Catherine Gillespie's Blog (49)

Insights on Neuroscience and Servant Leadership – Interview with Charles Caldwell Pt 2

Recently we published a post from an interview with Charles Caldwell, Director of Human Resources for the Hong Kong English Schools Foundation. The topic of that interview was managing change. Today I continue my discussion with Charles with a focus on neuroscience and the role of servant leadership in the modern organisation.

I enjoyed…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on August 29, 2017 at 10:30 — No Comments

Grievance handling procedures: informal complaints – should managers give them ‘airtime’ or not?

With respect to taking notice of informal complaints and where they fit in the context of grievance handling procedures –there are three types of manager:

  1. Those who, when listening to staff, just hear comments but don’t consider them as grievances;
  2. Those who, when listening to staff, hear a concern and hold further…
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Added by Catherine Gillespie on August 22, 2017 at 12:36 — No Comments

Conflict Resolution via Self Management

Self-management is an informal process that seeks to restore workplace relationships without looking for the alleged perpetrator to be disciplined in some way. It is only appropriate to try this method of conflict resolution if you feel safe to do so.

It is important that you, the complainant, remain calm and polite. This process should be seen as an assertive and objective exercise and not an opportunity to become angry and aggressive. Think about an appropriate time and…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on August 16, 2017 at 18:30 — 1 Comment

Insights on Managing Change – Interview with Charles Caldwell

After seeing Charles present at the HR Summit in Hong Kong, I had the pleasure of sitting with him to discuss ‘the illusion of permanence’ and why change is often a stumbling block for organisations and individuals. As the Director of Human Resources for the Hong Kong English Schools Foundation, Charles has worked with teaching and non teaching staff, of different nationalities, to ensure they have felt supported and successfully been able to manage and implement…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on August 11, 2017 at 10:50 — No Comments

Coping With A Fast-Paced Workplace: Tackling Difficult Situations And Dealing With Stressed People

Dealing with stressed people takes a lot of skill including not becoming stressed ourselves!

In this article, we briefly outline some strategies for minimising stress in a fast paced workplace.

1. Building resilience

Resilience is the ability to make disciplined decisions about our behaviour, actions and wellbeing (physical and psychological). We can build resilience by:

  • practicing…
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Added by Catherine Gillespie on August 8, 2017 at 1:45 — No Comments

Rights and Obligations at Work Related Events

When is a work related event not a work related event and when do the rules of the workplace apply? The rights and obligations of employers and employees can be blurred at times.

A function held on work premises, for example, can at times be a private event and outside the scope of an employer’s obligations. And a private off site event can also at times be considered work related if an employer has directed an employee to be…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on July 26, 2017 at 10:19 — No Comments

Carer’s Leave and The Fair Work Act in the Workplace

Carer’s leave was introduced as an employee entitlement in the Australian workplace as part of the Fair Work Act. Under Section 97 of the Act:

An employee may take paid personal/carer's leave if the leave is taken:

(a) because the employee is not fit for work because of a personal illness, or personal injury, affecting the employee; or

(b) to provide care or support…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on July 21, 2017 at 12:36 — No Comments

What Is Acceptable Behaviour In The Workplace?

The idea of behaviour being acceptable or otherwise can, for some, be very subjective and often very personal. Sometimes it even depends on the environment and even ‘the times.’

Induction and hazing rituals once believed to be necessary to develop resilience and teach respect are now viewed as demeaning and in some situations constitute unlawful, criminal assault.

Violence for example, isn’t condoned on the streets yet, in the past it has often been encouraged and applauded on…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on July 18, 2017 at 10:32 — 1 Comment

WIN/WIN - A collaborative approach for workplaces series PART 1: Assertive Communication

Now more than ever our workplaces seem to be a place that exposes us to stressors and depending on our psychological health at the time, our reactions to stress can be varied. While each of us are responsible for how we react in every situation, you can play a significant role in communicating effectively to minimise the risk of others adversely reacting to your comments and instructions.

One strategy which will have a major positive effect on others in the workplace is for you to be…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on July 17, 2017 at 10:30 — No Comments

Are you ready to deal with your employee’s emotional storm?

