Having read my daughter Millie’s beloved ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ book a thousand times (only because she insisted - honest!), every time it reminds me of workplace situations.
For anybody unfamiliar with this literary classic, it features a family of children (and a dog) in pursuit of a bear (thankfully, no animals are harmed for the whole duration of the book).
They embark on an exciting adventure, travelling through various terrains and encounter rather adverse weather conditions during their epic journey.
They experience numerous barriers along the way, whether it be muddy fields or scary forests.
Each time they come across a tough situation, their mantra is –
'We can’t go over it , we can’t go under it , oh no, we’ve got to go through it…’
The kids don’t go around the issues - they tackle each one head on.
Managers in so many organisations avoid what we tend to label ‘difficult’ conversations with employees.
They go over and under the problem, often by sticking their heads in the sand. Too often they go around the problem by referring it to HR.
The ‘Bear Hunt’ kids wouldn’t do this!
So why do they do this?
Well, they simply don’t possess the confidence to tackle the conversations head on.
They don’t have the confidence because they don’t possess the skills and they haven’t learned the basic techniques.
Armed with the right tools and techniques, dealing with these tricky conversations is considerably more straightforward than you may think.
Just as exciting as going on a bear hunt, learning mediation skills enables you to understand how to deal directly with people and issues – negotiating any obstacles the right way and avoiding the need to either go over or under them - but instead always going through them towards a solution.
Adopting these tools can gradually change the entire culture within an organisation by helping employees to no longer be bears with sore heads.
Having learned mediation skills 27 years ago, I’ve seen the transformations with my own ‘bear’ eyes!
If you'd like to discuss how mediation skills can transform you and your organisation please feel free to access my diary and choose a time to suit - I'd love to chat!