You may recall that many years ago I sold my car and started to travel everywhere by train. This, combined with many nights of overnight stays in hotels, has allowed me to write extensively. In addition, I have also been able to get through copious amounts of reading. I have read a good many books that have stretched my thinking and learning.
One such book which I am reading at the moment is ‘Quiet’ by Susan Cain. The book is a fascinating read about introverts, how they differ to extroverts and how we see some of those differences played out in the workplace. Those who have benefited from doing the Myers-Briggs personality test will know which side of the fence you are on. Without introverts, (who make up over one third of the population) the world would be devoid of:
- The theory of relativity
- The theory of gravity
- Peter Pan
- Charlie Brown
- Schindler’s List
- Harry Potter
There is some fascinating research about open plan offices, group work and brainstorming (it’s the word used in the book) that turns current thinking and practices on their head. To be slightly provocative on this bank holiday weekend, the research on open plan offices suggests they reduce productivity and impair memory. They also increase staff turnover, make people sick, hostile, unmotivated and insecure. Staff are also more likely to suffer high blood pressure, increased stress levels and argue more with their colleagues. Tap ‘Susan Cain Ted Talk’ into a search engine and watch to her 20 minute talk for yourself. I hope you find it of value. I did. For clarity - I have never met Susan Cain, nor do I have any connection with her. I am simply, reading her book.
Whilst on the topic of books, we have just finished an exercise of pulling together the 10 books I have written to date into one brochure.
By the way - you may recall us undertaking a workplace mediation and conflict management survey recently. The results are in. I will send on a link to the survey shortly. Two of the points of interest to me are that more than two thirds of respondents indicated that personality clashes were the principle cause of disputes. Introvert and extrovert differences perhaps? Also, in response to the question ‘What do you believe is the biggest ER issue facing your organisation over the next 2 years?’ the majority (51%) of respondents stated performance management.
Finally - there are just two places available for the next 5 day workplace mediation training course which takes place in June 2013 in Birmingham. Please be in touch if you would like to join us. For now, enjoy the sun!
Clive Lewis’ monthly missive started in 2008 and is read by thousands of professionals from a range of countries. Clive is a HR professional specialising in dispute resolution and relationship building. He is a former HR director and is the UK’s most published writer and widely recognised as one of Europe’s thought leaders on the topic of workplace mediation. His work has taken him across four continents. His handbook ‘Difficult Conversations: 10 Steps to becoming a Tackler not a Dodger’ was featured in the Sunday Times.
He has recently been appointed by Government to undertake assignments in Algeria and Jordan. He is the founder of Globis Mediation Group, Healthcare HR Solutions and The Men’s Room - a charity that provides mentoring and training services for young males from poor socio-economic backgrounds. He was the Chair of a government appointed independent panel that produced the REACH report. The report identified a cost of underachievement to the UK economy of £24bn linked to this group.
Clive serves as a non-executive director or trustee on the board of a number of organisations including an NHS Foundation Trust, E-ACT Academies, and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. He is the Honorary Secretary of the Civil Mediation Council. Clive was awarded the OBE in 2011 and was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant in 2012.