Dr Anil Behal (@BehalDr) describes an emotional storm as “an incredibly powerful constellation of emotions and feelings that must be sorted and worked through”.

As HR Manager, you don’t need a psycho-therapeutic or psychoanalytic background to know that emotional employees can be quite destructive in the workplace – like a storm or cyclone raging over those around them…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on July 10, 2017 at 13:26 — No Comments

Mediation – a Restorative and Transformative Approach

Mediation is a well-known alternative dispute resolution method. However it is extremely under-utilised in the Australian workforce.

Many managers and employers dismiss disputes between employees as ‘trivial’ believing that their staff should ‘get over it’ and ‘grow up’. However if staff don’t have the skills to resolve such disputes – many cannot just ‘get over it’.

Instead of the problem ‘going away’, Workplace Conflict…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on July 5, 2017 at 15:42 — No Comments

Avoiding conflict around change





Many organisations have learnt that much time and effort must go into preparing for change. It is important to have certainty around the process or procedure that is being changed and clarity about how this will be presented to staff and then…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on June 22, 2017 at 13:34 — No Comments

Why Managers Dismiss Workplace Conflict

Workplace conflict between staff, if left unchecked, tends to escalate – but most managers have a natural inclination to dismiss it.

Employees are often promoted to management…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on June 21, 2017 at 13:30 — No Comments

‘Conflict is inevitable, combat is optional’



This quote from famous US author, Max Lucado rings so true for all conflict situations we can think of.

In all of life’s situations, it is how we chose to respond (and not react) that…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on June 20, 2017 at 17:02 — No Comments

6 Tips To Establish Assertive Management

Being able to communicate and manage in an assertive manner is a skill that takes practice and confidence.

Here are some tips for your behaviour, that will automatically see you being perceived by others as a more assertive communicator. These tips will help you feel more confident and will support your resolve to continue to practice being an assertive communicator.

Think of these tips like getting dressed in a suit or fashionable,…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on June 12, 2017 at 11:20 — No Comments

Supporting headspace to Tackle Youth Mental Health Issues

An extension of our work at Workplace Harmony Solutions is our support of organisations which tackle mental health issues. Last month we had the pleasure of hosting a table at a business luncheon for headspace, a national youth mental health foundation dedicated to improving the wellbeing of young Australians.

The Geelong branch is operated by Barwon Child, Youth and Family and funds raised at the…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on June 6, 2017 at 13:35 — No Comments

Smartphones, Meeting Etiquette and Workplace Conflict

We have all seen signs in stores and at service counters alerting customers they will not be served if they are talking on their mobile phone. We all know there is an etiquette associated with the use of mobile phones, but did you know the use of these devices could also be causing conflict in the workplace and potentially harming your career?

I have conducted a number of mediations in which discussion has moved to…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on May 31, 2017 at 11:47 — 1 Comment

Guidelines for Conducting In-House Workplace Mediations

Just as a meeting agenda keeps a meeting on track, a mediation meeting framework ensures that all important steps are covered and important discussion items are raised and addressed. This framework can provide structure and confidence for a less experienced mediator.

One of the most important tips I can offer you is not to rush the workplace mediation meeting. It is a common error to rush the meeting and this…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on May 24, 2017 at 10:54 — No Comments

Leadership On and Off the Field - A Conversation with Tim Cutler

While in Hong Kong recently I had the opportunity to have a chat with Tim Cutler, CEO of the Hong Kong Cricket Association to discuss leadership and the role of leaders in sport and business.

As a former Australian Netball representative, former consultant to the Malaysian Netball Leadership team, and current Business and Sports Coach, I’ve always seen the connection between…
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Added by Catherine Gillespie on May 22, 2017 at 11:30 — No Comments

Mental Health In The Workplace With Georgie Harman, CEO of beyondblue

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Georgie Harman, CEO of beyondblue about the actions that contribute to mentally healthy workplaces.

I recorded the discussion which you can listen to here and/or, take a look at some of the notes taken from the recording below.

beyondblue provides access to information, tools, help lines and other support…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on May 16, 2017 at 13:30 — No Comments

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