements. What does it get me that recommendations don't already afford me? Are they worth it? Should I remove the skills that I don’t actually have?


    The conclusion that I’ve reached is LinkedIn endorsements are good!


    Back in 2011, LinkedIn introduced the “skills and experience” feature. Many of us have not gotten around to filling this out. So, first, let me highlight where to find your endorsements. LinkedIn endorsements appear near the middle of your profile and written next to each “skill” in a blue box is the number of endorsements you’ve received for each identified skill. The higher the number, the greater number of endorsements you’ve received. For example on my profile, you will notice, 99+ endorsements for the keyword “Talent Management":

    Linkedin endorsements - good or bad?


    You can edit your profile and select certain specialties that you deem you are skilled in. This is worth doing because you want people endorsing you to check off the skills you believe are most important. Pick at least 10 skills. You can also change the order that these appear on your profile.


    Second, someone may endorse you for a skill or specialty and you have the right to approve this endorsement. Once you have approved the keyword, ...

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The vOIce

The vOIce is written by many of the managing partners of OI Partners. Topics include our ideas on how you or your organization can be effective in areas related to career development, executive development, workforce development, career transition and more.

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